7 Things I Like, But Still Won’t Spend Money On

I’m on a bit more of a budget these days, so although I’ve previously cut expenses out of my life that were unnecessary/didn’t bring me any joy, I’ve found myself cutting out a few more. These are seven things that I genuinely enjoy, and would maybe spend on if I felt like I could, but chose not to because the price tag simply isn’t worth it to me.

1. Concerts.

I totally get why people enjoy going to these, but I just genuinely don’t feel the need to ever go to concerts. I like music, sure, and I enjoy seeing live music too. But since most live shows come with a pretty hefty price tag, it doesn’t feel worth it to me. There isn’t too much appealing about spending a shit ton of money to go to another location to hear music, when I could listen to it for free in my home. I get that the musician is “there” in front of you, but it isn’t like you really get to see them anyway. And while I agree that it is a fun experience to go out with friends and drink beer and dance, I think I’d much prefer to do that somewhere local and cheap, where we can spend $10 on drinks and call it a night. One day, this might be an experiential activity that is more in my realm of possibilities, but right now, it is too pricey to appeal to me.

2. Activewear.

I love the “athleisure” look, but I will literally never wear activewear unless I’m actually working out. I definitely went through a phase where I bought a lot of that fun neon workout gear, including a pair of electric blue running sneakers. Even though I engage in physical activity pretty regularly, I essentially never put on a pair of yoga leggings that aren’t black, which basically means that I wasted money every time I bought a trendy piece of athletic clothing, even if I liked the way it looked. Those neon-printed yoga leggings are great in theory, but for me, they were terrible in practice.

3. Scarves.

Another thing that I think looks chic af on Pinterest, but I’ll almost never reach for even in freezing cold weather. I love the look of them, but they always slide off while I’m walking, or I take them off inside and lose them. I have a super-thick one that I wear when it is necessary due to cold weather, and one that I got as a gift from Chelsea and Lauren at ~TFD Christmas~, so I don’t see myself buying another possibly ever. I’ll definitely wear them sometimes on chilly days, and I love the way they look, but I don’t get enough wear out of them to justify spending my money on anymore.

4. Bottled beer at restaurants/bars.

There’s no point in buying something bottled for $6 at a bar when I know I can bulk-buy (and bulk-drink) it at home. I like beer everywhere, but a bottle hardly feels worth that price tag, no matter how much I enjoy it. If I’m out, I’d rather spend on draft beer, or something else that I probably wouldn’t get to drink at home.

5. Trendy health foods.

The second reason people buy green juice and everything-free (after the fact that they look cute on Instagram) is that they often actually taste really good, considering the fact that they’re pretty healthy. I like these things, and definitely enjoy them when I actually consume them, but at the end of the day, I’m not going to reach for the vegan kale burgers in my freezer over literally everything else I own every day. They’re always going to be the sad frostbitten food I have left over when the good stuff is gone, because I never had a night where I was able to convince myself it would be better than cooking something else. I’ll basically never chose “tastes pretty good” over “tastes incredible”, and I need to stop tricking myself into doing so just because I sort-of enjoy it.

6. A yoga membership.

I love yoga, and I’ve done it for years. But somehow, I still can’t justify spending nearly $200/month on an unlimited yoga membership. I feel like I have enough tools to do yoga on my own it I want to do an “unlimited” amount of it, and if I’m really craving a true yoga class, I’d rather pay the $15 drop-in price. I don’t think I’d find myself actually going enough to justify the price tag of a membership. So, definitely something I like, but definitely not something worth my money right now.

7. Flowers. (For now.)

I really love flowers, and I enjoy being given flowers. They look beautiful and smell nice, so there’s really nothing not to love. My favorites are yellow tulips, and this time of year they are everywhere, so it stings that I know I shouldn’t really buy any. However, considering the fact that I’m not exactly flush with cash at the moment, I have a hard time spending money on something that is going to die in four days. I love them, and I’m envious of people who can afford to regularly buy them, but right now, it just adds up to too much money for me. I don’t necessarily consider them a luxury, but I only work part-time and I have to pay rent/eat, so they’re a luxury to me currently. My boyfriend picked up a bouquet of tulips the other day at the store and I looked at him like “I really appreciate the kind gesture, but we’re on too much of a budget to spend $8 on a dying plant today.” This is an aspirational thing for me; I’ll know I’ve finally “made it” when I feel comfortable buying fresh cut tulips every week. Until then, I’ll go visit my mom to enjoy her flowers – she’s the type of grown-up who always has them.

