And no, I'm not talking about stealing or shamelessly taking off with sugar packets and plates when you go out to eat.
I am talking about the things that you do have access to get for free or choose to pay extra for.
Let's start with entertainment...
Books, Magazines, Music, Movies and Cookbooks
These are all things that you should never pay for. How many books do you own that you have only read once and have no plans to read again? Get them from the library and return them when done. How many magazines do you put aside and say that you will read one day, or say that you will make that dessert that looks like it takes a lot of effort and save the whole magazine for one page? Copy down that recipe and get them from the library and never buy another magazine again.
How many cookbooks do you have cluttering your kitchen that have maybe 5 recipes that you and your family like? Write down the recipes that you want to save and get rid of the cookbook. Same goes for cookbooks that have exotic ingredients that you know that you will never use, get rid of them. Get these books at the library and return when you are finished.
Movies at the library are not always the newest releases, but has anyone actually died because they didn't see a movie that they really wanted to see? Stalk the library website and put the movie on reserve as soon as it is loaded on the page-then enjoy not spending money on a movie that you will only watch once and never watch again.
Speaking of movies..
You shouldn't pay for premium channels either. Companies will run free previews of these channels from time to time. Use your DVR to record the movies that you want to see from these channels to watch when you don't have access to the premium channels.
I also think that no one should pay for Satellite radio. It is a premium upgrade that I feel is a waste of money when you can listen to the radio in your car for free or listen to CD's or a playlist that you already own. Even if you were to download new songs to add to your playlist, it still would be a lot cheaper than having a Satellite radio subscription.
Most people end up with a ton of plastic bags when they buy items. Use these for trash bags instead of just buying trash bags that you will throw away anyway. I don't end up with too many plastic bags because I try to avoid them when possible and use reusable canvas bags to take my groceries home in.
Everyone gets junk mail. I turn mine over to see if there is a blank page on the back and turn mine into notebooks. I made a post on this about some of the crazy things that I do to save money.
Some banks offer free checking and free checks. The plain boring ones are free and the ones with cute pictures and backgrounds are not. Stick with the plain boring ones, no one cashing your check spends any time admiring the pictures and it's a huge waste of money.
Sign up for online bill pay and save your stamps for Christmas and Birthday cards.
Before you complete an online shopping order, check online to see if there are any discount codes for free shipping being offered.
Don't buy a bottle when you are out. Fill up a reusable container to take with you when you run your errands. Make it special by adding lemon, cucumber, cantaloupe or limes.
Ordering Pizza the Same Day You Go Grocery Shopping
If you know that you are going to be tired when you come home after shopping and don't want to cook, pick up a premade or frozen pizza for when you come home. You will save money on delivery fees, tip and pay a lot less for pizza for the family.
No one should pay for this. You can gets yours free at www.annualcreditreport.com
A Company To Pay Off Your Credit Card Balance After You Die
I have one store credit card that is rarely used and when I got the new card after the old one expired, I called in to activate the card and the women tried to talk me into paying $4.99 a month for them to pay off my credit card balance in the event that I die before it is paid off. I explained to the woman that I never carry a balance and pay it off right away as soon as I charge something. She used her persuasive sales skills to try to convince me to sign up for this program. I wasn't biting. I am not paying $59.88 a year for something ridiculous that I don't need.
One of the things that I splurge on is a massage membership where I go and get a massage once a month. I went in last month and they were offering to have a Peppermint aromatherapy candle burning during the massage and you get a cup of hot chocolate after it is over for $10. This is an upgrade that I was not willing to pay for.
You are always going to be pressured to buy more or to pay for things that you don't need. You just have to know where to draw your line in the sand. Every time you say no to something that you don't need means more money in the bank to save or to pay off debt.