Budget Busters You Can Live Without

When you are trying to set up a budget or you are trying to find additional money in your budget, it can be difficult to cut certain items. You may feel like the things listed are a must have for you to get by. You can develop bad financial habits that hurt you in the long run. These 10 items are ones that many people have a hard time cutting. Learn cheaper alternatives that will help you save money while still enjoying some of the things that are most important to you. You may want to do some of these things with all of the extra money you save. 

01 of 10

Cable Television

Close-up of male hand using remote control with television in background
Fabio/Moment/Getty Images

With subscription prices between $60 to $100 or more a month, cable television can be a big budget-buster. Canceling your cable television bill can help you save a significant amount of money each year. You can save between $720 and $1200 each year by simply canceling your cable. If you still want access to the latest television shows, try Hulu or a similar service to watch the shows over the Internet. This is an easy cut, and once you cancel cable, you may find that you do not miss it at all.

02 of 10

New Car Payments

A couple shopping for a car
ViewPoint/Getty Images

Paying off your car can free up a lot of cash in your budget, but sometimes you do need to borrow money to get a car. One way to save is to buy used. Shop for a deal and you can keep your car payments lower and more manageable. In the meantime, start putting some money away each month to pay for your next car purchase. If you do this, you will find that you can save money on the interest for the car loan.

03 of 10

Eating Out

a couple eating pizza
Jordan Siemens/Stone/Getty Images

Eating out can add up quickly. If you enjoy eating out because you love really good, freshly prepared food, you can save money by learning to cook the items yourself. If you eat out because you are strapped for time, try cooking over the weekend and making your own freezer meals. You can stop eating out and save a lot of money. It is easy to save more than $50 a week if you stop eating out if you are single, and even more if you are married or have children.

04 of 10

Gym Memberships

People working out in a gym
Xavier Arnau/E+/Getty Images

Gym memberships can be pricey, especially if you are locked into a contract. Some gym memberships are more reasonably priced than others. If you really need a gym to exercise in, you can look into using a recreation center through your city, check out the facilities at your apartment complex, or look for a less expensive gym with a low monthly membership fee. You can also try exercising at home or jogging in your neighborhood.

05 of 10

Huge Gifts

People exchanging gifts
Calaimage/Paul Bradbury/OJO+/Getty Images

The holidays and birthdays can get very expensive. If you come from a family that expects you to give gifts to every family member, it can add up quickly. You can scale back on the gifts and try to give homemade gifts or shop throughout the year to find sales. You may also want to talk to your family about drawing names at Christmas time. The alternative is to find less expensive gifts by shopping throughout the year.

06 of 10

Expensive Vacations

A woman walking on a beach
Blend Images - Colin Anderson/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Vacations are a lot of fun, but if you have a lot of debt or you are struggling to make ends meet, you should not spend a ton of money on vacations each year. You can plan smaller, less expensive vacations like camping or to destinations you can reach by car. If you have a dream vacation, save up for it, and pay for it with cash. If you are debt-free and saving towards retirement, you can take the types of vacations you want to. Just make sure you pay cash for it. ​

07 of 10

Living In a Place You Can't Afford

A house for sale
Thomas Northcut/Iconica/Getty Images

When you are paying more than about 25 percent of your salary to your mortgage or your rent each month, it can be crippling when you try to manage paying all of your other bills. Before you take out a mortgage, work up a budget. You need to carefully determine how much home you can afford, instead of just taking whatever the bank is willing to lend to you. It is better to buy a less expensive home that you can afford than your dream home that you end up defaulting on. When you live in a high cost of living area, your rent may also be really expensive. You can reduce this by having a roommate or living a bit further out of town.

08 of 10

Entertainment Costs

Young people eating dinner together and visiting
Portra Images / Getty Images

Entertainment costs can add up quickly whether you are a big sports fan, video gamer, or you love to go the opera. This is an area that you need to be willing to cut back on when you are in debt or times are tight. Ask family members to give you gift cards for tickets or games instead of presents, and reduce the amount you spend instead of cutting out altogether. Instead of going to every home game, just go to one this year, and watch the rest at home. Or you can buy just one video game every few months and rent the other ones. You should be able to save money on this. You may want to try to find frugal activities that do not cost a lot to do. 

09 of 10

Shopping Habits

Woman carrying shopping bags in shopping mall
Dan Dalton / Getty Images

Your shopping habits really affect the way that you spend money. One of the biggest things you can do is to reduce how often you are in a store. This goes for everything from clothes shopping to grocery shopping. Try to do one major trip every week for groceries and always shop with a grocery list. Try to limit your other shopping trips and if you do not have money to buy an item, do not go into the store looking for it. Another trick is to switch to cash for these budget items. You can make this work by leaving your debit and credit cards at home.

10 of 10


A mechanic making roadside repairs
Tom Merton/OJO Images/Getty Images

An unexpected medical bill or a car repair can bust anyone’s budget. The best way to fix this is to set up an emergency fund to cover these unexpected expenses. Additionally, if you include money for car repairs or medical costs in your budget, and allow unused money to roll over each month, you will build up sinking funds to cover the costs of these expenses over time. Planning can help you handle the costs of emergencies.​

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles