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Things I used to waste money on (before I got smart)

I don’t know about you, but I’ve reached this milestone in life where you just stop caring about a lot of things. When you really feel the burn of being broke, old habits don’t die so hard. I’ve wasted a lot of money on those dead habits. Money that probably would’ve relieved me of my debt by now. But, we live, and we learn. This is definitely going to be a series. Let’s get right into it.

Juice. I never really had a juice habit after high school (I was really into those “naked” drinks before I found out how unhealthy they were), but recently I got into buying juice to help me drink more water. The point was to dilute the water (50/50). Let’s just say, whole fruits would’ve been a better use for those juice dollars. Less sugar, more nutrients, more satiety.

Hair products (stylers, multiple shampoos/conditioners, accessories, etc) The first few years of me quitting relaxers (since age 17) I spent a lot of money on just trying stuff. Stuff online, in the store. Stuff I couldn’t take back after opening it. I also was heavily into online videos about my new hair texture, which influenced much of my purchasing decisions. 

Now, at 24, I’ve lost interest. I no longer have shiny ball syndrome. Thinking there’s always something better out there for my mane. I keep a few functional items stocked to clean and moisturize, and forget the rest. Easier said than done, I know. But it’s all about what’s important to you. Hair is dead as soon as it emerges from your scalp. Your body is alive as long as your heart beats. 

Skin products (body wash, scrubs, serums, peels, etc) You know, this one was the hardest of them all. There comes a point where you have to look yourself in the mirror and say “I’m happy with you”. Happy with your reflection, your imperfections. I have no serious skin conditions, you know. My complaints were all purely cosmetic. All the creams, bar soaps, and skin peels did was stress me and my pockets out when they didn’t work. Everything I’ve tried to correct over the years (blemishes, uneven skin tone, body hair), it’s all still here. On my body. So, I’m embracing it. Progressively each day. And saving my time (money) too. It’s almost like when you try too hard at something and become exhausted to the point of saying “fuck it”. Yes, that’s where I’m at with my skin. Bar soap, lotion, occasional razor/tweezer and done. That’s the regimen. 

Credit card interest

*Puts head down between elbows in shame*. I carried a near $2,000 balance (that was the max) from October 2015 to July 2018. Just paying the minimum each month for nearly 3 years. And one late payment (never again). The initial purchase was a Sony a5100 camera for $500. The rest was bullshit. Like organic sweet potato tortilla chips off amazon bullshit. But I was 19 with not much discipline (still don’t have much discipline) so I had to learn the hard way. July 2018 was my breaking point, and I shredded that card and paid off the balance in 6 months (February 2019 was a victory). To add to the crapload, the company (*cough* Amazon) closed my account (without my permission) less than a month after I finally saw my zero balance. This seriously wrecked my credit. It’s like they were punishing me for deciding not to pay them anymore interest. Moral of the story: I avoid credit cards like the plague. Cons outweigh the pros for me. 

Jewelry (earrings, necklaces, bracelets, etc) 

This one is simple. I’d buy it and then lose or break it weeks later. And, I realized I’m not really an accessories person. I’ve gone through the phase of trying to balance my feminine self (over-compensating) and concluded the little dangly things are too much for me to babysit. Same with handbags. 

Handbags Although I may change this, or more likely find myself a stylish backpack (mother to be), it’s currently on this list of money wasters. Anything I’m carrying (handbag, coin purse, wallet, backpack), I have this urge to stuff it to capacity until it’s either busting at the seams or can’t be shut. It’s a fear of leaving something at home that might be needed later. Anyway, I’ve got a bunch of handbags (very new) that I don’t even touch, which is like staring at money on a shelf that could be used for more urgent matters. 

Clothes and Shoes For the sake of a sale. I don’t know my style yet exactly, and I’m 24. But I know that not all cheap clothes and shoes are meant to be bought. I have a pair of black Vans (gifted to me) that I wear everyday, no matter the occasion nor the weather. Maybe this will change soon, but as of now, I’ve got over a dozen pair of (high heel) shoes that I bought in 2017 that I’ve only worn once just to try them on. Knowing I’m not a high heel kind of woman. Again, it was a sale. And I think 2017 (I was going on 22) was the end of my phase buying a whole bunch of feminine shit to prove I’m a woman. Most of the clothes didn’t last (I donated them), so again, money down the drain. 

I am in the mental space now where if something bothers me, I get rid of it. You know the general consensus sparked by the pioneers of minimalism: purge everything that makes you unhappy. 

When I say I got smart (title), I mean I realized those items weren’t important to me on a daily basis.  They were more of a hinderance than anything  to maintain, personally and financially. 

With time, you grow, and figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. 

What are some things you’ve let go of to clarify your life? Comment below!


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