It is also wise to determine if there are other ways to get the same items for less money. For example, while a massage from a spouse may not be as thorough as one from a day spa, it certainly is cheaper. Or perhaps a home hair color can be done by a friend who knows what they’re doing rather than having to pay full price for a salon job. Whatever it is, take the time to determine the best way to steward the finances.
One of the first things that can help reduce personal spending is to forgo the brand name items except for the truly important ones. There is no detrimental effect when off-brand jeans are worn, so don’t drain the checking account for designer denim. Buy the less expensive brand and save money. This principle is important to teach to kids as well, especially before they reach their teens. Name brand clothing does not add to one’s value as an individual. It might gain temporary attention, but it also can cripple the finances. Even second-hand clothing can be a great buy, for growing children in particular. There’s no need to pay top dollar for clothes that will either get worn out or grown out of in a short time. The key is to be wise and watchful when it comes to clothing shopping.
Buying cheap, on the other hand, is not always a good idea for some products. Perhaps generic make-up causes an allergic reaction. In this case, don’t go for cheap. Get the good stuff and prevent sensitive skin disasters. Just don’t buy four different eye shadow collections or six different lipstick colors when one or two will do just fine. If more colors are desired, spread out the purchase of health and beauty products so that it doesn’t tip the budget scale all in one month.
Personal grooming can be a great way to do something special for oneself. It also can add up quickly. During times of financial upheaval, take the time to evaluate how much is spent in the area of “extras.” Things like salon haircuts and color jobs, manicures and pedicures, acrylic nails, tanning, massages and the like are all things that can slowly eat away at the budget. Again, these things may not need to be eliminated altogether, but maybe scaled down a bit to ease up the monthly outflow of money. These decisions can be made on an individual basis.
These suggestions are not intended to move someone into complete denial of all pleasure. Rather, they are simply things to think about when it comes to cutting costs during difficult times.