Ok – not everything about my spending habits is bad. Yes, home-ownership costs and I have some extra expenses, which need to be cut, but there are so many wonderful things I do to keep the cost of living manageable, to be fair and to be on the positive side, I better acknowledge them, too.
1. Unlike many people, I am not interested in having a big house, new electronics, or expensive furniture. Many things at my house are second hand (except my TV, my computer, my bed, and appliances etc.); I love using them (i.e. I did not buy them just because they were cheap). I use a long-distance card for out of city calls, my cable plan is basic, and my internet usage is mostly within limits.
2. Unlike many people, I am not interested in grooming products or services (e.g. manicure, pedicure, or regular hair cuts), I dye my own hair, and I use my clothes and other personal items till they literally got torn apart ( a little bit exaggerated here but it is almost true).
3. I shop and stock up durable items, such as cleaning products, dry, canned, and frozen food, and clothes when they are on sale. I imagine I save quite a bit of money with this habit.
4. I shop when I travel, where almost everything is cheaper than where I am, especially in the USA.
5. I usually buy my books from second hand stores. I am also a fan of thrifty/dollar stores where many stuff can be purchased at affordable prices. There is also a great satisfaction coming out of supporting the re-cycling and re-using the items and also helping the charity with their causes.
6. I am not subscribed to any of the magazines. I do not buy magazines from stores.
7. I am good at re-using stuff, including the shopping bags (great for my small garbage bins at home, which then are placed into one big garbage bag every week for disposal), and old clothes make great cleaning clothes.
8. I hardly eaten out, but when I do, I enjoy it rather than getting on myself.
9. I usually brew my own coffee at the office.
10. Unless really necessary, I do not buy bottled water; rather fill my bottle at the water fountain at work or filter my water at home.
11. Unless it is really hot, I do not consume soft drinks.
12. My diet is not heavily dependent on meat or meat products.
13. I do not have a health club membership that I do not use (I had 5-6 years ago; a yearly membership and I have used the premises only 10-12 times in a year…)
14. I do maximize my RRSP contributions every year, and also save and invest additional funds, however little they maybe.
15. I do not have a car, and therefore I do not have to pay for purchasing, insurance, parking (both in front of the house and at the work-place), repairs, or gas.
16. I keep a spending journal and I record all expenses daily. So far I have not gone back and ever looked at it, but at least it is making me concious of my spending and also I can see how much I spend each week. Most importantly, I also record how much I do save each week for expenses I did not do; for example for walking rather than taking the cab, for not purchasing something extra or unnecessary etc.
17. I do not buy CDs or DVDs (any more).
18. I do not host many people at my place; this is mostly because I do not enjoy cooking.. I love my friends and I would like them to come over, yet it is not a practical option for me. A side-effect of not hosting dinner parties is to be able to save money.
19. I do not travel for leisure, except to see my family. I used to make trips to see my friends in the past, but unfortunately I am not doing this anymore..
20. I do not have the urge to change either my kitchen items or my furniture. Again, I use everything almost until get broken or torn apart.
21. I use the electricity responsibly; only lighting up where I need it.
22. I also donate to charity, my family members and friends in need.