5 Popular Unnecessary Expenses

Are you spending money that you don’t have to? Maybe you have convinced yourself that everything you buy you actually need. My wife and I just realized that we could be more intentional with where we spend our money. We recognize that we have extra cash to spend each month because of recent promotions and my side business, but that doesn’t mean that we want to throw it all away. In setting some limits for our spending, we realized that there are certain things that we do not need to buy – things that we buy because we WANT to, not because we need to.

Whether you want to admit it or not, there is a difference between need and want. While everyone has to splurge a little bit to keep their sanity, understanding where you are spending money that you don’t have to is a great way to put an end to your unnecessary spending. Or, if you are like us, maybe you just want to limit the unnecessary spending. Either way – you first have to identify areas that fit this category.

Things You Don’t Need to Buy

Gym Membership – Especially now that it is summer and the weather is nice, a gym membership is completely worthless. You can take a walk or run outside, or find other ways to stay active. Many people buy gym memberships out of guilt of eating too much or watching too much TV. Needless to say, getting this sort of membership will often fail to cure the problem.

Second Car – Most families, by my judgment, are two-car families. This may seem like a necessity when both spouses are working, but if you are strategic with where you live (in relation to work), you can carpool and make it work. This small inconvenience can save you thousands each year.¬†While I have often talked about buying a second car, I know that it isn’t absolutely necessary. I can easily bike to work or ride public transportation.

Eating Out – Eating out is one of the easiest ways to spend way too much money each month. Anyone who has become committed to saving extra money each month should cut this out before anything else – mainly because of how much money you can save. There is no reason to keep feeling tight on cash when you can make this sacrifice and save hundreds.

Vacation – While a nice vacation is typically the norm, it IS NOT a necessity. Most people take expensive vacations, spending what they normally spend in an average month within a week’s time. This is insane! While splurging can be healthy, be careful not to overdo it or understand vacations as a MUST-HAVE!

New Clothes – If you have a new job that requires a new business attire that is one thing, but if you are simply shopping for new clothes because it feels good, that is a different story. When you are shopping for new clothes, ask yourself if you really need it or you just want a little more variety.

Understanding the difference between need and want may help you curb your spending and keep you out of debt. What are some areas that you know are unnecessary?

5 Responses to 5 Popular Unnecessary Expenses

  1. While gym memberships are often expensive, I don’t think they’re always unnecessary. Paying for access to a gym is an investment in your health. By investing in your health, you can avoid medicine and doctor/hospital visits in the long run.

    I’ll agree that vacations are getting crazy expensive now. I’m a proponent of “staycations.” Stay home and relax. Turn off all the digital devices and enjoy some time off.

    -Christian L.

  2. Modest Money says:

    Good list. Far too many people consider these kinds of expenses as needs. Even if the acknowledge that it is splurging, they convince themselves that they just need that splurge on a regular basis. I’m pretty good in most of these categories, but eating out has always been a weakness for me. After growing up in a small town with limited dining options, all the choices in a big city has got me wanting to just keep indulging.

  3. Eating out is always one of my biggest weaknesses. This year, I really try to get together with friends for coffee verses eating out.

  4. For me, the Gym membership was unnecessary. I didn’t use it. I now work out on my own without a gym membership, although I can be lazy sometimes!

    I did the whole “if I pay for it, then I’ll use it.” Whoops. Luckily I didn’t have a cancellation fee, and I wasn’t so proud to let it drag out. I recognized I was being lazy and refused to pay more money for it. Great job.


  5. I got rid of my gym membership. Well actually my parents stopped paying for it when I hit 18. And I don’t miss it. I spend more time playing ultimate frisbee with friends and surfing. I don’t see myself getting a gym membership again. Great post!

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