20 Things I Won’t Pay For

Last updated on June 12th, 2017

I really like saving money. It’s my natural tendency after so many years of practice – and I have to try to hard to “splurge.”

I think my ability to save is a valuable asset, so I’ve put together a list of things that I DO NOT spend money on.

  1. Car Payments: I’ve never made a car payment and I vowed to only purchase a car if I can pay fully in cash. A car is a pitiful excuse for an investment. the value just goes down, down, down. I’ll let you eat the depreciation then buy it for pennies on the dollar in 6 years.
  2. Cable TV – Why would I pay $60/month to watch a bunch of junk every night? A $6 digital antenna and free online options provide all the mindless entertainment I can stand.
  3. DVDs – I borrow from a friend or use a free redbox rental.
  4. Music – Why pay when free sources such as Spotify, a friend’s music, Pandora, etc. are available?
  5. Trash Bags – I always use plastic ones saved from the grocery store.
  6. Full price movie tickets – Instead, I occasionally go with the wife if it’s half off.
  7. Snacks at the movie theater – Bring your own.
  8. Hair Cuts – My brothers used to cut my hair when I was a child, and I have cut my own for the last few years.
  9. Gym Memberships – Tons of home workout programs can be found for free online. More than that, most people won’t use a workout system more than a week. Ever heard of an evening jog, 100 jumping jacks, and 20 pushups?
  10. Cigarettes – Pay to shave years off my life? No thanks.
  11. Overpriced Cellular Service
  12. Soda – Except Zevia, which is a stevia based soda
  13. Car washes – Come on. DIY.
  14. The Local Paper – It’s all online, for free. Most local “news” is a complete waste of time anyway.
  15. Tanning – What ever happened to good old fashioned sunshine? Try washing your car to tan for free.
  16. Extended Warranties – Almost always a long term loser.
  17. Fast Food – Rarely, if ever.
  18. Expensive Sunglasses – The Dollar Tree has an excellent selection for $1.
  19. Lotto tickets – “The lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math.”
  20. Valet Parking – No thanks! Gotta love that exercise.

What things do you avoid paying for?

Comments
  1. Reply

    Great article, I would even go as far to say air fresheners too – just open a window or boil cinnamon tea.

  2. Reply

    That’s a great list. Definitely a lot of ‘extras’ we can all do without specially the cigarettes and fast food. I’m curious as to how you cut your own hair. I thought of doing that for a while but couldn’t figure out how to cut the back properly.

    • Kat
    • February 14, 2015
    Reply

    My boyfriend and I love traveling but we never pay for fancy hotel accommodations. We have a limit of Php500 (about $12.50) per night for two people when a hotel room costs about Php2500 ($62.50 ). We never pay for rooms with air-conditioning. Just a room with a fan will do.
    When taking a plane we never pay for extra luggage and seat reservations. We travel with backpacks, and if we’re not seated next to each other on the plane, no problem.

    • cow
    • November 13, 2014
    Reply

    I really like your helpful list. The best part is your humor – diet poison, a wife – man’s best friend, and flip phone (complete with Bahaha) are all hysterical!

    Hmm…what, if anything can I add to the list?
    1. Maid (although we don’t spend much time on cleaning, we haven’t caught anything yet)
    2. Purses/handbags (I have purchased two in 10+ years)
    3. Clothing (we wear jeans, t-shirts

    • James
    • September 20, 2013
    Reply

    These are all great ways to save money

    Just make sure everyone to not look down or criticize people who decide they want to spend their money differently than you. You might think a $4 cup of coffee at Starbucks is a waste of money, but if someone has an extra $4 to spend, and they really enjoy Starbucks coffee, then it IS a good use of their money.

    Thanks though for the list!

      • Jacob
      • September 20, 2013
      Reply

      Hi James, the problem really lies in how you define “an extra $4 to spend.” Is it really extra? Or are they swimming in debt and dreading their employment situation? Many people don’t truly have “extra” yet they spend as if they do.

    • Caleb
    • September 20, 2013
    Reply

    Pretty nice list! One thing to add that came to mind is *whole/universal life insurance*. Dave Ramsey has a decent explanation (http://www.daveramsey.com/article/the-truth-about-life-insurance/), and I’m sure there are other great (and more complete) explanations elsewhere. Buy term and save what you would have been spending to get whole life–then, you get to keep your own money!

    I’ll have to wander around your site a bit more–it looks like you have some good info, so keep it up!

      • Jacob
      • September 20, 2013
      Reply

      Good point Caleb! I’ll address insurance in a series of upcoming posts but I would generally agree that term life insurance is the only thing most people should consider. We hope you stick around!

