By now it’s probably clear that I love all things beauty. And we know that makeup, skin care and fashion aren’t cheap. The last 8 months or so I’ve been at a crossroads of being a beauty blogger that wants to try all the new products and a young professional that wants to save money and move. I was at a point where I had too many bills to make my goal of moving happen. Most of those bills being student loans. If you haven’t experienced student loans yourself, you’ve heard how daunting they can be. And they nev-er go away!

So, I realized I needed to do something about all this debt if I wanted to reach my goal of moving. Plus, to be honest, having less debt was also a goal of mine. I’m blessed to have had some things go my way and have been able to make it a priority to save money and pay down my loans. But it wasn’t easy. As I mentioned in my last post, I know there are other people that have the same priorities. So, I want to share little ways I save money while still buying the things I want.

Ways To Save Money

Ignore sales: You know the BOGO 50% deals and the like? If I don’t need the 2nd product I don’t buy it. It really isn’t a savings if you’re buying something just because it’s on sale. Plus, I don’t have a ton of extra space so this limits too many products sitting around.

 Stick to your list: Impulse shopping used to get me. Especially in Target. I know I’m not alone here! When I go to the store I make sure I have a list of the things I actually need and have budgeted for and then I only buy the stuff on the list. It really is that simple.

Skip hair color: This might be hard if you feel that your hair helps express your creativity. Add up how much you spend on hair color services and decide if that price is worth it to you. Personally, I do color just for fun. So, at least for right now, I’d rather spend that money on other things like the surgery I had in February. Not having any medical debt made more sense to me than getting my balayage redone.

Stretch out the time between haircuts: Yes, I’m a hair stylist telling you not to get your hair trimmed as often. *insert shrugging emoji* But really. I have long wavy hair so for me I can get away with a few extra weeks between appointments. Those weeks are a little rough but it works. I don’t always stretch it out but doing it a few times a year can help if you’re looking to save money. If you’re worried about how your hair will look, try to schedule around holidays or events.

Paint your own nails: I love going to a nail salon and feeling pampered. But, we all know how quickly a trip every 2 weeks adds up. Polish usually lasts me a week so I take time on Sunday to paint my nails.

Coupons and points: I don’t do a lot with coupons but many people do. I prefer reward clubs/systems because they’re easier for me to participate and keep track of. When I’m at Target I scan the stuff I’m buying to see if there’s a discount on Cartwheel. I save my Ulta points for larger purchases or some completely frivolous. And I use my Starbucks rewards to try a new drink.  The 3 stores I mentioned have an app which makes them convenient to use.

Drink the free coffee: Speaking of coffee! The coffee at my work isn’t the greatest but it’s FREE. My coworker actually set up a little coffee station in the back of our office with a Keurig. I bought a box of pods I really liked but after that box I didn’t buy another because it was another like $12. Instead, I keep a creamer in the fridge and a mug at my desk. I do like to treat myself to Starbucks every once in a while with the gift cards I get for holidays. Coffee is another thing you can add up and decide if it’s worth the amount you’re spending.

Eat at/from home: If I pick up a $10 lunch everyday it’s at least $50 a week. That’s $200 a month. $200!! I just can’t justify that. Buying high-end skin care products to help my skin heal? Yes. Spending $200 just on lunch? No. Add in a Starbucks trip every morning and we’re talking around $300 a month. I’d rather eat breakfast at home and pack a lunch.

Make saving a priority: Each pay day I put the money “left” in my account after bills and expenses into my savings account. No matter how much it is, it all adds up. Having an account I can transfer into with my online banking makes this easy. To me, building my savings account is an important step in moving. If I have an emergency or need to get something fixed on my car I don’t want to worry how to pay for it. They say you should have enough money in your savings to cover 6 months of expenses, so that’s a good number to aim for.

You Can Still Spend

Spend wisely: When I switched jobs I got paid out for my vacation. Instead of using that money to buy new clothes I paid off a loan. Like I mentioned earlier, I paid for my surgery rather than getting my hair done. If I’ve paid down one loan why give myself another monthly payment? I do still buy makeup I want to try- like a new highlighter. I also purchased a few high-end makeup items that I hoped would help my skin. At first, I felt guilty for buying them but I made sure I budgeted for them and didn’t let myself buy more than what I went to the store for.

Saving money and paying down loans is an ongoing process. But as time goes on your loan amounts will be lower and it will be easier to budget. Everyone’s situation is different but these things made a big difference for me. Of course, your priorities may also differ from mine and that’s okay. In a few months, or maybe a year, my budget will look different and I can (hopefully) go back to pampering myself with a no-chip manicure and hair color. But, for now, I’m finding great satisfaction in increasing my credit score and look forward to moving soon.

What are your tips to save money?

Save Money | Tips | Ways | Ideas | For a House | Budget | DIY | Student Loans

Signature Oct 2017 | Caitlin Cosmetologist