Last time I went to the salon, it took 1 ½ hours and cost me $80 – which is cheap.
I’m not saying I don’t love to have it done professionally. I hate dying it myself and know that the salon does a significantly better job than I do. However, right now I can’t rationalize the numeric difference to make it worthwhile. ***PS. I use the Garnier dye and really like it.
It is purely a budget decision for me.
My ways of saving money are probably completely different than yours. Everyone has their little cheats that enable them to spend money in other categories.
As I thought about my spending decision today, I realized that I save in certain areas so that I can spend in others.
As you guys know, I love the outdoors. I have no problem spending $80 on a nice pair of hiking/climbing pants. I still have my first pair of Prana hiking pants that I purchased over 10 years ago. They are a bit thrashed, but I still wear them.
The extra money was totally worth it for a quality product that has lasted me years. I’m sure that I’m in the minority on this one, but for me, hair is just not worth spending $80 on every 2 months.
Obviously, for some people, this is a worthwhile expense. And there is nothing wrong with prioritizing hair over hiking pants. I have a feeling that as my gray hairs continue to overtake me, I’ll be changing my tune.
It is all about personal spending priorities.
I love being outside and that is my little piece of heaven. One of my best friends loves getting her hair and nails done. It is her escape from the kids and she loves the boost that comes from looking her best.
Frugal living is all about choosing your discretionary spending wisely.
Frugal spending patterns are designed to save in some areas so that you can spend in other areas.
How do you turn Frugal Living into a way of life?
1. Always look for a deal regardless of the product.
I’m a bargain shopper, I go directly to the sales rack in clothing stores and will rarely spend money on full price items. When shopping online I look for coupon codes and I do my grocery shopping based on sales. Except when I completely blow my budget because I’m a dork.
Why pay full price for something if you can do a little bit of research and save 10-60%.
I’ve noticed that when I’m constantly looking for a deal, I tend to find them.
2. Keep a running list of future needs
I’m a planner, so I always have a list of items that are on my wish list. They aren’t things that I need right now, but things that I’d like to have in the future.
I love making smoothies for breakfast and my current blender was on its last leg. I just kept watching the sales until I found a new Ninja Blender Kitchen Set (best blender ever) for $129. The $36 I saved was worth the hassle of using my old blender for an extra month.
I just keep a list of household items, outdoor gear and Christmas gifts in my purse and watch for sales. I’ve been amazed at the deals I’ve been able to get by planning ahead.
3. Don’t be afraid of used products
Obviously, this has to be done with discretion, but slightly used products can save you a lot of money.
After all one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This is the epitome of frugal living.
I draw the line at used shoes and under clothing but have shopped extensively at used clothing stores. You can find some amazing deals if you are willing to dig.
We were recently able to replace our fridge when I business I knew of went under. They sold us their $2500 fridge that had been used for 5 months for $800. I cleaned it thoroughly and replaced the filter and you’d never guess it was used.
4. Ask for a deal.
For some reason, people are scared to ask for discounts. You will never get a discount unless you ask for one. I’ve gotten discounts purchasing clothing, food, and furniture.
The trick is to ask. All they can do is say no.
This is especially true when negotiating with a private party, you should always ask for a deal, particularly when paying for cash.
Always be prepared to walk away and you will be surprised what a little bit of cash and a willingness to walk will get for you.
5. Do your research
It is hard to get a good deal when you don’t know how much a product is worth.
Years ago when I purchased my first car on my own (meaning no dad or boyfriend to help) I feel in love with a Nissan Murano. I had $5,000 in cash and found a one-year-old vehicle that was selling for $21,999, I was able to talk them down to $20,500 and was so proud of myself.
I thought I had gotten a great deal.
I got a decent deal, but if I had taken the time to shop around and do additional research I think I could have saved myself another $500-1,000.
That is a lot of money and I’ve always regretted not taking the time to properly research my purchase. Which leads to my next point.
6. Don’t make a rash decision
This is particularly true with large purchases. If I had stepped back a bit after test-driving my first Murano and not rushed into my decision, I can guarantee I would have saved more money.
I’ve noticed this is particularly true with clothing. Maybe it is just because I’m a girl, but sometimes I just fall in love with an outfit. If I make myself wait a day, I will invariably decide I don’t actually need it.
Take the time to think through your purchases and make sure it is an item that you actually need, will use and most importantly is within your budget.
How Frugal Living Will Impact Your Life
I wish I could say I always follow all of these guidelines, but there are definitely times when my credit card seems to work independently from my brain. However, as I’ve used these guidelines more and more my spending habit have gradually changed.
I may have to delay my purchase or get a slightly different product, but I rarely have buyers remorse. I like to think this is a sign that I’m finally starting to grow up.
Photo Credit: Austin Kirk
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