12 Things You Should Never Pay For

I know, I know the title of this post is a bit aggressive. You may be asking, “Things You Should NEVER Pay for?” Come on.

But I am going to say to you a firm Never, these are things you should never pay for.

Life costs money — a lot of money.

With so many demands on your limited budget, the last thing you want to do is spend money where you don’t need to be spending it.

When people are trying to reach financial independence it is important that they take a bit of time and inventory the things that are important to them.

Take some time to figure out the things they actually need and eliminate the things they don’t.

There are so many things that we can spend our money on. But, in the end, you still have to make your own budget work.

I thought long and hard how eliminating just one thing can pay dividends in the big picture.

I thought about how eliminating many things could result in significant savings.

Saving money is a lot easier than most people think.

It is totally possible to save hundreds maybe even thousands of dollars a year just by cutting the unneeded things out of your monthly budget.

People neglect to look at their habits when they’re trying to pay off debt and save money, and that’s the best place to start!

calculating finances with red calculator, notebook and spreadsheets to signify things you shouldn't pay for

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12 Things You Should Never Pay For

1. Recurring Subscriptions

Maybe you are paying for a gym membership but haven’t stepped foot in the gym in months. What about your cable package?

Some subscriptions renew automatically every year causing you unnecessary expenses. If a service has stopped being useful to you make it a priority to cancel.

Ask yourself these 3 questions:

  1. Do I get value from this service (or product)?
  2. Can I find it cheaper?
  3. Do I need it or can I do without it for now?

Cancel any that fail these questions.

An even better way is to get TRIM to do this for you. Trim is a virtual personal assistant that constantly works to save you money.

Need to cancel your old subscriptions? TRIM can do this for you. Need to set spending alerts to keep your spending on track? TRIM can do this for you. TRIM can even help you fight fees.

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You’ll start to see the difference in your checking account, allowing you to save more and develop better budgeting habits.

Related post: What Fabulously Frugal People ALWAYS Do To Organize Their Finances

2. high monthly bills

When you set your budget you will have allowed for all your monthly bills that go out, usually automatically.

But whose to say these bills are set in stone? They’re not, they are actually a great place to shave some money off your budget.

Pull all your recurring bills out, such as utilities, car insurance and home insurance and shop around to see if you can get them lower.

Remember there is no existing customer loyalty these days, indeed you’ll likely pay more if you never switch.

You don’t even need to do all the hard work of shopping around, get Billshark to ask for you.

Billshark negotiates lower prices on your monthly bills to save you time, money and hassle.

You could save hundreds each month with the help of professional bill negotiators at BillShark, starting today!

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In the uK? Renegotiate your Energy Bills With LAMB

Look After My Bills is a fantastic new service in the UK that will automatically switch you to a new provider as your existing one becomes more expensive.

You could save up to £450 a year when you sign up to Look After My Bills for free. LAMB will get you a great deal on your energy and when that deal ends, they’ll switch you again!

You can sign up even if your current deal with your energy provider has not yet ended.

Related post: How To Save Electricity Doing Absolutely Nothing

3. Brand Name Cleaning Supplies

Have you ever thought about how crazy it is that grocery stores have 1 whole aisle devoted to just cleaning products?

As you cruise down the aisle you will see neatly packaged products boasting “trusted”brand this “environmentally friendly”that “natural,”“fast acting”.

Companies spend millions of dollars on advertising to get their consumers to spend their hard earned money on things they don’t really need.

I personally use a concentrated cleaning product where 1 bottle lasts me almost a year.

If you are in the UK then the product I use is called Stardrops. You can buy it from Amazon but it’s also in most supermarkets.

Cheapest places I have found Stardrops is Home Bargains and B&M at just 99p a bottle (that’s lasts almost a year!). I pour a small amount into an empty spray bottle (about 1cm) and fill with water.

In the US Biokleen is a great alternative. Just follow the instructions on the Biokleen bottle to make up your solution.

Or why not check out the dollar store for cleaning supplies? You might find Biokleen there too.

There are many wonderful products that do the same thing as brand name products at a fraction of the cost.

If the dollar store isn’t your thing how about using good old vinegar? Vinegar has so many wonderful cleaning properties.

