Here are some of the changes I made, so I'd still have cash for fashion...
1. started doing my own hair. A few years ago I left a salon with one of the worst dye jobs ever. It took literally years and a couple repeat salon visits to recover from. After that, I started doing my own hair, and I've saved hundreds of dollars and hours of time in the process. I love it because I have total control. I even trim my own hair; I get it cut professionally only about twice a year.
2. reduced drycleaning costs. I like my clothes ready-to-go for work in the morning, so I've always had many things professionally cleaned. I've also professionally cleaned my play clothes to help them last longer. But I bought a steamer this year, and I've cut my drycleaning bill in half.
3. stopped buying expensive skin and hair care products. I replaced my Moroccan Oil with Suave. Instead of buying expensive skin products, I became a St. Ives girl.
4. stopped buying all the little stuff out like coffee and fast food. If I'm out with friends, of course I'll have coffee and lunch. But if I'm on my own, I bring tea in a travel mug or carry a water bottle.
5. started cleaning my own home. It's true that a professionally cleaned home can preserve a marriage. But I do it myself, and I'm paying myself around $100/month, which I feel I can spend on clothes (also good for a marriage)!
6. started washing my own car. I found a clean, quick, self-serve place.
7. got rid of the Blackberry. I downgraded to a dumb phone. It fits in my pocket and never runs out of battery power.
8. gave up therapy. I'm not so sure about this choice. I may look nice in the new clothes that I buy with the extra money, but I may be insane, which may lead to different problems :-).
9. gave up excess magazines, pay tv channels, some memberships. We cut out all the fringe, especially the stuff we didn't really care that much about anyway.
10. keep only the best. Now the truth is I buy quite a lot of clothing, even if I get it all for next to nothing. While I order liberally, I make sure I only keep the things I really love. I return anything that isn't perfect.
How much do I save a month? Well, I'm not quite sure, but I feel now like it's ok for me to spend, say, $200 a month on clothes without sending us to the poor house.
Which one of my changes would you NEVER do? Got any other money-saving tips I should try?
Salon brands vs. Suave
A friend of mine whose mom is a hairstylist did a test & found that Suave products actually have fewer chemicals than salon brands & work just as well. I agree. Suave has equivalents of Aveda®, TRESemmé®, & other salon brands.