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  • Hey, guys.

  • It's Chelsea from The Financial Diet.

  • And this week, I wanted to talk to you about eight things

  • that you should cut out of your budget for just one month.

  • Our friend Erin from Broke Millennial

  • is actually in the middle of a no spend month as we speak.

  • And even though she's someone whose entire life is centered

  • around being better with money, she's

  • already slipped up several times.

  • And while it definitely can be very

  • beneficial to do a total spending freeze,

  • it's also just not very feasible for most of us.

  • So if you're looking for specific things to cut out,

  • these are great places to start that are

  • a little bit more painless.

  • You can try and do them all, or you

  • can pick a few from this list that might really help you.

  • And before I get started, I just want

  • to say to anyone in the comments whose comment

  • is going to be "I don't buy that thing,"

  • then that point is not for you.

  • I've never dyed my hair in my life, for example.

  • But many, many women do.

  • And that is a hugely expensive beauty regime for them

  • in many cases if they're doing it at a salon.

  • And if I were to watch a video in which someone suggested

  • doing a home hair dye, I would not write a comment saying,

  • I don't dye my hair.

  • I would understand that that comment is not for me.

  • Anyway, without further ado, let's jump right into it.

  • Number one is a snack with your daily coffee.

  • Now if you are someone who likes to grab a coffee on your way

  • to work, which is I would say sometimes my case,

  • although I try to be really good about bringing coffee

  • in a travel mug from home, it is extremely tempting

  • to get that extra snack item on top of your coffee.

  • And the problem is that so many of the healthy snacks

  • that you could get at a coffee shop,

  • like, for example, Starbucks, things like hard-boiled eggs,

  • hummus and veggies, a fruit cup, yogurt, et cetera,

  • are stuff that are perfect to bring from home.

  • Maybe you can't perfectly recreate that latte

  • or cappuccino you love, but there is nothing stopping you

  • from bringing yourself a little Tupperware full of hummus

  • and some veggies or a bunch of cut-up fruit.

  • And when you're doing that in bulk at home and, let's say,

  • meal prepping that favorite coffee shop snack for yourself,

  • you are almost certainly going to be paying literal pennies

  • on the dollar for what you would pay in a prepackaged item.

  • Now, obviously, the typical personal finance advice

  • here is just don't buy coffee outside the home,

  • which, OK, but for many of us, that is just not realistic.

  • Sometimes, I forget my coffee.

  • Sometimes, I'm just really craving

  • a coffee that's difficult to make from home.

  • Or sometimes, I want a second coffee item

  • after I've already finished my first one

  • that I did bring from home.

  • If coffee shop visits are a part of your life,

  • it's much more realistic to insist that you limit them

  • to just that coffee item.

  • And when you're telling yourself that you're

  • going to eliminate all those extra snacks you might

  • be picking up and instead bringing them from home,

  • you may find that that eliminates your desire

  • to go to the coffee shop anyway.

  • The point is you can keep some of the indulgences that

  • make your work life happy and productive

  • without making them overindulgent.

  • Number two is any hair, skin, bath, or body product.

  • Now there's a couple points here that we should really hit on.

  • The first thing is that as we've mentioned in previous videos,

  • it is very likely that you are washing your hair too

  • frequently.

  • And aside from the water that wastes

  • and the damage that potentially does to your hair

  • by over-stripping it of its natural oils,

  • it also means you're buying shampoo way too frequently.

  • And similarly with soaps and skin products,

  • it's often the case that we'll go out and buy another item

  • before we've totally finished the previous one,

  • whether it's because we want to try something new

  • or because we can't quite remember

  • if we finished it at home when we're out shopping.

  • Committing to yourself that for a month,

  • you will not replace any item until you have completely

  • used it all the way to the bottom,

  • and more importantly, you are only using it as much

  • as you realistically should be using it,

  • you might be shocked at how much money you'll

  • save if you are someone who, like many of us, I imagine,

  • tends to drop by the Sephora or the Duane Reade beauty section

  • a little bit more than you should.

  • Yes, obviously, keeping clean and moisturized

  • are necessities, but they are also

  • things that we don't need to be doing

  • as often as the companies selling these products

  • would like us to believe.

  • And on a similar note, number three is makeup.

  • So if you are a young woman with an active Instagram account,

  • chances are you've been targeted literally thousands of times

  • over the years with Instagram beauty accounts

  • that are always showing off these really

  • intricate and beautiful-looking makeup looks,

  • telling you about the latest trends

  • or shilling products that are apparently a must-have, even

  • though you didn't know they existed a week ago.

  • Now I am someone who would never judge

  • a woman for considering makeup a necessity

  • of her day-to-day life.

  • For many of us, tasteful makeup at work

  • can be the difference between being taken and treated

  • seriously at work or not really.

  • Whether we like it or not, we tend

  • to think that women who go totally bare-faced

  • look like there's something maybe

  • medically wrong with them.

  • And while you may not personally choose to wear makeup,

  • it's also something that I would never

  • say is an unnecessary spending category.

