Stop Buying These 8 Things To Save You Money

3 min read

Anthony O'neal
Stop Buying These 8 Things To Save You Money

I stopped buying these 8 things, and immediately saw more money in my bank account and more income on my checks that I was able to turn around and invest wisely and turn it into assets. 


Let me break down the 8 things that you need to stop buying that will save you money and help you put money into your pocket, help you put money into retirement, into investments, help you put money towards paying off debt, and get you to your financial goals. I have so many resources like the Debt Calculator and the Wealth Builder Tool that in addition to these 8 things, can help you buy wealth and save money. Let’s break down the 8 things you need to stop buying – immediately. 

Brand New Cars

Nearly 20% of the car price that you buy off the lot is gone as soon as you drive it off the lot. Instead, buying a quality used car allows you to save thousands of dollars in depreciation costs. The average new car costs $47,500, if you opt to purchase a quality used car you’re saving thousands of dollars, you have more money in your pocket, and you end up turning it into an asset when it comes to making money. 

Buying a brand new car is not worth the money you will be losing by simply signing the dotted line and driving out of the lot. You can instead save that loss and purchase a quality used car and take what you would have lost to invest and build wealth. 

Let’s break it down

If you purchase a new car for $47,500 and immediately you lose 20%, that’s $9,500 you lost just by purchasing the vehicle. However, if you bought a used car and took that $9,500 you would have lost buying a new car and invested that instead - you could have $189,000 in 30 years. 

You can break down this calculation with what you currently have in investments or what you want to invest by using my Wealth Calculator. You plug in the age you are now, when you plan to retire, how much you have in investments, what you think your annual return will be and how much, if any, you’ll contribute to that investment monthly. The calculator then spits out the amount of money your investment will be worth between the age you are now and the age you plan to retire. 

The latest and greatest versions of things 

Society puts a great deal of pressure on purchasing the latest and greatest model of things, especially technology. Everyone may be talking about the newest thing, like the Apple Vision Pro, but you should think about the value it would bring, more often than not it won’t bring value. Most upgrades are incremental and often not worth the price – Apple sells us on the iPhone camera every single year they launch a new phone, and that’s an incremental upgrade for a hefty price. 

If you can resist the urge to consistently upgrade your gadgets, appliances, and phones you can save a substantial amount of money over time. Consumer reports say that sticking with a slightly older model can save you up to 50% of the original price without sacrificing much functionality. 

Investing in items that are on sale

Sales can trick you into spending money on items you really do not need. Studies are showing that consumers spend about 30% more when using their credit card compared to cash, and the draw in of the sale can lead you to spend more money. 

Sales are not really not sales, most of the time the original price will be at, let’s say $100, they’ll mark it up to $110 and the “sale” will be 20% off making the price where it was and a little below. By sticking to a strict budget and only purchasing items you truly need, you can avoid falling into the trap of spending money on discounted things. 

Sales are one thing, but when you’re purchasing things simply because they’re on sale when you can’t afford it or genuinely don’t need it, it’s not worth it and will not help you build wealth and save money. You could be putting that money into your child’s college fund, a 401k, a Roth IRA, a custodial Roth IRA for your child, or putting it in a high yield savings or investment account. 

Investing in things you don’t understand 

Warren Buffet said “don’t invest in a business you can’t understand.” Still, people fall prey to the allure or the draw in of complex financial products and schemes promising quick returns. The majority of the individuals who have built wealth had a long journey of strategic planning. 

Over 60% of Americans are unable to answer basic questions about financial literacy, but are willing to invest in an overnight “get-rich-quick” scheme, according to FINRA. By focusing on investments you understand like low-cost index funds, 401k, HSA, mutual funds, you mitigate the risk of losing money on these get rich quick schemes. 

In addition, don’t partner with a financial advisor that is not educating you on what you need to be doing to build wealth. Don’t allow someone to control your investments who isn’t willing to educate you on what you’re investing in, and if you disagree with what a company is doing, don’t invest in them. Do your research on the companies you want to invest in before investing, in turn you’ll end up truly wanting the company to succeed. 

Lending money to family and friends 

We all want to support and love our family and friends, but it’s essential to set boundaries to protect your financial wellbeing; 60% of Americans have lent money to friends or family with over a third of them never getting their money back. 

Money breaks up relationships, it can ruin great relationships and if you tell that family member no, and they get an attitude – they never truly supported and loved you in the first place. You have to prioritize your own financial goals, and politely decline family and friends’ requests for financial assistance and money. 

If a family member came through a hard time and you know that and you can help them – that’s not loaning money, that's you giving them money to help them. If they decide to pay you back, great. But there are no hard feelings if it doesn’t get paid back. There’s a difference between lending friends and family money to get by on their next paycheck knowing they won’t pay you back, and giving them money to help with a genuinely hard time. 

Buying souvenirs from traveling 

Souvenirs can add up quickly and bust your budget, instead focus on the experience that will enrich your life instead of the souvenirs that drain your bank account. 

According to Expedia, 80% of travelers prioritize experiences over material possessions while traveling. Your experience should give you the memory of the trip, not the souvenirs that you’ll never use or wear again. 

Expensive dates

Expensive dates can wreak havoc on your finances, especially when they become a regular occurrence. The average single male is going on 2-3 dates a month, and according to Money Geek he’s spending $134 per date for dinner, drinks, and entertainment. That's $400 a month. 

You can enjoy quality time with your partners, without breaking the bank. Dating is about getting to know each other, and the experience of connecting with another person. There shouldn’t be any regret when it comes to the money spent on a date, especially if you don’t see each other again. The connection should override an expensive experience. 

Christmas gifts and expensive gifts 

The holiday season often brings pressure to overspend on gifts for friends and family, but extravagant presents can strain your budget and lead to financial stress. According to the national retail federation the average American parent will spend over $1,000 on holiday gifts in 2023. Instead, try prioritizing thoughtfulness by making handmade gifts or spending quality time together. 

I haven’t given one gift to my niece and nephew since they’ve been born, but I have a 529 account in their names – every birthday and Christmas I give them a receipt that shows I put $100 inside that account. It’s important to prioritize your loved ones wellbeing, instead of splurging on expensive gifts every year. 

Making better financial decisions 

Often the reason that we make poor financial decisions and spend money frivolously is because we don’t sit down and figure out why we’re spending money this way, or why we’re spending money on the things we’re spending money on. 

A big part of building wealth is mental wealth and wellness, not just monetary wealth. When you’re able to step back and evaluate the reasons behind your purchases and why you’re spending money without purpose or discipline, it can help you reevaluate your financial habits and make better decisions. 

Talking to a partner, family member, loved one, or friend can help you take a step back and figure out why you have certain financial habits, but therapy can too. Betterhelp is a great resource to address mental wellness as you’re building your wealth.

Let’s Recap 

By cutting unnecessary expenses and prioritizing mindful spending, you can take control of your finances and work toward a brighter financial future. Wealth isn’t about how much you earn, but how you steward what you have. If you can let go of these 8 unnecessary spending habits, you’ll end up saving more money and setting yourself up with a foundation for building wealth. 

Let go of the pressure around the holiday’s to buy expensive gifts, and the pressure to spend a ton on dates. Don’t go out and get a brand new car that will lose 20% of it’s value right off the lot, don’t bring home useless souvenirs from travels and instead focus on the experience of the trip – don’t let friends and family ruin your relationship with them by lending them money and keep your financial goals at the forefront of your strategy.

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