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In this video, Chelsea walks us through several spending swaps you may want to consider, such as diversifying your income streams instead of putting all your financial eggs in one basket.

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Hey, guys.

It's Chelsea from The Financial Diet, and this week's video is sponsored by Thinkific. And if you have not already, please do not forget to Subscribe and hit the join button on our channel to become part of our very elite secret society.

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The least you can do is hit Subscribe. It costs you nothing, girl. And today, Mona and I are hopping into the first edition of what will be a small recurring series here on TFD of Buy This Not That.

Essentially, sharing some of the common products, purchases, or product categories that we often default to, or are very savilly marketed to us, which we simply don't need to be buying. Some of these are specific brands, some of them are more general categories, but the point is, we can be a little bit more thoughtful about how we make each of these purchases, and not always default to what happens to be well advertised to us, especially on places like social media. But there are a lot of them to get into, so without further ado, here are nine things you shouldn't buy, and what to buy instead.

Number one is something I am incredibly passionate about. Instead of buying the cheapest possible airline ticket, go the airline loyalty route. We all know that I'm about my airline loyalty.

And I am someone who, for both personal and professional reasons, travels enough that it makes complete sense financially, even when I'm sometimes flying in a higher airline class. But even if you fly just occasionally, chances are on any given flight you are much better off seeing if you can go the airline loyalty/travel hacking route to plan for your trip, rather than opting for the super duper cheapo tickets. Because often with these super cheapo tickets, the following costs are not included, and will be tacked on a la carte as you go through your trip.

Things like baggage, even, often, a carry on, cancellations or trip changes, WiFi, your seat selection, basic onboard snacks and meals, pillows and blankets, or booking with points. And even if you book on an established airline like my beloved Delta, there is way less included with the least expensive basic economy ticket option. For instance, they're currently offering free cancellation through the end of 2021 due to COVID.

But with a main cabin ticket, there is no time limit on canceling or changing your reservation. If travel is important to you, in the long run it is better to find the airline which works best for your needs. We initially chose Delta because at least half of our annual flights are in and out of France, and they partner with Air France to the extent that you can use your miles to buy tickets for free on Air France.

But the airline that works for you is going to be adapted to your needs, and where you're flying, and setting up a loyalty program with that airline. You can also get one of the associated credit cards with that airline to churn purchases through and pay off in full at the end of the month, so you can passively rack up points and miles with the money you're already spending. Just through my credit card churning on my personal and professional credit cards, I rack up tens of thousands of miles a month.

And if you're planning a big trip in the medium term future where how you get there is going to be a big part of the overall cost, it's worth giving yourself a quick crash course on what travel hacking options are open to you to get there. We recently did an interview on TFC with travel hacking expert Geobreeze Travel, which has plenty of amazing tips about the various strategies and individual cards that might be best for you. But there are tons of great tools online where you can find the best options for you, right down to when might even be the best time to fly.

The point is, it's easy to get tempted by those super duper cheapo tickets, and that's how these airlines draw people in. But where they actually make their margins is in nickel-and-dime'ing you for everything else that you get on the flight, to the extent that your overall cost ends up being more than you would have paid for a slightly higher price ticket in the first place. And lastly, if you do still want to hop on those amazing deals, but not do so through the extremely bare-bones airlines that charge for everything, I recommend following outlets like Scott's Cheap Flights, which share great travel deals from established airlines multiple times a day.

That's how one time when I saw a $250 round trip New York to Paris ticket, and tweeted it out and shared it with all my friends, I got four different people to get those tickets, just because it was an amazing deal. Where's my kickback? Where's my affiliate link?

Number two is instead of just building a professional website for your skills, build out your revenue streams with your own online courses. Those of you who have been following TFD since its inception know that we initially started as a website. We've obviously built out into many different things since then, including the YouTube channel you are watching right now.

But some of you might know that recently we have also branched out into various courses, and we'll link you guys to some of those in the description. Not only do many people prefer to learn in a more classroom like setting, it's also a great opportunity to do a deeper dive on some of the financial topics that our audience wants from us. And yes, having a professional website is extremely important for everyone, no matter what you do, not even just entrepreneurs, or creatives, who could easily monetize some of their skills through courses.

