4 Trends I’ve Ignored to Save Money

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Trends are popular to follow, but they can be expensive. Here are 4 trends I've ignored to save money and how you can too.

Remember how, as a teenager, being trendy was the be-all-end-all of your social status in the high school hierarchy? I sure do. When I was a teenager in the 90s, I rocked knee-high socks like Cher Horowitz, platform sneakers like the Spice Girls, bathed in CK One, studied my Delia and Alloy catalogs and crushed on boys in JNCO jeans (don’t ask me why!) I was a 90s girl, a teenage fad queen and looking at my old pictures reminds me why I don’t worry about staying trendy anymore. I looked ridiculous!

Although I still like to look good now that I’m in my 30s, no one has ever accused me of being trendy in the last decade or so. These days I’m more likely to zone in on something long after it’s trending, after I’ve taken the time to deem it worthy of my time and money, and I’m okay with that, because I have no desire to be a trendsetter. I do my own thing and could care less if I have to ask my 16-year-old nephew to explain to me what “on fleek” means. (I’m still not exactly sure what it is, but whatever.)

I’m (thankfully) done with worrying about what the cool kids (or trendy adults) are doing, and I’ve saved a lot of dough by not caring anymore.

Here are four trends I’ve ignored to save money in my adulthood.

#1 (All) Trendy Shoes


After falling victim to a pair (or three) of expensive Uggs years ago, I decided I was done buying trendy, but seriously ugly shoes. That means you won’t find any Crocs, Toms, Topsiders or those super trendy knee-high leather boots in my closet. I know what looks good on me, and that doesn’t include rubbery plastic shoes or anything that makes me feel like a horse jockey.

The closest thing you’ll find to trendy in my shoe collection are my beloved Converse All stars that I’ve loved for 15 years straight. (And I’m not sure that a shoe that has been around since the early 1900s can be counted as trendy anymore.)

When in doubt about your trendy shoe purchases, just look back at a few of your pictures from the 1990s. Remember those white K Swiss shoes you wore with the tall socks? Those Jellies? The platform Sketchers? What about those unisex black Adidas sandals with socks? You’ll probably feel the same way about those Toms and “Keep Calm and fill-in-the-blank” shirt you’re wearing in a few years.

#2 The Latest Pyramid Scheme Party


You know those spending parties that people continue to throw in the guise of a “fun female get together” but are really used to sell you overpriced Pampered Chef/31 Bags/Pure Romance products? They are a dime-a-dozen and a new one of these pyramid schemes multi-level-marketing companies seems to trend every year.

I’m not worried about hurting someone’s feelings by declining their invitation because the only reason someone wants me at their party is so that I will spend money for them to earn free swag and make extra money. Those “parties” aren’t fooling me anymore.

#3 Paying for Radio


I’m not sure what genius marketer came up with the idea to trick people into paying for a free service like radio, but it’s probably the same guy who manages to get people to pay $100+ per month for their cable TV. I see it all the time, and it drives me crazy. Whether it’s Pandora on your phone or satellite radio in your car, it’s never a wise idea to pay for something you can get for free.

Trends are popular to follow, but they can be expensive. Here are 4 trends I've ignored to save money and how you can too.

#4 Subscription Boxes


Monthly subscription boxes are popping up everywhere online, and I know the concept sounds fun because you never know what you’re going to receive in each box, but as a frugal minimalist, I don’t love the idea of spending at least $20 per month for a box of stuff I didn’t choose. I don’t care how fun it is to receive the box in the mail, that temporary excitement is over in the time it takes to go through the box, and then I’m $20 poorer for a bunch of stuff that I didn’t really need anyway. I’ll pass, thanks.

I’m not here to make fun of anyone who loves staying on trend or even saying that I’m completely immune to the desire to be trendy, but today I’m glad that I’m aware of what’s happening when I want something silly, like that white Louis Vuitton bag I was dying to own in 2005 because Jessica Simpson was carrying it.

