Yes, you can make/save money on things you buy. Oddly enough, that is a big lesson I learned when we all went into shutdown mode. All of a sudden, the salons weren’t open anymore (along with so much else), and you weren’t able to just go run somewhere and get what you want or need to.
Would y’all judge me if I told you that I even cut and color my own hair now? A year ago, I would have been shaking in my boots at that thought. But, I do now. During the pandemic, I had to get crafty. And, honestly, when it came to shaving a few dollars of my monthly expenses, I grew to REALLY like it.
Even though I have been saving on beauty care products, I don’t fully enforce doing your hair at home. If you have a trickier hairstyle to maintain, this isn’t super realistic. Due to that, I didn’t feature that idea in this post ~ I wouldn’t want to be accountable for any chop jobs gone wrong.
To see how I save money on items I have purchased (and used many times in the past), keep on reading.
10 Items that save me money
Casually, I follow a lot of financial gurus on YouTube as one does. I like to listen to them while I am getting ready, or even doing mindless tasks throughout the day ~ I treat them like podcasts I guess you could say. One day I stumbled upon a video titled similar to this blog post I’m writing. I took a peek and I found myself doing pretty much the same thing without even knowing it. Since I do have a semi-frugal side to me (I guess), I thought I would share my favorite tips and tricks to being a fashionista on a budget.
1. Cute nails on the fly (+ whenever I want)
We all want our nails to look fabulous on the fly, yet going to the nail salon is a pain in the a$#. Not to mention, to your budget. After the nail salons shut down for a while, I decided to order my own nail kit online. I got gel polish, the light, and even dip powder to try out.
Now after having it for a few months, I don’t think I’ll ever go back. I have come to terms with the fact that nails aren’t a priority in my finances. Currently, I would rather invest money in my apartment. If that were ever to change, then I will re-adjust my budget. But, gurrrl, I save so much each month from making this change.
Yearly savings: $3,000 [Dip/gel mani and pedi 2x /month]
2. Gourmet coffee without the hefty price tag
It wasn’t until the whipped coffee trend came around ~ thank goodness. I must say, I don’t actually do the “whipped coffee” thing everyone saw for a solid month or two straight. But, I did get addicted to the instant coffee used to make it.
I love my coffee strong and easy to make. I can easily take a scoop or two of my instant coffee, mix it into water, heat up or cool down and BOOM, your coffee’s made. I have been using instant coffee every day now. I have a full jar of regular, decaf, and on the go packets for every occasion. Don’t get me wrong, it’s helping me save up for my Breville espresso machine I’ve had my eyes on for a while.
Yearly savings: $2,604 [$2.50 coffee + $1 tip 2x per day /month ]
3. Reusable is SO in style
Investing in reusable items isn’t super glamorous but it does help you save the earth and your wallet. I now use reusable shopping bags (that I LOVE), a gallon water bottle, food containers, and Ziploc baggies.
My favorite has to be my reusable shopping bags and my water bottle. My shopping bags are black (fav color if you can’t tell), hold more than you can imagine, and are SO sturdy. For my water bottle ~ I drink a lot of water a day. About a gallon and a half to be exact. And I absolutely hate having to get up and fill my water bottle 3849257 times a day. Luckily, this one’s got my back.
Yearly savings: $148.08 [Supply of Ziplocs, grocery bags, and water bottles /month]
4. The girlie products (no boys allowed)
It sounds weird, and it is a little, but I use reusable products during my time of the month. Personally, I have been dealing with various health issues over the year, and I really don’t want standard tampons to potentially add to the mix. A few years back, I kept hearing about the famous period cup ~ and I tried it out.
Starting out, it’s really weird. It feels weird and wrong, but you learn to love it. I love this specific cup I use because it is organic, lasts all day long *during my time of the month,* and saves me SO much money. The only thing I purchase are my panty liners here and there.
