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In this week's video, Chelsea talks about the everyday items you always *thought* were necessities, but are actually huge wastes of money. You can also find out what items you can buy that help save you money here:

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Hey, guys. It's Chelsea from The Financial Diet.

And this week, we wanted to talk to you about all the things that you might feel like you need to buy, but which are, in the grand scheme of things, pretty unnecessary. It's inevitable that, in your adult life, sometimes you are just going to make purchases that you end up regretting. But we can almost guarantee that you will make a lot fewer of those stupid purchases if you think really hard before you buy the items you're thinking of buying, and more importantly, if you're honest with yourself about what you really need versus what just looks really good on that website or store window or your friend's house.

So without further ado, because we have a lot to cover today, let's go over nine unnecessary items you think you need to buy. Number one is elaborate exercise equipment. Now we've talked a lot on this channel before about how paying for a gym membership that you basically never use-- and I have definitely done this-- is a huge waste of money that's often spent in the interest of feeling like you're doing something good for yourself.

But the answer to this is not to just recreate the entire gym experience at home so that you also never use it. Getting very basic things, like a yoga mat, some comfortable clothes to work out in, and a decent pair of shoes is OK. But feeling like you need to have the machinery or all of the fancy things you saw on that fitness Instagram is way too much.

For the average person, there are enormous amounts of effective workouts that you can do at home using just a mat, a wall, a chair, and your own body weight. And there are also plenty of awesome YouTube channels you can watch totally for free that will go over all kinds of home workout routines that are catered to whatever your needs and goals might be. Speaking more generally, we often feel that buying something is going to be what kicks our ass into actually using it or doing it.

But the effect is actually often the opposite. When you buy these items, like, say, your fancy exercise equipment, you're sort of almost telling your brain, wow,. I've already done basically half the work.

And you get to feel good about it without having done anything. And when you inevitably neglect these items, they actually become a source of shame and guilt, and you go out of your way to avoid them, which totally defeats the purpose of having gotten exercise equipment in the first place. If you are interested in doing home exercise, commit to doing one year of home exercising without any kind of fancy equipment or machines.

If you make it to the end of that year consistently and decide at that point that there is one item that might really up your regimen, then you can get it. Number two is bulky or excessive kitchen gadgets, things like a deep fryer, a smoothie blender, a waffle iron, a fondue pot. You've seen it all in various people's kitchens, perhaps even your own.

And you know that thing goes untouched 363 days of the year. Speaking personally, I have an extremely fancy fondue pot that was gotten to me as a gift. So there's really nothing I can do about it.

But I can 100% confirm that it gets used exactly once a year and then takes approximately two days to properly clean and shine again. So whether you're excited about filling up a new apartment, or you're putting a bunch of items in a wedding registry that you don't need, or thinking about even asking them for Christmas or a birthday, wait on asking for anything kitchen-related that is not a total necessity. They might make you feel like you're more established or adult or like you have a serious, grown-up kitchen.

But they are very unlikely to actually make you cook more. For items like this, I like to practice what I call the five need rule. Basically, when you're getting settled in any kitchen, keep a little notepad handy for the first year, or even just use the Notes app on your phone.

Any time you have a pang of, oh, I wish I had this item or gadget, write it down. If within that year you've seen that you've written down the need for a specific item five times, then you can justify getting it for yourself, because then the chances are way higher that you will actually use it consistently and get your money's worth. If you haven't seen the need for it on a recurring basis, don't buy it.

You're just going to watch it collect dust while you feel bad about yourself. Number three is highly specific ingredients or foods. If you're someone who's gotten into looking up recipes online to cook, you probably often come across recipes that call for one very specific or often expensive item that you really are only using for that one dish.

And especially if you're new to cooking, you might feel intimidated and feel like you have to buy that exact item to do the recipe. But if you commit yourself to having a basic familiarity with different ingredients and flavors and textures, you find that you can often substitute this item or even sometimes go without it. You can use the olives that you happen to have on hand rather than running to your local overpriced grocery store and buying the Castelvetrano olives that are specifically called for in the recipe.

Or you can use rice instead of farro if you don't have any on hand. Or you can substitute one vinegar for another you might have in your cabinet as long as they have pretty similar acidity and flavor profiles. But it's not just ingredients.