Having a great height is the baseline. But a lot of people stop there, and think that the only way to build out revenue is through getting just a full time job or clients. But a great option that not enough people consider is adding an online course about something they have expertise on to passively earn revenue in the background while they're working on other things.

And if you want to build out an awesome online course without using up all of your valuable time and resources, be sure to check out Thinkific. Thinkific is used by more than 50,000 independent creators and businesses to share their knowledge, build revenue, and educate students worldwide. It's one of the best platforms to create, market, and sell your own online courses, or membership sites.

Thinkific is an all in one platform designed for both course creators and their audiences, making it effortless to unlock a new revenue stream and share your expertise with those who need it. It's an awesome way to start making money from the skills you already have. So click the link in our description to sign up for your free Thinkific account, and start creating your own online courses, and diversifying your revenue sources, today.

Number 3 is instead of buying a new car, buy a car in literally any other way. It might sound like hyperbole, but when you look at decisions through their ROI and long term financial impacts basically no financial decision you can make is worse than buying a new car. And that's because the moment you drive it off the lot, the vehicle starts to depreciate.

Your car's value typically decreases 20% to 30% by the end of the first year, and in five years it can lose 60% or more of its initial value. And while there are obvious emotional/aesthetic draws to buying a car brand new, and car dealers absolutely lean into this right down to the new car smell, basically all of those things can be achieved by buying a relatively new pre-owned car. And the numbers just make tons of sense.

A three-year-old used car sells for an average of around $16,000 and will depreciate roughly 25% during the next three years of ownership. This amounts to about $4,000 in depreciation costs. A new car not only depreciates quicker, but is twice as expensive to start with.

For those keeping score at home, that's about half of the rate of depreciation of a new car. Now it should be known that financing a pre-owned car can be more expensive, so it's important to take a look at your interest rates and make sure that that's not canceling out the benefits. Used cars can also incur higher maintenance and repair costs, so it's important to either consider buying certified pre-owned, or getting an extended warranty, which costs more upfront, but ultimately could save you more in the long run.

Like with any major purchase, you should be doing your own math, and not just listening to what someone's telling you at the dealership. But it's worth noting that Shark Tank villain and noted capitalist succubus Kevin O'Leary himself even advises not buying a car at all. And while, yes, that might not be possible for some of us, the argument financially makes a lot of sense when broken down.

And we'll link you to a breakdown of that very decision in the description. Number 4 is instead of buying canned cocktails or coffee drinks, invest in a basic home bar cart or coffee station. If you have noticed that cutesy canned beverages, particularly canned pre-made cocktails and coffee drinks, are essentially everywhere right now, you are not imagining things.

In 2020, canned cocktail sales surged 52.7% according to IWSR, a drinks market analysis firm. Consumer demand grew during the pandemic as bars and restaurants closed, and people pursued outdoor activities. And the popularity of hard seltzer has also created enthusiasm for ready-to-drink canned beverages.

The overall RTD category, which includes hard seltzers, grew 62.3% in 2020 alone. And when it comes to coffee, more and more companies are debuting RTD milk based coffee drinks, and quality is becoming a greater focus. The global market value of RTD coffee is projected to be worth 42.36 billion by 2027, fueled further by coffee shop closures during COVID 19.

And while my distaste for the ubiquitous canned hard seltzers has been documented on this channel, and elsewhere, it's worth noting that as these canned beverages get more elaborate, they are often-- A, less worth it financially because they're so expensive per serving, but also, B, less worth it in terms of the actual beverage. Because in order to make these beverages shelf stable, they have to skimp on a lot of fresh ingredients and use all kinds of things you would never put in a fresh beverage. If the value, for example, of a Margarita is the great taste of fresh squeezed fruit juice, that is something you are not getting from a canned drink, and you're likely paying more for it per serving.

And listen, I would never say that people should not treat themselves to a fancy coffee drink at their local shop or a Starbucks-- I do the same all the time-- or they shouldn't go get a fancy cocktail at a nice happy hour. But in both of those cases, you're not only paying for an actual experience that goes along with your product, you're paying for a fresh product that's being made to order. And with the incredibly cutesy packaging that's become something of an arms race in the beverage aisle, you're often just more paying for marketing than you are for the product.

