5 Things I Would not Spend Money on

things not to spend money on

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things not to spend money on

Our personal finances are largely determined by our saving and spending habits. Controlling what you spend on a day-to-day basis is a critical part of wealth building. There are many areas that we can cut costs. Here are 5 things that I would not spend money on.

[Also read: Save Money: Three Types of Spending that Make a Difference]

1. Newspapers

Read newspapers online. Many Newspapers post major news articles on their website daily. If you want to have full access to the newspaper, many libraries provide their users with access to popular newspapers.

Use newspaper stands for free local newspapers. There are usually a lot of ads in those newspapers, which is why they are free. Some ads such as employment or rental info may actually be useful for you. You also find local news in different sections that are relevant to you and your community.

Redeem mileage for newspapers. Many major airlines have the option for their loyalty members to redeem mileage for newspapers. For example, if you are a Delta SkyMiles member, you can get 20 week’s Sunday Washington Post (print only) for only 660 miles.

Read news in apps. There are many other ways to get news. Apps such as Flipboard, BuzzFeed and SmartNews offer news stories of the day. You can easily browse news in your interested categories.

2. Magazines

Redeem mileage for magazines. Just as you can redeem miles for newspapers, you can redeem miles for magazines. For example, United Mileage Plus members can redeem 2200 award miles for 53 issues of People magazine.

Check local library. Libraries have a variety of magazines.  Many libraries have also partnered with Zinio to offer electronic Zinio magazines that you can check out and read on a variety of devices.

Redeem points for magazines from reward sites. Web sites such as Rewardsgold, Recyclebank, and E-rewards allow you to earn points for certain tasks (e.g., survey, watching video). You can use points to get a free subscription of magazines of your choice.

Get free store magazines. Costco and Sam’s Club have their own monthly magazines that focus on healthy lifestyle. Non-members can also have access to those magazines online. There are many interesting articles in those magazines. 

       Costco magazine: The Costco Connection

       Sam’s Club magazine: Healthy Living Made Simple

Sam’s Club

3. Calendars

Request a free calendar online. There are quite a lot freebie websites such as hung4freebies that provide a list of free calendar signups from different companies and organizations. 

Request a free calendar from supermarkets. At the end of each year, some Asian supermarkets give out free calendar if you make a certain amount of purchase.

Make your own photo calendar from Shutterfly. Shutterfly offers free calendars that allow you to customize pages using your favorite photos.  The only thing you pay is shipping and handling. This deal is only good for short period of time near the end of a year (usually in November).

DIY calendar. Be creative and make a beautiful calendar yourself or with kids. Here are some fantastic calendar DIY ideas from bloggers:

      Dry Erase DIY Calendar

      Paint Chip Calendar

      DIY Perpectual Calendar

4. DVDs

Stream movies from Amazon Prime Video.  One of the benefits of Amazon Prime membership is the access to thousands of popular movies and TV shows.

Check out DVDs from local libraries. You can find many DVD and videotapes from your local library. I usually check the library catalog and place a hold on my selected DVD, so I can simply pick it up when available.

Rent movies from Redbox. It is not totally free, but it can be very cheap. Redbox sends special offers to customers who have signed up to receive their emails. Last month, I got two email offers with coupon codes of $1.25 off the first night of any rental, so I only need to pay a quarter for one DVD rental. Plus, for each rental, you get 10 points. When you reach 100 points, you get a free one-night disc rental.   

Watch movies and TV shows from Netflix or Hulu. If you are already a subscriber of Netflix or Hulu, even with the basic monthly plan, you can watch unlimited movies and TV shows from your laptop, TV, phone and tablet.

5. Recipes

Search recipes online. Simply look for recipes of what you want to make on the Internet and you will find a large number of recipes from well-known websites such as food.com and from food blogs. What I like about using online recipes is the access to a variety of ways to cook a dish and I have more choices to be able to select the one that works best for me. Here are some of my favorite recipe sites:

     Blue Apron Cookbook 


     A Cozy Kitchen

Download recipe apps.  Consider downloading some popular recipe apps (e.g., Ymmly, AllRecipes Movile App) on your smartphone. You can easily save your favorite recipes for future use. 

Get recipe card or recipe magazines from supermarkets.Supermarkets such as Publix, Kroger, and Giant often give out free recipe cards or recipe/coupon magazines for people to grab.

Get free Costco Cookbooks. Each year, Costco gives out a free cookbook to their members in store during a certain period of time. Even if you miss it, you can still find those cookbook series online.  

Borrow cookbooks from libraries. Libraries are just such a wonderful resource. When I find a great recipe from a borrowed cookbook, I make a copy or take a photo of that page and add it to my favorite recipe collection.

[Also read: 60 Fantastic Online Resources that Help Saving Money]

Having no spending on those 5 things would not allow me to be rich, but it certainly helps saving extra cash. If you want to learn more about saving money, be sure to check out my other posts on money-saving tips. Small things can make a big difference! 

things not to spend money on


  1. Great list. I would definitely not waste a dime on any newspapers or magazines! There are so many resources available to us now that are free of charge, it just takes a little creativity to find what you need.

    1. Glad you like the list. I do think that having a smart personal finance starts with small things.

  2. These are all great ideas! Thanks for sharing and for including a link to my perpetual calendar!!! 🙂

    1. Thanks for visiting my blog. It is my pleasure to include your link to my post. What a nice DIY project!

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