Home > Saving Money > 5 Things I’m Spending Too Much Money On And How I’m Going To Stop

About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.


  1. I am spending too much with my cell phone services. I found myself subscribing to a plan that I can’t max out its services. Thus, I am now trying to downgrade to a plan which meets what I only need. I realize that I kinda have lost so much money for those months I paid for supreme plans. 🙁

  2. Most libraries offer e-books now! Even if you don’t live close to one, you can still borrow books – for free!

    • Our library does have an app, which I downloaded, but I could never get it to work and none of the ladies who work there know how to use it. Go figure!

  3. You’re so smart to nip this spending in the bud now! Grocery stores used to get me with their fancy sales and deals too :). We now force ourselves to make a grocery list in advance by walking through the kitchen and identifying only the stuff we’re seriously out of. We similarly ate all of the things in our pantry and freezer a few months back, which was a great exercise and made us realize how much unnecessary stuff we’d bought in the past. Good luck to you!

  4. Good for you noticing it now and working to curb it Kim! Groceries can be a bad one for us, especially now that we do most of our grocery shopping at Costco. We can talk ourselves into pretty much anything there but that stuff adds up quickly. We’ve had to choose to get into the mindset that the money we have is all we have for the month and if we spend more we’re just out of luck for the rest of the month. We’ve not gone over, but I can pretty confidently tie it back to that mentality.

    • I’ve honestly never been in a Costco. I usually don’t like big stores, but I’ve heard really good things about their prices and how well they treat employees as compared to other big box stores.

  5. We had moved to a new apartment at the beginning of the summer and consequently our spending went up but in some categories it really wasn’t warranted – like Amazon. We use Amazon a lot for household purchases but we went a little overboard and we reigned that in during the last couple of months. This is why I always review our spending regularly in order to catch the spending trends and deal with them before they become a bigger problem like you are doing.

    • It is so much easier to reign it in if you keep up with it. We used to never track our spending and wondered why we never had extra money.

  6. I was actually in a bad book spending period with my son. I was just so excited that he wanted to read that I was buying him books left and right. Over the summer we got him into the library and now we are using that solely to feed his reading needs and it has really helped the budget. I say it all the time, but it really is difficult to manage your money smartly when you have the emotional pull of a child.

    • It is so hard to say no when they want a book but we could literally spend hundreds of dollars a month if I never said no. Thank goodness for the library.

  7. We’ve been spending waaaaaay to much on entertainment recently. After the wallet gougefest that is “back to school” we’ve been leaving town for family functions every weekend. Next weekend we’re again leaving town as I’m running in the Twin Cities Marathon. The rest of October, however, we’re staying home and letting our financial wounds heal. 🙂

  8. For some reason our grocery bill is also always way, way too high. Then what’s hilarious is half way through the week I’m making lunch-meat sandwiches for dinner because there’s nothing to eat.

    • We eat all the snack food first and then feel like there isn’t any food. We are going to have to dig deep this month. I might have to make something crazy like homemade granola bars!

  9. I am just as guilty when it comes to spending a dollar or two here and there on small random purchases, especially at the convenience store! Also, I’ve gotten into couponing a little more lately so when I see a “hot deal,” I get the urge to buy it. Luckily, I usually talk myself out of it by saying I already have X number in my stash or its a product I really don’t need.

  10. I just gave up diet soda and convenience stores too! Good luck. If it gets too bad, I did buy Zevia. It’s a stevia sweetened cola. It’s about $1 a can so not cheap but if it’s that or falling off the wagon, it’s worth it. Good luck!

    • I’ve never heard of that, but than’s for the suggestion. I think I’m going to be Ok. It’s 7 days today, and this is the first day I didn’t have the craving around 3PM.

  11. I swore I wouldn’t do an escrow account again and I am happy I haven’t. I like having control over my money and I am diligent enough to save for the large bills.

  12. Diet coke was, and still is sometimes a trigger for me, especially after a hot day and playing beach volleyball. I just crave that burn. lol! So I totally get that one!

  13. I keep buying books too – I find there are so many to choose from that I like the sound of so I can’t help it. I’m trying to get better though 🙂

  14. This is a great list — I definitely relate to the first one. My husband and I spend way too much on groceries, period. We go to the store 1-3 times per week! I also notice that seasonal changes affect my spending. At the beginning of fall, I’m overcome with the desire to buy new clothes and make muffins, sweet breads, cookies and other comfort food that require somewhat pricey ingredients. Naughty!

    • I hear you. I almost bought a whole bunch of those mini pumpkins for decorations. We’d never even eat them, so it would be purely for fun. Cute, but we already have Halloween decorations. I just need to stay away from the store!

  15. Good job on stopping soda cold turkey. I used to drink Pepsi as well and would wake up in the middle of the night craving bubbles! If you need a “withdrawal” drink, sparkling water with a squeezed lime is pretty good, at least you don’t get all the chemicals of soda, then you can switch to normal water with lime, and eventually just water.