You're much better off buying the basic supplies to build out a little home bar cart, or coffee station. And we'll link you in the description to a great guide on how to do that on a budget, as well as getting a few containers that allow you to get that same on the go experience you might be looking for. Whether that's acute travel iced coffee holder with cute straws, or a little set of Mason jars for pre-batch cocktails to bring to a picnic, both of which I've done many times.

But I will say on a last note, whether or not you take this particular piece of advice, if you're someone paying 6$ to $7 for a White Claw at a bar in New York City, you should be in prison. Number 5. Instead of carpet tiles, buy a machine washable rug.

Carpet tiles have exploded in popularity and marketing over the past several years, especially on places like social media advertising. And they can seem like a good idea, in the sense that you can replace a single tile of carpet rather than the whole thing. But carpets are notoriously difficult to keep clean, particularly if you have pets.

But also, even if you're just you, because people are gross. I long ago made the switch to machine washable rugs for my home, and I have never looked back. But before you make the same switch, maybe do the math.

Having to replace half of the tiles every year is not really more cost effective than getting a rug you can actually keep clean, and they're also not necessarily more cost effective in the first place. Floor, the company that arguably popularized carpet tiles in recent years, offers budget options starting at $14 a tile, or $420 for enough to cover an 8 by 10 space. However, most of their offerings are around $24 a tile, which would be $720 for an 8 by 10 space.

Say you have to replace just for $24 tiles a year. That's still $96 a year spent on replacing carpet tiles, with no guarantees that your color or pattern will still be in production. On the other hand, Ruggable is a popular machine washable brand, with almost all of their 8 by 10 rugs listed at $439.

Paying more upfront for a quality rug that you can keep clean easily might pinch a little bit up front, but it is almost certainly going to be worth it in the long run, especially, again if you have a pet. Number 6 is instead of buying expensive at home dermatology products, invest in seeing an actual dermatologist. So when it comes to beauty and self-improvement, skincare has all but become a religion unto itself.

Good skin is often used as a proxy for self discipline, character, and an overall vague sense of wellness. Which are coincidentally all things that used to be much more socially acceptable to attach to weight, but I guess now that we can't really make those comments openly anymore, we've moved it all to what your face looks like. And out of this phenomenon has grown a huge cottage industry of at home skincare routines, and tools, and creams that go well beyond just taking basic care of your skin into essentially trying to recreate the work of a dermatologist, or an aesthetician, at home for not really that much less money.

Fancy creams and retinoids can easily run $100 or more for two ounces. At-home dermabrasion abrasion kits can be well past the $200 mark, and between the rollers, steamers, face masks, serums, and sunscreens, you're looking at potentially thousands of dollars before you even apply a stitch of makeup. And I'm not saying that you can't have, or use, or love some of these products.

I do. But you should not be investing a single dollar into them until you have consulted with a dermatologist on what you actually need. And a dermatologist does not mean a viral TikTok skincare guru.

An initial consultation with a dermatologist will run you about $150, which can easily be spent at Sephora on some of these aforementioned products, and in many cases, especially if you have actual skin issues, will be covered by insurance. My visits are partially covered, and chances are yours would be too, if you looked into it with your insurer. The point is not to give up your skincare obsession, it is to be making sure that you are investing money in products that are actually adapted to your needs, and not just falling prey to marketing trends.

Number 7. Instead of splurging on trendy loungewear, buy loungewear on sale. Particularly during the height of the pandemic, trendy and, frankly, overpriced loungewear became an absolute phenomenon in fashion.

Companies like Hill House, with dedicated Instagram followings, will regularly tease drops of their infamous, quote, "nap dresses" to their social followings, which will then sell out in a matter of hours. And we're not begrudging these businesses for having marketing tactics that work for them, but maybe reconsider impulse spending $100 or more on what essentially boil down to fancy Victorian pajamas. But do keep in mind that many upmarket brands pivoted to loungewear during the pandemic, and have a very vested interest in aggressively marketing it to you, especially at that marked up price. "Trend forecasters and apparel specialists alike emphasized that the so-called, quote, 'great loungewear pivot,' is set to have implications across all facets of retail for years, even decades to come.

