My lipgloss is cool

While we’re on the subject of health and beauty, since we talked a bit about getting fit for less last week, let’s take it to the more superficial level. As many females are quite aware, it can take a lot of dolla dolla bills to keep up with the keepup of our looks. Some people put lots of effort into how they look, and this sometimes means spending quite a bit of money on products– makeup, hair styling products, waxing appointments, hair cuts, et etera et cetera.

Now, I am all for lookin’ good, but if you’re struggling to pay your electricity bill, but somehow the most expensive shampoo always ends up in your basket, maybe it’s time to take a step back adjust your priorities.

Now, remember, there isn’t anything more important at the end of the day except that you have a safe, warm, dry place to lay your perfectly coiffed head at night. Remember when we talked about necessities and budgeting? Beauty products are at the bottom of this list, if even. Believe me, I understand that you might have a job where you need to go in with great hair and glowing skin, but you’ve got to feed yourself if you want any chance of having great hair and glowing skin, right?

Okay, so now that we’ve established that maintenance is important but is not necessarily one of those things you should be spending a good chunk of your budget on, let’s see how you can be pretty for less.

1. Assess. See what products you already have, throw out what is bad or what you don’t use anymore. Make a list of what you need. Divide the list into what you absolutely need (foundation, blush, mascara, the most essential hair product for man hair) and what you want (lipsticks, nail polishes, awesome designer eye shadow kits, expensive cologne). Make sure to budget for what you need; every month, if you want to spend some of your discretionary income on splurging on an item, go for it. You should treat yourself to getting what you want, but only if you can afford it.

2. Do you really need all your products to be MAC? Probably not. Would it be awesome? Definitely. But ain’t no one got money for that. Buy the important basics at the best quality level you can afford– your foundation is more important than lipstick, so buy a cheaper lipstick. Get two kinds of hair product– a cheaper one you can use on the daily, and a nicer “BRAND NAME” one you use for special occasions when your hair needs to look  awesome.

3. Make sure you’re getting the best deal. A haircut that costs you $68, including tax and tip may be a little excessive if your wince when you pay it. Shop around online or get recommendations from your friends for places. I used to spend $68 for a haircut, tried a new place, got the same cut for $28. You can, too. Now, if you’re haircut is really difficult and you’re BFF with your stylist, by all means, budget and pay for that cut, but maybe you only need it two or three times a year and you can get your trims for way cheaper somewhere else. See what you’re okay with giving up if it’s costing you too much.

4. DIY. Want awesome manicures bi-weekly? Guess what? God gave you two hands for a reason–to do your own nails. If you’re not going to a wedding or some other important, equally dressy occasion, multiple manicures a month are sucking your bank account. Also, Chanel nail polish might be a better chemical composite, but YOU’RE POOR. Can’t afford the $12 to get your eyebrows waxed every 6 weeks? Tweeze them weekly to keep the growth maintained. Make your own face masks– you’ll feel gangsta with a egg mask soaking up the excess oil and getting rid of acne scars on your face, while costing you a whopping 76 cents.

5. Don’t let yourself get sucked in to everything! Those weird booths in the mall that sell that weird stuff that makes your nails shiny? You don’t need to buy it. You can buy a buff bar at your grocery store. ULTA is having a 3 for 1 sale for nail polish? Okay, fine, but there’s no reason to buy the Urban Decay eye shadow box while you’re there. Remember– beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And even if you don’t feel like that’s true, think about this: being pretty won’t make that money you spent on that luxury hairspray come back. Probably.

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IDK Wednesday: Get that body

Sometimes the worst part about working out is how difficult it can get to learn how to do it and track it. Here’s a couple of free apps and resources to help you in your quest to that Spring Break Body.

1.Nike Training Club. It’s a mobile app that gives you workouts and trainer guides on your phone.

2. MyFitnessPal. This site and it’s buddy app is a popular choice amongst all the fitness gurus I’ve researched. It’s a free-to-join site that helps you with food and exercise plans.

Fit for Less

The new year is the health industry’s Boom Season. Everyone wants this to be the year they lose 25 pounds and keep it off; this is the year we’re cutting out soda and eating more greens.

But if you’re Young Without Money, it can seem like there are some serious obstacles to getting/staying healthy. Gym memberships seems too expensive. Yoga classes are for some reason scarily expensive. The food that actually came from the ground or some nearby trees is more expensive than Hot Pockets (and take way longer to prepare). So screw it, we’ll just keep the Netflix going and consume strange things like Takis to no end.

The cool thing about getting healthy is–it’s a bit easier than mass media would have us believe. Did you know that you can do these things called calisthenics and use your own body to make your body healthy? Yeah, this was news to me, too. And there’s actually a whole sphere of the internets devoted to making easy, quick, cheap yet healthy meals.

As it turns out, getting healthy is the same as getting your finances in order. You have to overcome ignorance, denial and indulgence. I’m gonna help you face the ignorance part to figure out how to afford to be healthy– overcoming the denial and indulgence part will require the reading of another health-based blog.

Working Out for Little to No Money:

1. Do calisthenics. Use your body as it’s own gym. There’s a whole range of exercises you can do at home with absolutely no equipment. You can check out books in the libs or do a Google or Youtube search. Personally, I’ve pinned workout on Pinterest. It helps to create a schedule of which exercises you’ll do on what day. Just 30 minutes will send you to bed sore in that awesome workout way.

2. Go running.

3. Get workout videos from the library or Youtube. You can find everything from P90x to yoga in all its forms to Pilates to Step Aerobics to Jazzercise (you get my drift) online or in the Libs. Follow the videos and be diligent and you’ll find your body in better shape in 4-6 weeks and your bank account will never know the difference!

4. Find the deals. Gyms around you right now are offering special deals for this special time– no sign up fees, special rates, etc. Do some research and find a gym near you that offers what you’re looking for and sign up now for their special deal.

5. You could do that thing where you take advantage of the free visits of all the gyms in your area, but that’s so much work and super awks.

Eat Healthy for Little to No Money:

The step before number one is: know what’s healthy.

1. Make a menu for the week. Seriously, it helps to know what you’re going to make yourself to eat for the week and then buy only that. Then when you’re hungry, you’ll have no option but to eat what you planned. Or be hungry and whine. Try to reuse items. Buy rice and make it three different ways– that’s three nights of a different rice dish, and leftovers= 6 meals. Whoa. Use meat sparingly, as it’s expensive, but when you do buy it, buy it in bulk and freeze the rest, then make new meals with it.

2. Have healthier snacks. Fresh or dried fruit. No-sugar granola. Popcorn. Yogurt. Veggies and hummus. Dark chocolate. Also, drink healthier. Try to cut out soda. Drink water! It’s free! This pin is helpful:

3. Buy what’s in season. Buy fruits and veggies that are on special and make special meals from that. Remember what I said about the rice in number 1?

4. Don’t overbuy. You’ll be surprised at how quickly stuff goes bad and then you will have wasted food and money.

5. Change your portions. Make them smaller and make your non-meat/dairy/bread portions bigger. Greens=good for you.

5. When you go out to eat with friends, don’t feel bad treating yourself!

6. Don’t eat fast food anymore. And by anymore, I mean try to limit it to once a week at least.