10 Things I Can Live Without!

by Krantcents · 61 comments

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10 things I can live without and I am okay!!  You make New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight, set goals or budget and you need to make choices.  So it is a very relevant question!  What will you give up to achieve your goals?  It could range from dessert, sleep to exercise, dining out or entertainment.  Here are ten (10) things I can live without!

This is by no means a complete list, but a sampling to start a conversation or dialog.  In almost every case, you have to make changes to achieve your goals.  It may be early retirement, weight loss, down payment for a home, start a business or children.  Usually you have to make choices between doing one thing or another because there is never enough money to do it all.  You may defer an expense or skip an expense so you can save money for a particular goal.  What can you live without?

Starbucks – I can easily live without a daily Starbucks fix!  I do like my cappuccino, but I can fix it at home.  I usually have one most days when I get home from school.  I fell into a habit of buying one every weekend when I went to the bookstore which was my library annex.  I reduced this to just one or two a month.

Smartphone – For now, I do not need a smartphone, but that could change.  I guess I am a little old school when it comes to communication devices.  I would rather talk to a person face to face versus text or call.  I do not need to stay connected during my ten (10) minute commute nor when I am out with friends or family.  My children have iPhones so that reduces the need for me!

Immediate Gratification – I do not know if I have become more patient or I just don’t need anything right away.  If I plan well and put it on a list, my wife will get it when she goes shopping.  When I shop it is usually online or discount stores.  I am willing to wait for sales or severe (50% or more) discounts.

Fast Food/Sweet Drinks – I gave up sugary soft drinks a long time ago.  Fast food (McDonalds, Burger King, etc) is easy to give up.  For nearly thirty (30) years, I managed to avoid fast food restaurants.  I do eat at some quick service restaurants, but they are more healthy fare.  My weakness is for good food!

Bottled Water – I gave up bottled water years ago for several reasons.  The recycling was more of a bother and the taste was not that important to me.  I went to filtered water and use an aluminum container.  Sometimes, I even refill the container using tap water and I am still alive!

Beef/Chicken/Pork/Lamb – I am vegetarian one (1) to two (2) time s a week.  I love salads and probably could give up meat, but I choose not to.  Since nothing is 100%, I am willing to live without meat several times a week.

Convenience/Prepared Foods – This is easy because I always felt they were not satisfying.  Some time ago, I ate some convenience diet foods and never found them satisfying.  I am not sure if it was the lower calories or the actual food.  I like food too much and I could easily give up convenience food.

Beer/Alcohol/Wine – This may be peculiar, but I don’t drink much.  A rare glass of wine is something I may have occasionally.  It is so rare; I can easily give it up.  When I go out socially, I have no problem having tomato juice or some other juice.  I am a prime candidate as a designated driver.  I don’t feel I am missing anything either.

Gambling – The first time I visited Las Vegas; it was on the way to Lake Mead.  We were going to Lake Mead to rent a houseboat for a week with another family.  We were staying the night in Las Vegas to catch a show.  We went to Lake Tahoe to ski, but visited Reno to gamble.  I could easily give up gambling. I think I gambled three (3) times in my life!  I much rather take business risks.

Luxuries – I have often said that I maintain a low profile lifestyle.  Little things make me happy.  Things like relationships with friends and family are more important than possessions.  I am not a minimalist or cheap, but I don’t need a lot.  I am very value oriented and try to get the most for my money.  I live in a nice house in a good neighborhood, own nice cars, but have very few luxuries if any.  One of the few luxuries I do enjoy is business/first class travel, but I use frequent flier miles for that!

Final Thoughts – Long, long ago, I remember looking for inexpensive dates when I was in college.  I even wrote 25 Money Saving Tips, I Use to help you save money!  Not that much changed when I married my college sweetheart and we would go out to the beach, an occasional movie or just go for a walk.  The goal was just being together and working toward something wonderful, our future.  It did not mean I was cheap, but valued what was important.