These days I simply want to limit my consumption, be aware of why I really want something new, and save money. I believe that the best way for me to do that right now is to forgo most trends, and somehow I’m making it just fine without them. And although I’m not trendy enough to tell you what chambray is or why it’s popular, I’m happy to say that I’ve moved on to bigger and better things to worry about.


What trends have you rocked back in the day that you look back on and make you cringe? What was your favorite ’90s trend? Are there any trends today that make you shudder already?

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Robin McDaniel

Robin is a freelance writer who chronicles her financial missteps and victories on her blog


  • Money Beagle says:

    Great list of things to keep away from. My wife occasionally goes to one of the parties but I’ve so far kept her from trying to become a sales rep.

  • I have managed to ignore all of these trends as well. I don’t understand “subscription boxes” either. Why do people pay $20 or more for a box of surprise stuff they probably don’t need? It’s really weird.

    • I think a lot of those boxes are filled with stuff that wouldn’t sell at a boutique and that’s how they get rid of it, by promoting it as a cute subscription box…which means it’s probably mostly crap you wouldn’t buy anyway.

      Hey, I could be wrong, but I’m not sure I care. 🙂

  • I pay for Spotify. It’s more than radio to me. It allows me to curate my favorite songs and listen to them in any order I want from any device I want. It’s one of the small splurges that I think is totally worth it.

    • A neighbor was just telling me how Spotify works (since I’m completely technologically behind the rest of the world and didn’t already know.) 😉 It sounded interesting, but I’d have to go for the free version.

  • I cancelled my satellite radio subscription recently with great reluctance. It made a lot more sense when I was a half hour or more away from work, but I loved it. Broadcast radio stations are too generic, and while i can stream from my phone my playlists are pretty limited and I have problems finding new acts I like.

    I will say that I got offered some amazing deals when I cancelled, just like you do when you cancel cable. I held firm on not resubscribing, but it was a big temptation

    • Personally, I use (free) Pandora because I can personalize radio stations with music that I like and it introduces me to new bands that I’ve never heard before, which is something that I LOVE. Maybe it’s something you could try if you don’t already have it.

  • Great post! I definitely used to be in with the trendy shoes, most of which I wore only a handful of times! I realized by the time I finally realize something is trendy and bought it, it was already out of style so now I preach about building a capsule wardrobe full of classics that are less likely to go out of style.

    • Ha, I’m exactly the same way! I always catch onto something long after it’s trending, although I’ve found that it’s a good thing now because it saves me a lot of money. 🙂 And I’m all about the capsule wardrobe as well.

  • Yep, I definitely cringe at some of the stupid shoes or shirts I bought when I tried to be a little trendy. Luckily, I was still cheap, so I rarely went too pricey. But it was still a waste!

    My husband loooooves his subscription boxes. But it comes out of his allotted fun money, so I don’t have to worry about it coming out of general funds.

  • Liz says:

    I bought a purse from 31 eight years ago, it was $28 and I regretted buying it, but I have used it for 8 years so got my money’s worth. Now I am just seeing how long it will last before the handle breaks!

  • Subscription boxes are so huge these days! When I hear about the cost of some of them I nearly pass out. I know a lot of people who do the Stitch Fix box and wow it’s not cheap.

    • I actually had to google Stitch Fix because I’d never heard of it (you know me, not trendy and all.)

      Holy cow, I think at an average of $55 per clothing item, I’d rather pick out my own clothes.

  • Jason Butler says:

    You have to watch out for those pyramid schemes. There is a new one every 6 months. I’ve stayed away from them as I’ve gotten older. In my 20’s I fell for one. I lost money and I promised to never make that mistake again.

  • Definitely #2! I was a good friend and attended those parties a few years ago, but it was just too much! I have turned down every single one of those in the past 2 years, but still get at least 6 invitations a year. They drive me crazy.

  • I don’t think I’ve been trendy since the 90’s but I do kind of miss my oversized flannel shirts!

  • I’ve unfortunately fell for the pyramid scheme parties and subscription boxes. Neither is worth it (especially the parties, oh my god). I’ve cut all fads out of my life, and my wallet thanks me for it. Don’t let yourself fall prey to social pressure or clever marketing.

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