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Things we DON'T pay for...

  1. yellowbeach

    nectarine / 2639 posts

    @JJ2626: Glad I’m not the only one! Just added laundry 🧺 to our cleaning lady’s to do list for an extra $75 every other week.

    DH and I both work full time in stressful jobs, and love to travel internationally. We unfortunately have >$500k in student loan debt so need to cut back somewhere.

    - We refuse to get a McMansion: although our income quadrupled in the last year, we plan on staying in our 1400sqft house to pay off some student loan debt.
    - we cut the cable cord about 10 years ago and never looked back.
    - I shop at a local consignment store for most of DDs clothing.
    - I’m a whiz at finding promo codes for internet shopping. Usually don’t buy it if I can’t get at least 40% off.
    - For our anniversary and Valentine’s Day we have a no gift rule unless you made it from scratch. That can mean a hand written note, romantic dinner or cookies.

    But I need my 🍷 🧀, 2 x a year international escapes and my Rothys. 🤷‍♀️


    nectarine / 2461 posts

    @LadyDi: I know, same but this year I'm working up the courage to tell my brother and SIL and my husband's siblings that we want to do kid gifts only with a $15 limit per kid and maybe a joint gift for parents. I think that'll help put a cap on things. I appreciate that they enjoy it, but every Christmas we just bleed money and I end up with a gigantic pile for goodwill. I'm over it.


    nectarine / 2461 posts

    @yellowbeach: your gift from scratch rule is so nice! I love that. and mcmansions suck.

  4. Iced Tea

    persimmon / 1310 posts

    @LCTBQE: We started the kid gifts only tradition years ago, but we recently changed to something even better. Two years ago we decided to all stay overnight together at a nearby resort; the trip would be the universal gift and it would allow us to all spend more time together. I really liked not having to think about gifts at all for that occasion.

  5. Iced Tea

    persimmon / 1310 posts

    I don't pay for:

    a big house
    special occasion clothing
    status items
    Disney parks or licensed stuff
    new toys, except for Christmas and birthday
    sweets and snack foods
    juice and soda
    most disposable kitchen items like paper towels and plastic wrap
    house cleaning
    air freshener or fabric deodorants
    manis, pedis, waxing, hair color
    anything from Amazon (I quit over 6 months ago)
    seasonal decor (my kids make what they want each holiday, and we use that)
    most souvenirs (we buy a local version of something we need, or local food products)
    liquid hand soap (bars last forever and are eco friendly)
    movie theaters
    sports or kid activities (yet, I'm sure it's coming)

    I make pour over coffee at home and have a milk frother, so I only buy coffee when I'm meeting a friend.

    I am very minimal and selective about my clothing now, and last year I bought almost exclusively resale/consignment. I recently bought a brand new tee shirt and was so annoyed that it shrunk two sizes; that's not an issue when buying resale!

    I have gotten most people around us on board for skipping or limiting gifts, which has saved a fortune the last couple of years.

    Some of this is about saving money (hello student loans and child costs!), but mostly I just like keeping things simple. In general, I don't want to increase the sheer number of items in my home. The less "stuff" I have, the less I need to maintain and the less space I need to store it all.

  6. periwinklebee

    grapefruit / 4462 posts

    My biggest thing is to only get stuff I will use and love, and not be too lazy to return something (even if small in $ terms) if I realize we won't love using it - I hate clutter! But if I can afford it and I know I will love it and use it all the time, I do splurge on good quality items.

    A big thing is that we don't have a car. Commuter rail/lyft does the trick and is a lot cheaper given the insane cost of parking near our employers. And it's one less thing to worry about logistically, no repairs/tune-ups/parking and insurance bills to worry about. We do all grocery shopping, etc. online. Everyone thinks we're crazy 😆

    Kids clothes (but only b/c we've been lucky enough to get hand me downs). Baby girl is getting her brother's hand-me-down infant clothes because I'm lazy and cheap.

    Coffee shop. Also don't eat out much. LO has severe food allergies, so it's not really an option.

    Vacations - LO gets super air sick and see point above about car.

    Interest on debt

    Gifts - DH's family doesn't do gifting. With my family, it's only a small gift for parents + brother/SIL at Christmas.

    Pets - again, more because I don't want to deal with the logistics than because I would begrudge paying for it if I was into that...

    This weekend I'm not paying taxes because I'm buying all the fixtures, tile, etc we need for our home renovation on tax free weekend. YES!

    We make up for all of this by spending oodles on childcare!

  7. snarkybiochemist

    nectarine / 2174 posts

    @yellowbeach: we also dont do gifts for anniversaries or birthdays and set a small limit for Christmas. I like to make a nice meal, which is practically a gift

  8. PurplePumps

    pomegranate / 3807 posts

    @DillonLion: wow!! Impressive list!!! No mortgage, car, debt, cc... do you just save everything you make?

    I don't feel as frugal as I thought we were after this thread. I never get mani/pedi, haircuts 2x a year, I cut DH hair, no car payment, rarely eat out, practically never order alchohol (get called cheap for the last two before), use most things until it's functionally done, lots of diy rather than paying "pros"... but hubby buys lunch now, I'm not as cautious with grocery budget anymore,
    buy lots of clothes for DS new (though clearance and super sales), and we spend a lot on vacations.

  9. snarkybiochemist

    nectarine / 2174 posts

    @LCTBQE: we pull a name amongst my 3 sisters and me. Each sister is responsible for only one sibling then, we often include spouses and do a joint gift and try and keep it around $30. Then we try and keep the kids at $15ish. For our parents we often go for experience, like a whole family trip to the local minor league baseball team or family pictures.

  10. JJ2626

    kiwi / 524 posts

    Seeing these, I forgot to add gifts. We only buy small gifts for my 3 nieces for Christmas. Our families aren’t into gifts, so no other gifts for family for birthdays or holidays and DH and I do experiences for each other or I get him something he needs but won’t buy.

  11. wrkbrk

    pomelo / 5084 posts

    @LCTBQE: Your stance on not getting new outfits for other people’s occasions made me
    Laugh. We are the exact same way. Wedding coming up? Let’s look in the ole closet! 😂

  12. wrkbrk

    pomelo / 5084 posts

    @yellowbeach: Rothys are worth it!!!!

  13. wrkbrk

    pomelo / 5084 posts

    I’ve really had to think about what we don’t spend on - embarrassing!!!!
    We don’t do organized kid activities on the weekends. We don’t buy high end furniture, sheets, appliances, home stuff. We cut cable. We don’t have a gym or pool membership. We don’t travel very much - just last year started taking one family trip per year. We’ve done sanibel and saugatuck thus far - both with air bnb, not hotels.
    But other than that, I overspend on kid clothes and toys for our only child, and dog treats, and carry out coffee, and the wine I like. 😳

  14. crazydoglady

    nectarine / 2431 posts

    @wrkbrk: To me, it's about cutting out the stuff you don't really even want to spend money on, so you can spend money on stuff you really want. (Of course taxes, etc) don't fall under that!

  15. LemonJack

    persimmon / 1119 posts

    We do a lot of DIY projects, which takes longer but saves a lot of money.

    We do a lot of the basics too; no cable, barely eating out, etc. I’m also not a fan of clutter, which makes it easy to not overspend on clothes and household items. I don’t want a bunch of junk to store.

    There are areas I’m happy to spend in though. I pay for professional pictures every 1-2 years, and am happy with that because I’m not good about taking pictures myself.

  16. crazydoglady

    nectarine / 2431 posts

    Oh, I don't do MLMs which helps. I support my friends, and their endeavours...just not financially.

  17. DillonLion

    GOLD / eggplant / 11517 posts

    @PurplePumps: we save a lot (retirement, kids' college, etc)

  18. yellowbeach

    nectarine / 2639 posts

    @crazydoglady: Yes! I have a hard pass on MLMs.

  19. lady baltimore

    persimmon / 1183 posts

    What I don't pay for (and wouldn't, even with a bigger budget):

    *parking - I swear that LO believes that every trip to a special venue automatically includes a half mile walk to and from the car.

    *water - I am a hardcore tap water fan, and even save "disposable" plastic water bottles to reuse when we go to venues that don't welcome glass or metal.

    *credit card interest - I was trained from an early age to milk credit cards for their rewards, and never pay interest or annual fees.

  20. hilary

    apricot / 361 posts

    @Iced Tea: nothing from Amazon?!?!?! I'm having a panic attack just thinking about it! Good for you.

  21. codeitall

    clementine / 868 posts

    No Amazon Prime
    No shipping fees (if it isn't free or discounted at least that much, not worth it)
    No zucchini (my garden is crazy right now)
    No gym memberships
    No coffee
    No alcohol
    No candy
    No kid haircuts
    No new cars
    No babysitters (lots of siblings around)
    No party/holiday junk (I hate birthday parties with goody bags and special decor)
    No credit card fees/interest
    No high-end phones/electronics
    No Disney (although this may change with their streaming stuff)

    I don't like fees. If they're standard, they should be built in the price of the service. If I see a fee and can't find a code on retailmenot to offset it, I won't buy whatever it is.

    Things I wished I didn't spend money on:
    Soda (DH can't just do water)
    Snacks (I dream of time to bake it all from scratch)
    Diapers (Cloth just won't work for me, but we're almost to potty training DD!)

  22. Iced Tea

    persimmon / 1310 posts

    @hilary: I was formerly an Amazon lover because I felt it was the easiest way to search for exactly what I wanted, get legit reviews on those items, and know when to expect delivery.

    First the reviews became unreliable, then the shipping starting getting sketchy, and finally half my results were clearly paid placement, as they were only vaguely related to what I searched for...so I decided it wasn't worth it anymore. And I don't miss it.

  23. Beebeeholiday

    olive / 74 posts

    I literally can't think of a single thing.
    Guess I need to work on being more thrifty.

  24. psw27

    pomelo / 5220 posts

    I don't spend money on books - Boston has an amazing and easy to use e-book system through overdrive so I get all of my books for free!

    I'd love to have some of these "non-expenses" - no student loans, no mortgages, free babysitters.... not reality in a city with no family and high COL.

  25. Caly

    nectarine / 2765 posts

    @Beebeeholiday: glad I'm not the only one!

    I'm in a hectic and exhausting stage of life right now which means I'll gladly pay for things to make it easier.

  26. MrsADS

    nectarine / 2262 posts

    @psw27 ditto. I feel like some of these non expenses are good luck- have helpful local family, live somewhere cheap, etc. Not the case for us, unfortunately. Most of these saved expenses are peanuts compared to how much we have to spend on our mortgage and childcare.

  27. Beebeeholiday

    olive / 74 posts

    @Caly: Same. And in this exhausting and hectic stage of life... little luxuries are important to me.

    Also, I think a lot of it depends on where you live and the cost of living. I live in a modest house in the 'burbs and our payment is well over 2k a month. But, I live in a very expensive area!


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