I never felt deprived!  Our friends were like us and valued being together more than other things.  We would all get together and bring a dish to defray expenses.  We would play games, vacation together and share a house on the beach to keep expenses low.  Giving up on things is not a sacrifice, if your goal is more important.  Make your goal worthwhile whether it is weight loss, retirement savings or getting out of debt.  If your goal is important to you, you will be motivated enough to make changes.  These are the things I can live without!

Photo by:  Nina Matthews

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My Financial Independence Journey February 5, 2013 at 2:50 am

I do have to say that I find my smart phone incredibly useful. Especially when I’m traveling to a new city and need to look up something on the fly or walk from say the train station to my destination. I love the built in GPS.

I will never give up meat. I love it too much.

I like alcohol but seem to go through phases of having some wine or a cocktail ever night alternating with a few weeks of totalizing.

Krantcents February 5, 2013 at 6:55 am

I think that everyone will approach their “list” differently. The real issue what are you willing to give up?

Greg@ClubThrifty February 5, 2013 at 4:46 am

This is a fun post! I also can live without most of these things. Isn’t bottled water ridiculous? Why pay for what you can get out of the tap. Besides that, the environmental concerns (all of that plastic, removing water from one area to another, draining watersheds, etc.) far outweigh the benefits. Now, if only I could remember that when I grab for a bottle…

Krantcents February 5, 2013 at 6:59 am

Perhaps, it is affecting your memory! :) I think we do a lot of things by habit! You can probably come up with a list of things you would give up for a certain goal.

Tony@YouOnlyDoThisOnce February 5, 2013 at 5:05 am

Great post! I don’t think I can live without wine. And probably the smartphone. Everything else…check!

Krantcents February 5, 2013 at 7:00 am

I think everyone have things they will give up for something they want badly enough.

Michelle February 5, 2013 at 5:25 am

For the longest time I did not have a smartphone, but now I’m addicted. It’s great for my blog!

Krantcents February 5, 2013 at 7:01 am

I am still thinking about it, but I cannot justify it when my contract renews. I will look at it again next year.

Mary Rhodes February 5, 2013 at 5:54 am

I’m trying to live without alcohol, haven’t had a drop all year! Tough but very rewarding!!

Krantcents February 5, 2013 at 7:02 am

I never really had a need, but I don’t miss it at all.

Savvy Scot February 5, 2013 at 6:52 am

While I COULD live without all of the above, I would seriously struggle without a few… Especially My smartphone allows me to respond to advertisers and answer emails etc. throughout the day (and I don’t use Facebook too much)

Krantcents February 5, 2013 at 11:14 am

I have thought about a smartphone a number of times, but cannot justify the additional expense. I will look at it again next year when my contract expires. Regular phones are becoming obsolete!

Grayson @ Debt Roundup February 5, 2013 at 7:22 am

Great list. I could do without many of these things and I already do. I am not sure if I could go without my smartphone. It helps me manage my business and I would be so behind without it. I haven’t purchased a bottled water in ages and I don’t set foot in a starbucks. This list makes me wonder what I can now do without.

Krantcents February 5, 2013 at 9:34 am

Thanks, it was intended to start a discussion and have you think about what you are willing to give up to reach your goals.

Money Beagle February 5, 2013 at 7:36 am

I’m with you on a lot of these. I do have a smartphone which I use regularly, but Starbucks is a ‘once every six months’ treat. We also limit our beef consumption to once a week on average, for health reasons more than anything else.

Krantcents February 5, 2013 at 9:40 am

There are a lot of things you would give up to reach your goals, but never think about it. This list was intended to remind people to think about it.

John S @ Frugal Rules February 5, 2013 at 7:54 am

Good post and love the list! Like you say, it’s not really a sacrifice if you have a goal that is important to you and if you don’t really miss it. I think it can come down to priorities and what’s worthwhile to you in life. I used to be opposed to getting a smartphone, but have had one for two years now and it makes things much easier to handle when I am on the go. I agree on the bottled water, we gave it up a long time ago. Now we just have a filter on the faucet and it tastes just fine.

Krantcents February 5, 2013 at 9:43 am

Thanks, I love the idea of a smartphone, but just unwilling to pay the additional $40 per month for it. When I was putting together the list, I realized I already gave up a lot of things and I do not even miss them.

