Finances & Saving Money Simple Living

27 Things to Cut Out of Your Budget for Good

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Simplifying your life should affect every aspect of your life. From decluttering to simpler routines, we tend to think of our physical possessions and routines before anything else. However, one very important aspect often gets overlooked, which is finding things to cut out of your budget.

Planning a budget can sound like nails on a chalkboard, but the benefits to staying consistent with a budget can increase your quality of life tremendously! For instance, a simpler budget can allow you to track spending easier, find money you never knew you have [which you can allocate elsewhere], and reduce stressing over finances.

When going through your budget, you should identify things as necessary or unnecessary. Evaluate your necessary items first, and give a concrete reason as to why it is a necessity. If you don’t have a good reason, then maybe it is an unnecessary expense after all. Then evaluate your unnecessary expenses. See what you can cut out of your budget to simplify it a bit. This will not only give you some freedom to reallocate things, you may also find that you can afford that dream vacation you’ve been wanting to take!

To give you a boost in simplifying your budget, here are 10 things to cut out of your budget for good. Some of these are probably expenses you do not normally think about, while others may be something you’ve had in your budget for years but no longer need. Either way, I hope a few of these can be identified in your budget as something unnecessary that you can cut to simplify your budget and reduce your stress!

Does your month last longer than your money? If so, you need to read this post! I guarantee you that you will find things to cut out of your budget, and make your money last longer than your month!

27 Things to Cut Out of Your Budget for Good

1// Dining out

Whether it is fast food or a fancy restaurant, dining out costs way more than eating at home. By limiting yourself to only dining out for special occasions, you not only save money, but it begins feels like a treat.

2// Coffee on the go

Drive through coffee is so overpriced! When you can make a cup of coffee at home for pennies compared to several dollars, it is hard to want to keep it in your budget. Daily coffee on the go will cost you 5 times more than planning ahead and making it at home. Sure it may not be fancy with a foam leaf, but saving somewhere around $1,000 a year makes that okay.

3// Treating yourself every time you accomplish something small

Speaking to my fellow millennials here! Treating yourself every time you accomplish something small, like making it through the work day, is not acceptable. You are wasting your money, and ruining your budget. Sorry for the tough love, but treating yourself should be special! Like when you graduate from college, pay off your mortgage, land your dream job, etc., that is something to celebrate!

4// Cable/Satellite TV

With so many internet streaming options that are fairly inexpensive, cable and satellite TV are not worth overpaying for each month. I used to pay for satellite TV that cost me $110 per month. Now I only pay for Netflix, which is about $8.50 per month. The savings are incredible, and I never have to scan channels trying to find a good show to watch.

5// Home Phone

Unfortunately, home phones are a thing of the past. If you are paying for a home phone still, consider cancelling it and only using your cell phone. The savings definitely add up over time!

Side note: I realize some internet companies require you to have a home phone bundle and do not give you an option. However, it does not hurt to check in to see if they have updated their policies. You never know! You maybe able to remove that home phone after all!

6// Unplanned Shopping

Shopping due to wasting time or boredom is another thing you need to avoid. This could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, which is just crazy! If you do not have a purpose for going into a store, please stay away! Your wallet will thank you!

7// Shopping while hungry

This is the worst thing to do! I used to waste so much money by shopping when hungry. It also resulted in having food we would not normally eat and may possibly waste. Try grabbing a bite to eat beforehand to keep your stomach from encouraging you to spend more money than you intended.

8// Shopping without a list

Shopping without a list is pretty difficult. Often times this leads to purchasing things you already have. You may also forget things you needed, and have to go back a second time, which opens the door up a second time to purchasing things you do not need.

9// Trendy Fashion

Trends come and go, and if you want to save money, you need to steer clear of them. Having a wardrobe that needs purged of trendy fashion with each season change can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year. Of course depending on how expensive each piece is depends on how much it costs.

10// Target $1 bins

Who is not a sucker for the Target dollar bins?! I am pretty sure everyone is, but $1 items add up to a lot of money over time. I realize it is hard, but stay away from these bins. They are money snatchers!

11// Buying something because it was on sale

Have you heard that really saving money means that you only buy what you need? That is because buying something on sale costs money. You think you are getting a deal on something, and if you really need it, you are. However, if you are only buying it due to it being on sale, you just spent money you did not have to spend.

12// Vehicle you cannot afford

Sure it is nice to drive a fancy vehicle, but at what cost? If you are barely scraping the money together each month to pay for it, is it really worth it? Looking cool comes and goes, but living comfortably within your budget is forever!

13// Brand name everything

Some things are better buying brand name, but there are a lot of things that do not have to be brand name to still be quality. Just a quick example is oats. Brand name costs about $1-1.50 more than the generic store brand. It tastes the same, so why spend more for brand name? While this is an inexpensive example, just think of all the different things this can apply to and think of all the savings you are missing with buying brand name.

14// Overpriced makeup

Ladies, I am totally with you on buying all levels of makeup, but when you are trying to save money, drugstore brands often have great dupes that save you a lot of money! Even going as far as making your own makeup can save you a lot of money. [This is something I am going to try out as my makeup is used up.]

15// Full priced books

With all of the bargain websites, thrift stores, and free resources, there is no reason you should ever pay full price for a book. I get it when it comes to a new release from your favorite series, but waiting just a couple of months can save you 50% or more on that book!

