It seems like frugal living gets a bad reputation these days. It’s started being associated with being poor and not actually having enough money to make it through the week. However, families don’t need to be poor and be lacking in order to be frugal. Some of the best frugal living people out there have enough money to live like the rest of their friends, but they choose not to.

Since I started this blog, I’ve come to learn that frugality isn’t just being cheap and saving money. It’s a mindset and a lifestyle choice that people make consciously and not just because they don’t have a choice. There are people out there that are 100% committed to finding new things that frugal people don’t pay for that they can cut out of their budget.

Being frugal means making sacrifices on the things you don’t actually need, so you can make room and save money for the things that actually matter to you. Imagine this, you cut out the 13 things frugal people don’t pay for in this list, and you save hundreds of dollars this year that can go towards paying off debt, paying down your mortgage, saving for college for your kids, and so much more.

I really wanted to write this post to show you guys that the littlest changes can add up to a huge improvement in your personal finances! Let’s just get into it, shall we? Here are the 13 Things That Frugal People Don’t Pay For!

13 Things Frugal People Don’t Pay For

1. Gym Memberships

It has genuinely taken me years to figure out that being healthy doesn’t only have to happen in the gym. You don’t need to pay $50 a month for a gym membership that you’ll only use for a few weeks, or even a few days…

It’s 100% possible to work out at home, or outside, without having to pay for expensive equipment, gym membership, or even fancy clothes. You can definitely do healthy on a budget and cutting out a gym membership from your budget could be the first step.

Here’s a great 20 minute FULL BODY at home work-out, with no equipment!

2. Warranties

Uh… Have you ever actually used an extended warranty that you’ve purchased? If you say yes, I honestly think you’re lying. When you go to buy something like a laptop, a new appliance, or even a pair of inexpensive headphones, the workers will probably offer you an extended warranty.

Did you know that most of these workers are actually paid (at least partially) on commission and that they’ll make more money if they manage to sell you the warranty? Seriously. They make money off something that you’ll probably never use, and that’s why they push them so hard!

Unless it’s something that you know is going to break (if so, why are you buying it?) you don’t need the warranty.

3. subscription boxes

I’ll admit, I’ve been suckered into a subscription box or two over the years. They just seem so appealing. Like how can they give you $300 worth of stuff for only $50?! Well, that’s how they get you. These boxes are designed to make it sound like this absolutely amazing deal, but the thing you need to ask yourself is, would I actually buy any of this if I didn’t get it in the box?

It may be a box of nice things to have, but 99.9% of the time, you don’t actually need these things. You could spend that $50 on things you’ll actually use, instead of things that you’ll use in a dream world. Skip the subscription boxes.

4. bottled water

Bottled water is a seriously waste of money. You can pay a few dollars a case, and think it’s inexpensive. However, you can buy a Brita Water Filter for less than $20 which will pay for itself in just a few weeks.

Not only is bottled water bad for your wallet, it’s also not the greatest thing for the environment, even if you recycle. Plastic just isn’t a great thing for our earth, and we need to move away from single use plastics as much as possible.

I’ll admit, as I’m writing this, I’m drinking out of a bottle of water. Why? Well, my fridge completely died and we aren’t getting our new one delivered until next week so I can’t keep a whole Brita cold in our current fridge, a camping cooler.

5. pens

We all use them, we all need them, but not all of us are willing to pay for them. PENS! Have you ever been to someone’s house and needed a pen and all you can find are pens with hotel logos, or business logos on them? Well, this personal is probably super frugal.

I’ve noticed that most frugal people are unwilling to spend even $5 on pens because that $5 could be invested and they could walk into a hotel and find a free pen somewhere. Frugal people may even go to home and garden shows, wedding shows, and other events where they know they’ll find free pens all over the place.

6. fancy coffee

Someone who considers themselves frugal will be the last person you’ll see in line at starbucks in the morning. If they’re in need of a fancy coffee, they’ll find a way to make it for themselves at home.

Check out this article from Caroline Vencil How to Make Starbucks Drinks at Home!

However, frugal people are all about spending time with their friends and family. So, if a friend or family members invites them for coffee, they’ll be willing to pay a few extra dollars for a nice coffee.

7. interest

This is one of the biggest things that frugal people don’t pay for, seriously. Now, I will admit that sometimes interest is unavoidable, like on your mortgage, but I’m talking here about consumer interest.

Being frugal means that you’re a big fan of saving up for bigger things that you want, instead of putting them on a credit card and hoping you can pay them off later. They pay off their credit cards in full each month, and take advantage of things like sinking funds to make it work.

8. late fees

Being frugal means that you’re on-top of your finances in every way you can. This means that they never pay late fees because they know exactly when they need to return things to not pay, or when they must pay their bills.

Although these late fees are usually small, they can seriously add up over time, especially if you’re extremely unorganized and can’t seem to pay a bill on time to save your life.

9. cable

It still surprises me that in the internet world we live in, people are still paying for expensive cable packages. Most of these cable packages end up being over $100 a month, and are usually a giant waste of money. You end up watching the same 10 channels and don’t need to be spending $100+ for those!

There are so many amazing services you can use to find great TV online, like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and more! Most cable networks even have their own websites where you can watch the latest episode of a show, as long as you do it in the first week after it aired.

In my house, we have Netflix and Amazon Prime. We don’t have cable, and I watch numerous shows on other websites that I couldn’t watch live. It’s a great system, throw in Youtube and I’m constantly entertained.

If you aren’t sure that online TV is right for you, I suggest you try out this deal from Amazon Prime. You can get your first 3 months for only $3!

10. new smartphones

Do you know that one guy? You know? The guy who needs to get the newest iPhone or Samsung every single time a new one comes out? Don’t be that guy.

A person who considers themselves frugal won’t be the type to do this, and even if they need a new phone because an old one broke, chances are they’ll opt for last years model or older so they can save money on their monthly bill and not have to put $1,000 down for a phone.

Even if your phone is slow, it probably still works, so it doesn’t need to be upgraded unless the old one is actually broken.

11. garbage bags

Most people might think this one is a little weird, but frugal people are really unlikely to buy garbage bags. Seriously! You’ll find them reusing paper or plastic bags from shopping, or finding other creative ways to not have to buy garbage bags every few weeks.

Obviously, using shopping bags for garbage isn’t the most convenient thing in the world, but it can save you a bunch of money each and every month!

12. paper plates/cups

You know those flimsy paper or styrofoam plates and cups that people use at barbecues and family get togethers? Well, I’ve been to a house or two that uses those plates for every meal.

Not only is getting real, glass plates, an essential part of adulting, but it is also way less expensive over time than using paper or plastic plates that you’ll throw away after each use. Not to mention the detriment to the environment that these types of things cause!

The reason I’ve heard from people I know IRL is that they hate doing dishes, and that just makes me cringe. Doing dishes is an easy task if you don’t let the food sit for a week, so just be an “adult” and do your dishes, please.

13. magazines

I’ve met a few people over the time of writing this blog who are still paying $100 a year for a magazine subscription where every single article is online for free. Yup! That’s how it works in the 21st century guys, the same articles that are in those magazines can be found completely for free on the internet.

This way you can read the articles you actually care about without having to pay for the ones you just can’t be bothered to read, and you can also stop being inundated with ads for meal replacements, which I’ve noticed are all over magazines these days.

final thoughts

Being more frugal doesn’t have to feel like a life sentence, it’s a complete lifestyle change that you can easily make without having to feel like you’re trapped and bored and sad. Over the next few weeks, why don’t you try and become more frugal by not picking up these things that frugal people don’t pay for? I think it could be a great experiment for you! Thanks for reading!