The title of this blog post should really be “Four things that aren’t worth the money, when you’re on a strict budget”, but that was too long.
I’ve been on a very strict budget for almost two years now. I’m trying to get out of debt, and after that, I plan on aiming for a decent level of savings. To achieve this, I need to keep a very close eye on my budget, and keep my expenses as low as possible.
In order to achieve my low expense lifestyle, my husband and I have given up a lot of things that I used to consider necessities.
Now that we’ve gone a few years without them, I’ve come to realize that these “necessities” are just wants, and weren’t really worth the cash. Here are some things that I used to pay for, that I’ve now realized weren’t giving me very good bang for my buck.
I love a clean car, and I used to love getting mine cleaned professionally. The job they did was amazing, and it wasn’t THAT expensive. Now that I’m on a strict budget, I’ve started cleaning my car myself. Sure it’s a pain, and it takes a long time, but it’s much cheaper than paying to get it done, and I have the benefit of being able to do it at my own convenience, instead of having to make an appointment.
While I don’t cut my own hair, I have cut my husband’s hair for the last few years. Initially I was very apprehensive about doing this, after all, it’s his HAIR, what if I screwed it up? Now that I’ve done it several times, it’s no big deal, and is a great way to save a buck.
I used to pay for my massages out of pocket, and while I loved them, I realized that spending $70 bucks a month was a little outrageous. I gave them up until I got insurance through my work. Now they’re covered 100%, and I’ve gone back to getting them, but only because they are essentially free! (I would be paying for the insurance regardless of whether or not I get massages)
Store Bought Wine
I love my wine, but at $12-$15 a bottle, it can get expensive fast, and takes up a huge chunk of my monthly entertainment budget. Fortunately, my husband loves brewing home made wine.
Not only is it a great indoor hobby that doesn’t take up much space, it reduces the cost of a bottle down to about $3 a bottle. The taste isn’t that different from the cheap wine we would buy anyway, and the hardest part of the whole process is keeping it in the house once it’s ready to be drunk!
When Expenses Aren’t Worth It
Some expenses are worth it, like home and car maintenance, healthy food, and preventative health care, but others are completely unnecessary and just a part of our routines.
I credit my expense lowering spree with helping me realize just what is and isn’t worth the money. If I’d never tried to go without these things, I would never have realized that I didn’t need them in the first place!
What expenses totally aren’t worth the money to you?