Lance @ Money Life and More February 5, 2013 at 9:41 am

I agree with most of you list but I wouldn’t want to give up my smartphone. I could do it if I had to but I would rather give up other items that don’t provide me as much value.

Krantcents February 5, 2013 at 11:08 am

I have trouble justifying the additional expense for a smartphone, but I may change when my contract expires next year. Regular phones are becoming obsolete!

Jules@Fat Guy,Skinny Wallet February 5, 2013 at 10:36 am

Wow! That’s awesome! I gave up Facebook,which leaves me feeling like I could do anything! I was an addict. I don’t miss it and have a lot more meaning in my life. My phone would be super hard!

Krantcents February 5, 2013 at 11:01 am

I use Facebook only to promote my blog and stay in contact with some (20+) friends. Habits are hard to change, but anything is possible. When I put my list together, I realized I already gave up quite a few things.

Kim@Eyesonthedollar February 5, 2013 at 10:52 am

I think we could be related. I could give up or have never used most of those things. I think once you start, you probably see it as more of a need. I’ve never had a smartphone, but might feel like I can’t live without it if I eventually get one. The one thing I wish I could give up is Kindle books. I do go to the library, but if it’s something I want and they don’t have it, I buy it on Kindle. I guess it’s better than gambling!

Krantcents February 5, 2013 at 11:04 am

I use the library for both print and ebooks. I have not been able to find any ebooks I want to read for the last few months. I do read about 4-6 print books a month though. You are right, if you never get used to something it is much easier to do without. BTW, I think we are all related in some way.

Shannon @ The Heavy Purse February 5, 2013 at 11:36 am

Love this – particularly “The goal was just being together and working toward something wonderful, our future. It did not mean I was cheap, but valued what was important.” I wish more people understood this then they would never feel deprived – just like you don’t. You know what matters most and work towards that – the other stuff doesn’t matter. This is what I’m trying to teach my girls and love seeing others embrace the same mentality. Love it!

Krantcents February 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Thanks! When you think about the outcome, everything else just fits. It reminds me of one of those interview questions, where do you see yourself in 5-10 years. I always start with the outcome (goal) and work backwards!

Sicorra @TacklingOurDebt February 5, 2013 at 12:47 pm

We don’t have smart phones either. Not interested. We gave alcohol 7 years ago (not that we were big drinkers) but it doesn’t mix well with my husband’s insulin. And we bought nice bottles for water too. I try to use as little plastic as possible in the kitchen.

Krantcents February 5, 2013 at 1:06 pm

I wrote this article to have everyone think about their decisions and what they were willing to give up for their goals. I try to apply this to everything I do because it makes me think if I really need it. I am far from a minimalist and I certainly like luxuries, but I get to choose which ones are important.

Kathleen, Frugal Portland February 5, 2013 at 4:38 pm

I could (and do!) do without cable, that’s for sure. And on any given day, I could do without just about anything. My car? Sure. Certainly a foofy coffee or a drink out. Let’s be real, we can live without all the first world trappings.

Krantcents February 5, 2013 at 5:21 pm

I view cable as part of my entertainment budget. Funny, I was just thinking about going to one car in retirement. There are various senior citizen van/taxi services subsidized for seniors in the area if I need it.

Rob @FinancialSprout February 5, 2013 at 6:21 pm

I could never give up meat, and I would love to have a smartphone. I could definitely give up some of the other things like fast food and Starbucks, because they drain your wallet. Personally, I could live without cable tv. With the internet there’s not much of a use for cable.

Krantcents February 5, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Think about your expenses is always a good exercise! It begs the question, what are you willing to give up to achieve your financial goal?

Joe Saul-Sehy February 6, 2013 at 6:15 am

“I do not know if I have become more patient or I just don’t need anything right away.”

That’s become me. I think I’ve become patient, but possibly I just have everything I want already….not sure…

Krantcents February 6, 2013 at 7:00 am

At my age (66 y.o.), I may have everything I want. Probably not!

