>Certainly, things have gotten tougher this year for my husband and me in the economic sense. I’ve mentioned before that I’m on furlough with my company, which translates to a paycheck lost over the course of 10 months. It may not seem like much, but I’ll tell you what — it’s made things tougher for us.
Couple the loss of that paycheck with adding hubby to my health insurance plan at work, and my paycheck is a lot smaller than it used to be. Hubby was out of work for a while, but got a steady kitchen job earlier this year, before the wedding. It doesn’t pay much, but it’s something, right?
So with the financial strain, I’ve had to find ways to scrimp and save. Here are a few things that I’ve been able to save money on to help us through our financial slump:
1) Cosmetics. Hubby and I both have quit buying fragrances, and we’re just using what we have. We’re nowhere close to running out! I quit buying superfluous makeup, such as pretty eyeshadows and lipsticks — I have tons of it laying around anyway — and I switch to drugstore brands when I run out of something. I’ve sworn off Sephora and switched to CVS and Walgreens. I’ve found that Maybelline’s mineral makeup is just as good as Bareminerals for a fraction of the price, as long as you’re using a good-quality makeup brush and not the horrible one that comes in the packaging. I love their concealer too!
2) Utilities. In our house, we pay a gas bill, a water/power bill, and a TV/Internet bill. About a year ago, I switched off our landline phone, saving us about $30 per month. Then in June, we switched to AT&T U-Verse for Internet and TV, saving us an additional $25 per month. Shop around for deals with your local cable/satellite companies. You’d be surprised at what you can save. And cut off that landline if you never use it. It’s possible to have DSL Internet without a phone line these days.
3) Salon services. After the wedding, I decided to start coloring my own hair again to save some moolah. My preferred shade is L’Oreal Superior Preference in Champagne Blonde. Then once my roots become visible, I use Clairol Root Touch-Up in Medium Ash Blonde. I love that Clairol’s Web site has a dropdown menu to find the shade you need, even if you use another brand for your regular haircolor. And I love that Clairol hired Angela from The Office to be their spokesperson, she’s too adorable all glammed up! I also get my hair cut at the local Paul Mitchell cosmetology school. Sometimes it takes FOR-EVER to get a haircut, but they always do a good job, and it only costs $10-$15 for a cut and style. And I’ve sworn off regular pedicures for now — I have a few bottles of my standby OPI nail polish and I take care of my tootsies myself for now.
4) Eating out. Hubby and I are eating at home more regularly, and I rarely eat lunch out of the office anymore. I consider eating out a special thing to do while traveling, or in extreme emergencies, like when there is virtually nothing to eat in the house — as long as we swing by the grocery store to stock up immediately afterward! I’ve also had to turn down friends’ invites to eat out or go out for a night on the town, because unfortunately, my pocketbook just can’t handle it. I feel embarrassed telling them that, but they understand! I think learning to say ‘no’ sometimes is a good thing.
What small actions have you taken to save some cash in your household?