The Struggle is Real
If you are living paycheck-to-paycheck, having difficulty making ends meet, and/or buried up to your eyeballs in debt, this one’s for you. However you ended up in your current financial situation, there are things you should never buy when struggling financially.
Do not buy subscription services such as Amazon Prime, HULU, Netflix, Cable, DAZN, Disney Plus, HBO, and countless others. These expenses are non-essential for those struggling financially.
If you are on mailing lists with Companies trying to sell you stuff, unsubscribe! You do not need the temptation in your life. Clear your email inbox and clean your financial life – you will feel like a weight has been lifted.
Eating at restaurants or ordering take-out is expensive. If you are struggling financially, do not spend the money that you have on eating-out.
Instead, take the time to meal plan and prep. The prep part is key, you want things to be as simple and easy as possible – you want a grab and go situation. I usually do all my meal planning and prep on Sundays. I look on Pinterest for some inspiration and then go to the grocery store. When I get home, I start preparing my lunches for the week. Everything is put in glass containers in the fridge so I can just grab and go in the morning before heading out to work.
If you are an iced coffee drinker, no worries, I got you. I am also an ice coffee person (even in the winter). What I do, and what I suggest to you as well, is to invest in some mason jars and a cold brew maker/french press. You can get these for pretty cheap on Amazon. Cold brew your coffee overnight in the fridge and in the morning fill up your mason jar, screw the lid on, and that’s it! You are good to go. Not only are you saving money, but you are also saving the environment because you are limiting the use of plastic cups and straws.
If you have children and you are struggling financially, do not buy your children toys. Instead, encourage them to be creative and use their imagination. Children benefit far more from using their mind to think about how to entertain themselves with the resources available to them.
Growing up, I did not have many toys. I was encouraged to use my imagination and create my own entertainment. Today, I honestly feel that I am a better person for it. I played restaurant, library, movie theater, made forts, rode my bike, explored out in woods behind the house, went sledding in the winter. There was never a shortage of things to do. I had so much fun and a lot of great memories.
Salon services are another thing you should never spend money on when struggling financially. Manicures, pedicures, facials, massages, expensive cut and colors are all unnecessary expenses. As nice as these services are and as great as your feel afterwards, you just can’t afford it if you are struggling financially.
Sneakers are super popular. With all the hype surrounding the latest sneaker drops from Travis Scott X Nike collabs, Yeezy, and Jordan’s, it is very easy to spend thousands of dollars. This is insane. This is American consumer culture at its finest. Do not get caught up in this nonsense. Sneakers like this are 100% non-essential. If you are having difficulty staying away from the hype, unsubscribe! Out of sight, out of mind.
Pets are expensive and if you are struggling financially, you should not have a pet. Hold off on adopting any pets if you are in debt or living paycheck-to-paycheck. It’s not fair to the animal to be in that situation and its not fair to you to be under additional financial strain.
However, if you already have a pet, they are part of the family and you are on the hook for taking good care of you family member. Try cutting back on some of your expenses by slowly weaning them off the expensive food, stop the dog walking services or other day care, stop buying treats, try to avoid expensive vet visits, don’t buy any cute accessories, make sure your pet is spayed/neutered.
When you are struggling financially, you really need to cut down on your vacation spending. Do not take expensive vacations to exotic locations because, simply put, you just can’t afford it.
If you really need some time to regenerate, take a stay-cation and plan your trip doing things that are inexpensive or free such as visiting the state park, going to the beach, riding your bike, visiting a museum. Experience your area as a tourist.
Whether you are struggling financially or not you should NEVER spend money on cigarettes, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or cigars. These products are stupid expensive especially if you end up addicted and continue to waste money for years. Tobacco and nicotine products are horrible for your health and harmful to your financial well-being.
If you smoke because you are stressed, try to redirect how you deal with stress from smoking to something more productive. Such as creating a side hustle to earn some extra income, exercising, hiking, making artwork. Define what you value and what makes you the happiest and pursue those things.
Alcohol is another one that generally speaking adds no real value to your life. However, alcohol consumption is a bit more socially acceptable than smoking. Additionally, wine making and beer brewing is a hobby and quite honestly, can be an art form with all the flavor pallets and techniques of making the beverage. However, if you are struggling financially, you should not be buy alcohol.
Home Renovations are another thing you should never buy when struggling financially. Voluntarily renovating your bathroom, kitchen, or any other area of your house for cosmetic purposes is completely unnecessary. How are you going to pay for it? Take out a HELOC and put yourself into debt?
The only home renovations you should be spending money on are routine repairs and maintenance to prevent major more expensive problems down the road as well as any emergency repairs such as roof leaks or foundation problems.
Full Priced Clothes
Full priced clothing is one of the things you should never buy when you are struggling financially. There are enough options available for you to find clothing at discounted prices every day. You can also get some amazing finds at Goodwills and other second hand stores. If you have a favorite store/brand wait for the sales and shop in the clearance section.
Pre-Cut Food From Grocery Stores
You know when you walk into the grocery store you see all the pre-sliced, diced, and packaged beautifully fruits and vegetables. They looks nice and fresh and you take out the annoying step of cutting everything up yourself. The concept is great but the price is ridiculous. On top of the steep price, pre-sliced foods tend to be packaged in plastic containers which is also not good for the environment. Pre-cut foods from the grocery store are something you should never buy if you are struggling financially.
Instead, buy the whole fruits and vegetables and cut them yourself. You will end up saving yourself a lot of money.
Unused Gym Membership
Making your health a priority is awesome. However, if you have a gym membership and never go to the gym, then you are wasting money each month. Cancel the membership and go somewhere you will actually visit. You can also forego the gym membership altogether in favor of working-out at home.
- If you are struggling financially, it is really important to make a conscious decision of where you spend your hard earned money. Make it a top priority to get your finances in order by defining your goals, creating a budget, and avoiding necessary purchases on things you really don’t need.
- If you need help setting goals that you can actually accomplish, check out my article here.
- Have questions? Let me know! I am happy to answer.
- Sign-up for the Green is Good Cents Newsletter for quick tips on how to get better with money.
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