Friday, 31 January 2014

Life for less

Living on a limited budget is no fun, especially at this time of year when pretty much every brand going is launching tantalising new goodies. Whether your limited funds are a result of studentdom, unemployment or just how damn expensive the basics have become there are a few things you can do to make it a little more bearable and still afford the occasional beauty essential. Yes, lipsticks, nail polish, mascara and concealer are most definitely essentials!

Max out those loyalty cards - if you're going to spend, and it's pretty unavoidable if you want to eat, you might as well get something out of it as well as lunch. Get your paws on loyalty cards for the stores you use and hand them over on every visit. Remember some cards like Nectar can be used in a variety of places. Make sure you use any vouchers you get to max out points too, although obviously don't spend extra just to use a value based voucher! Boots are particularly good for vouchers at the moment...

Track your spending - keeping a spend diary is just as revealing as a food one. Keep a track of everything you spend for a couple of weeks and you'll probably see where you could save a few pennies here and there. Once you've done that set yourself a reward to out those pennies towards - maybe one of those lovely spring launch products.

Bargain hunting - limited budgets usually mean high end products are a big no-no but they needn't be. Check out discount websites like Direct Cosmetics for a wide and regularly updated selection of products from drugstore and higher end brands. Direct Cosmetics is by far my favourite as they stock current as well as discontinued products and their prices represent a serious discount. Beauty shopping on eBay is a bit controversial but there are genuine sellers out there if you carefully check feedback and the wealth of sample sizes on offer mean you can try more expensive products before committing to a big spend on the full size version. For clothes, shoes, accessories, etc crack on - you're bound to find something you love for a fraction of the high street price.

DIY - can't afford expensive face masks, body scrubs or hair treatments? Make your own! There are loads of recipes on the web for all manner of beauty essentials using pretty much what you have in your cupboard. Imagine what you could do with just olive oil, brown sugar and honey! Candles are delightful but definitely a luxury so why not try making your own instead of buying them? Pick up some cute cups or glasses in a charity shop, get your hands on some soya wax, wick and essential oils and get creative!

Scoop a dupe - if there's a particular product you're dying to get your hands on but it's a bit pricy then do some research and find a dupe. While I think with skincare you often get what you pay for there are drugstore dupes for most high end makeup favourites which are almost as good as their expensive counterparts and some are even better! A few of the bloggers I follow have done a lot of dupe posts recently so check out my blogroll to get you started. 

How do you afford those little luxuries when you're counting the pennies?


  1. I'm an obsessive budgetter too, it's the only way especially as since having a baby I've gone part time at work and have nursery fees to cover. I use the app You Need a Budget to track all my spending then save points at boots and similar to treat myself.

  2. Yes! Spending apps absolutely rule - I'd be lost without mine. I use one called something like Spending Tracker and I have a whole bills spreadsheet thing going on, one for each month. I may be a bit of a budget nerd lol