No more blonde hair. I’ve been a bleached blonde for the better part of 9 years. I LOVE being blonde and I’d say it’s the hair colour that makes me feel most like “myself”. However, it’s quite costly. On average, it costs around $200 every 3 months to maintain – sometimes more if you’re getting a special treatment or you need a colour correction (after trying to do your roots at home to save money lol).
Blonde is a high maintenance colour. There are ways you can do it cheaper – such as opting for an ombre or balayage service so you can go a bit longer between touch ups – though the initial appointment will often cost close to $500. I’ve decided to give my hair and wallet a nice break from being blonde. Having that extra $50/month could go towards other things – food, savings, etc.
The plan is to go back to my natural hair colour. It will be cool to see it again after over a decade of dying my hair. Now’s the time to enjoy it. My plan is to go back to blonde in a couple of years when my income increases – and I can afford the treatments and maintenance needed to keep the hair healthy.
I’ll only buy 1-2 books per month. I’ve been pretty liberal with my book spending these past couple of years with 0 regrets. It’s been amazing being able to read so many indie books and make an author’s day when I review their book. However, it has gotten out of hand sometimes and I don’t want it to turn into an addiction. I’ve noticed a lot of book bloggers will read 1 or 2 books per month which is a decent number. I think this balanced approach to book blogging will be better for the budget and time management. The one exception will be for Indie April – I’ll buy 5 books to help support indies. I’ll also keep an eye out for free books. I’ll be accepting limited ARC copies for reviews, too. I’ll force myself not to purchase more than two books per month.
Make more meals at home. I’ve been doing pretty good with this in recent months and it helps tremendously. I have a toaster oven and I’ve noticed that buying pre-made meals packaged by the local grocery store helps me budget ahead as I’ve already got the food at home (It’s cheaper to buy it pre-made than buy all the ingredients to make your own). Pasta, sandwiches, and meat on sale can also help cut the grocery bill down.
You can buy spaghetti/pasta at the dollar store – and sometimes you can get bread and other canned goods on sale there, too (An FYI for anyone who’s on a budget). My grocery budget is around $70/week and it’s doable with some smart spending. I’m a single person who eats healthy – and I’m no stranger to treating myself. I obviously put some balance in there – the odd day I’ll buy a snack or meal when I’m out. Overall, making cheaper meals at home makes a huge difference in your monthly spending.
Walking if my destination is a short distance away. I’ve done this regularly for the past several years and intend to keep it up. If my destination is within half an hour, I’ll walk it. The exceptions are if you’re tired or it’s bad weather. Monthly bus passes add up and transit isn’t cheap (Well, not my definition of cheap) so I try to shop and work close to where I live when possible.
Pre-made book covers for my books. I’ve saved so much money on self-publishing now that I’ve cut out editing services and chosen pre-made book covers. While there’s some that are very pricey, many are only around $40. Comparing that to an average cost of $150 per cover if you go with a pro custom design, it’s saving you a lot of money. I shop at thebookcoverdesigner.com. If you can make your own cover (Which I’ve done once), you’ll save even more.
Being more price conscious. It takes time and experience to be more price conscious, but it helps a lot. There are few things I won’t skimp on – such as good skin care and Vitamins (which don’t need to be pricey either. I usually ask for gift cards around my birthday and Christmas which is a good time to stock up on those luxury skin care brands). Saving a few dollars here and there adds up. I don’t buy designer clothes, but you can buy great clothes at fast fashion stores or thrift stores.
Of course, if I really, really love something and it’s a reasonable price, I’ll let myself have it once in a while. The key is to make frugal choices for your regular shopping to help cut down on monthly spending.
Having 0 monthly memberships. I don’t have any monthly memberships. I genuinely feel that I’m not at the comfort level where I can take on those types of things. I work out at home and don’t watch much TV, so Netflix and the gym aren’t super important for me. For others, it might be a part of their self care routine and they’d prioritize those over other things. I’ve just found this saves me a lot of money in the long run. Those monthly fees add up over time so if you can cut them, it helps the budget a lot. I’m also super motivated with my Youtube workouts (so no need for a gym) and with my writing (which reduces the amount of time I’d watch TV).
Being A Minimalist. When you need less you spend less in general. I’ve never had to pay for a moving truck, because most of my belongings can fit into two suitcases when I need to move. At most, I’ve gotten a taxi. Many times, I’ve been able to move just by taking the bus. Of course, this lifestyle isn’t suitable for everyone, but it works for me, and when you do need to move, it makes life a lot easier. I don’t like a lot of clutter in my home so I usually just have a few pairs of shoes, a few outfits, a bed, chair, yoga mat, a mirror, and stylish boxes to store away things. I love it! It helps me breathe – and it’s a lot cheaper because I’m not decking out my home with a bunch of stuff.