Related reading: 

9 Homemade Cleaning Products That Will Save You (Big) Money

11 Things Frugal People Just Do Not Do

Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

pinterest image for things you never pay for

4. Credit Reports or Credit Scores

Thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are able to obtain free credit reports every 12 months from the three main credit monitoring bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

To keep your pulse on your credit, to guarantee there isn’t anything unexpected happening behind the scenes it’s a good idea to request 1 report from each of these bureaus every 4 months.

This helps you monitor your credit more closely. This is especially important if there has been fraud on one of your accounts.

You can request free copies from www.annualcreditreport.com.

When you receive your credit report I want you to know that you will not get an actual credit score.

Your report is simply there to show you if you are delinquent on any payments or if you are racking up bad history that may be unbeknownst to you.

To get your free credit score you can begin by checking with your bank or credit card companies.

Many credit card companies offer a free credit monitoring and monthly update service.

If you aren’t able to find a free service through your bank or credit card credit, Credit Sesame offers free credit score reports.

bank statements spread out and a calculator

5. Late Fees

There are so many fees we can get hit with these days. So often we just take it in the chin and move on.

I’ve found that a quick call to the bank will often result in a refund. So don’t be afraid to call.

Not only can missing a payment cost you money but it can also hurt your credit score.

Get on top of your finances by setting up automatic payments.

You’ll be saving yourself the possibility of forgetting a payment and incurring a late fee.

It’s also a good idea to spend five minutes and sign up for text or email alerts for your credit cards, student loans, and other monthly bills if this is available to you.

These alerts can remind you of payments that are due and also notify you of larger than normal transactions.

Don’t let an unexpected withdrawal overdraw an account with insufficient funds.

Related reading:

7 Things To Do At The Beginning Of Every Month For Your Money

The Best Money Habits To Transform Your Wealth And Happiness

overhead shot showing woman and mans hands reviewing paperwork with credit cards and calculator surrounding them

6. ATM Fees

Speaking of fees avoid ATM fees at all costs. ATM fees are one of the biggest wastes of money.

The average ATM fee is now $4.50. ATM fees can add up very quickly, especially while traveling.

Do your research and try to locate an ATM that is in your bank’s network to avoid being charged a fee.

If you aren’t near one of your banks ATMs look for a grocery store.

Many large grocery stores offer no-fee cash back as a part of your purchase when you use a debit card at checkout.

finance paperwork with a calculator and pens

7. Extended Warranties

Extended warranties are enticing but more often than not you will pay for something you’ll never even use.

If you are able to get an extended warranty thrown in free of charge. Good work!

Most credit cards offer an extra year warranty under their rewards programs when you charge the purchase to your card.

It’s definitely worth a call to your credit card issuer to see if this holds true for you.

You can also check with your home insurance provider to see if large item purchases may be covered by your home insurance policy.

8. Rental Car Insurance

If you are new to the rental car world don’t get pressured into purchasing insurance protection that you don’t need.

Instead, do a bit of digging into your current insurance benefits prior to smacking down the money.

Did you know that if you aren’t covered by your own car insurance policy it’s likely that you are covered by one of your credit cards?

Many credit card programs offer rental car coverage as a perk to their customers.

In general, most credit cards will cover common issues like theft, auto accidents, and towing costs if the rental car breaks down.

To get this perk you often times need to charge the rental cost to that specific card but the coverage from the card may reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision.

You may also like: 5 Frugal Tips To Save Money On Long Car Journeys

small boy in black leather jacket sat in large chair in front of table covered in piles of bank notes

9. Cable TV

There are so many technologies that exist that allow you to watch great TV shows and movies without having to pay for your overpriced cable bill.

Some great options are Netflix, Hulu, Sling, and Roku. Many people are able to get decent reception from the major networks with an antenna.

However, I have to confess that we still have cable. But we don’t have Netflix, Amazon Prime or anything else.

Mr2p loves his soccer and in the UK cable is the only way to see all the Premiership soccer games.

You may also like: 11 Things We Refuse To Give Up To Save Money

10. Bank Fees

Some banks charge a fee just to have an account. Don’t do it. Don’t pay banking fees!

Banks are already making money (interest) off of you for holding your money at their institution.

