4 Purchases I Thought Were Important But No Longer Miss
Don’t you sometimes wish you could time-hop a few years back and tell yourself what to do with your life and finances? Like Don’t finance that pretty car that you’ll be tired of in six months or maybe even Don’t spend money on that trashy lower back tattoo that you’re going to regret, Robin!
We’ve all made money mistakes, and if we had the ability to step back in time, we’d certainly save ourselves a lot of anguish. Until someone invents a time machine, though, we’re stuck ruminating over what might have been, and I’m certainly no exception (and unfortunately I’m stuck with that tramp stamp decision from 13 years ago.) Here are four purchases I’ve bought that I thought were important at the time but no longer miss today.
#1 Beauty Products
I know that I’m female and I’m supposed to care a lot about how I look, but I’m breaking the rules. Now that I’m in my 30s, I’m becoming more comfortable with the way I look. It all started a couple of years ago when I was still working in an office. I forgot to put on my makeup one day and, although I panicked at the time, as I went through the day and realized that no one even noticed, I figured I could let myself have a break for a bit.
I haven’t worn makeup or used hair products on a regular basis since, and I haven’t looked back. My skin is clearer, my hair is healthier, my wallet is fatter and, best of all, my confidence is soaring. I feel like I’ve given the middle finger to the entire beauty industry, and it’s surprisingly liberating. (You should try it!)
#2 Pricey Salon Visits
I also no longer pay $120+ for a cut and color every six weeks, even though that’s the norm for a lot of women, because I’ve discovered I’m more interested in saving money on cutting my hair than splurging on it. As I was in the process of ditching my beauty product habit, I grew out my hair to its natural color, went a year without getting a cut, and then realized that I had somehow shockingly survived. (Who knew?!)
After that first year, I found a beauty school graduate who offered to come to my house to cut my hair for $15 so that she could gain some experience and new clientele. Two years later, she’s still cutting my hair on the cheap in the comfort of my own home while my preschooler plays in the next room. Score!! That bottle blonde with the expensive (high maintenance) highlights from my wedding photos is gone for good.
#3 Disposable Products
I used to budget in money for so many disposable products from paper towels, paper plates and Kleenex to cotton balls, sandwich baggies and razors, but most of these expenses are needless in our budgets and terrible for the environment. There are better options that help the planet and help you save money every month.
Now that I’m a minimalist and trying to care for the environment, I’ve learned to either do without most of these or utilize reusable versions of them. If you do without them for a short period of time (such as not buying more of them when you run out), you get creative and figure out how to make do without these items. (I seriously get a lot of blank stares when someone asks me for a paper towel in my house and I tell them I don’t have any because I don’t use them.)
Instead of paper towels and napkins, I use rags and cloth napkins that can be easily washed with my next load of laundry. Instead of using sandwich baggies, I use reusable foldable baggies in my daughter’s lunch. Instead of using paper plates when we have an outdoor potluck, I use the real stuff and (brace yourself!) throw them in the dishwasher. I’ve made do without these things in my life, and you probably can, too.
#4 Commercial Household Cleaners
To further add to my desire to live a greener and more frugal life, I used up or got rid of all my toxic household cleaners and started cleaning with only natural products. I used to believe that I needed to buy harsh products to get the inside of my home as clean as possible, but after I had a baby, I found that I no longer wanted those synthetic scents and nasty chemicals in my house. It was simply a bonus that natural cleaners are so cheap.
Now I use vinegar and baking soda to clean most surfaces, from my bathroom to my kitchen, and I check Good Guide before buying any commercial products. My go-to brand is Method because their products are safe and pleasant to use, unlike the nauseating, headache-inducing smells of my previous bleach-laden cleaning products.
So many of our purchases seem so important at the time because we are used to spending our money in certain ways and it becomes our norm, but that’s not a great way to budget. Instead, try to live without something for a period of time, and decide if you can still live well without it. Scrutinize past spending habits and question everything you spend your money on to help you spend your money on those things that have the most value for you and your family.
Have you made a purchase in the past that you thought was crucial but no longer miss? Are there certain items or services you’ve learned to live without? What’s one new recent way you’re saving money every month?