Mary writes every day for TFD, and tweets every day for her own personal fulfillment. Talk to her about money and life at mary@thefinancialdiet.com!

Image via Unsplash

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  • Ros

    Excellent reminder that “I like it” doesn’t mean “so I should spend money on it now”. 🙂

    I don’t know if this helps, but if you like live music, go to smaller shows in smaller venues/bars. When I used to live in Montreal, there were a few venues that had reliably decent acts, and were usually 5-10$ at the door. Even after buying a beer, that’s an evening with friends and live music for 15$ or less… not the best, but not bad.

    Oh, and if you like living with flowers and greenery? Home Depot and Ikea have surprisingly nice and cheap plants. And if you have an even vaguely green thumb, try buying bulbs and sprouting them in pots. A bag of paperwhite or tulip bulbs can be cheaper than a bouquet, and need to be chilled before growing (so if you start a few bulbs every week for a month or two, the flowers bloom sequentially, and that 10$ bag of bulbs is suddenly good for 2 months of flowers…)

  • Kait

    For flowers, think about buying an orchid. We’ve had one for over a year… they’re really not that difficult to take care of (just google orchid keeping tips), and the upfront cost of $18 or whatever is less than replacing flowers every week.
    I do think investing in athleisure can be worth it, depending on how often you work out. I have a couple of pairs of $90-$100 yoga pants that I have had for over two years, that I wear multiple times a week, and that don’t show signs of aging.

  • Lauren

    I wear a scarf literally every day, but I only own three. And my favorite of those three I got for £3 at the Covent Garden market when I studied abroad in London. It is a magical scarf that makes every outfit look 10x better.

    • laura pettenger

      Would love to see it.

  • Lexie

    Totally agree with you on bottled beer and athleisure! I still wear athletic gear from high school!

    I buy cheap flowers from Trader Joe’s every now and then but I’d rather buy a plant than flowers.

    I don’t really get the scarves falling off as you walk? Scarves to me are practical for warmth!

  • Sara

    Definitely with you on the concerts – I really enjoy listening to music, but I don’t get enough out of a live show to pay $100+ to see someone I listen to at home.

  • If you like having fresh flowers on the dinner table but hate watching $8 go up in flames in half a week, why not try daisies (or whatever the ones that look like daisies are called)? They usually run around $6-7 dollars/bunch at Sprouts here in Phoenix and they last a good 2 weeks before needing to be thrown out. They may not be as ~glamorous~ as tulips but they still add some freshness and color that you might be craving.

  • Caitlin K

    Someone else has already said it in the comments, but the solution to your flower problem might be the type of flower. I can usually get about a week and a half out of a bouquet of roses and daisies/sunflowers/etc. can last a little longer. I only ever buy flowers on grocery day, so the way the life of the flowers coincides with grocery day means I only really buy them every other week. Which still may be more money than you’re willing to spend , but it helps.
    Another tip is proper flower care and arrangement (but I’m assuming you know those things).
    Finally, when you do get flowers, I highly recommend getting a bud vase. I like to have flowers in the three rooms I’m most active in, but buying three bouquets a week just wasn’t gonna work for me. Ended up getting a small bud vase that would hold just a couple of flowers. I can always just take a few out of another arrangement and it still gives the room the life and color that I’m looking for.

  • Lava Yuki

    I like so many things and used to spend money on them when I lived off my parents, but now live and work on my own I have cut them out. Daily Barista coffee everyday at independant coffee houses, books that I may not read or only partially read, fan merchandise and my yearly trip to Japan were all kicked.