It's also specific foods. Things like diet foods, bars, smoothies, things that you know are only serving you one purpose, are going to be pretty useless when it comes to feeding yourself in a sustainable and budget-friendly way. Any time a food manufacturer has taken literally all of the guesswork out of any kind of meal product for you, you can basically guarantee that you're paying a ton more for it.

And buying a pre-packaged diet meal is probably going to run you the same amount of money as buying those basic ingredients and making, like, three of those meals for yourself. And lastly, when it comes to specific food items, you want to think in the same way when it comes to food storage. You could spend your whole life accumulating things like bento boxes and soup containers and things to put your cereal in that keeps the air out and, like, weird packaged things for all your vegetables.

But there's no point. You can do, like, 90% of what you want to do with a couple of Mason jars with lids and, like, one little set of the Pyrex Tupperware, which you can also use for baking. And nine times out of 10, when it comes to things like cereal or chips, you don't have to worry that you're not going to eat them quickly enough that they need to be put into, like, a hermetically sealed vacuum pack.

You'll eat them. Number four is a bloated cable package. Fun fact, when I first moved out of my parents' house years and years ago into one of those big houses with a bunch of roommates, one of the first things I did was specifically get myself a cable package for my bedroom so that I never, ever had to argue with my many male, bro-y roommates about what we were going to do with the television.

And here's the thing. Despite this largely being, like, the pre-Netflix, pre-watching whatever you want in 10 seconds on your computer days, I still barely ever watched TV. I actually think I more frequently watched my DVDs of Sex and the City than I actually did anything that just happened to be on cable television.

But especially now, in the days of internet abundance, there is really no reason to be getting a full cable package just because that's what your parents had when you were growing up. First of all, a lot of the things that you might want to be watching that are either network-specific or, like, an event, like sports or whatever, can be streamed online, sometimes for free, but often just for a couple bucks a month. And if you have things like YouTube Red or Amazon Prime, there is an insane amount of television and movies available to you for free.

Combine that with something like Hulu or Netflix, and you have enough entertainment for basically 70 lifetimes. But if you actually do want to get a cable package, you must do it in the smartest way possible. That means actually calling your cable company and figuring out what is the lowest possible package that still contains all the channels you want and negotiating with them for your rate, especially if you're bundling with other things, like phone and internet.

There's actually a useful online guide that we'll link you to in the description called The Cord. Cutter that shows you how you can watch all of your favorite TV stuff online, and it breaks down exactly how much it would cost. Number five is paper storage.

So oftentimes when it comes to setting up a home, we tend to think of things halfway. In this example, you might be thinking that the key to the organized, efficient, adult home is just having all of your papers super well-organized and sorted. But the truth is, we live in 2018 now, which means that approximately 70% to 80% of those papers you're thinking of, you actually don't need physical versions of.

Learning to routinely scan your important documents and just having them available to you digitally is hugely important, not just to maintaining an organized home and making sure you have everything when you need it, but also not wasting a ton of space with things like filing cabinets, baskets, shelving units, and other stuff that usually just ends up being really cluttered. For example, at TFD, we've gotten into the habit of, every time we have something that has to do with our billing or expenses, just scanning it and uploading it so that we have the digital copy that everyone can access. Otherwise, I could literally fill one of those giant, comically big Tupperwares with just receipts, checks, invoices, and all of those other pieces of paperwork that serve no purpose once they're used.

And let's be clear. Even a nice Dropbox membership costs way, way less than one of those nice metal filing cabinets. Don't think just halfway and organize all of your paper into neat little stacks.

Think the whole way and start digitally organizing them so that you can access them exactly when you need to and not take up unnecessary space or money. Number six is fancy cleaning supplies for home and body. Cleaning supplies, whether for your home or for your actual body, are one of the easiest things that you can get multiple uses out of one good product or even DIY the products yourselves.

Things like body scrubs can be easily and effectively DIYed with things like raw sugar, olive oil, coffee grinds, coconut oil, et cetera. And a good bar of soap works just as well as any fancy body wash for actually cleaning your body. And by the way, those body washes are often full of unnecessary colorants and perfumes.

And when it comes to cleaning your home, not only are there tons of cleaning jobs that can be done with basic tools like baking soda or vinegar, but getting one all-purpose cleaner will allow you to clean about 90% of the surfaces in your home effectively. And aside from the fact that you don't have to be paying for every different cleaning surface based on its texture or material, you also don't need to be taking up an insane amount of space in one of your precious cabinets with just, like, a million various cleaners you never really use. And lastly, when it comes to those cleaning products that you do actually need to buy, often that come in those spray bottles, make sure to just buy a little set-- you can get them on Amazon-- of the plain, empty spray bottles.

