There are probably a good deal of stuff you could live without — especially if you want to simplify your finances. Some stuff include stamps, mail and paper checks. It occurred to me that, not only could getting rid of some of these things help you simplify your finances, but getting rid of them could also save you money, contributing to a frugal lifestyle.
I began thinking about other things that I might be able to do without in order to enjoy a simpler — and more frugal — life. Here are some of the things I’m beginning to think that I could live without:
- Television programming: I have high speed Internet. I have Netflix. This means that I have access to TV shows the day after they air, and that I have access to movies — some of them using instant play with my TV via my Web-connected PS3. So, why am I paying more than $70 a month for TV service?
- Magazines: We are in the process of culling our magazines. Most have online versions, and there is no reason to be paying for magazine subscriptions when so much of what I read in terms of news and commentary is online anyway.
- Paper books: I love reading and I love books. But my husband recently pointed out that electronic versions of books for readers like the Nook, Kindle and iPad are much less expensive than buying hard copies. With the amount of reading I do, it would be relatively easy to recoup the initial cost of buying an electronic reader. Plus, electronic books would reduce the clutter in our home.
- Clutter: Speaking of clutter, we’ve got more of it than I like. I could definitely live without it. We’ve been practicing more mindful spending, so that we aren’t bringing in more clutter, but we could get rid of a lot of the stuff that we have.
- Meat: I’m not saying I’m going vegetarian. But I have found that I don’t need so much meat. Meat is expensive, and it can affect your health if you eat too much of it. We’re looking into preparing more meatless dishes. This should lower health care costs down the road, as well as mean more money in our budget now.
- Christmas presents: With the holidays just around the corner, many are already shopping online for the holidays. But do you really need more stuff? You can save money by purchasing fewer, more thoughtful, presents. It’s hard to resist the consumer call of Christmas, but we are trying.
In the end, it is up to you to examine your financial situation and your needs to decide what you can do without. We managed with just one car for the longest time, but in our current situation, with a rather undeveloped public transportation system in our area, just one car is not feasible for us. However, I look forward to the day when we can get rid of one of our cars, and save money on insurance and other costs again.
What do you think you could give up in the quest for frugality?