  3. Reply

    It really is shocking to see how many people spend money they don’t have on things they don’t need. Seriously, if you have money issues, do you really think you should be buying cigarettes, adding to your health and life insurance costs, buying an iPhone, etc? It is shocking what people do and then complain they don’t have money. Just shameful.

    • Lissa Marie
    • July 12, 2013
    Reply

    I like your list, and I’m sure there’s a million of other things to save on. Just have to be creative. Thank you for sharing.

    • Brad
    • June 19, 2013
    Reply

    Great list!

    I just cannot bring myself to buy a drink at a restaurant. I don’t drink soda any longer, but when I used to, it would crush me to spend over $2 plus tax and tip for something that costs them about 5 cents to make.

    And don’t get me started on alcohol at a restaurant — that’s even worse. $5 at a minimum for a beer you could comfortably consume at home for less than a dollar. No thank you!

    It’s bad enough to go out to eat for one’s health and wallet, but if you have to, just don’t order any drinks.

      • Jacob
      • June 19, 2013
      Reply

      Sounds like we are similar in that regard Brad. I am literally disgusted by the idea of spending $2 for a glass of corn syrup or $5 for a beer. A little self control goes a long way!
      Thanks for commenting and leaving a nugget of wisdom here for all to see!

    • Shannon
    • May 27, 2013
    Reply

    Just discovered your blog and love it! An add to the list….paper towels and napkins. Don’t see the point of buying something specifically to throw it away! Cloth napkins can be made from scrap cotton material or picked up for pennies at thrift stores

      • Jacob
      • June 17, 2013
      Reply

      Very cool Shannon, I like the idea. If we ever grab something to go, we like to keep the wad of napkins that they give away. Seems to last and last!

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    • Bill
    • April 17, 2013
    Reply

    Birth control – seriously. I won’t get into details, but … a little forethought, some willingness … ’nuff said.

      • Jacob
      • April 17, 2013
      Reply

      You don’t pay for birth control? I suppose that’s a money saver Bill…

  6. Reply

    Tanning can be the spray type – which is better than fake bake or real bake. I suppose skin cancer is more of an issue in Australia. (but a better argument would perhaps be ‘I’m not that vain’)

    Sadly commentluv won’t go back far enough to my recent posts on ‘things I spend on’ and ‘things I save on’. I ‘spend’ on coffee namely as a social thing – my BF and father love it, so I do it with them. Otherwise, over the last year, I’ve phased out of wanting to buy them most of the time.

      • Jacob
      • April 15, 2013
      Reply

      Sounds like you’ve eliminated a bunch of unnecessary expenses! Yeah, skin cancer is an issue but sunlight is really important for overall health. All things in moderation…
      Thanks for commenting!

  7. Reply

    Starbucks is overrated. You can get the same taste with a cheaper price. But still guilty with some of these and working on the others. 😀

      • Jacob
      • April 15, 2013
      Reply

      Starbucks consumption has become a pet peeve of mine! It’s absurd what people pay for a cup of coffee! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  8. Reply

    I probably don’t pay for half of these things either! Who really needs valet parking?

      • Jacob
      • April 8, 2013
      Reply

      Not you, not us! Thanks for commenting!

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  14. Reply

    I love this list. As I am a frugal person, I can agree with this list. I tend to not to spend too much money on things. I am just in the process of ridding myself/family of cable. Can’t wait to see how that goes. Since, my husband’s job requires him to travel quite frequently (lots of points), I am able to purchase the newspaper for free, as well free hotel stays. Movie tickets seem to come to me thru cereal that I purchase (under $1), turning in barcode points. Always take my snacks to movie theater; can’t have salt anyway, so I always take my snacks along with kids’ snacks. Thru coupons, I’m always able to pick up a couple of free items here and there.

    • Reply

      Good luck getting rid of the cable! It’s totally worth it. Sounds like you are definitely doing the snacks to the movie theater thing right! Coupons and all:)

    • Jordan
    • March 24, 2013
    Reply

    I rarely buy new electronics, cell phones, tvs, computers, mp3 players can all be found used and over 50% off. Outdoors equipment is the same way.

      • Jacob
      • March 24, 2013
      Reply

      Absolutely! Where do you typically look for used items? We like Craigslist a lot and Ebay on occasion.

      Thanks for the comment, we appreciate the feedback!

    • Saint Augustine
    • March 23, 2013
    Reply

    “Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.”

      • Jacob
      • March 23, 2013
      Reply

      “Temperance is moderation in the things that are good and total abstinence from the things that are foul.”

