Phrases to use instead of “I Don’t Want to Spend Money”

Caught this on Twitter and had to reshare!

i dont want to spend money alternatives

Great alternatives!

So many of us struggle with saying “no” to stuff, but it’s not because we don’t care or *want* to do a lot of these things, it’s simply ’cause we’re trying to keep our $$$ reigned in!

So having an arsenal of lines like this is SMART to have in your pockets for whenever you need to whip ’em out, and even better to master one or two of them so you can really perfect the presentation.

Here are some others I like as well because they divert the attention away from the “no” and instead pull out the curiosity in others which could lead to even better stuff!

  • “Sorry – can’t eat out tonight because I’m trying to hit FIRE” (“Wait what? What’s FIRE?!”)
  • “Would love to attend but I’m not allowed to spend any money this month” (“Huh??! How are you not allowed??!”)
  • “Can’t make it I’m afraid because I just paid off my credit cards and don’t want to tempt myself!” (“Holy $hit – congrats! How did you pull that off??!” (“From saying NO more, just like I’m doing here!” ;)))
  • “How about we do something FREE instead?” (“Oh cool, like what?”)

Any chance you have to spread the good $$$ word, you take it! Haha… Because you know for damn sure your friends and others are struggling with this stuff too!! And maybe your confidence will spark them to take action as well? You could even go on to form your own accountability group together, turning it into a huge nerdfest up in there!!

At least in my corny financial dreams, haha…

But really, if you can just come up with something you’re *super comfortable* responding with time and again, you’ll have won the Game of Freedom. Doesn’t mean you can’t partake in the fun every now and then, but if you say YES to everything you’re essentially saying NO to your future. Choose the stuff that excites you the most and then say NO to everything else!

As Derek Sivers likes to say, if it’s not a “HELL YEAH!” then it’s a “no.”

And of course the more you practice the better you’ll get.

Any lines y’all like to use over there to avoid the awkwardness? Or do you just OWN IT like a rock star and say no and move on?! :)

Let’s keep adding to the list!

PS: Never came across that site before – The Modest Wallet – but their social channels are legit. Spent a good 20 mins devouring their Twitter and Insta yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed ’em!

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  1. elizabeth October 16, 2019 at 6:13 AM

    My mother in law would give me the eye roll when I said I couldnt get something. So about a year ago I started with the why. “We are saving up for a truck so I can’t buy anything” haha now her response is always like she understands.

  2. Josh October 16, 2019 at 6:27 AM

    One of my weaknesses (according to my wife) is that my excuses always come down to not wanting to spend money. I’ve been working on coming up with excuses that have nothing to do with money at first glance.

    1. J. Money October 16, 2019 at 7:33 AM

      Haha – I can see that!!

      Good little challenge to do :)

      Any good ones you’ve come up with yet?

  3. Christine October 16, 2019 at 6:49 AM

    I’m probably not as good at doing this as I should be—but am WAY better at it now than when I was in my 20s and 30s! Actually now, I feel like I’m saying no to my husband more! And it’s more in the way of “Do we have that in our budget?” (And the answer to that is always no because we have yet to come to an budget! Despite my attempts to get him on board!) I have to say the last year+ when we’ve been married, during which we also bought a house, have been some of the most mentally challenging financial times. We are fine in that we aren’t in debt and we are doing basic retirement savings and even though we both like to eat and all the cost involved in that, neither of us spends frivolously in other ways. But, man, is having someone else to think about when it comes to money difficult! I had no idea how easy my life was when it came to that! And it’s not big things…it’s the little stuff “Honey, why did you buy that expensive chocolate milk? Really, did you NEED those mini chocolate dipped rice cakes?” (Both real conversations.) That’s going to be my answer if I ever hear single friends complain!

    As for other people, sometimes just a no is sufficient. or saying “I’d really love to but I’m sorry I can’t right now.” Or if I want to bring finances into it—“you know, ever since we got a house, I have to be more careful about the budget” that we don’t have! Ha! Or “I’m a little tight on my budget this month.” Again, that I don’t have…

    1. J. Money October 16, 2019 at 7:41 AM

      You’re SO RIGHT on the trickiness of including *others* in the financial game! Or even the LIFE game for that matter, haha… And it only gets worse when you start having kids :) But good thing we love them so much! Makes you love *yourself* even more too the more you put others first…. Learning so much about myself since starting a fam, and feel like I’ve become a better human for it over the years… even if I’m slow to catch on at times (as most of us men are – hah).

    2. Kate October 16, 2019 at 9:08 AM

      I literally just ate some overpriced choc dipped rice cakes! They were okay. But not awesome. Next time I want to escape from the office I should just go for a walk around the block, and not to the choc dipped rice cake store!

      1. J. Money October 16, 2019 at 9:56 AM

        I have no idea what you guys are talking about but now NEED TO TRY THEM!!

