If I were to describe my pre-pandemic spending habits in a word, it would be “relaxed.” If I were to be more honest with myself, the word would be “careless.” I prioritized convenience over all else, so if I could get lunch taken care of with a few quick taps on my phone or book a last-minute mani to ease the stress of modern-day life, I didn’t hesitate to spend the money. This, I realize, comes from a place of immense privilege, but let me also be clear: I was definitely living at or just beyond my means throughout most of my 20s.

Then, 2020 happened. And for all the truly terrible and tough challenges it presented, the one thing it did improve was my spending habits. In the extra time spent at home, away from the lure of things I could spend money on daily (my office was attached to a mall for Pete’s sake), I was finally able to start saving and it felt good.

As things have reopened over the past few months, I’m spending more than I was during lockdown, but I’ve noticed that there are some things I’ve stopped buying altogether, which I’ve shared below.

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things to not spend money on manicure
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1. A manicure

One of my favorite indulgences when I first moved to New York was getting a weekly manicure at the salon. At $15 a pop, it felt like a small luxury I could actually afford, but when you multiply that number by four, and then 12, you realize that you could buy a roundtrip ticket from JFK to Paris with that money. I’ve also become quite adept at painting my own nails over quarantine. In fact, it’s become one of my favorite grounding rituals.

things to not spend money on blowout
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2. A blowout

Remember when blowout bars were all the rage? This, too, felt like a somewhat affordable (and almost necessary) luxury for a young professional living and working in a city filled with well-coiffed people. Over quarantine, I found a styling tool that tamed by unruly hair in minutes, so I gladly say goodbye to salon blowouts. (I will, however, leave bang trims to the pros.)

things to not spend money on facial

3. A facial

OK, now this is something that could change in time, but for now, I’m still not entirely comfortable with the idea of having someone hover over my face for an hour in an enclosed space whereby nature of the service that’s being provided, you can’t wear a mask. Ask me again in a year. For now, I am going to continue self-pampering as needed with some face massage techniques I learned from the Internet.

things to not spend money on fancy footwear
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4. Fancy footwear

And by that, I mean anything with a heel higher than two inches. Or narrow toe boxes. Or excessive embellishments. Heck, I’m done with patent leather, too. I want my shoes to be optimized for comfort and walkability first. Luckily, the sneaker trend is still going strong and for dressier occasions, I’m going with a sensible block heel sandal.

things to not spend money on constrictive clothing
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5. Constrictive tops

Or constrictive clothing as an entire category. This includes everything from undergarments (if it has an underwire or a seam, I’m not interested) to overly-fitted tops and unforgiving waistbands. From here on out, I’m only buying things in breathable fabrics and generous shapes that I can cinch or tie or otherwise customize to fit my ever-changing body.

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