This post is inspired by The $1,000 Project.
I started by own $1,000 Project on October 24th. At about full month in and I have saved quite a bit of cash I otherwise would have spent. I was also able to add to my sinking funds for our quarterly HOA with the left over unspent cash from last month’s “budget.” (I use budget in quotes for a reason I will discuss later).
I learned to cut my own hair — This plan was more out of necessity than money saving. My one hair stylist moved to Florida and the other was on maternity leave. Since I had not had a cut since February, I needed a cut pronto. A haircut for me can easily set me back $80.00. I do not do color or a complicated style, my hair is long and straight and my cuts are generally just thinning, trimming the ends and layers. I combined the amateur methods and found a professional video and established with my own method. I bought professional scissors and a razor comb (like in the video) and went to work. It turned out perfectly. All I need to get down is layering and I am set for life.
A Lunch Packed is $10 saved — Lunches are expensive these days. I’ve spent up to $12 on a single lunch meal. It seems like lunches are just as pricey as dinners and have not gotten any bigger, more filling, or more complex. Inspired by the $1,000 Project concept, I kept track of the days I packed my lunch and added that to my total saved. So far this month I have saved $140.00 in lunch money by packing my lunch. I keep track by week so my average is buying lunch 1 to 2 days a week.
A Night in versus a Night Out — Like most people, I love to go out to dinner and walk around a store afterward. Early this month I wanted to do just that: go out with my husband to a dinner and then to the bookstore. Instead, I made a meal at home and we watched a movie on Netflix. Easily saved $100.00.
Cut Back on the perceived essentials — Over the last few years I slowly reduced the amount of “essentials” to get my makeup routine down to a 5-7 minute Le No Makeup Look . My makeup now involves: CC Cream, Powder (also what I carry for touch ups), brow pencil, bronzer and mascara. Make up is expensive so find your absolutely favorites and stick to them, keep it as simple as possible.
Double up — My hair products are simple: Shampoo, Conditioner ; a deep conditioner (which I double as shaving cream); detangler (doubles as a heat protector); Smoothing cream and a blow dry spray, and hair oil. (The blow dry spray I will not repurchase because I prefer the smoothing cream.) Cutting back on these things can really save a lot of money.
Use it Up and Use What You Have — Raise your hand if you go out and buy another cosmetic well before what you have is empty. That is a massive money suck. Unless you absolutely hate it or it causes an allergic reaction, use it all up before buying another. Also, think if you would buy it again. This also goes for food items and cleaning supplies. Get creative as to what you can use to fill a need. I am a sucker for notebooks so when I get a fresh new idea I want to buy a new one. I decluttered quite a bit of notebooks and I use them for various reasons. Use those cover to cover.
What creative ways can you save money?