I admit it: I’m a spender. I’m much rather spend money than save it. I love shopping. I love going places and doing things. I love buying and having. The problem? Hmm — let’s just say that income and outgo don’t always match! And whether you’re bring in $25,000 a year or $250,000, not managing your money efficiently sure can put a crimp in your style. The solution? Lately I’ve been doing my best to reduce UNNECESSARY expenditures in order to get the most bang for our buck when we do spend. I thought I’d share some of those efforts and see what y’all think.
1) Cut out my four-a-day sweetened bottled water habit and switched to plain water in a reusable container — sometimes adding a mix such as Crystal Light or Lipton Iced Tea. And even though we recycled the plastic bottles, I just feel a little greener not buying so many in the first place.
2) Visit a walk-in hair place at the mall for in-between trims and cuts, reserving my fancy high-priced stylist for coloring and occasional styling. This works especially because I notoriously am a bad hair person and no matter how the stylist fixes my hair, it’s back to the same-ol’ same-ol’ after a couple days. Why pay $75+ for that every month?
3) Teach myself to do my own pedicures. I did not think this would work but I really was proud of the results. And I never have done manicures since I can’t walk out of the salon/spa without cracking/chipping the polish.
4) Shopping in my own closet. Although I’m all for supporting local businesses, I’m also for having enough funds to go on vacation. When I dug around, I found things I hadn’t worn for months that I loved. I usually buy sort of classic non-trendy things anyway, so reviving these oldies-but-goodies doesn’t look dated. I hope not, anyway! If you can look at something you bought in the past couple years or so and imagine it hanging in your favorite boutique right now, it’s a keeper.
5) Using what you’ve got. This is another variation of “shopping in your closet.” I’m determined to use what I have before buying more. This includes makeup, lotion, skin care and such — my weakness. I mean, who can resist a lovely bar of handmade peppermint soap? Not me. As a bonus, this also requires organization so you know you already have three bottles of Warm Vanilla Sugar Shower Gel and do not — repeat, do not — need to buy anymore.
6) Enjoying what you’ve got. Another version of the same theory. I’ve got books and DVDs and magazines and CDs sitting around that I’ve never even picked up since I brought them home. Use ’em or lose ’em!
What do you think? How am I doing?
I think you are a smart lady in looking into your expeditures, especially during our tough economic times. It’s good to do this anyway, because it allows you to have extra income for savings, vacation or divide it in half: save some, put away some for a rainy day or some for a vacation you and Hubby have been wanting to do. Shopping in one’s closet is also a valuable lesson in realizing how much we buy. I understand the retailers are hurting, but so are the consumers. It’s a terrible place to be in. But if the roof caved in, do you have a rainy day account to go to?
Not really asking, just putting the idea out there.
I’m afraid pedicures are non-negotiable. But I’m way ahead of you on water, and I never (well, hardly ever) buy coffee drinks, so I’m probably okay.
I think you are doing good. I’m learning to shop my own closet too. Now if I can just loose some weight I’d have a whole closet of goodies.
Oh, thank you all for the encouragement. The main thing I’m trying to do is cut out spending I don’t even think about and expenditures I can lose without any problem. That way, when we spend money, we’re doing it purposefully and on things we know we want and enjoy.
I’m with you on this one, sugar! Good luck with the yard sale…by the by, how much for those picnic baskets? ;~D xoxx
I had to draw the line, however, when you bought the “Home Surgery for Dummies” book.
Well, dear husband — it was worth a try!
Savannah — Funny story. At one time I had about 10 of those picnic baskets. When Older Daughter was planning her wedding about five years ago, we originally thought we’d have a picnic/cookout reception so I started stockpiling baskets for food containers and decorations. But then she changed her mind, so I was stuck with these baskets. I’ve stacked two/three up and used as tables, I’ve filled them with wine and other goodies and given as gifts and I’ve simply given some away. Now, I’m slapping a $3 sticker on the rest and out they go!
I too buy stuff that is pretty classic and therefore doesn’t get outdated. I too have also begun to look around and say, use the lotion that I stopped using b/c I grabbed a different kind and then never went back to the old one. Great tips
Cathy, Just do a google search for frugality blogs or financial blogs and you will discover a whole new world out there! I have been trying to decrease debt and spend less money and you had some great hints. A couple of years ago I had 3 garage sales in one year and now I still can’t psych myself up to have another–now I donate and get the nice tax write-off! Good Luck!