Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Top 10 Series: the top 10 goods and services I do not buy
Inspired by recent discussion at Money Saving Mom.com about the top items that people should buy or should not buy, I am running a series in April and May about the top 10 things I purchase or don't purchase regularly.
Some of the points are actual physical items; other points are a bit more broad. In many cases, the reason I purchase a specific item is because we have a brand preference - and we choose to save money elsewhere in the budget so we can afford that specific item!
In May, I will share the top 10 things I do not purchase in four different categories: food, household products, health and beauty products and other miscellaneous products around the home.
These lists will be based on my opinions and my purchasing habits. Each individual and family will have different priorities for how money is spent. If your priorities are different, that's okay!
Here are the top 10 goods and services around the home that I do not purchase, in no specific order:
1. Haircuts - Ok, we do cut our hair...but we do it cheap. :) For my husband, I purchased a razor set a few years ago, so I cut his hair at home. I was so scared at first, but a friend helped me - and it really is EASY! For me, I only get two haircuts (trims, really) per year, so that doesn't cost much.
2. Clothes - Of course, we purchase clothes occasionally, but certainly not often. In the past two years, each of us has only gotten a handful of new clothes items - and only when they are absolutely necessary. I try to purchase at the thrift store, but I haven't had much luck around here with that. However, I have gotten some fabulous deals at Target for me (i.e., $3 tank tops, free leggings...)! We save a significant amount of money by simply making do with what we already have. And shouldn't that be true in all aspects?!
3. Books - I love to read! However, we can't afford to spend money on books. That means we utilize our local library (and its interlibrary loan system) frequently. I also occasionally use my Swagbucks for Amazon gift cards, which helps us purchase books that we know we want to keep in our home library.
4. DVDs - Neither my husband nor I care for movies, so this is an easy one for us. In our 3+ years of marriage, I think we may have purchased a handful of movies (and one was a Veggie Tales movie for $4!).
5. Movie theater - Since we don't care for movies, we also don't go to the movie theater. In our relationship, we have been to the theater exactly two times together (one time was to see Fireproof)! We actually don't even rent movies to watch at home because that just doesn't interest us (not to mention, the nearest movie rental kiosk is at least 15 minutes away!).
6. Greeting cards - I'm not much for greeting cards, but I do generally include them with gifts and such. I never pay more than $0.50 though! Both Dollar General and Dollar Tree have cards for $0.50. It's also helpful to watch for all the "free card" offers online.
7. Lunches out - Both of us pack our lunch everyday when we work. That right there saves so much money!
8. Professional tax prep - We are self-employed and use Turbo Tax Deluxe. Our first year in ministry, a fellow pastor's wife helped us. This year, we did them all on our own (what a proud day for us!). Turbo Tax really does all the work for you, and provides protection as well.
9. Digital prints and photo books - At this point, we don't spend any money on either of these. That may change once we have children, but for now, it's certainly not a necessity.
10. Extended warranties - Generally speaking, we do not purchase these. In rare cases (like our new treadmill), we did spend the money upfront for a "care plan." But overall, extended warranties are not a necessity (in our opinion).
To catch up on the previous installments in this series: