Shortly after I finished college and entered the “real world,” I started a good job in my hometown which required a more professional wardrobe. I also bought my first house and furniture only months after graduation due to a rental housing shortage in the town where I live. I was only 21, and all of a sudden I had debt – a lot of debt.
It didn’t take too many sleepless nights for me to realize I needed a budget. This is when I found personal finance blogs.
During the process of creating my first budget just a couple of months later, I eliminated some habits that were costing me money but weren’t really necessary. Although I still have a pretty nice lifestyle, I gave up some expensive habits so I could pay off debt and save money. Here are 4 expensive habits I gave up to save money. I hope it will inspire you to look for similar ways to cut unnecessary spending from your own budget.
1 Clothes Shopping
When I was a poor college student I couldn’t really afford to go clothes shopping unless it was an absolute necessity. But that didn’t always stop me. I did some clothes shopping on credit, which began the start of my credit card debt. But once I graduated and began my career, it got worse.
I bought a lot of clothes in a short amount of time. Then came budgeting, and along with it some editing of unneeded items in my home. After completing an inventory of my closet, I concluded I had enough versatile clothing that I didn’t need to purchase more simply to fill it to its capacity. Now when I make a clothing purchase it is usually to replace an item that is too worn to wear any longer. If I do purchase something new, I follow the one in, one out rule, and I try to wait until an item is on sale whenever possible.
2 Going to the Salon
Another product of my new job was an updated hairdo. I made regular trips to the salon for color, haircuts, and occasional manicures and pedicures.
Creating a budget forced me to acknowledge how much I was spending on these items. Now I only get a pedicure as a treat once or twice a year, and I do my own manicures. It is still necessary to get my hair trimmed regularly because I have short hair, but I don’t really need to color it, so that expense was eliminated as well.
I didn’t spend a lot in this area, but I am more careful about how much I spend when I go out with friends now. I still go to an occasional movie or out to eat, which is my major struggle, but many times we get together at each other’s homes and watch a movie on Netflix or play games instead.
4 Non Necessary Groceries
I enjoy cooking, but cutting back in this area was still hard for me. I try to plan my meals and stick to my list as closely as possible and that has helped a lot. Occasionally I am tempted by items not on my grocery list, but I try to limit my splurges so I can stay on track with my budget. This also helps me avoid overbuying groceries and not getting them used before they go bad.
What expensive habits can you think of that could be given up to save money?