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Whether you’ve tried the 50/30/20 budget, the pay-yourself-first budget, or all of the budgeting apps out there, you understand the struggle. Budgeting isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. Often, budgeting takes more than just saving 20% of your income or getting a roommate. So, in today’s post, I’m going to share with you ten things that I no longer buy to hopefully inspire you to take inventory of some things you can declutter from the personal expense category of your budget.
If you’re new here, welcome, my name is Shonnita! I’m a public educator based in Houston, Texas. On this blog and my YouTube channel, I discuss strategies, tools, and tricks that will help you amp up your side hustle game, become more productive, and help you pay off your student loan debt faster! So, if any of these topics interest you, keep on reading!
#10 – Coats
Ever since I moved from Connecticut to Texas, I haven’t needed to buy any coats! We all know how expensive long, warm coats can be, so not having to buy them has been super nice. I’ve gotten used to layering or throwing on a thick sweater in the Texas weather, which is a huge change from how I used to dress in Connecticut! When I’m doing Door Dash, I tend to wear either a down vest or puffer vest since I’ve found that they give me mobility in my arms and are super easy to layer with sweaters and hoodies!
#9 – Hair Appointments
I no longer spend money on expensive hair appointments! Most of the time, I do my own hair, and I’ll only see my stylist every few months. I go to her primarily for long-term protective styling. If you’re not familiar with long-term protective styling, there are many beautiful women on YouTube that can show you what it is!
Personally, I visit my hairstylist every few months to get a great wash, trim, and blow-dry. Then, she’ll braid it up for me, and I’ll style it in different ways from there! The braids typically last 1-3 months, (with frequent washes in between)! If I don’t have the opportunity to see her, I’ll just do my hair myself, which helps me save even more money. To master the hairstyle that I want, I like to do some research and watch a video of one of my favorite natural hair YouTubers who can show me how to do it step-by-step.
#8 – Meats
Even though I’m not vegan or vegetarian, I typically lean more towards the presbyterian diet. However, the reason I no longer purchase meats as part of my grocery bill is due to one main reason: I would rather get higher quality meat at a restaurant and save the grocery money. So, instead of buying meat at the supermarket each week, I’d rather splurge every once in a while at a great restaurant for a fantastic cut of meat. This helps me save a lot of grocery money in the long run!
#7 – Uncomfortable or Unrealistic Shoes
For those who know me personally, you already know that I’m a huge shoe fanatic. However, the pandemic has made me reevaluate what shoes I own that I no longer reach for anymore. I’m sure many of you can relate. Even before the turn of events happened, I noticed that I had stopped buying shoes just because they were pretty. Since I work in an educational setting, I have to be mindful of what shoes I can comfortably wear all day long.
So, for example, I’ve had these Zara heels for at least seven years now, and I’ve always been obsessed with them. I love the color blocking, but I’ve only worn them a hand full of times. In fact, at one point, I loved these heels so much that I even bought another pair in a different color scheme! So the lesson learned here is that I should have paid closer attention to my cost per wear before making a second purchase of the same item.
#6 – Pieces That Don’t Fit the 3 Different Ways Rule
Since I love creating outfits efficiently from a versatile wardrobe, I always keep the 3 Different Ways Rule in mind. This means that a clothing item I purchase must be able to be worn three different ways. One simple way to make sure that your clothing item fits this rule is to ask yourself: Could I wear this item to 3 different events? For instance, this midi dress from Mango is one of my favorite purchases that instantly fit the 3 Different Ways Rule. I recently wore this dress to a wedding with a simple blazer, nice heels, and jewelry. I also know that I could dress this down with a pair of trainers or sneakers for a more casual event! Lastly, I can wear this to work by adding a denim jacket, perhaps another casual blazer, or a sweater over the top, so it gives the illusion of a skirt.
#5 – Cell Phone Upgrades
Whether a new cell phone upgrade becomes highly recommended or a new cell phone comes out, I’ll still be rocking with my iPhone 8! Eventually, I will upgrade my phone, but so far, I see no reason to get a new one since mine works perfectly! Even though it is common to upgrade your phone the second a new one comes out, it’s important to assess how well your current phone works. Most of the time, you’ll find that you’re totally fine just keeping the one you have now!
#4 – Manicures
I no longer spend any money at the nail salon, and I’m okay with not having my nails done 24/7! I sometimes type for hours on end at work, which is much easier to do without having a fresh manicure or long acrylic nails. On top of that, I do deliveries for my gig work, and that’s always easier to do without nails or a fresh manicure as well. Because of my daily work activities, I find that consistently getting my nails done would be a little impractical. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t ever have the urge to get my nails done, it’s just something that I’m not willing to spend a ton of money on. One great affordable alternative that I’ve found is Static Nails! Static Nails offers stunning temporary and reusable nails that you can easily put on and take off yourself. So, if you’re looking for an alternative to seeing a nail tech every week or getting acrylics all the time, be sure to check out their site!
#3 – Cable TV
My Apple TV box has been a significant game-changer for me! Since I have an Apple cell phone and an Apple computer, it allows me to stream pretty much anything I want! Furthermore, since almost everything is on streaming services nowadays, there isn’t a major need to get external television. Therefore, an Apple TV box is an excellent alternative if you want to use streaming services on your Apple products. However, even if you don’t have Apple products, you can still save money by getting streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu, instead of paying a monthly fee for cable television.
#2 – Smoothie Bars
I refuse to spend money at specialty smoothie bar shops. You know the ones I’m talking about, the juice & smoothie shops specializing in made-to-order smoothies, whether acai bowls or smoothie drinks. I don’t spend money at these places because I can easily just make the same things myself! In fact, I now love making healthy and delicious smoothies that I can have for breakfast or lunch. Ever since I watched the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, I’ve prioritized my health, and making delicious smoothies has become an important and fun part of my routine! So, next time you’re on your way to a smoothie bar or acai bowl cafe, ask yourself if you can just make the same meal at home for 1/10 of the price. Most of the time, the answer will be yes!
#1 – Hair Products
I make my own hair products! This helps me save lots of money that I would otherwise spend on expensive hair salons and luxury products. By watching Naptural85’s YouTube videos, I’ve learned how to make my own hair products, and you can too! Her channel has blown my mind over the years and has given me so many different resources for affordable and DIY hair care. In fact, she even has her own (well-deserved) haircare line now, which I’m sure is based on the haircare practices that she’s utilized within the comfort of her own home!
Personally, I like to stick to all-natural products for hair care. All-natural products are easy to mix and adjust so that you can create the product that best suits your hair type and the style that you want to create. When I’m not on camera and just roaming around my house, I typically use standard tried-and-true natural hair care products and call it a day.
Those are the top 10 things that I no longer buy! If you’re new here and would like to see what else I’ve been up to on my channel, feel free to hit the subscribe button and if you prefer to continue reading, check out the personal finance section right here on the blog, so that you can get caught up on all budgeting-related content I’ve covered so far! Until then, I’ll see you in the next post!