    • I have had many people recommend sparking water. I can’t say as I’ve ever been a fan, but I might have to give it another try.

  16. “Realizing that giving up soda for a year will buy a plane ticket or a couple of nights in a hotel was the kicker.” Yes! To me that is what is so priceless about tracking your spending. A Pepsi a day doesn’t cost much and most people don’t even think twice about it. But when you add it up, you can see the real cost and then decide if it’s worth it to you. For some people, it will be and that’s okay. For others, like yourself, you’ll decide the money is better spent on something else. We do okay on our groceries but we could still do a bit better on waste, fresh fruit spoiling, etc. My biggest indulgence remains the girls. We’re good at making them buy most of their wants (and they know it) but I also really enjoy surprising them with gifts and I have to watch myself. They are just so darn cute!

    • I know. It’s hard to balance letting them make their way vs wanting to use your good fortune to give them things you maybe didn’t have when you were a kid. I also think if kids do well in school and stay out of trouble, that’s worth something.

  17. For the last couple of months, I’ve been spending a bit more than I want in eating out. I can easily stop this, but a few of my coworkers have found new jobs and we keep taking them out to lunch.

  18. I spend more on Dish TV than I want but one channel we watch constantly put us in a higher tier than we would otherwise choose. And I spend more on books than I should but recently I started purchasing used books through Amazon’s site instead of getting them new. I save a lot that way. I don’t sweat what I spend on groceries. We eat all meals at home except once a week and then we usually have a coupon for buy one entrée get one free so we’re pretty frugal there. Otherwise, things are pretty much under control.

    • Now I’m curious which channel it is. When we cancelled our satellite TV, we were afraid we’d really miss HGTV and ESPN, and we do a little bit, but not enough to go back.

  19. I have a solution for the book issue, libraries have random free books with a donation events or “buy a box take all you can fit in it” sales to get rid of old or slightly damaged stock, it is not the same for ebooks but for physical books it is a great deal.

    I acquired most of my Dragonriders of Pern collection that way, many stephen kings, micheal chrichton, and clive cusslers as well as cookbooks and more that would otherwise have cost a fortune all free. You can also take advantage of Ebook promotions or free downloads from new authors (though these are limited) and tons of content is available free and legalyl if you look for it.

    As for Ebay and convenience stores Ebay is not the cheapest place to get things surplus stores can be far cheaper or if you get lucky you can find a really nice dresser tossed out for a “modern” model and with a bit of fixing up it is a unique and functional piece. Take advantage of thrift stores too, I got most of my appliances from surplus or thrift stores and every single one works perfectly, I even have a milk frother.

    Convenience stores are a given and if you have a soda habit as bad as my latte habit invest in a soda stream or something similar just as I invested 10$ at a garage sale in a espresso/latte machine and over time I have created a coffee station of sorts all of the appliances and storage containers are thrift, garage sales, or surplus.

    In the long run it pays for itself, I have saved hundreds a month by doing this though I still go through milk fairly fast it would be far more expensive if I paid for a latte every morning besides the experience of making the beverage itself is calming.

    Which almost makes up for the stress of trying to save up on a tight budget to move post college.

    • Thanks for your ideas. I’m kind of glad I don’t like coffee. It seems like lots of work! I do wish we had more variety in thrift stores. That is certainly not a bonus of living in a small town.

  20. Hmmm our spending hasn’t changed much in the past year, but I guess you could say I was spending too much on gas to commute to and from work. That won’t be fixed, though, until they build public transit that can get me from my house to where I work.

  21. Groceries are my weakness most of the time. I make a list, but I always come across something else we could use. I like how you stopped your soda habit by realizing that money could be going toward your travel fund! Whatever motivates us, right? I have really fond memories of going to the library with my parents when I was younger and looking through all the books. It’s still one of my favorite places to go to when I need some free entertainment.

  22. Our grocery bill tends to creep up too. That’s why I always track it so closely. I try not to be too hard on myself because we eat really healthy. On the other hand, I don’t want to let things get out of control!

  23. I am working on day four of giving up Pepsi …. again! it keeps calling my name;0) It would be so much easier if it was out of the house but the hubby isn’t about to give it up. We spend way too much on gas. I am trying to cut out extra trips and run all errands at once.

  24. We are trying to pay off our student loans. I just started using Ebay but only to sell things we dont need. I also make a menu each week using the advertisements to buy whats on sale and cook from scratch. That has saved a lot of money.

  25. I’ve been using the library for years now, I think I’ve only bought around 10 books my entire life and I love to read. I also have the kindle app and have found plenty of free kindle books. I just won’t buy books. I will wait for the book to go free.

  26. Would love to learn more about how you cancelled your escrow account. Was it through Wells Fargo? Any fees or changes in your interest rate?

    • We had one at Wells Fargo and one at BB&T for our rental. I just called and asked to cancel. There was no penalty. I know some mortgages require escrow in the beginning or you have to pay a fee for not having one, but I did not incur any fees to cancel after the fact.

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