10 Things We Need To Stop Spending Money On

1. Credit card fees. How lazy are we that we’d actually rather pay between two and five dollars to use a more convenient ATM than walk the block and a half to use one that is completely free? That has to defy some law of lazy physics, proving that we will actively work against our own self-interest if it means we don’t have to cross the street.

2. Cabs. While there are definitely going to be times when we’re stranded and really in need of a safe, if expensive, ride home — that time is rare. Unicorn rare. Most of the time it’s just a question of laziness, convenience, or drunkenness (if not a lethal combination of all three). There is no feeling worse than getting out of a taxi and realizing you just wasted a more-than-decent sum of money on basically nothing.

3. Morning coffee. We can either learn how to make a functional facsimile of our preferred drink at home for 1/1000th the price, or we can resign ourselves to only having our fancy wake-up call once in a great while. Either way, continuing to take 5-10 dollars out of your pocket every morning and burning it in front of you as the barista cackles maniacally is not acceptable.

4. Throwing away leftovers. There are few things more truly upsetting than taking perfectly good leftovers and either tossing them out directly or letting them linger in the back of your refrigerator until they’re no longer edible. If someone were to offer you a free home-cooked meal, would you spit in their face and throw their offerings in the trash can? No. (Or maybe yes, I don’t know your life.) But why do it at your own place? We have to either make smaller quantities to begin with, or get used to eating every other meal out of a Tupperware. (You can get chic Tupperware in bold fall colors, though, if it makes you feel better about the whole ordeal.)

5. Excessive drinks. We must learn to put limits on ourselves as to what exactly “going out” means tonight (and Lord knows that can entail everything from tea party with crustless sandwiches and extended pinky fingers to sweaty masquerade orgy at a billionaire philanthropist’s sex dungeon). Otherwise, it’s far too easy to get sucked into the trap of ordering about seven drinks too many — several of which aren’t even for yourself — and having to swear off leaving the house for the rest of the month.

6. Repeats of the same clothes you have. How many of the same sweater do you need though, bruh? How many? Because I can tell you that the answer cannot possibly be more than three, no matter how great a sale J. Crew is having this weekend.

7. Delivery food. Aside from having to deal with the immense wave of shame when the guy starts calling you by your first name and referring to your bag of overpriced trans fats as “the usual,” how much of a waste does delivery food have to be before we will accept that it should not be a part of our lives? It’s not like anyone’s ordering quinoa with a light salad and some skinless chicken breast to be brought up to their apartment door by an acne-riddled teenager in a baseball cap. This food is shitty, and paying egregious sums of money for it only adds insult to injury.

8. Frequent manicures. Bitch, doing nails is not that hard. Aside from the occasional fancy event or treating yourself to a nice little spa afternoon EVERY ONCE IN A BLUE MOON, there is no reason to be paying people to paint our nails basic colors on a weekly basis. We can all collectively get together at my apartment this weekend and have a crash course entitled “Pretty Much Everything You Get Done At The Nail Salon Is Fairly Easy To Do Yourself With Minimal Skill.” We can all work on our cuticles. We can all file and buff. We can all use fancy hand creams. And we don’t have to be throwing absurd sums of money into a bottomless pit of acetone to be doing it.

9. Diet aids. What are the three most significant aspects of meal replacement bars/snacks/shakes? 1) They taste like vaguely chocolate-flavored ass, 2) They cost about a squillion dollars each, and 3) They don’t actually work any better than just eating a healthy, balanced diet that’s low on fat and sugar, high in fruits and veggies. Ta-da! I saved us all countless amounts of money that would have otherwise gone to the Weight Watchers Illuminati.

10. Movie snacks. I don’t know your life, but I do know that if you are going to the movie theater and actually shelling out the 20-odd bucks it takes to get a popcorn, soda, and a box of Junior Mints, you basically deserve whatever financial ruin is coming your way. You either get on the “sneaking shit in in your oversized purse” train, or you suffer in solitude. We’ll be over in the cool section of the theater, eating our smuggled bag of Chex Mix like royalty. TC mark


image – Jeff Meyer

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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