In order to save money, you have to exercise financial discipline and eliminate some luxuries. It probably isn’t possible to meet aggressive financial goals while ordering takeout every night and shopping on Amazon all the time. I’m willing to live a simple, modest lifestyle to have financial security. But there are some things I won’t do to save money because they’re too much of a hassle. Here are five things I’m not willing to cut back on to save money.
Things I Won’t Cut Out To Save Money
I live in rural Michigan, so there aren’t many internet service providers to choose from. Because there’s very little competition out here, even the cheapest option is double the price of what I paid for internet when I lived in Boston. I’m the type of person who usually picks the cheapest option. But I chose the most expensive internet provider when we moved to Michigan because they were the only company offering high-speed internet in my area.
Since I work from home, I can’t deal with slow speeds and buffering. I need quick, reliable internet that doesn’t interfere with my work so I can achieve my income goals. It’s worth it to me to pay an extra $30 per month so I don’t have to be frustrated by my internet connection every time I open my laptop. Plus, it’s a business expense, so I can usually deduct part of my monthly internet fee on my taxes.
Plus, it’s a business expense, so I can usually deduct part of my monthly internet fee from my taxes. There are many great online tools and sites such as test my speed, that you can use to test your internet bandwidth. Even if you’re happy with your internet speed it’s always good to check, as you may not be receiving what you’re paying for.
My partner loves to fish and brings home a lot of fresh-caught trout and perch. Fishing licenses are cheap, so catching fish is a very cost-effective way to get dinner on the table, especially with the way grocery prices have been rising.
However, I can’t bring myself to eat the fish my spouse catches. I’ve been a vegan since I was 15 and am a big animal lover. Although vegan meat and dairy substitutes usually cost more than animal products, I’m willing to pay a premium for them. It’s worth splurging on groceries to maintain a healthy diet that aligns with my values.
One of the ways I show my love and appreciation is by giving gifts to friends and family members. Even if it’s not a holiday, if I see something I know a family member would love, I might pick it up and give it to them. Although it’s become popular to opt out of gift-giving, I can’t bring myself to cut out presents, especially at Christmastime.
There’s something so special about opening up a carefully wrapped present that was picked out just for you. I want to give that joy to the people in my life even though it costs me money. However, I do stick to a rule of never going into debt for presents and set a budget for gift-giving so I don’t overspend.
Many bloggers make their own natural cleaning products to save money. But I’m not a huge fan of homemade laundry detergent and cleaning sprays. I find that they don’t do as good of a job as storebought cleaning products and are a bit of a hassle to make. So I’m willing to pay more for Clorox wipes and my other tried-and-true favorite cleaning products.
In the same vein, I’m not willing to buy cheap vacuums and mops because they’re not as effective. To make keeping my home clean easier, I splashed out on a carpet cleaner, a high-quality cordless vacuum, and a robot vacuum last year. I see it as an investment in my home’s value because tidy houses sell for more money.
Another thing I’m not willing to do to save money is stop eating out completely. Where I live it gets very cold in the winter and snows constantly. I’m not a winter sports person and get painful migraines when I’m out in the cold for too long. As a result I don’t have many entertainment options in the winter besides going out to eat. Grabbing dinner at a restaurant or tea at a coffee shop once a week keeps me from getting cabin fever and helps ward off the winter blues, so it’s worth the money.
Although that said, there are a lot of health benefits to caloric restriction. For example, I’ve been following Erik over at Personal Finance blogs, who periodically does 24 hour fasts, which has brought him some benefits. So, yeah I like to eat out, but I see the benefits in alternative perspectives.
The last thing I’m not willing to go without to save money is nice clothes. I enjoy wearing designer brands like Eileen Fisher and Vince. However, I never pay full price for brand name clothing. I always try to shop at discount stores like Nordstrom Rack and TJ Maxx to score high-end clothes at a big discount. I also shop at thrift stores to find affordable designer items. Recently I scored a Marc Jacobs coat for $10 that originally retailed for at least $300.
Is there anything that you’re not willing to cut back on to save money? Let me know in the comments section below!
Vicky Monroe is a freelance personal finance and lifestyle writer. When she’s not busy writing about her favorite money saving hacks or tinkering with her budget spreadsheets, she likes to travel, garden, and cook healthy vegetarian meals.