There are a lot of great tips out there on things to do to save money. What about things not to do to save money?
One thing I don't do is get expensive haircuts. I pass up Supercuts in favor of Sistercuts. My sister does a great job trimming my ends. I don't color it anymore, either. I don't have to spend hours getting my long hair dyed every four weeks, I avoid all the toxic chemicals, and the expense, and I find I don't mind the grey anyway.
No manicures and pedicures for me either. I find a simple set of manicure tools is all I need to keep my own nails neat and trim. If you like a more elaborate manicure, maybe you could give your friend one, and then she can do yours.
Another thing I avoid is tooth whitening. It weakens the enamel, and how white do my teeth really need to be? I do use a Sonicare toothbrush, which helps keep the stains polished off pretty well.
In this same category would be spray tans and botox. Lest you think I'm crazy for even thinking of these things, remember I live in Southern California. My natural pasty, wrinkled state is good enough for me.
Concerts are a no for me as well. The ticket prices make me cringe, and I hate the crowds anyway. I think I honestly enjoy listening to the CD at home more.
Ditto for amusement parks. It costs a fortune just to get in, the lines are insanely long, and I have motion sickness, so how much enjoyment can I really get out of the rides? If you have kids, you're probably stuck going there at least once in a while (make sure you have a coupon, though!) Seeing them have so much fun is worth the overinflated price.
Also in the entertainment category: movies. With today's ticket and concession prices, I rarely go to the movies. When a movie comes out that I want to see, I put it in my Netflix queue. There are so many in there I want to see, I never run out and don't mind the wait to see a new movie. Besides, that way I can lounge on my couch in my unmentionables and eat my own cheap popcorn.
With my Netflix subscription, I can also forgo an expensive cable package. They have all sorts of network and cable tv series on DVD, with no commercials!
When I go out to a restaurant, I usually skip the beverage and just order water. For a family of four, this can easily save you $10 every time you eat out.
When buying appliances, I always skip the extended warranty they try to talk you into purchasing. I've read that most appliances usually break down within the initial warranty period if they are going to.
Buying life insurance is another thing I haven't done. If you don't have any dependents, you don't need life insurance. For those with kids, though, this is a smart purchase.
Credit protection insurance is another thing I don't need. I don't carry a balance, so why would I need to pay for insurance that would make my payments if I was unemployed? If I simply took the amount of the premiums each month and put it in the bank, I would be self-insured. As far as protecting me if my card was stolen, I'm only liable for $50 anyway, and that's if I don't report the theft in the first 24 hours.
Expensive pet toys are another thing that pops into mind. I learned this the hard way one Christmas. I had bought this contraption that hooked over the back of a door and dangled a toy mouse tantalizingly in front of your cat. My cat walked over to the thing, chewed through the string holding the mouse, and ran off with the mouse. End of toy. I find a box to hide in and a milk cap or ping pong ball to bat across the floor are all that are required for a contented cat.
What if you cut some of these things from your budget and find that you miss them? If you do, bring them back! There's no need to be a martyr. It's about finding the things you really don't need to do or buy, so that you can afford the things you really need and enjoy.
What are some things you pass on to save cash? Would love to hear your comments, as always.