Being a woman can be expensive when adding up money spent on make-up, skin products, a host of grooming services such as hair salons, nail bars and as well as clothing, handbags and shoes. August is commonly referred to as Women’s Month and a very good time to review cash spent on your image and put it to work where it has more impact, such as savings or paying down debt.
“Women are often caught in a trap of spending on themselves without taking into account how much it is actually costing them,” says Eunice Sibiya, Head of Consumer Education at FNB. “While it is unlikely that you will be convinced to completely cut out spending on beauty, it is a good idea to review expensive habits and see if there is a way to reduce costs.”
These expenditures can cost thousands of rands every year and the end result is not always obvious.
First you need to understand what you are actually spending on your beauty regime. Add together all the trips to professionals during the month which includes your hair, nails and other beauty costs. Also add up the amount of money spent on actual products and clothing.
“Compare this amount to money that you save every month or use to towards paying down your debt,” says Sibiya. “There is not much point looking after your image now if you aren’t looking after your future finances.”
Here are some expenses that you can cut down on or even cut out completely:
1. Clean out the bathroom cupboard
Take a look at the difference between your bathroom cupboard and your spouse’s or even a male friend’s. You will most probably find it overflowing with various products including make-up, facial creams, perfumes and lotions.
“Make-up, skin care products and perfumes can be very expensive,” says Sibiya. “And if you take a close look, you will probably find duplicates, or beauty care products that are half-used or haven’t even been opened.”
It is worth doing a full audit of your bathroom cupboard.
“Beauty products have a shelf-life, so when you are doing your beauty audit throw out expired products,” says Sibiya.
If you have unopened bottles consider regifting them.
“Once you have cleaned out your bathroom cupboard, think very carefully before making your next purchase of another lipstick, perfume or lotion,” says Sibiya. “If you keep your cupboard clean and orderly, it is less likely that you will make unnecessary purchases.”
2. Ditch the monthly salon visits
Women spend far more money on hair, nails and beauty care compared to men. Monthly trips to the hair salon or nail bar become very expensive*.
“Using professionals for beauty is where women really start to rack up the unnecessary bills,” says Sibiya.
Most, if not all, of the professional beauty services can be done at home.
“It is a matter of perspective,” says Sibiya. “Do you think that it is necessary to have your nails done every month at a salon? This month try buying a bottle of polish you like and do them yourself. The majority of people won’t notice and it will help keep you bank balance healthy.”
The same goes for hair care. Try choosing a hair style that is easy to maintain.
“It doesn’t mean that you should never get your hair done at a salon,” says Sibiya. “But it is worth considering if having a hair style that is high maintenance and requires frequent trips to the salon is really worth the expense.”
3. Shop smartly
“Expensive clothes, shoes and accessories can make a big hole in your budget,” says Sibiya.
The way to stop overspending at retail stores is to have a plan of action.
“Where we tend to fail is when shopping on impulse, which is nipping into a shop and coming out with new shoes or a dress without having budgeted or planned for it,” says Sibiya.
The best way to curb this is to firstly avoid unplanned trips to retail stores altogether, or if you find yourself there don’t buy the item impulsively but come back the next day.
“Most impulse shopping are items we rarely need,” says Sibiya. “So waiting until the next day will more than often stop the buying of unnecessary clothing.”
Another suggestion is to make use of end of sales.
There is no need to overspend on beauty. Smart planning, budgeting and being organised will go a long way to reducing expenses and start paying off debt or saving, which will have more impact on your life in the long run.
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