Would you believe me if I said that every year the average American spends a whopping $2,388 on items to treat themselves?
Join me in a task. Pull out your calculator and do a quick inventory of everything you spend money on that isn't a a bill or going toward your savings.
I started thinking of how many times I got my hair, eyebrows, and nails done last year. When the number on the screen flashed with $808 , I stopped adding. Keep in mind this didn't include Ubers to school, clothes bought as the seasons shifted, and trips out to eat.
If you found that your number was less than mine then good job. You're already spending smartly, now we just need to make sure that you are still indulging yourself enough.
If you're more on the higher end, then keep reading because not only will you gain inspiration for spending less but you'll even see new ways to experience self-care.
You can use this post as inspiration to make your own desires a reality. Look into giving yourself at home music lessons, get your certification, or start your business.
This is how I was able to increase my pampering routine and bring outside services into the safety of my room.
#1- The Gym
When the Gym closed temporarily I canceled my membership, invested in some gym equipment, and made my room my workout center.
Examples of equipment to purchase
This starter kit can help you get a full body work out.
I considered a treadmill but all the good ones were at least $500. We're investing in ourselves but the goal is not to end up broke.
Solution= squats, jumping rope, lunges and running in place. Price= free
When I got my hair braided for the first time it was phenomenal.. and expensive. $180 later my wallet was coughing up dust.
How you can do your own hair depends on your time frame.
Ask yourself "can you wait a few days"
If you're reading this the day before you go to work then chances are you'll be running to your local beauty supply store.
If you can wait for delivery then check out Amazon or Alliexpress.
I spent $30 on 6 packs of hair and kept it in for 3 weeks. If you guys are familiar with purchasing hair then you know that one pack alone of Xpression braiding hair can easily run you $6.99 .
There are a ton of styles you can do, simply go on YouTube.
If you’ve read any tips on budgeting you’d know that this is something that's proven to be cost efficient.
#3 Eye Brows
Before I started college I would get my eyebrows done every 2 weeks. I was able to decrease this to once every few months and now to never.
I use a razor and shape the top of my eyebrows. This allows for the illusion of groomed brows without all the fuss.
#4- Teeth Whitening
I was slightly obsessed with my teeth. I used strips, fancy toothpaste that tasted like coconut and rubbing alcohol, charcoal, and amongst other things, a light that was suppose to dramatically whiten.
You name it, I tried it.
Ironically, brushing my teeth at least 3 times a day with Colgate Baking Soda and Peroxide whitening Toothpaste. worked the best.
This is by far the most exciting and unexpected investment I have made. My favorite nail artist can be seen doing nails here
She’s amazing and while everything was shut down her skills were off limits. She showed me professionalism that I never experienced. PLUS my nails lasted me for a month. Enticing memories and she inspired me to learn how to do nails.
I spent hours watching videos and looking at pictures for guidance.
The truth is that with a killer nail set I feel put together when the world seems to be in shambles.
You can find tools on Amazon or in your local Beauty Supply store for cheap.
I find that ordering online won't always save you money, since the prices are the same as in store, but the quality it better. You'd rather spend $10 on something that can last over a year and wait for delivery than rush, ultimately lose money in the long run.
Before you cringe and turn away, hear me out. I purchased a sugar wax that was designed for first time wax users.
It didn't hurt nearly as much as I anticipated it to and several days later I'm still smooth.
This small purchase saved me a potential $83 dollars every 6 weeks
Alternative to waxing
1.Razor and soap.
2. Laser Hair Removal
3. Hair removal cream
All year round the Groupon app offers discounts on spa treatments. It is a more expensive solution but it allows you to stop buying any of the other methods. Removal creams are cheaper but you want to be careful if you have sensitive skin.
If you spend money on ointment because it gave you a rash, you did not spend efficiently.
In summary, after months of isolation, I was unsure of how enthusiastically I would resume pre-Coronavirus behavior. Trains, small rooms, strangers? It sounded intimidating.
With this in mind, after a long stressful day, I did not want to miss out on things that gave me joy and inner peace. Being aware of how much money you have doesn't mean you can't have what you want.
It just means that we're smart about it.
Even a $0.99 polish, can make you feel prepared for another week. If you're not ready to part ways with all of the expenses mentioned, then start with one. Leave guilt behind and say hello to a new journey of self indulging.
If you plan on trying any of the tips above let me know in the comments! Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you can stay up to date on everything there is to know about mindful saving, budgeting, and self-care.
And last but not least, share this with your friends and think of any other ways that you can spend now so that future you is happy.