39-year-old 'frugal' self-made millionaire: 5 things I refuse to spend my money and time on

Jonathan Sanchez is the first millionaire in his family. Now he teaches other parents how to build generational wealth.
Photo: Jonathan Sanchez

My journey to becoming the first self-made millionaire in my family — through passive income from real estate investing and my personal finance business — came from a desire to spend more time with family.

Building passive income streams has allowed me to work less and be more present with my wife and our two kids. Being frugal and preserving our savings has helped, too.

But living frugally isn't just about spending less or buying cheap things; it's about being more intentional and not wasteful. Here are five things I refuse to spend my money and time on:

1. I never buy brand new cars.

Cars often shed about 60% of their original purchase price within the first five years, which is why I can't justify spending so much money knowing that the value will only depreciate.

Insurance premiums for new cars are typically more expensive than used ones, too. So I prefer buying a used car that is a couple of years old and has less than 100,000 miles.

2. I never buy fast fashion items.

I don't overthink my outfits. I keep a small closet of simple, timeless clothes. If I'm going casual, I'll pair blue jeans with a T-shirt or polo. If I'm attending a formal event, I'll wear a suit and tie.

I only buy new items when I need to replace clothes with unforgiving holes from normal wear and tear. One of the most important things I teach my kids is how to care for their belongings and make them last.

3. I never buy more food than I need.

I'm very intentional about my grocery shopping list, and we always plan our meals around what we already have at home.

I also dislike throwing away food that can be saved for the next day. If I'm at a restaurant and can't finish everything in one sitting, I'll take the rest home. I consider it a deal if I can get two meals for the price of one. 

4. I never buy low-quality investment items.

Being frugal doesn't mean buying whatever is the cheapest. It's not worth sacrificing quality to save just a few dollars.

If I'm looking to buy an investment item, such as a mattress, sofa or refrigerator, I'll do research and read all the product reviews. I'd rather own things that can survive multiple uses than constantly replace them because they were poorly made.

5. I never spend time mowing my own lawn.

One of my favorite pastimes when I owned my first home was mowing the lawn. I took pride in taking care of it. But it was exhausting and time-consuming.

Now I have a landscaping company come mow my lawn once a week. I'm able to use the extra time saved with my family. I'll teach my kids how to code, play guitar with them, or take them to the zoo.

The lesson here is simple: Delegating and paying people to do things (even if they're simple tasks) is often worth the money. It gives you back time to do more meaningful things.

Jonathan Sanchez is the co-founder of Parent Portfolio, a website that helps families learn to grow wealth and raise financially responsible kids. Follow him on Twitter @TheParentPort.

Don't miss:

Want to be smarter and more successful with your money, work & life? Sign up for our new newsletter here

I talked to 70 parents of highly successful adults: 4 phrases they never used while raising them
4 phrases parents of successful adults never used when their kids were young

Get CNBC's free report, 11 Ways to Tell if We're in a Recession, where Kelly Evans reviews the top indicators that a recession is coming or has already begun.