In most things in life, it’s important to know yourself and make systems work for you. This is definitely true when it comes to saving money. I read all sorts of things that people do to save money on various things. It’s important to remember how to save money and be financially responsible in a way that works for you. Instead of feeling guilty about spending money, I like to sit down and think about what’s important to me. Then I can save on all the things I don’t care much about and be okay with the things I won’t give up to save money.
I’ve heard of people who cut their own hair or have their husbands do it in order to save money. I’m not quite at that level of frugality (yet). I’m really wanting to grow my hair out, so I’m nervous to try an at-home cut that would result in needing to go get it fixed somewhere and have it get cut even shorter. But just because I’m not willing to forego on haircuts doesn’t mean I have to break the bank. The last time I got it colored, I asked for something that would let me go a while before I needed to do it again and they were happy to oblige. I’m also not above coloring it myself with one of those boxes you get from the store. They work perfectly fine for most colors (especially if you’re going darker and not lighter) and you save a tonnnnn.
I’ve also been getting my hair cut at a school for yeeeaarrs. They have an instructor oversee it and I’ve never had a problem with my hair coming out bad. It takes them a little bit longer to cut it, but I have a little more time than money, so it’s worth it to me. It’s also a new person every few cuts, so I don’t have to worry about hairstylist loyalty. Cheating on your hairstylist makes you feel guilty and is a real problem when you’re trying to save money. For any of you Oklahoma readers, you should definitely check out the Hair Arts Institute.
It would be much cheaper if I only purchased rice and canned beans and things of that nature. Eating well is important to my husband and I, so we splurge for meat and fresh produce. Sometimes I feel guilty about this and think about cutting back our food budget, but in the end it’s a worthy investment. Especially if we’re not going over budget for fast food (talking to you, Chick-fil-A).
If you really think about it, coffee is a want and not a need. Theoretically, I could save money if I stopped purchasing coffee. But I just can’t. I try to limit this expense by drinking it mostly at home, buying the cheap and non-hipster coffee beans, and putting plain, boring milk with no sugar in it. Occasionally we’ll get coffee out, but it’s a special treat when we do.
We really try to limit the number of times we eat out per month. It’s hard, but our bodies and our wallets thank us. In an imaginary world in which we are capable of doing everything we’re supposed to, we wouldn’t eat out at all. But money is also meant for our enjoyment, so if we can eat out in moderation, it’s definitely a win.
I love to travel. In fact, that’s part of why I care about saving money in other areas… so we can travel more. Charles and I met while in England and we’ve had lots of traveling adventures on our own. Now we’re really looking forward to traveling together. In addition to this, our family is scattered all over the place, so it’s important for us to be able to spend the money to go and see them when we can. We save money where we can on traveling, but don’t erase it from our budget entirely.
If we gave up having internet in our apartment, we could save $544 a year! That’s a lot! But then it would be pretty challenging to pursue this whole blogging thing. Not to mention we wouldn’t be able to watch Netflix. So with that in mind, $544 is worth the expense. But mainly because of blogging ;).
Giving gifts is definitely one of my love languages (that is, when I can get myself organized well enough to remember to buy them!). Gifts don’t have to be super expensive, but it is important to me to be able to give them. I’ve seen other people tell their friends and families that they’re not going to be giving gifts for a certain season of financial strain. That seems to work for them, but for me, the cost of gift-giving is worth it.
Have you thought about what you’re not willing to give up in order to save money? Leave a comment and let me know!