You can label them with what they are. And then just buy the refills to actually put the product in them. Any time you're buying the spray bottle itself with the product, you're paying way more.

I think I've actually been using the same Meyer's all-purpose spray bottle for approximately four years. I just refill it every now and then. Number seven is new or perfectly matching furniture and appliances.

It's easy to feel like your pride is wrapped up in having new things in your home that are just yours or in having everything match perfectly so that you feel like a fancy adult. It's so easy to lust after, like, that perfect, beautiful set of matching glasses or flatware. But there are so many good things to be found in places like thrift stores, Goodwill, or even in neighborhood-specific Facebook groups, where people are always looking to get rid of things.

Goodwill is a goldmine for things like glasses, flatware, small appliances, coffee tables, et cetera. One of the members of the TFD team actually was telling us about this time she went to a New Year's party, where the host had 25 mismatched champagne glasses that she got from a thrift store for a couple bucks so that she wouldn't care if anything happened to them. And actually, they ended up looking extremely cute and festive.

And while obviously there are some furniture items that you want to be a little cautious about buying secondhand, such as anything with fabric, it's also really important that you not associate brand new with mine. Something can be just as much yours, just as meaningful and beautiful, even if it's come third or fourth-hand from a yard sale. And lastly, the items that you always end up loving the most in your home are the ones that you found on some random consignment store trip and not the thing that you went specifically to IKEA and bought off the rack.

Number eight is a sitting room. Now I live in New York City, which means that I use every last inch of square footage that I have and have no options for anything even resembling a pointless room like a sitting room. But a lot of you guys might live in bigger apartments or houses where you frankly have more space than you need every day.

And a lot of us also probably grew up in homes where your parents had something like a sitting room or a parlor or just, like, this fancy room with chairs and a table that essentially never gets touched and is used basically to dust once every six months. There's still this weird lingering formality in how we think of homes, that we think there needs to be some sort of a formal sitting area that is not where we actually sit or watch TV or hang out or do anything with other people. But if you have a room in your home like a sitting room that is essentially just used for show, stop it right now.

You are paying for every square foot that you live in. So take the time to walk around your home, really take stock of each room, and see what you're not using. And if there is a room that you're not using, ask yourself honestly, how could I get a lot of use out of it?

Things like a home office, a home workout room-- you could have a huge walk-in closet or a dressing area. Whatever it is that you don't have right now and could use, it's almost always guaranteed to be better than just random room with fancy chairs that no one ever goes to. Every room in your home should be used and loved.

Number nine is the newest version of your phone or laptop. Especially in the past decade, the rate at which new computers and phones come out way exceeds our need to actually replace them. One study showed that the average American doesn't even wait two full years before they replace their phone.

And while sometimes there are great deals that are offered with upgrading your phone, a lot of times they're totally unnecessary and come with sneaky financial elements that you might not want to be signing up to. Think about it. The company is not a charity.

They're not giving you a free phone unless they get something really good out of it. If your phone or laptop is starting to act all slow and weird, your first step should not be get a new phone. You can start by exporting the vast majority of your files onto an external hard drive so that you can wipe your phone and have way more free memory.

And you can also always visit the Genius. Bar or your local phone store to see what they have to say about the issue. The important thing is to make sure you take at least two or three other steps with repairing and upgrading your pre-existing electronics before jumping to upgrading and replacing it.

It's not just for your phone or laptop. It's also a mentality that things are not meant to be temporary. They're meant to be used to their fullest capacity until you really feel the day-to-day pinch to get a new one.

Changing this mentality about your electronics is almost guaranteed to spill into other elements of your shopping decisions. And don't forget, every day that you get more use out of a product that you paid for, you decrease that cost per use down to pennies. Now some of these items I've talked about today, you may have already spent money on.

But don't feel bad about it. The point is not to beat yourself up over every little financial decision. The point is to think hard about what is really worth it to you and what you're just tempted to buy because our brain loves shiny new things.

So as always, thank you for watching. And don't forget to hit the Subscribe button and come back every Tuesday for new and awesome videos. Bye. .