Like me, I’m sure many of you are beauties on a budget. While I enjoy certain luxuries of my New Jersey life, I definitely miss the affordable living of my Georgia roots. I pay almost double for a studio in Jersey than what I paid in Georgia for a two-bedroom apartment with a full kitchen, living room, dining room and backyard that I rarely used due to unidentifiable bugs and deathly heat.
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People told me the expenses would all balance out because people “up north” get paid more. I quickly discovered that to be a big fat lie. The few extra dollars doesn’t cover the significantly higher housing expenses, tolls to and from work (I freakin’ hate those things at $3 a day), gas and even groceries are more. I’m a girly girl and as bad as it sounds, I was a little worried about having to surrender my beauty and leisure lifestyle.
But after subtracting my monthly bills from what I brought home, I was able to make due with the money I had left, have extra on the side and stay cute! Here are a few practices I incorporated into my budget. I hope they help the budget beautynista in you!
- Cable Alternatives: Cable TV is expensive! What’s the point in paying $70+ in cable when you only watch three or four shows? I wanted extra social money so I cut out the cable. As an alternative, I registered with Hulu.com. I pay $7.99 a month and get access to just about every TV network, including the four programs I watch on a regular: Scandal, The Mindy Project, The Office and America’s Next Top Model. The only catch is the episodes do not post until a day after they air on regular TV. Now, if you’re a reality TV junkie this may not be something you want. They don’t air the popular VH1 reality shows, like TI & Tiny: The Family Hustle, but you can catch those by logging onto Vh1.com. Another comparable alternative you may want to look into is Netflix! As someone who’s rarely home and not big on TV, it works perfectly for me and may be a viable option for you as well!
- Low-End Cosmetics: Long, long ago, when I enjoyed the luxury of living the kept life, I thought nothing of spending whatever on beauty products: Clinique, MAC, Estee Lauder and whatever else I came across in Macy’s. Now that mommy and daddy are no longer my sponsors, I’ve had to cut back. I’ve found that some of the lower-end brands work just as good. Sephora’s cosmetic line is way cheaper than many of the competitors they carry, and the pigment of their eye shadows is high impact! Also, Hard Candy is one of my new faves when it comes to lip color. Their “Visibly Wet Glossy Lip Pencil” is only $6! The color is vibrant and long-lasting and it can be purchased at Walmart stores online! Invest more in your skin cleansers, moisturizers and all that good stuff if you desire—especially if your skin is sensitive like mine. But when it comes to shadows, lipsticks, glosses, polish and other color cosmetics, experiment with these and other affordable brands.
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- Stretch Your Wear: Stretch your closet by switching up how you wear basic things. For instance, instead of throwing out old jeans, cut them into shorts. I had a pair of bleached jeans that I cut into mini shorts for the summer and received many compliments on them. Those same shorts I now wear over thick tights with booties (for clubbing) or combat boots (for day to day) and the look is totally different from that of the summer. If you stained your favorite blouse, cover it up with a decorative brooch! One day wear your tunic as a dress over some tights. Another day, tie it and knot it to the side for more of cropped look and rock it with some skinny jeans. You don’t have to shop just to get new clothes. Just get creative and reinvent what you already have! The more you practice, the more creative you’ll get. I’m amazed sometimes at what I come up with.
- Double the Load, Cut the Cost: So if you live in a big city, there’s a chance you may not have a washer and dryer in your actual apartment. Fortunately, there are washers and dryers in my building but we still have to pay. You of course have to be more meticulous when washing clothes because different loads call for different temperatures or certain colors may bleed into others, etc. When drying, you can combine them to cut back on how many dryers you use. I throw my brights and darks in the same dryer versus paying to dry two separate loads. Combining saves me at least an extra $5 every time I do laundry, and it cuts back on time!
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Hope these easy tips were helpful to all you beauties on a budget! Share below with your fellow beauties if you have more ideas!
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