20 People On The Thing They’ve Stopped Spending Money On In 2019 (& Whether They Miss It)

Over on the TFD YouTube channel this week, Chelsea delved into a unique tactic for saving money: doing a spend freeze on certain items, rather than a stopping your spending 100%:

I love this idea because you can completely personalize it to your own spending habits. For instance, it’s hard to quit buying coffee if you don’t ever buy it in the first place, but if you know you impulse-buy too many skincare products, you can totally cut that out for a month! I decided it would be interesting to reach out to the TFD community to hear about what you guys have cut out of your budgets so far this year — and whether or not you miss them. Most of them fell into four different categories; here’s what everyone had to say!

Food-related spending cuts:

1. “I haven’t cut it out *completely*, but I have drastically reduced how often I buy lunch at work (usually 1 time or less per week). I love having lunch ready every day right at noon, and it usually costs $3-4/serving.” – Nancy

2. “Buying food during the workday! I started packing a lunch every day and including enough snacks to last me even if I have to work late (and if I don’t eat them, I have a little stash at my desk for ’emergencies’). It makes SUCH a difference in my budget. I had to do it gradually — allowing myself one lunch out per week, then once every two weeks, etc. Until it got easier. It takes the sort of planning and self-control that I didn’t have before, but I’m so glad I finally kicked my butt and got better about this!” – Ve

3. “I stopped buying kombucha — I did the math and taking a probiotic in pill form (even an expensive brand) cost less than three bottles of kombucha a week. A silly thing to cut/care about, but it’s made a difference!” – Anna

4. “I’ve been making my adjustments by choosing an area per month — January I only allowed myself 2 take-out meals (everything else was home cooed/prepped), and I really missed it. My pattern is usually 1 lunch or dinner per week and maybe a bagel/kombucha every other week. February I set a goal to be under $125 for groceries so I had to skip on all the fun add-ons I might normally go for (fancy crackers, swapped pine nuts for almond slivers). And it was less upsetting than January (I went over by $15 because I had some staples that needed replacing).” – Katie

5. “Dining out. I was a sucker for the company lunch drop program and lazy in the evenings. Moving in with my partner and splitting the cooking duties has meant dining out maybe once a month instead of multiple times a week, better dinners (and lunch leftovers). Good for health and wallet.” – Cait

Alcohol & other vices:

6. “Beer. It wasn’t good for my financial diet, and it wasn’t good for my food diet either. Alcohol, in general, is no longer something I care to spend much money on.” – Christopher

7. “Same with the drinking. Health wise and just the money it cost. Even soda as well when going out. Health/wealth are better, and if we are craving something and eat out, we usually just split a soda.” – Prime Ambitions

8. “Coffee shops — don’t miss it too much except when I’m in a hurry and can’t make it at home.” – Gwen

9. “Afternoon coffees during the week. Helps me sleep better too!” – Michelle

10. “I don’t miss drinking.” – Benjamin

Lifestyle spending:

11. “The gym. I wasn’t going for 6 months last year and wasted money. I work out at home now, bought my own set of weights and weight train on my patio.” – Carlos

12. “I cut out getting manicures and I miss the feeling of being pampered so much! Face masks are my cheaper replacement but it’s not the same. And I also eliminated butting baked goods at coffee shops, and I’m so much better without them!” – Laura

13. “‘Cut’ I feel is too strong of a word, reduced is more accurate, but makeup spending. I used to be all about beauty trends and would buy new lipsticks/eyeshadows/etc. almost monthly. Last year, I seriously simplified my beauty stash and now only restock as I run out. HUGE CHANGE!” – Cait

14. “I made a number of personal-services trade-offs to join a top-notch gym and work out with a superstar trainer. I miss grocery delivery & impulse buys – but I love my fitness gains more.” – Larisa

15. “Cable! Netflix/Hulu/Prime + Reddit streams of big events = I don’t miss cable at all!” – Fun Times Finance

Clothes & other material items:

16. “Handbags and shoes.” – Lei

17. “Lattes but only until March 1st. Also, cut out shopping — I miss the lattes more than the shopping.” – Picton

18. “Buying all kinds of magazines! I tried to cut my daily cup of caffeine but failed terribly! LOL” – Fahmi

19. “Subscription boxes. While I enjoyed Ipsy & the like, I never used some of the products and the mindless $10 a month is something I don’t miss. On the bright side, I did get lots of useful makeup bags out of it!” – Holly 

20. “Clothes! Used to spend way too much every month on clothes I *needed*, but I haven’t bought a single article of clothing so far this year and honestly I’m not feeling deprived about it at all.”

Image via Unsplash

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