In fact, WGSN has been monitoring this shift to loungewear since at least August 2018, when its proprietary fashion social media tracker, the Barometer, saw loungewear mentions in continuous growth, where it would stay for the next 18 months. In a March 2019 forecast called 'Considered Comfort', WGSN published research indicating that people's relationships with the physical home was changing, and quickly. Living spaces, they said, were set to become a quote, 'multifunctional system of living,' with our interiors catering to a new kind of versatility.

If only they knew. Loungewear is something we all must have to some extent, but with most of us ultimately defaulting to our same beloved promotional t-shirts and old sweatpants at home, and with the fact that most of this luxury loungewear that is being so aggressively marketed is not something we can wear to professional settings or, really, most social engagements, it's important to resist these aggressive marketing trends and invest in staple pieces that you can wear in all kinds of contexts, and not just during a global pandemic. Number 8 is instead of buying brand new textbooks, find creative ways to get them for cheap.

It should not come as a surprise to anyone who has been to or, frankly, around a college, that new textbooks are one of the best rackets in the game for siphoning money out of already overburdened college students, with an average of about $415 being spent per semester on textbooks nationally. And if you are one of those people who are just tacking those textbook costs onto your already bloated student loans, because-- what's another couple hundred bucks?-- please understand that every additional dollar of those student loans spent unnecessarily will be incredibly painful for you come graduation time. And there are tons of super legit places to swap, donate, or sell used textbooks, everything from AbeBook, to Chegg, to even Amazon.

And this is also a great way to make extra money if you have some textbooks to offload yourself. So we'll link you to a guide to doing just that, along with plenty of good places to buy, if you're in the market on the other end. And there are even legit websites out there where you can download textbooks to either use exclusively on your electronic devices, or print out parts of when needed.

We'll link you to that as well in the description. The point is, do not operate on the assumption that any given textbook has to be bought new. That is a scam.

There are usually alternatives. Lastly, instead of an expensive Vitamix blender, buy a single-use blender, with possibly a stick to supplement. The Vitamix brand is incredibly powerfully marketed.

It is basically the go-to aspirational kitchen item of the wellness community, and beloved by chefs everywhere. They are incredibly powerful, so much so that just through their blending power they can actually heat up soup simultaneously, and can hold up to 64 ounces depending on the model. But they also run an average of about $300.

So if you're buying your first blender and are not really practically sure how often you'll use it, you are much better off starting with a sinlge-use blender, like a Ninja, for a much lower price, and only opt for the more expensive and industrial quality version if you decide that you actually find yourself needing it regularly. I also recommend possibly getting a stick blender to supplement for other things like blending up soups, or other things you might be cooking up on the stove. I personally cook on an extremely regular basis, and often things that need to be blended in some capacity, and I have had a single-use food processor and a stick blender for the past 10 years in New York, and have never needed a more substantial blender.

Again, the Ninja is a great example, which is a fraction of the cost of the Vitamix at about $70, and for most people with most normal cooking needs, will take care of basically everything you need to blend. Lastly, and this is something that is of particular consideration for grizzled urbanites like myself, our counter space in places like New York or other major cities is usually pretty limited. And considering that a lot of these blenders like the Vitamix take up an enormous amount of counter real estate, you might want to consider the footprint in your kitchen of any given tool you're buying Generally, the smaller the better, and only invest in something really big if you absolutely need it.

The same thing goes for stand mixers, no matter how beautiful they might be. In general, though, no matter what you're buying, there are often ways in which we can be more thoughtful about cost per use, return on investment, or buying the item that's really more adapted to our lives. Say no to very effective marketing, and yes to the products that are actually worth your money.

And if you are looking to earn a little bit more of that money in a passive and easy way, check out making your own online course with Thinkific at the link in our description. And as always, guys, thank you for watching, and don't forget to hit the Subscribe button and to come back every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday for new and awesome videos. Goodbye.