16// Subscription services you no longer want

How many different things are you subscribed to that you have no interest in anymore? This goes for magazines, subscription boxes, cleaning supplies, etc. Cancel what you no longer wish to receive and save that money!

17// Pedicures/Manicures

Treating yourself every two weeks to fresh hands and feet is really expensive! Try pampering yourself at home and cut this expense out of your budget.

18// Hair coloring

I will be the first to tell you that I treat myself to getting my hair colored. But it is the first thing I extend between visits or stop altogether when my budget does not allow it.

19// Not buying in bulk

When you buy one pound of meat at a time, you are spending the most per pound. Instead buy 4-5 lbs at a time and save money! You can easily freeze what you will not use right away, so nothing goes to waste. Buying things in bulk that you will use saves you money, and adds up to a lot over time.

20// Buying things in bulk that you won’t use

The worst thing to do when trying to save money is buying new foods or cleaning supplies in bulk. You have no idea if you like it, and stand to loose more than you save by not testing the waters in a smaller quantity first.

21// Trendy home decor

Pulling back into the trendy fashion, the same goes for home decor. Don’t wasting money on items that will not stand the test of time, or at least a few years. Instead, save up for pieces that will last you for many years, even if it costs more upfront. The savings you will get by not replacing decor all of the time is worth the investment.

Related post: How to Simplify Your Home in 4 Simple Steps

22// Things everyone else buy

Just because everyone else is buying a certain item does not mean that you have to buy it. Instead be original and stand out from the crowd.

23// Adult beverages at a restaurant or bar

Adult beverages at bars and restaurants are completely overpriced. If you want to enjoy am adult beverage, it is much more cost efficient to purchase the liquor and make the beverage yourself. Who knows, you may concoct your new favorite recipe!

24// Single use items

Things like paper towels or plates cost a lot more than they save. Convenience should not trump saving money. Instead, use cloth napkins and real plates. It will save you so much money!

25// Non-quality items

Sometimes splurging on a quality item is worth the investment when you compare it to its non-quality dupe. A quick example is a cheaply-made, inexpensive blouse versus a well-made, higher priced blouse. The well-made blouse could last you years compared to the cheaply-made blouse that may last a couple of wears.

26// Single function small appliances

Marketers love it when you fall for a single function small appliance, but what it does is take up space and is not used too often. Instead, invest in small appliances that can do multiple things. You will get more use out of their versatility, which makes the cost worth it.

27// Gifts for every little occasion

One thing I do not understand is why we need to gift people with things for every little occasion. All that does is promote the “treat yourself” mentality that is growing in popularity. It is also very expensive when there are a lot of people in your life doing things. Instead, you should invest in giving gifts for meaningful reasons. Now, I cannot tell you what these meaningful reasons are, but you should not give a gift because everyone else is.

Hopefully, you found a few things to cut out of your budget for good. If you take away one thing from this post, I want to you to leave with the intention of being more purposeful with where you spend your hard earned income. I realize not all of these will work for you, but maybe a few do!

The goal is to budget yourself into your dream life, and that means saving money where possible.

If you have anything you would like to add to this list, please do so below in the comments! Look forward to chatting with you there!

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  • Reply
    November 7, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    It really is important to identify what spending is and isn’t necessary, and this is a great list of areas to pay attention to! I like that you highlight some things that people may overlook, such as #11.

    • Reply
      Erin | The Tannehill Homestead
      November 12, 2018 at 8:30 am

      Thank you, Kim! Yes, #11 is something I could write an entire post about. I used to be the “It was on sale.” wife, and I am so glad I changed my perspective on what a sale really means.

  • Reply
    November 17, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Thank you for this – I found it really timely. We’re in the process of doing a bit of a financial audit as well, and you identified some things that I hadn’t thought of! Great tips.

    • Reply
      Erin | The Tannehill Homestead
      November 18, 2018 at 11:54 am

      I am so glad this came to you at the right time, Jess! May I ask which ones you hadn’t thought of before reading this post?

      • Reply
        November 29, 2018 at 7:12 am

        Hi Erin, your last couple of tips were especially lightbulb moments for me. I like the notion of buying quality for durability rather than going for the cheapest possible option, only to have it fall apart a few months later. It’s something we’re trying to do more, although (of course) we need to save our pennies up first. The single-function small appliances is something my husband is guilty of – this year he’s come home with a juicer and a panini press – I’m trying to convince him to hold off on these kind of purchases, especially since we barely ever use them! Also, the gifts for every little occasion – I’ve been pretty guilty of that in the past, but now that we’re trying to live more simply and economically, we’re really trying to avoid that (or make a DIY gift instead!). Thanks again for the great tips!

        • Reply
          Erin | The Tannehill Homestead
          November 30, 2018 at 8:02 am

          I am glad these tips helped you, Jess! I think a DIY gift is a much better option, if you feel the need to still send a gift. It can feel more meaningful, too!

          It can be difficult to get your husband on board at first, but just keep living my example. Mine took about a year and a half to see the benefits. All I did was brag on all the different benefits of X product, like a natural cleaning product. It could clean a lot of different things, and it took my husband forever to understand that you didn’t need a different cleaner for every piece of furniture or appliance.

          Just keep working to simplify. You’re doing great! 🙂

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