In our journey to financial freedom, we have found creative ways to go with less. Not only is saving in these areas great for our wallets and our investments, many of them are great for the environment as well, so win-win. 🙂
As always, remember that drastic changes often don’t stick (and can make you resentful). For the best results, modifications to your spending habits should be done gradually and because you want to. Not everything is for everyone and even making one of these changes can save you thousands of shekels a year.
While there are probably many things we haven’t considered when writing this post, here is a list of some things we don’t spend money on:
Car and all related expenses, including car payments, gasoline, insurance, annual test, tolls, maintenance, repairs, car license and parking. While we have rented a couple times since getting rid of our car, we almost exclusively rely on public transportation and walking. Not having a car saves us 20-30 thousand shekels per year – an amount that can cover several months of rent or mortgage payments.
Personal grooming, including makeup, men’s haircuts, perfumes, manicures, and beauticians. One of us cuts his hair with a haircut machine that has paid for itself countless times over while the other is growing her hair to donate (and get a free salon cut along with it). So far we’ve been doing our kids’ hair at home. We estimate that not spending on these things saves us around 2,000 per year – an amount that can feed our small family for a month.
The newest tech toys – If it ain’t broke and works fine for you, why replace it? If you do need to replace a device, last year or the year before’s model are just as good as this year’s, for a fraction of the price. Not replacing our phones and other devices yearly saves us 5-10K per year, an amount that can cover a short family getaway.
Lunch at work – Where we live, buying lunch ranges around 40 to 80 shekels. With two of us working 22 days a month, this could potentially cost us 2,500 shekels per month, or 30,000 shekels per year. We bring lunch from home instead. And remember – this is not an all or nothing category. Even bringing lunch once or twice a week can save you lots of money over the course of a year. If you have 10Bis or Cibus, using it at the supermarket instead of ordering lunch can significantly bring down your grocery bill and save you thousands.
Feminine hygiene products: Reusable feminine hygiene products, all the way, girl! The cup, period panties, reusable pads – take your pick. Buy it once and never spend money on this again for years. As a pack of tampons or pads costs around 20 shekels, we save about 250 shekels per year, or half a year of our Netflix plan.
Assorted baby stuff, including baby clothes, bassinet, walker, swing, baby food machine, jarred baby food. We are blessed to get all of our baby clothes as hand-me-downs and then have the opportunity to pass them on. We borrowed a bassinet and swing from friends and fed our babies what we ate. Admittedly we never got on the cloth diapering wagon and still buy disposable diapers (on sale of course!). Buying all of this stuff (new) would have set us back thousands of shekels – which can otherwise cover food, travel, living expenses – take your pick.
Dog expenses, including groomer, treats, trainer, dog walkers, expensive toys, expensive food and of course the dog herself. We bathe, groom and trained our dog ourselves. Dog food should have meat as the first ingredient and good online reviews, and obviously should sit well with your dog. Unless your dog has special dietary needs, most don’t need the most expensive kibble available. We have a slush fund for vet expenses, so a large expense wouldn’t set us back financially. And most importantly, we have a rescue mutt (adopt, don’t buy!). By DIYing our dog, we save at least 2,000 shekels a year.
Cleaning – We hire a cleaner at max 2-3 times per year. We do the rest ourselves, saving ourselves around 15,000 shekels per year.
Other things we don’t buy: Gym memberships, disposable dishes/cutlery, cable TV, bottled beverages, coffee capsules, prepared Shabbat food, bakery items, and more.
Make sure to read our next post on things we DO spend money on – and why.
What things don’t you spend money on? What do you do with the money you save?
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