So, I often get asked about my spending habits. In all honesty, whilst they seem perfectly normal in the personal finance blogging world, they seem crazy strange to people in the real world. My high savings rate doesn’t come from a consumerist lifestyle. So here are some of my habits. I have not even spent one individual pound on these items in the last year. I simply do not buy the following.
Yeah, I’m one of those weirdos that does not have a single television in their house. And hasn’t for years. I do not miss TV at all. I feel the content is low quality and produced for the mass market. TV news is so heavily curated it’s practically spin. And that’s before mentioning the adverts. If you haven’t read before, I hate adverts. Hence I do not buy any TV packages on cable or sky. Or a TV itself (along with necessary upgrades over the years). Nor do I have to buy a TV licence.
How many books can you read at once? How many do you really refer back to again and again? Given I read the majority of books once, I just don’t buy books anymore. Instead I’m library obsessed. I love the library. They let me read all these books, for free. And I can take them out again and again if I want to. They keep them all for me, easily accessible in a neat filing system. And usually once a week, I go for a lovely lunchtime walk to the library. I can cope with some colleagues mocking slightly. I lent two books to someone at work today. He asked me, do you actually own books? I did have to admit I bought one in my less frugal days, and the other came from a previous employer.
I run marathons, but you won’t find me in a gym. It’s not that I haven’t tried a gym or two. It’s more that is just doesn’t work for me. I love running outdoors, but put me on a treadmill and I’m bored within 5 minutes. I’ve tried music, and still got bored. Watching video, still got bored. And when I tried reading I nearly fell off. That was embarrassing. So, it’s just not for me. I’m grateful that the UK is temperate enough to run outdoors most of the year. Therefore that’s what I do. Lace up my shoes and go out from my front door to explore the world for free.
They don’t do it for me. I’ve never realised or truly understood what foodies see in them. But then it’s probably because my tastes are simple. And my cooking is getting better and better with practice. So I never eat out.
5 Latest Mobile
I don’t have an iphone or a fancy smartphone. I’ve got a distinctly uncool Chinese smartphone. It does what I need it to do, without any fuss. Or glamour realistically. But as you may have gathered by now, glamour is not really top of my priority list. Which leads us nicely to…
6 Make Up
Over the years I’ve been getting more radical about the beauty tax, on both time and money grounds. Why do women have to paint themselves before going out but men don’t. Why are natural men acceptable, but natural women not? It’s a tax on women, that I am no longer willing to pay. I very rarely wear makeup, and have not spent any money on it in years. I work in a senior tech role, and this is acceptable nowadays. Some interesting reading on the beauty tax, or hair and makeup tax here:
I live in London. I usually walk or take public transport in the city, and occasionally drive out of the city. Taxis are just not something I ever foresee the need to use. We have night tubes and night buses, and London is safe. On this note, I’m really against the rhetoric that women are delicate and need to be protected. Women are allowed out, and should go out if they wish to. Even late at night. So, I never spend money on taxis.
8 Take Away
I actively avoid takeaway food, and never buy it. There are two main reasons for this. Health wise they can be terrible. The salt levels are horrendous, portions sizes usually far too large and they are never healthy choices. Moreover than the assumed unhealthiness, there is also just the unknown. You don’t really know what’s in a portion, so how many calories and what combination of protein / fat / carbs you are getting each time.
And then consider the financials, most take away food has a good margin, and hence would be much cheaper to make yourself. The only foods I’d consider takeaway foods that I eat are pizza and curry. And I can make both of these at home, exactly to my personal quirky tastes. I do admit it takes practise and lots of trial and error to get a good result, but that good becomes great quickly, then you’ve got another skill to add to your repertoire.
As a die hard veggie of over 20 years, I never buy meat. Ever. Guests at mine get served veggie food, and rarely complain. Even my hard core eat everything brother enjoys my veggie chilli and curry, and manages to forget that there is no meat in them. Yet when I see more normal people’s grocery budgets and bills, meat seems to feature high in both quantity and cost.
10 Things I can get for free
So yes, if you offer me a paid version, and a free version, I can guarantee I will take the free. And put up with the limitation. For example I never pay to park, and will happily park further way and walk with a complaint. I’d take the fee ad filled app, rather than pay for the premium ad-free version. As I was pondering in my last post, I am now more conscious of what the cost of free is.
Over to you
- Anything on my list you also don’t buy?
- Are there other things you do not buy?