American author and personal finance expert Rachel Cruze recently sat down with Dawn Madsen from Minimal Mom to talk about minimalism and cutting costs — something Madsen has been doing for the past eight years.
Together, Cruze and Madsen discussed the top things they refuse to spend money on in 2024 and why. Here’s what they said.
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Cruze said she’s going to avoid purchasing cups, mugs and water bottles. She pointed out that it’s all too easy to stock up on these things but then end up in a situation where there’s not enough room for all of them in the cupboards.
Madsen added that it’s better to have cabinets that are half full, since it’s easier to store things without having to stress about organizing or fitting everything.
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Madsen said she won’t be buying any new rugs for her home this year. Rugs have to either be vacuumed or specially cleaned, which can take effort. Along with this, pet hair, crumbs and debris can end up underneath area rugs, requiring more maintenance.
Something else Cruze refuses to buy are unnecessary children’s clothes, especially those from expensive brands. As she pointed out, children’s apparel doesn’t end up getting worn all that much, if at all. This leads to wasted money and closet space.
Instead, Cruze suggested going with an alternative option — like cheaper brands or stores or letting the kids wear out their current clothes before buying new ones.
For Madsen, microfiber towels are another thing to skip out on this year. The primary reason is that microfiber towels consist of small plastic particles, which can contaminate the water or even end up sticking to people’s skin.
Instead of microfiber, she said she’s sticking with inexpensive rags or cloths that are safer for the environment.
Madsen said she won’t be buying specialty jewelry but will instead stick with natural or more versatile pieces that go with many different outfits. Cruze added to this by saying that it’s also easier to deal with the fewer choices having a smaller collection brings.
Specialized Kitchen Gadgets
Kitchen gadgets — especially those that are gimmicky or super specialized — are another item to avoid, said Madsen. This is because many of these items are either one-time use or end up taking up space in some drawer or cupboard. Plus, some of these items are hard to clean.
Furniture and Décor
Both Cruze and Madsen discussed how they don’t plan to buy new home décor, holiday décor or furniture in 2024, either. Instead, they emphasized going with high-quality, reliable items that last for years.
Madsen also suggested simplifying what already exists in the home. Not only can this make cleaning a breeze, but it can reduce clutter.
Madsen pointed out that many influencers promote all sorts of skincare products. But often, even if the products themselves are good quality, that doesn’t make them an essential part of someone’s daily routine. And, of course, there’s always the possibility that the products themselves aren’t the best.
For Cruze, another item to avoid buying is jeans. This is because, as she pointed out, styles change frequently. So, trying to keep up with the latest fashion trends generally means spending more money.
Although fake plants might look nice, Madsen pointed out that having living plants can also lend to the home aesthetic and relaxing vibe. Plus, unlike their artificial counterparts, real plants can even help clean the air.
Target’s Dollar Section
While it’s possible to get some cheap items from Target’s dollar section, Cruze said she’s going to steer clear of this in 2024. After all, just because it doesn’t cost much, doesn’t mean it’s not a wasted purchase.
Toys and Crafts
Returning to the topic of children, Madsen indicated that she doesn’t plan to spend much money on new toys and craft supplies in 2024. Part of the reason is that kids’ interests in such things don’t always last. This just leads to wasted money and cluttered closets.
Plus, as Madsen said, children can be quite imaginative and inventive, and they can often be entertained without needing the latest toys.
Starting a new workout routine can be a great way to build muscle, lose weight or stay fit. The issue, as Madsen pointed out, stems from purchasing new gear or gym memberships and simply never using them.
As an alternative, she suggested building the habit of exercising without buying any new equipment. This could be something as simple as taking regular walks around the neighborhood. Only after building a routine did she suggest buying anything.
Cruze also added that buying workout equipment can sometimes be a motivator, but not always.
Subscription boxes typically come with many fun or useful items. They can also be a great option for those who want to try something new.
The issue, as Madsen pointed out, is that subscription boxes often contain items that the recipient won’t use, or they come too often. This leads to certain items getting tossed out or ignored altogether. It can also lead to excess clutter or wasted money — especially for the more expensive subscriptions.
Restaurants With Kids
Cruze said that she wouldn’t spend much money on going out to fancy restaurants with the kids. The reason is that children aren’t as likely to enjoy or appreciate the experience or cuisine as the adults. Even if the restaurant has simple food or beverage options for the kids, these can still be expensive.
Instead of taking the kids, Cruze said she’d rather go to fine dining restaurants with her adult friends or family members.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Rachel Cruze: 15 Things I Won’t Spend Money on in 2024