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It can be really easy to justify needing things in today’s world. So many services and objects are purchased because it’s the norm and not because they’re actually necessary. When you have important financial goals, many times you’ll have to make some sacrifices in order to reach them. The added bonus, I’ve discovered, is that purchasing less not only saves you money, it also makes your life simpler. Here’s a list of things I’m living without for the sake of frugality and simplicity.

Chick-fil-A (every week)

I can’t give it up entirely, but I’m certainly not having it every week. I basically live for the Spicy Deluxe sandwich. What’s your Chick-fil-A order?

A coffee table

We bought one used at a garage sale and I decided it was too bulky for our little living room, so we’re selling it. I thought about buying another one that was better suited for our space, but we’ve been living without it for a while and it’s actually kind of nice. Now we no longer to stack piles and piles of stuff on top of it. Definite win!

A step stool

I’m not the tallest person, so I need help when it comes to reaching objects hiding higher up. I thought about buying a step stool, but then I realized that a chair works just fine. Which is great, because we have a few of those, and now I don’t have to store a step stool.

Frequent hair cut + color

Now that my hair is getting longer, I can get away with only getting it trimmed every 4-6 months. I don’t use much heat on my hair, so that keeps it looking healthy (and saves me tons of time!). The last time I got it colored, I asked for a color that would grow out well so that I can go a while in-between cuts. I’m saving so much money this way!

Alcohol at home

This is something that my husband and I decided recently. It’s mostly because our bodies feel better when we limit our drinking. The added bonus is that we can save a lot of money.

Expensive Workouts

I’ve promised myself that when I double my current income, I can start paying someone a lot of money to help me exercise. Until then, I’m keeping my body healthy by doing yoga with YouTube and going on walks, both of which I really enjoy. There are plenty of free ways to exercise, so paying money for it doesn’t seem like a great way to use my husband’s and my limited resources.

New Books

I occasionaly buy a new book from an author I love if I know that it will fit the following criteria:

  • I’ll read it more than once
  • I’ll want to mark it up
  • It was written by an author I’ve followed for a long time

Pre-ordering books from authors you love is one of the best ways you can support them, but buying books can really add up. A book a month can easily come out to about $180 a year or more. I’ve discovered that I don’t frequently reread books. The types that I do reread are usually helpful non-fiction books. Now that I know this about myself, I can be more selective about the books that I actually purchase. If in doubt, I’ll check it out from the library. If I find myself wanting to check it out a second or third time, I give myself permission to buy it. This has only happened once or twice though, with books like this and this. If you’re interested in finding audiobooks for cheap or free, check out this post.


I would love to get a massage once a month. That sounds heavenly. In reality, it doesn’t really help us toward our savings goals. There are other things that I could spend my money on to get more bang for my buck. And that’s also a couple hours a month I’m saving too!

Cable Television

Admittedly, this isn’t that hard for me. I’ve lived without cable for years. Even when it was available to me, I rarely utilized it. Netflix is my main source of entertaining television. But the fact that we don’t buy cable saves us upwards of $500 a year. And maybe one day I’ll be able to kick the Netflix habit for good.

Subscription Boxes

This one and this one were my favorites. There are so many more I’d be interested in. The problem for me is that I don’t always love everything that comes in them, which clutters up my home. It also costs money, so there’s that. I save more money and space if I avoid these tempting treats.

Coffee On The Go

I never buy coffee to go. My rule is that I can order coffee if I’m on a road trip or I’m meeting a friend. This means the Starbucks drive-thru is out for me, but I save a lot of money in the long run. Even if I only ordered a $5 latte once a week, that’s $260 by the end of the year. Yikes.

A Fancy Apartment or Home

Don’t get me wrong, we have a nice apartment. But it’s definitely not the nicest one we looked at. We could have gotten something much more convenient or glamorous had we paid more each month. Renting a home instead of having an apartment would have also been nice, but we went with the cheaper route for this season. Especially since we (sadly) don’t have any pets.

Magazine Subscriptions

You can view a lot of magazines for free through your library. I’ve found that I’m mostly happy living without them though.

Manicures + Pedicures

I’m super lazy when it comes to doing my nails. I was thinking the other day that it would be nice if they could just magically become polished and pretty. I don’t have magic, but nail salons are the next best thing. Realistically though, there are way more important things to me for me to spend my money on.

Frequent Vacations

Would I even be a millennial if I didn’t want to go on more vacations? Traveling is important to us, especially since we have family living all over the place. We certainly make it a part of our budget, but we try to be smart about it and often tell ourselves no to vacation ideas. My husband is better at this than me 🙂

An Upgraded iPhone

I would LOVE to have a brand new iPhone. Mine is 3.5 years old, which is basically geriatric in the cell phone world. But goodness phones have gotten expensive. I’ll have to save money and live with a slow(er) phone until I can really justify getting a new one.

What have you given up to save money? Do you miss it at all, or is it something you’re hoping to add back in to the budget as soon as your income increases or you reach your next goal?


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