The monthly maintenance fees are an automatic withdrawal that can run between $5-20 a month.

There are often times free account options at the bank you are doing business with.

Ask very specific questions and don’t get pigeonholed into signing up for an account with fees or maintenance charges.

Maintenance fees are relatively easy to avoid. You can either:

  • Use a bank that does not charge maintenance fees, or
  • Qualify for a fee waiver so that the fees don’t get charged
open jar filled with money bills spilling out onto white background

11. Pets

Why would you pay hundreds of dollars to get a fancy breed dog when you can go to your local animal shelter and find a pet that is free and in need of a good home?

By picking a great dog from the shelter you are able to avoid expensive vet bills such as spay and neutering as well as their puppy shots because the shelter has already done these for you.

12. Magazines

I know how the headlines on magazines can grab your attention as you are checking out of the grocery store.

Don’t fall for it. Magazines off of the rack can cost anywhere from $3-$7.

If you are interested in a certain article visit your local library they always have the latest magazine subscriptions for free.

That’s it! That is the list of 12 Things that you should never pay for, hopefully you can implement at least 1 if not all the ideas mentioned above.

Related post: 10 Things I Don’t Do or Buy

flowery covered notebook stood up on it's long side pages with blurred image of flowers in a glass vase in the background

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12 things never pay for

Last Updated on 4th April 2023 by Emma

About Emma

I'm here to help you become confident in making the best money decisions for you and your family. Frugal living has changed my life, let me help you change yours.

6 thoughts on “12 Things You Should Never Pay For”

  1. I’m with you on all of them except number 10. I’m a pure-breed dog enthusiast all the way. I used to breed Cavalier King Charles Spaniels before I started breeding humans, and I’ve owned Cavaliers for the past 30 years. I also own a mini wire-haired dachshund who is the light of our lives. I’ve rescued a couple of dogs in my time and I won’t do it again. Sadly, you inherit a lot of problems. I figure I’ve done my part in saving lives with Amy and Bertie.
    I’m totally in support of people rescuing dogs, but there’s definitely a place for the pure breeds. Besides, pure-bred dogs need loving homes too!
    Besides, in Australia, it still costs a couple of hundred dollars to rescue a dog from the pound. Far cheaper than a 2K pure-bred pup though, I’ll grant you. 🙂
    Just wanted to stick up for the all of the pure-bred pups in the world…

    • You’re absolutely right, rescue animals do not come for free and then you have the ongoing costs which can of course be more. Owning a pet is all about choices. Pure breeds come with upfront costs but rescues can have hidden costs. If we are frugal with our money we can make those choices without going into debt – that’s the most important thing.
      As a cat person I am not so bothered about pure bred although I’d love to have a Maine Coon like Gosoggy just for their sheer size.

  2. My objection is to no. 10 too.
    I live in south east England and it is expensive to buy a rescue animal, they are never given away: this makes me wince but worse is the “buy 2 cats for a reduced price” stunt
    When my last lovely cat was killed, my family kindly gave me a big beautiful (rescued) Maine Coon but I have already had to pay over £400 in vet fees and dread any further need for medical intervention, it will be Goodbye my lovely as my pension is so depleted
    You can’t get pet insurance for a pre-treated condition and there are no charity clinics nearby
    We live in love and hope…
    Me and Big B

    • Hi Gosoggy! I feel for you on the vet fees, especially on a limited pension. We’ve just paid out £850 for one of our boy cats because he was limping and arthritis was considered. Needless to say x-rays came back clear and he is no longer limping! We do have insurance as we’ve had him since a kitten but we will still be out of pocket £250+ due to the age excesses. I’m slightly jealous of your Maine Coon though – they are gorgeous, and huge! Thanks ever so for stopping by.

  3. Is it worth changing banks when they offer $400 to do so? No fees. Money received with one direct deposit. Have been with my current bank for 10-15 years.

    • Hi Pat! $400 sounds like a great deal, but of course the devil is in the detail. I prefer to keep my main bank account with the same bank and have a secondary account which I can then move to those banks offering these deals. Although I helped my in-laws to move their main account and the banks od make it a very easy process here in the UK. Why not check the small print and see if other people have taken advantage of this $400 offer. It certainly sounds tempting. Good luck!


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