5 Things You Can Stop Paying For

cut the cable

You probably shouldn’t do everything you read on the Internet, but trust me here. If you’re spending money on these things, you probably shouldn’t be. Take all of these suggestions with a grain of salt. No one should give up a hobby if it brings enjoyment(unless it is just plain unhealthy).

The message you should take from this is that, if you’re creative you can continue living a full exciting life without breaking the bank.

1. Music

 Now some of you are going to hate me for this one. One of my greatest loves is music. I love finding new music, supporting local artists, going to concerts, organizing my playlists. However, I am able to support my unhealthy addiction without breaking the bank. For exploring music there are a MILLION options: Grooveshark, Pandora, Spotify (My personal favorite), Youtube, Myspace, 8tracks, Soundcloud and so many more options! But what about the artists? Yes, by all means buy an album and support these people but also remember that when you play their songs all the way through on sites like Spotify or Pandora, these artists are seeing money by way of royalties.

2. Books

One word. Library. Yes they still exist and they are amazing and full of awesome resources. A cool thing that is popping up in Atlanta are roadside libraries (they look like birdhouses, but they are full of books!). You drive up, drop off your books, and pick one to read. It is great idea and definitely adds a sense of community. If you don’t have these available, you should. If you don’t want to build a road-side library, fine, you can implement the same sort of community in your office, neighborhood, social circles, etc. Share your resources!

3. Fast Food

This is a convenience that  you pay a premium for. It is not quality. It is not healthy. A little foresight in planning snacks and meals for the day will make cutting this unnecessary convenience out of your life for good.

4. Cable

cut cable

I used to be one of those people that couldn’t imagine going without my favorite TV shows. After cutting the cord, I’ve found a million other uses for my time and can honestly say I’m a much happier person. Instead of going home from work and vegging out on the couch, I do a number of meaningful tasks such as: cook, walk my dog, garden, call a friend. So simple and so fulfilling. I do not miss the tube at all. I do subscribe to Netflix where I can get my fix of TV if need be for about $8 a month as opposed to $100+.

5. Gym Membership

This has been the hardest for me but the little extra work I’ve put in so far has been worth the savings (in membership, commute time, and gas money). I do have a gym at my office, but without this I would still be able to get by. There are so many resources on the Internet and it’s true, you don’t need fancy equipment to get in shape- Just the road and your body weight. The hardest part about this has been forcing yourself to work out at home. A great app that has helped me stay focused is Gym-pact. The days of paying to stay fit are long over. With this app, you make a pact to work out so many days a week and if you meet it you get paid, if not your pocketbook takes a beating. It shouldn’t be too hard to meet you pact though if your priority is to be healthy.

My savings this year from the changes I’ve made: (Jan – March)
Cable ($360) – Netflix ($24) savings = $336
Spotify Subscription savings = $30
Books (I was a frequent Amazon book buyer) savings = roughly $50
Fast Food = roughly $40
Gym membership savings = $180

That is over $600 in savings for just three months and my life is fuller and more meaningful. What can you cut out? What have you cut out that’s not on my list?

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22 thoughts on “5 Things You Can Stop Paying For

  1. I really agree with books and gym membership. Cable has been a hard one to cut. I actually haven’t paid for music in about 15 years. I have friends who buy everything and make me copies. Fast food we haven’t completely cut but have it down to a bare min I would say.

  2. I really don’t buy books anymore and music I DO pay for the $10/month Spotify subscription so that I can have it on my phone at work and at the gym. I also pay $10/month for my gym membership, which I think is pretty much as low as it’s going to get.

  3. Great list! I think you hit a lot of key things! I struggle with the books because I want instant gratification in the form of a Kindle download, but I’m working on getting to the library, or using my Amazon Prime membership to “borrow” Kindle books for free.

  4. cj says:

    Great list!!! I still purchase an occasional track on iTunes because when I need Suck My Kiss, I need Suck My Kiss (RHCP), but spend about $10/year on that. he rest of the items on your list, we have cut. We actually cut the TV altogether, so what ever electricity was being spent on having that run the better part of the day, is gravy too!

  5. I haven’t paid for music in over 10 years.
    I read in the bookstore.
    I never eat fast food.
    I do home based workout programs then sell them on Ebay.

    My cable bill I love. 🙂

  6. Great list! I don’t pay for anything on that list either. Gym pact sounds like an interesting app, I need to check it out. Getting paid would definitely motivate me because I get lazy sometimes (all the time).

  7. Music and ebooks are dominated by Apple iTunes and Amazon Kindle, two of the biggest tax avoiders. On principle I don’t use either. They should pay their taxes like the rest of us. If Apple paid tax in California where it enjoys all the benefits of silicon valley, then that state would not be in financial difficulty. Likewise in Ireland where there are two shell companies which own all Apple intellectual property yet pay next to no tax – and Ireland could also do with some money. Amazon has a similar trick in the EU by basing itself in Luxembourg and paying next to no tax there nor in any of the countries in which it operates. These schemes are borderline legal only because countries do not have the same regulations. And then if you upset one of these megaliths, they will wipe your account empty and there is nothing you can do – you are licencing the music/book, not buying it.

  8. Some of those things are really are a waste of money especially fast food and gym membership. You can be healthy at your own home and eating healthy food, you can even exercise there, and just walk or jog around your neighborhood, so spend money on things you can not pay for. Isn’t it?

  9. There are things that we can live without especially when money is quite tight. Gym membership is one. Workouts can be done at home without any cost. Fast food is another. Besides, this is not healthy. Your suggestions are really useful so practical people will not hesitate to try them.

  10. Yep, the Internet definitely makes it easy to enjoy a lot of things for free (you pay for the Internet of course but, what you get in return is infinite information!) that you would normally pay for; it’s also a mega-mind-monstrously-marvelous-madman highway of potential for learning and indulgence like never seen in the history of human kind!! Okay, sorry, I drank too much fizzy pop.

  11. I completely agree with all of these and am proud to say I’ve recently checked them all of the list. The only thing that I still pay for is gym memberships, but I’ve actually bought daily deals for about 3 months at a time for about $20 which is quite inexpensive at that rate. Once I’m back at school it’s about $60 for the entire year I believe, which is also cheap. Cable is also a waste when you can get great online content instead for a fraction of the price.

  12. That’s awesome, saving $200/month is huge!

    We finally cancelled our gym memberships after we started biking to work. We actually save time AND money by biking to work. Now we save an extra $70/month from the lack of gym memberships and $240/month from the lack of subway passes!

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