  15. Love all of these it may inspire me to write a list on my own. A few things that I never pay full price for, razor blades (they are sooo expensive!), I’m going to be getting rid of cable all together this year as well when I’m renegotiating my contract with my provider and about 90% of the time I refuse to pay for bottled water and fast food there are a lot of better ways to eat/hydrate. Great post and I look forward to reading more!

      • Jacob
      • March 23, 2013
      Reply

      You should definitely write a list and I’d be happy to link it on this article!

      Thanks for the comment, we’ll be checking out your blog!

      -Jacob

  16. Great list, Jacob, sounds a lot like ours. I’ve cut our family’s hair for years. As a family of six, we’ve saved into the thousands by now on just the haircutting tip alone.

      • Jacob
      • March 23, 2013
      Reply

      Yeah Laurie, it really adds up. And for men, I just can’t understand the hesitation. It’s not difficult.

      Do you cut your own hair? My wife wants to learn how.

    • Brian
    • March 22, 2013
    Reply

    So you don’t have a moral problem with stealing? Because #3 you are advocating that by saying everything is online free. Same holds true with #10 and your statement about P90X. I am all for saving money, but you won’t find me stealing other’s intellectual property. I didn’t even steal music during the heyday of Napster.
    Other than that most of the list is very solid and shows lots of places people waste money.

      • Jacob
      • March 22, 2013
      Reply

      Hi Brian,
      I don’t advocate stealing. Free content is posted online, that’s all I am saying.
      #10: I have friends and family with copies of P90x, and it can probably be found online through streaming (although I can’t verify that). I’m not sure it’s the best workout available as there are plenty of other free options online.

      Thanks for the comment and the read!
      -Jacob

  17. Reply

    Here in Seattle, washing your own car is bad, bad, bad since the soap washes into Puget Sound and kills our Orca. Plastic bags are illegal here so we get to buy bags as needed. Mostly agree otherwise, though!

      • Jacob
      • March 22, 2013
      Reply

      Do they make “eviro friendly” soaps?

      Bummer on the bags…

      • Jacob
      • March 22, 2013
      Reply

      Cable TV is a big one for sure! Do you have any others not on my list?

  18. Reply

    Wooooah! Where are you getting the 8% figure from for you compounding over 10 years number?

    Stick to 5%. It’s a lot more realistic.

      • Jacob
      • March 22, 2013
      Reply

      The Calculations above are at roughly 7%. Over 1962-2012, the S&P 500 has averaged 11%.

      Investing is a long term venture…

  19. Reply

    Great list of unnecessary consumer expenses. I still pay for cable because I love watching football and hockey. Have you figured out a way around this yet?

  20. A great list. Our list has substantially changed over the last year and a half, constantly growing and evolving.

    Thanks for a great post.

      • Jacob
      • March 21, 2013
      Reply

      Thank you! Come one now, you’ve got to share that list of yours…

  21. Reply

    Jacob is quite funny, isn’t he. 🙂 And I can tell you firsthand that he strictly adheres to every one of these guidelines and more.

    The things you added to the list are good. We have been married for less than a week, but I am sure we will be doing our own cleaning for quite some time and take all necessary steps to save money on electricity. As far as purses go, I like a good thrift store deal whenever I can. I recently got a couple from a family friend’s grandmother too! Both Jacob and I rarely buy clothing, but when we do it is always pennies on the dollar at half of half stores or on extreme clearance items.

    Thank you for your post and encouragement!

  22. Reply

    Wow, Jacob! I am not sure how you stumbled upon our site, but I am sure glad you did. I love the site you and Vanessa have put together. I am rather obsessed with About Me/Us pages, so I checked that out first. Great one!

    I really like your helpful list. The best part is your humor – diet poison, a wife – man’s best friend, and flip phone (complete with Bahaha) are all hysterical!

    Hmm…what, if anything can I add to the list?
    1. Maid (although we don’t spend much time on cleaning, we haven’t caught anything yet)
    2. Purses/handbags (I have purchased two in 10+ years)
    3. Clothing (we wear jeans, t-shirts, and shorts to work)
    4. Electricity/power bill (space heaters and fans in the summer – even in Houston with 100 degree days it is cool on our first floor)

    I look forward to reading more of your posts! Thank you!

    • cj
    • March 21, 2013
    Reply

    A fine list, Jacob! And composed with a flair for humor. One could save a boatload by even taking a few of these tips.

      • Jacob
      • March 21, 2013
      Reply

      Glad you enjoyed it! Do you have any that aren’t on my list?

 

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