  • That being said, the difference between

  • your necessary maintenance makeup and all that extra stuff

  • that you might be dying to pick up

  • after you saw it on some blogger is very different.

  • Identifying the core items you need for your daily routine,

  • and sticking only to those for a month,

  • and committing to only getting a little bit more creative

  • with the stuff you already have on your makeup shelf

  • will not only challenge you to use the products

  • that you maybe don't use so often,

  • but will also show you whether or not you really

  • want that extra item when you have to wait

  • a whole month to get it.

  • I've personally found that since getting a Birchbox,

  • I have really satisfied that little part of my brain

  • that's always wanting to hop on new trends.

  • Usually, the products are quite small so they give me

  • just enough of that, like, maybe I'll love this.

  • Maybe I won't.

  • And 9 times out of 10, I don't love the product.

  • It allowed me to test out trends like the highlighter

  • on your cheekbones, which when you're really pale like I

  • am just kind of makes you look like the corpse bride,

  • and more importantly taught me that just because something

  • might look great on a beauty blogger

  • does not mean anything about how it will look on me.

  • So doing at least one no spend makeup month might teach you

  • the same things about what's really worth purchasing

  • Number four is novelty food products.

  • Now by novelty food products, I mean the stuff

  • that you just do not need in your daily rotation,

  • but you're buying because you saw it at the store or maybe

  • again on some Instagram, and it set off

  • that part of your brain about, like, ooh, wow,

  • that looks really cool.

  • Creating a month where you only buy

  • the necessary foundational items on a grocery list

  • and do not give yourself permission

  • to be distracted or tempted with really novelty,

  • interesting-looking purchases when you're at the store

  • may teach you that, a, you don't really need those chips

  • made out of some really weird grain you've never heard of

  • and, b, reminds you that half the time when

  • you buy those novelty food products,

  • you don't end up loving them anyway.

  • I'm personally very susceptible to the really fancy imported

  • yogurts that they have at the nice grocery store near me.

  • And I realize that when I'm being honest with myself,

  • it's really 90% the packaging of those items which

  • is always super, like, minimalist and Nordic and

  • considered.

  • And yes, a cup of that Skyr is only like a couple dollars,

  • but a couple dollars that I don't need to be spending and I

  • don't miss when I don't.

  • A month of sticking to a basic grocery list

  • might save you dozens or even potentially hundreds of dollars

  • if you're someone who's liable to fill

  • your cart with a bunch of stuff you

  • don't need over the course of a month.

  • Number five is clothing.

  • Now, obviously, clothing is in life a bit of a necessity

  • provided you don't live and work in a nudist colony.

  • But there is a very big difference

  • between clothing in general being a necessity

  • and all of those little items you're

  • liable to pick up by justifying you

  • need to build out your professional wardrobe

  • as a necessity.

  • The truth is nearly everyone watching

  • this video could easily get away with one month of no clothing

  • spending, not even just that little fast fashion

  • shirt that caught your eye in a window on the way home.

  • If you are someone like me who doesn't really

  • love to clothing shop and isn't really attracted

  • to designer labels, it can be easy to convince yourself

  • that you're doing pretty well when it comes

  • to not overspending on clothes.

  • But I could easily go to my closet

  • and point out five things in one minute

  • that I haven't worn in seasons or I don't really love.

  • And obviously, there was a moment when

  • I bought that item thinking that it

  • was justifiable in my overall budget

  • even though looking back, I totally shouldn't have.

  • So if nothing else, you can use a month

  • to just simply flag the items that you

  • might want to buy and check in on it

  • at the end of that month to see if you still

  • love that item enough to justify the purchase.

  • Chances are you'll have forgotten about that clothing

  • item entirely.

  • And if you do go look at it, there's

  • no guarantee you're still going to want it.

  • One month without buying any new clothing

  • doesn't just mean spending less money.

  • It also means rethinking what you

  • define as a need-to-have clothing purchase.

  • Number six is anything brand name.

  • Now one of the easiest ways in which we can save money

  • with the life we're already living while still making

  • basically all of the same choices is for one month

  • to commit to only buying generic brand things rather

  • than the brand name.

  • That's everything from over-the-counter medicines

  • to cookies and cereals and chips that we

  • like to cleaning products.

  • Most generic products are required

  • to meet the same production standards as their brand name

  • counterparts.

  • And many times, the products inside those bottles or bags

  • or boxes are actually the same products.

  • You may find that switching to generic indefinitely

  • on all of these products is not worth it,

  • but you may find that with several of the things you buy,

  • you didn't even notice the difference

  • that you were consuming generic and could save yourself

  • a ton of money going forward by making that choice

  • on an ongoing basis.

  • It's easy to just mindlessly pick up brand names

  • because it's what we're used to seeing on commercials

  • or it's what we had in our cabinets growing up,

  • but every time you make the choice to get brand name rather

  • than generic, it should be an active one made

  • for a real reason, not just because it's what

  • has the prettier label on it.

  • Challenging yourself to go all-generic for a month

  • will serve as a reminder of how much that label really

  • is just that.

  • Number seven is alcohol with dinner.

  • Now I don't know about you, but I'm definitely