        1. Kate October 17, 2019 at 7:02 AM

          I call it “fake health food”!

      2. Christine October 17, 2019 at 1:24 PM

        I have no idea where he even found them…they came only 2 to a package. I think he said the bakery section…crazy! And I had a taste of one and don’t know why you’d bother. just get full on chocolate!

  4. G October 16, 2019 at 8:48 AM

    I’m saving to adopt a Tesla Roadster.

    1. J. Money October 16, 2019 at 9:58 AM

      Can I babysit it one weekend?? :)

  5. Financially Fit Mom October 16, 2019 at 9:11 AM

    My husband and close friends know why I don’t want to spend money so a no is sufficient. Any adult who doesn’t know why I’m saying no isn’t close enough to me to know my goals so again, a no is sufficient without any explanation. The area I really try for better explanations is with my daughter. I want her to understand when she hears me say no – be it at the grocery store, the mall, or the travel online travel agency – it’s never because “I can’t afford it.” She knows my FI goals, but I’m not sure at 14 she can truly ‘get it’ yet so she typically gets a full on paragraph around how my time and freedom of options is so important to me and my goal is to not be tied up with a full time job in the near future so if something isn’t going to bring me absolute bliss or deepen my relationships at a level I can’t obtain elsewhere, I’d much rather put that money toward my future self to open my world up for endless possibilities. The more I explain this, the more eye rolls I get. I’m hoping that means it’s setting in and she’s getting tired of hearing about it and THAT will mean that when it actually happens and she’s just getting her first part time job, it will show her that it’s really possible to have this different life if you make a few different choices.

    1. J. Money October 16, 2019 at 10:00 AM

      At least you know she’s listening enough to warrant those eye rolls! Lol…

      It’ll 100% sink in later when she’s working and you’re not :)

  6. Joe October 16, 2019 at 9:36 AM

    I took my son to an NBA game for the first time last week. He wanted hot dog and drinks.
    I told him I didn’t want to spend because I don’t like getting ripped off.
    Unfortunately, he won that one and we paid for $6.50 hot dog, $7 Sprite, and $7 fries.
    Oh well… Next time, I’ll make sure he’s full before we go.
    At least, we got a free ticket from the summer reading program so I only paid for one.

    1. J. Money October 16, 2019 at 10:03 AM

      Hahah yup – sounds about right… Never easy to battle a hungry child :)

  7. Ricardo October 16, 2019 at 10:16 AM

    Thanks for sharing Jay. I’m a big fan of your blog! I think is very important to learn how to say “NO”, trust me, it’s okay! BUT, you also need to have a strong “WHY” and stick to it. Remember that your mind is very powerful and if you make a conscious decision to stay positive about your NO’s, you are going to attract good things into your life. Stay Positive :)

    1. J. Money October 17, 2019 at 10:10 AM

      Amen brother, amen..

  8. Rochelle Smith GLOVER October 16, 2019 at 10:43 AM

    My no is..I’m trying to keep my word to myself. I told myself not to spend extra his week.

    1. J. Money October 17, 2019 at 10:11 AM

      Beautiful one!!!

      And I bet the more you say it the more confident you get too!

  9. Caroline Carlson October 16, 2019 at 3:46 PM

    Envelope family- When the food or entertainment envelope is empty, its empty! Lets me talk about them, many BJ’s cashiers are very intrigued when I pull out my Dave Ramsey wallet and envelopes :)

    1. Stephanie October 17, 2019 at 12:25 AM

      Caroline C, I love it when I get the “oh, you have envelopes too”! I’ve always loved them because, once I figured out my TRUE NEEDS I could say to myself, girl you spent all of it and there is no more. Granted, I’m a household of one, unless you count my kittie, but it’s one of those itty-bitty steps that has taught me that it’s damn okay to control my spending and work my budget in a fashion that gets me to my goal. I’m a long way away still, but every little step forward is so much better than stagnation or worse, moving backward. I don’t post a whole lot but I’m reading J Money every single day and I firmly believe in what he’s teaching and preaching: you gotta be willing to make those changes and sacrifices to meet your goal. And, you gotta be courageous enough to want to set and get to your own personal goal. And then you gotta be brave enough to fail, and try again til you find the system that works for you. My budget is on paper and I use a pencil to calculate. And I carry those freaking envelopes everywhere!

      1. J. Money October 17, 2019 at 10:13 AM

        Love it Stephanie!!!

        Keep on going over there – so proud of you!! :)

        (And yes to Envelopes!!! A *physical* way to get a good $$$ convo going!)

  10. Katherine October 25, 2019 at 9:02 PM

    I think one of the other benefits of saying more than ‘no’ or ‘I can’t’ is the opportunity to frame your decision as a choice- a positive one. The issue many people face when trying to save is the feeling of deprivation or punishment. It might be unnecessary to explain to others but it can actually help you feel good about it.


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