Beauty on a Budget

When I started my job at Duke last fall, I set out on a mission to SAVE MONEY.

While I'm not doing bad, I'm not necessarily doing good.

There are days when I need a more professional wardrobe, so I buy new clothes.

There are days when I just don't want to cook, so I go out to eat.

There are days when I want to pick up poop off the ground, so I  buy a new puppy.

There are days when I feel like poop on the ground, so I buy a beverage (of the alcoholic variety).

Getting my drift? Saving money is darn near impossible.

One thing that helped me budget my finances and save a little money was determining my priorities. The things that fell to the bottom of my priority list tended to include beauty products, manicures, expensive makeup, etc. While it may not be much, saving on the little things can add up over time.

Here are some of my tips for staying BEAUTIFUL on a BUDGET:

Tip #1: STOP STOP STOP going to get your nails done!!!!!!!!!

These are my chipped nails.

I'm totally okay with it.

Nothing bothers me more than people who claim to be struggling financially, but then drop $30 in a salon getting their nails manicured. While I too love a good pampering, I made a personal decision that it's just not worth it for me right now. Painting your own nails or giving yourself an at-home manicure may not sound as appealing, but you will save a lot of money in the long run. Dave Ramsey first introduced me to the "I deserve it" complex. Yes, you probably deserve a trip to the spa. You probably deserve an hour long massage. You probably deserve a gel manicure. But at what cost?

When I feel I deserve to be pampered, I take a break from my busy life, light a candle, and quietly paint my nails at home. Then I proceed to the couch, where I lie down for an hour without moving and shout out commands to Brian, such as "unload the dishwasher" or "please turn on Netflix for me." (When your nails are freshly painted, it's vital that you do absolutely nothing for a solid hour).

Tip #2: Take it from Brian. Stop Washing Your Hair.

Brian has great hair.

Brian has had the same bottle of shampoo since we started dating three years ago. (That's not a joke).

Washing your hair too much can do more harm than good.  Not gonna lie...I buy expensive Nioxin shampoo and conditioner. At TJ Maxx, however, you can always find high dollar salon products for half of the cost. I bought a $20 bottle of Nioxin shampoo that will hopefully last me most of the year. I only wash my hair two or three times per week.

Adele, the famous singer, recently claimed that she only uses water to wash her hair, so if you're looking to go an even cheaper route....just sayin'.

Tip #3: Go to Walmart to Buy Makeup.

ULTA = ULTAmate waste of money.

Sephora makes ya poora.

Tip #4: Even a $12 haircut from Great Clips is paying too much.

For me, I have straight long hair that is not styled. It's cut straight across the bottom. So why would I pay someone twenty bucks to trim my hair? Exactly. I wouldn't pay someone twenty bucks to trim my hair.

I have recently attempted to enlist my mom as my hair cutter. I only cut my hair about once a year anyways. I once offered to cut Brian's hair for him since he needs his trimmed pretty regularly, but he has yet to take me up on my offer.

Tip #5: The Closest Bath & Body Works Store is NOT at the Mall. It's through the Bedroom, Into the Bathroom, and Under the Sink.

This is a good tip. Probably my best.

Go look in your bathroom cabinet. Now observe how many body washes and lotions you have stored in your cabinet that have collected over time.

Do not buy a single product until you have nothing left in your cabinet to use. Stop hoarding all of that stuff under your bathroom sink. Or in your bathroom closet. Or on that shelf.

By the time it takes you to use what you already have, and considering that many gifts that will be given to you typically involve bath products, it will take you a long time to run out.

If you need more advice, I have plenty to shell out. Don't hesitate to ask.