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How to Cut Unnecessary Expenses

By Edited Apr 29, 2015 1 0

Do You Need Deodorant or Shampoo?

A few years ago, my skin became sensitive to regular deodorant. While looking for alternatives, I discovered I don't need deodorant every day, and that a natural mineral-based deodorant was dramatically less expensive that the traditional deodorant I had used. This experience led me to discover other everyday items that I might not need.  Maybe you don’t need these items either.

Deodorant

While I was looking for an alternative deodorant, I did not use any deodorant for about a week. According to my wife, I did not stink. If you are going to do this experiment, find someone who will be honest with you. You might find that you only need deodorant once a week or every few days. Better yet, try a mineral-based deodorant, such as Crystal Body Deodorant Stick, which lasts longer than conventional deodorant. One stick can last me almost a year.

Crystal Deodorant Bar

Shampoo

Some people claim that shampoo for hair is unnecessary. In my case, I got the best results when I shampoo my hair every 2nd or 3rd day. Washing your hair with shampoo too often tends to dry out your hair. Further, reconsider expensive, brand-name shampoo. Despite the claims on the bottle, there is no scientific evidence that fancy, expensive shampoo is any better for your hair. Try an experiment and see for yourself.

Expensive Running Shoes

Because I have problems with my feet and wear custom inserts, I always bought high-end running shoes. However, I recently bought a low-end pair that costs half as much as I usually pay. My feet were fine and the cheap shoes lasted just as long as the expensive ones.  You might even consider running without any shoes at all, which has its proponents

Vitamins

I use to take a one a day vitamin. I reasoned that if my diet was less than perfect, at least I was getting everything I needed. However, many studies have shown that most people with normal diets don’t need supplemental vitamins. I no longer take vitamins, which actually forces me to eat better. Plus, vitamins that you get from food are better absorbed by the body.

Brand-Name Shaving Cream

I found generic shaving cream at the dollar store for one-third the price of the brand name shaving cream I had used. The generic product worked just as well.

Landline

I recently replaced our landline with Ooma, which uses the Internet to make phone calls.  My monthly phone bill went from $35 to $5. And I even got to keep my phone number. 

Ooma Router

Books

I rarely buy new books. Most of the books I want are available at my local library. If not, I buy them used online.

Lawn Mower

A friend gave me a manual mechanical mower. It does not work as well as a gasoline powered mower and it makes mowing a workout, but it works well enough and it has the following advantages:

  • No gas and oil required. I no longer need to buy gasoline, oil, or replacement spark plugs.
  • It is quiet. You can mow your lawn early in the morning without waking your neighbors.

The key is to stop spending money on things that don't improve your life. Sometimes you need to do a test to find out. For example, try the generic brand of cereal or cancel your cable for a few months and see if you really miss it. If you find that the item actually does improve your life, you can always add it back.

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