William @ Drop Dead Money February 6, 2013 at 9:27 am

One thing I discovered I can live without are spur of the moment trips, whether to a store, restaurant or wherever. If you live in a city with any kind of sprawl, you’d be amazed by how much gas we drive out on trips we can avoid. Just like a shopping list, I have a driving list, so when I do get in the car, it’s for a minimum of three things.

Krantcents February 6, 2013 at 11:58 am

You’re right! My wife who is the chief shopper plans her trips and has a shopping list. I just avoid shopping in general!

shelley February 6, 2013 at 10:57 am

Great post, I worked with someone who had no money and everyone knew, however, it did not stop him from buying his Timmys once or twice a day. Hard to feel sorry for those people when I am drinking my Maxwell house out of my takout cup from home……

Krantcents February 6, 2013 at 12:01 pm

So true! They are the first ones to want to borrow money too! I would bring my lunch and he would borrow money to buy his lunch.

Suba February 6, 2013 at 11:03 am

I can live without all of these as well (some of these are too easy, for example, I am already a vegetarian, don’t drink and I don’t see the point in gambling). But I do love my smartphone, I can do without it but it would make my life incredibly slow and I have to take more time to get my stuff done.

Krantcents February 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Obviously, it is easier to give up something when you never had. I think everyone should take a hard look on what they should give up to reach their goals.

Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin February 6, 2013 at 12:08 pm

I love this concept! Someone could start out with 3 things and expand over time. I believe people would be more successful eliminating things they didn’t need rather than coming up with New Year’s Resolutions. Everything on this list is solid except for #6! I love my steaks! =)

Krantcents February 6, 2013 at 12:22 pm

No problem, I love a good steak occasionally. Whether you give it up entirely or just reduce the number times you have it, you made a change.

Lena @ WhatMommyDoes February 7, 2013 at 1:16 pm

I’m right there with you on the coffee and luxuries. Good thing I don’t like Starbucks coffee, or I’d be in trouble! :)

Krantcents February 7, 2013 at 3:40 pm

I am not a coffee drinker anyway, but I do like a cappuccino though. Figuring out what is important is the first step to lose weight or planning your financial goals.

Pauline February 8, 2013 at 9:22 am

I can live without all this although I enjoy a beer or glass of wine and the occasional fast food. If it were to compromise my financial situation, those would be the first things to go!

Krantcents February 8, 2013 at 11:26 am

It is always a question of choices and making the right ones. I would think that a goal I want to accomplish is more important than a coffee or some other trivial thing.

Sarah Park February 10, 2013 at 3:39 am

Great list of things. These are the things that belongs to “wants” and we can surely save a lot if we prefer not having these. We can still live happily even without these.

Krantcents February 10, 2013 at 8:37 am

Your comment is timely since I just my sequel to this article so stay tuned and come back for more. I think the process is more important than the specifics. Everyone should think about what they can live without in order to reach a goal.

Daisy @ Add Vodka February 10, 2013 at 9:05 am

I’m on the same page as you except for two things: wine and smart phones. They are probably two things that I could technically live without, but they are things I’m willing to spend money on. Cable is something I can and do live without.

Krantcents February 10, 2013 at 9:12 am

It is always a matter of choice. If you want to keep something, you have to give up something else. It is much easier when the goal is kept in mind.

Barbara Friedberg February 10, 2013 at 10:35 am

Fascinating list. I do not want to live without wine or the occasional starbucks. I can live without pretty much anything I set my mind too!!

Krantcents February 10, 2013 at 11:38 am

It is always a question of choice! If you cannot give up those things what are you willing to change for your goal?

Elizabeth @ Broke Professionals February 11, 2013 at 8:39 am

I agree with you on a lot of these, but apparently we drink a LOT of the same things. I found myself nodding my head when you said Starbucks, sweet drinks, and alcohol – AMEN! I’d add pedicures to my list :)

Krantcents February 11, 2013 at 9:31 am

Some times, I think about adding the little luxuries of life, but I have trouble with its value. Many of these things I can do myself or do without. Just a personal perspective.

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