In today’s day and age, there are certain services and items that we can all stop paying for right now. Technology and access to the internet have completely changed the way we communicate and find entertainment. Some of these resources are even free! So, if you need to tighten the purse strings a bit, take a look at how much you spend on the following things each month. Chances are that you could eliminate many of these expenses and save yourself a ton of money.
5 Things You Can Stop Paying For Today
Music is one of my greatest passions. I love finding new music, supporting local artists, buying event tickets like Bad Bunny Tickets and going to concerts, and organizing my playlists. Although I don’t spend nearly as much on live music these days, I am constantly looking for ways to support my addiction without breaking the bank.
There are a MILLION options to explore new music: Spotify (my personal favorite), Pandora, YouTube, Grooveshark, 8tracks, and Soundcloud just to name a few. By all means, continue to buy albums and support these people. But also remember that when you play their songs to completion on sites like Spotify or Pandora, these artists are receiving money through royalties. You can still support your favorite bands and singers using these convenient apps.
Can you remember the last time you physically went into a library? Yes, they still exist. Libraries are amazing and full of amazing resources. One cool trend popping up in Atlanta is roadside libraries. If you have seen them, they look like birdhouses, but they are full of books! You drive up, drop off your books, and pick one to read. It is a great idea and definitely builds a sense of community. If you don’t have these available in your neighborhood, you can create your own. If you don’t want to build a roadside library, that’s fine. You can set up a book exchange in your office, neighborhood, or social circles instead.
If you are more interested in e-books, there are also a ton of free resources online. This list not only directs towards the best sites but can even help you choose titles tailored to your tastes.
3. Fast Food
This is a convenience for which you pay a premium. Fast food is usually more expensive than cooking at home, and very rarely healthy. Furthermore, you pay even higher prices if you order through food delivery services. A little foresight and meal planning will help you cut this unnecessary convenience out of your life for good. Do yourself and your wallet a favor and make fast food one of the things you can stop paying for.
I was once the type of person who religiously watched my favorite TV shows each week, anxiously waiting for new ones to be released. However, after cutting the cord, I’ve found a million other uses for my time. I can honestly say I’m a much happier person because of it. Instead of going home from work and vegging out on the couch, I do more meaningful tasks such as cooking, walking my dog, gardening, or catching up with friends. It is so simple and so fulfilling. I do not miss the tube at all. However, I still subscribe to Netflix, I can get my fix of TV if need be. For $8.99 a month, the basic membership gives me access rather than spending $100+ for cable packages.
5. Gym Membership
This has been the hardest for me, but the extra work I’ve put in so far has been worth the savings. Not only do I save on membership fees, but also on the commute time and gas money. I am fortunate to have a gym at my office, but without this, I would still be able to stay fit. There are so many resources and free exercise routines available online that you can still get a full workout at home. Simply look up your favorite activity on YouTube. I bet you will find a dozen free channels to get you started. Whether you enjoy yoga, jazzercise, or free weight training, there is certain to be something out there for you.
The Budget Breakdown
My savings this year from the changes I’ve made: (January – March)
Cable ($360) – Netflix ($36) savings = $324
Spotify Subscription savings = $30
Books (I was a frequent Amazon book buyer) savings = roughly $50
Fast Food = roughly $40
Gym membership savings = $180
That is over $600 in savings for almost three months. The savings speak for themselves, but I am also living a much more fulfilling and healthier lifestyle. However, it can be a struggle to get started. But, the only way to get a handle on your finances is to tackle the problem head-on. First, you need to collect all your financial information and sit down to balance your books. This means calculating your total take-home income after taxes. Then, you need to add up all your monthly expenses and subtract them from your income. Creating a budget does not need to be another tedious task. You may be surprised when you look at your daily expenditures and find even more things you can stop paying for.
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Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.
22 thoughts on “5 Things You Can Stop Paying For That Will Save You Money”
I really agree with books and gym membership. Cable has been a hard one to cut. I actually haven’t paid for music in about 15 years. I have friends who buy everything and make me copies. Fast food we haven’t completely cut but have it down to a bare min I would say.
I really don’t buy books anymore and music I DO pay for the $10/month Spotify subscription so that I can have it on my phone at work and at the gym. I also pay $10/month for my gym membership, which I think is pretty much as low as it’s going to get.
I need to cut the cable cord. I don’t want to though! 🙂
Great list! I think you hit a lot of key things! I struggle with the books because I want instant gratification in the form of a Kindle download, but I’m working on getting to the library, or using my Amazon Prime membership to “borrow” Kindle books for free.
Great list!!! I still purchase an occasional track on iTunes because when I need Suck My Kiss, I need Suck My Kiss (RHCP), but spend about $10/year on that. he rest of the items on your list, we have cut. We actually cut the TV altogether, so what ever electricity was being spent on having that run the better part of the day, is gravy too!
I listen to all my music on spotify nowdays. I would love to cut the cable bill out of my life, but there’s just no good alternative for watching live sports (that I know of).
I haven’t paid for music in over 10 years.
I read in the bookstore.
I never eat fast food.
I do home based workout programs then sell them on Ebay.
My cable bill I love. 🙂
Great list! I don’t pay for anything on that list either. Gym pact sounds like an interesting app, I need to check it out. Getting paid would definitely motivate me because I get lazy sometimes (all the time).
Music and ebooks are dominated by Apple iTunes and Amazon Kindle, two of the biggest tax avoiders. On principle I don’t use either. They should pay their taxes like the rest of us. If Apple paid tax in California where it enjoys all the benefits of silicon valley, then that state would not be in financial difficulty. Likewise in Ireland where there are two shell companies which own all Apple intellectual property yet pay next to no tax – and Ireland could also do with some money. Amazon has a similar trick in the EU by basing itself in Luxembourg and paying next to no tax there nor in any of the countries in which it operates. These schemes are borderline legal only because countries do not have the same regulations. And then if you upset one of these megaliths, they will wipe your account empty and there is nothing you can do – you are licencing the music/book, not buying it.
Some of those things are really are a waste of money especially fast food and gym membership. You can be healthy at your own home and eating healthy food, you can even exercise there, and just walk or jog around your neighborhood, so spend money on things you can not pay for. Isn’t it?
There are things that we can live without especially when money is quite tight. Gym membership is one. Workouts can be done at home without any cost. Fast food is another. Besides, this is not healthy. Your suggestions are really useful so practical people will not hesitate to try them.
Yep, the Internet definitely makes it easy to enjoy a lot of things for free (you pay for the Internet of course but, what you get in return is infinite information!) that you would normally pay for; it’s also a mega-mind-monstrously-marvelous-madman highway of potential for learning and indulgence like never seen in the history of human kind!! Okay, sorry, I drank too much fizzy pop.
I completely agree with all of these and am proud to say I’ve recently checked them all of the list. The only thing that I still pay for is gym memberships, but I’ve actually bought daily deals for about 3 months at a time for about $20 which is quite inexpensive at that rate. Once I’m back at school it’s about $60 for the entire year I believe, which is also cheap. Cable is also a waste when you can get great online content instead for a fraction of the price.
That’s awesome, saving $200/month is huge!
We finally cancelled our gym memberships after we started biking to work. We actually save time AND money by biking to work. Now we save an extra $70/month from the lack of gym memberships and $240/month from the lack of subway passes!