Since starting maternity leave (and basically having no money after paying bills etc!) I’ve had to be increasingly thrifty. In some areas, I’ve found that easier than others – so cutting back on the food shop and making my own homemade cleaning products for example.
However, there are a few areas where I have really been lacking at cutting back. One of those is books but, as they are one of my true pleasures in life, I’m not planning to cut back too much on our reading based expenses. The other is on personal care and beauty products and that’s where I really think I can make a saving.
The funny thing is – I’m by no means what I would call a ‘beauty addict’. Most days the only makeup I wear is mascara and my eyebrow filling kit. If I’m feeling particularly good then I may add a bit of lippy. In fact, I can only remember a couple of times in my life when I specifically went shopping for beauty products and one of those was in the run-up to my wedding!
I think the problem with items like this is that they are readily available everywhere – pop into Tesco for your weekly shop and you can pick up a lipstick and new face scrub at the same time. And because a lot of them are cheap to buy it’s easy to overlook how much you actually spend.
Despite that being the case when I went through three months worth of receipts I had spent an extraordinary amount on personal care and beauty items.
On closer inspection, most of those items were things that I either already had, had only used once or hadn’t even opened since purchasing!
In the course of the three month’s worth of spendings that I analysed, I had managed to spend a grand total of £183.62 on these kinds of items! That is just a ridiculous amount of money considering our current income, particularly as they weren’t necessary purchases. Nor did they bring me any joy in the way that my books do.
And so I have decided to challenge myself – for the next year I have set myself a budget of just £50 (that’s only £4.16 a month!) to cover ALL of my personal care and beauty purchases. The only exceptions to the rule are shower gel and toothpaste (because we share those as a family) and my perfume (every birthday and Christmas Scott buys me a bottle of Coco Mademoiselle Chanel or Lady Million so those are covered).
To help make following my budget simpler I wrote out a list of items I feel are ‘essential’ purchases for me:
Just by making this list I’ve cut out items such as conditioner, waxing strips, exfoliating face scrubs, different moisturisers for different parts of my body, foot scrub, ready waxing strips, lash dye, hair dye, cleanser, toner, face serum, face masks, blackhead strips, eyeshadows, tinted moisturiser and more.
I have quite a lot of products already (well for my needs anyway!), even after having a big sort out before we moved house, so I am hoping to use those up rather than buying more.
I’m well aware that this is going to be a difficult challenge for me but I think I will manage it and it will be interesting to see if having a smaller budget and choosing budget items makes a difference to my skin/sanity 😉 You can expect to see some update posts, bargain hauls and potentially a few tears as I realise I can’t afford any more Liz Earle products!
If you fancy joining in let me know – would love to see how other people fare with the budget too!