My husband Riley and I live a happy, simple life. We don’t keep up with Joneses or try to, and we believe we’re better off because of it. Today I’m sharing 16 things we don’t do in order to save money–some are intentional, others are inadvertent. Let’s jump in! (Stay tuned for Things We Do to Save Money, and Things We Splurge On posts…coming soon!)
1 | We don’t go on expensive dates
This is cheesy, but it’s true: Riley and I are best friends. We love spending time together no matter what we’re doing. We don’t need to spend a lot of money (or any money at all) to have fun, so we usually don’t! Our top two date spots are Starbucks, where we go every Friday afternoon, and the movie theater. Starbucks costs about $10/date and going to see a movie costs about $20/date. Affordable and fun!
2 | We don’t eat out often
In my recent post, 5 Simple and Non-Obsessive Ways to Eat Healthier, I shared that my best healthy-eating tip is to eat at home. It’s also one of my best money-saving tips! Probably 95 perfect of the time, Riley and I cook and eat at home. We don’t skimp on fresh, delicious groceries–but even cooking an expensive meal at home (like, say, filet mignon) saves money when compared to the same dish at a restaurant.
3 | We don’t get expensive haircuts
I wear my hair long and get it cut two times a year, maybe three, and I don’t get it colored or highlighted. My friend is a great stylist, and she cuts my hair at a very reasonable price. Riley wears his hair relatively long as well, and gets his cut about once a quarter at Supercuts. Having low-maintenance hair saves us hundreds of dollars a year!
4 | We don’t live in a big city
As many of you know, I don’t love where I live. Though I would prefer to live in a more populated area, the reality is that we save thousands of dollars a year by living where we do. Our small town has a low cost of living, so things like our mortgage and grocery bills are very reasonable, especially when compared to large cities.
5 | We don’t have cable
As I recently shared in my post We Got Rid of Cable in Exchange for Simpler Living, we cut cable in late February. We don’t miss it at all and are saving about $70/month by using Netflix and Amazon Prime Video instead.
6 | We don’t buy clothes or shoes often
Riley runs a screenprinting and embroidery shop, so we have access to all kinds of free clothing through his shop. It’s a fantastic perk! His wardrobe is made up of almost entirely free clothes and mine is a 50/50 mix of free and reasonably priced clothing. I don’t shop for clothes a lot (more about that in this post: I Don’t Care That Much About What I Wear), and when I do, I look for classic, neutral pieces that I can wear for many years. More about where I shop for clothes here.
7 | We don’t use credit cards to spend money we don’t have
We just don’t spend money we don’t have! I usually use my debit card, but Riley likes the cash back perk through his credit card. Either way, we don’t buy items on a credit card if we don’t have the cash to pay it off immediately.
8 | We don’t drive new cars
Riley drives a truck he’s had since he was 17; I drive a car I’ve had since I was 18. Our cars are old and ugly (paint peeling off, scratched, etc.), but they run well and are reliable–and most of all, they’re paid off! No car payments make old, un-fancy cars worth it to us.
9 | We don’t buy alcohol, soda, or junk food often
Alcohol, soda, and junk food are expensive! Not only do these items cost a lot of money, they’re also no good for our health. While we enjoy all three in moderation, we do not regularly purchase them or keep them in our house. Instead, we save these indulgences for when we go out every once in a while.
10 | We don’t spent a lot of money on gas
This point is partially tied to number four (“we don’t live in an expensive city”), but it also has to do with our commute times. Riley works just two miles from home and I work from home, so we don’t go through a lot of gas on a day-to-day basis. When we do drive long distances, we do it in my car, which gets great gas mileage. We save a lot of money this way!
11 | We don’t pay a petsitter
My mother-in-law loves our dog Charley, so whenever we’re out of town, she watches him. We’re very thankful for the generous help, and not paying a petsitter saves us lots of money–in the past, nightly petsitter rates cost me $30+/night!
12 | I don’t get my nails done at the salon
When I was single, I got my nails done every two weeks like clockwork. Though I greatly enjoyed the pampering, I have saved literally thousands of dollars by doing my own nails at home instead. For more, check out my post What I Use to Paint My Nails at Home.
13 | We don’t have expensive hobbies
Some of my hobbies have turned into parts of my income–like blogging and making YouTube videos; some others include watching YouTube videos/TV/movies, taking long walks, cooking, creating/crafting, and spending time with friends. Riley’s hobbies include playing guitar, playing video games, discovering new music/listening to music, trying new foods, and getting together with friends. We sometimes play tennis together and love to do home improvement projects as well. Our only expensive hobby is traveling, and I’ll address that in a future post.
14 | We don’t have subscriptions
Aside from Netflix and Amazon Prime, we don’t have any other subscriptions. No magazines, no newspapers, no music streaming services, no subscription boxes, no audio book subscriptions, nothing. All of these items are individually low-cost, but add up over time.
15 | We don’t online shop
Just last night, Riley and I were joking about how heavily we online shopped when we were single. In those days, I had packages delivered to my doorstep multiple days a week; Riley was the same way. After we got married, this changed drastically. In order to hit our financial goals, we couldn’t have stacks of Prime boxes on our porch every day of the week. Now, we shop online when an item’s price online is cheaper than the same item in-store, not just to browse and spend money.
16 | We don’t have a gym membership
We haven’t paid for a gym membership for our entire marriage thus far. When we inquired, it was several hundred dollars to join our local gym and then about $100/month for the two of us. Though $100/month won’t break the bank, it certainly adds up. Instead of working out at the gym over the past 18+ months, we take long walks several nights a week and sometimes do workout DVDs at home.
// Those are all the things we don’t do in order to save money! What about you?
Stay tuned for Things We Do to Save Money, and Things We Splurge On posts…coming soon!
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