Money Management 101: Saving Cash on Personal Care

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In this series on money management, we’re bringing you some great tips and tricks to save money on all those little daily expenses. Last week we covered saving on maintenance, the week before saving on entertainment, and the week before that we went over saving on groceries. So this week, in the final post in our series, we thought we’d focus on you: How to save on personal care.

Now depending on who you are, your lifestyle, and let’s face it, whether you’re a man or a woman, your personal care regimen will differ drastically. So we’ve decided to cover just a few of the essentials: hair, skin, and body. We figure, everybody at least has those (well, for the most part)—it’s up to you how much attention you pay to each.

Hair

1)   Use a ceramic metal round brush. Using this type of brush might cost you a little more at the store, but it’ll save you time, money, and do less damage to your hair while you’re driving it. When you’re blow-drying, the metal heats up, drying your hair faster, doing less damage. You’ll save because you can style your hair with its rounded edge, rather than having to shell out a bunch of money for a curling iron or rollers.  

2)   “Emulsify.” Yes, it really is a word. What it means is, you can extend the life of your favorite shampoos and conditioners by squeezing a small dollop into your hand and then before rubbing it into your hair, rub your hands together until it turns into a rich lather. Then wash your hair as usual. You’ll use less, get the same exact result, and get far more bang for your buck.

3)   Take advantage of student nights. Salons and hair schools across the country often offer huge discounts on cuts and/or color so that their students can gain experience. Do make sure to ask if the student will be supervised by the “master stylist,” but it’s generally safe to bet that anyone that far along in their education will do a great job. You should shear off anywhere from 50-75% from the regular price (Sorry, I had to!)

4)   Just do it yourself. Here’s the general rule of thumb: If you’re dying your hair darker, it is pretty safe to do it yourself. If you’re going lighter, you best leave it to the professionals or you might end up orange or brassy. If you’re just using the DIY option to hold you over in between saloon visits to save some cash, be sure to use non-permanent color! (You can find hair color at your local pharmacy.)

5)   Buy multipurpose products. Don’t clutter your cabinets with tons of different bottles. Look for products that serve more than one function. EX: shampoos or conditioners that will protect your hair against heat or chlorine. 

Skin

1)   Use less than recommended. Whether you’re talking face wash, lotion, or even makeup, you can usually assume that the “recommended amount” is a bit much. Try using one squirt instead of two, and you might even improve your skin by making it less oily.

2)   Use your face wash in the evening only. In the mornings, it’s generally just fine to simply splash your face with water, and save the cleanser for the evening. Face wash is generally pretty expensive, at least compared to other soaps, and so you should use it as sparingly as your skin will allow. Plus, over-washing your face will throw your skin’s natural balance off, making it either too oily or too dry.

3)   Buy multipurpose products. Just like with hair products, skincare products can be multi-functional as well. EX: face and body bars, soap for hair and body, and moisturizer with sunscreen, etc.

4)   Make your own products. Skip the expensive spa facial and create your own at home—often with ingredients right out of your fridge. Click here for some awesome DIY skincare ideas, or check out this video on making your own body scrubs.

5)   Stay hydrated and maintain a healthy diet. Of course this is great for your overall health, but your overall health is directly reflected on your skin! So drink plenty of water, eat healthy foods (including healthy fats like avocados, fish, and nuts), and get enough sleep. You’ll look better, feel better, and save a ton of money on skincare now and later in life.

Body

1)   Gym-shop during the slow season. If you’re looking to join a gym, summer is the perfect time to shop (and hey, it’s coming up!) Gyms are always busier during the first months of the year (New Year’s Resolutions) and during the colder months of winter (people can’t exercise outside), so during the summer when it is slower, look for discounts and deals. And remember, even if they don’t offer anything upfront, almost everything is negotiable.

2)   Join the gym at the end of the month. Gyms typically try to attract a certain number of new members each month. By the end of the month, many gyms are scrambling to reach that number, so they’ll be more willing to strike a deal with you to hit their goal.

3)   Shop around. Most cities these days have tons of options for gyms—there are your nationwide chains, there are the small boutique-types, yoga studios, dance studios, and everything in between. Be sure to shop around to find the gym with the amenities and the price that is right for you.

4)   Get rid of gym extras. A lot of gyms offer a one-price-for-all structure, including all kinds of fancy extras (use of lockers rooms, childcare, classes, etc.) If you don’t want to use these extras, talk to somebody from membership about lowering your monthly fee.

5)   Exercise at home/outside. For those of you who want to really save some cash or simply don’t like gyms, well, just don’t join one. Click here for some great workout ideas for home and outside.

Do you have any tips for saving on maintenance? Share them below!

Sources: DailyMakeover.com, BudgetStyle.About.com, SparkPeople.com, TheEcologist.org, Youtube.com, KeeperOfTheHome.org

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