Yearly savings: $108 [Tampon purchases (standard grade) /month]
5. Coconut beauty alternatives
Skincare ~ this is something we should all be taking part of. But, should it be that dang expensive? For the longest time, I was using Primally Pure cleansing oil face wash and I LOVED it, and still do. But, I wasn’t wanting to forfeit that much money every few months for a facewash. After getting addicted to that product for a few years, I thought I would give another oil a try.
I bought a giant tub of coconut oil and put it in my shower. I now use it as facewash in the morning and night and I honestly haven’t seen a difference at all. Plus, I now use this tub of coconut oil for shaving, an in-shower body moisturizer, and sometimes for hair care treatments. The only thing to be aware of (with any oil) is the potential build up in your drain.
Yearly savings: $216 [4 oz Primallry Pure oild face wash every 2 months]
6. Choose game nights over dt nights
Personally, I am not one to choose a night downtown over a night spent in. I am able to go to bed earlier, feel better, and save a heck of a lot of money from Ubers, too many shots, and bad decisions. When it comes to the weekend, I would rather host people at my apartment and have some wine (when and if I can drink), and have a good time.
Since moving to Austin, my roommate has turned me into a game lover ~ especially so when it comes to Monopoly Deal. This card game was about $5 on Amazon and I am fully addicted. If I love you, I will most likely challenge you to this game every weekend. So instead of going downtown every night of the weekend, I switch out most of my nights for game nights at home.
Yearly savings: $450 [Turning one weeknight a week into a game night at home /month]
7. Make a one-time purchase over a monthly subscription
Since moving to Austin, going to the gym has become less and less convenient. I don’t love to attend gyms in the city considering they’re so busy, yet gyms out of the city seem to take a year to get to in traffic. Then, add anxiety on top of it. Am I the only one that hates walking into a gym with people you assume know what they’re doing?
Plus, when I get into the swing of lifting weights and doing cardio, I don’t always feel my best. I feel good when I do low-intensity workouts, being able to fit them into my schedule whenever I want and are low-intensity. So, I recently cut my $70 gym membership for some home workout products and have been LOVING it.
Yearly savings: $840 [$70 gym membership payment (without taxes and yearly fees) /month]
8. Budgeting apps + templates
This isn’t exactly something you technically have to buy. But, I always like to check in on my budget via an app and a template. Personally, I use Mint to send through weekly spending reports, track my goals, and send notifications if I get distracted from my goals.
From there, I like to have weekly money meetings with myself. During those “meetings,” I like to put all my expenses into a Google Sheets and visually see where I’m at financially. Am I saving exactly what I need to? Am I paying off debts as much as I need to? The list goes on. I currently use my own template that may or may not be available to you guys shortly ~ stay tuned!
Yearly savings: $?? [ Can’t really tell how much I save when sticking to my goals /month]
9. Getting creative via the internet
This is just about the same ~ you can’t put a price tag, or “savings,” per se on something like this. In this day and age, we’re able to create just about everything from the comfort of our home. Getting creative with your interests and finding ways to monetize your passion, even if it’s in the slightest way can really help your budget long-term.
For instance, this blog I earn a small passive income off of. I earn ad revenue and affiliate marketing commission. By no means does it earn me enough to go full-time or persuade my opinions on things, but it may pay for my morning coffee every now and then. If you’re a creative person (which we all are in our own ways), think of different hobbies that you could potentially increase your income off of.
Yearly savings: $100 [ ~$8.34 Supplemental passive income /month]
10. My credit card (seriously)
Honestly, my credit card saves me SO much money. If you’ve been following me for a while, you may know I’m a Montanan living in Austin, TX. Reasonably so, flying across the country isn’t cheap, especially when being in a long-distance relationship ~ flights add up.
Last year, I got a Delta card and it has done wonders. I put just about everything but my rent on my credit card to earn sky miles every month. Recently, I have been able to get 3 flights for free (one being first-class) just from spending money I would have had to spend otherwise.
Yearly savings: $900 [ Flight costs from my past 3 flights I got free this year ]
I find it interesting and fun to find products that can save me money over the long-term (it’s the shopaholic in me).