Everyone who is saving for early retirement has their own idea of what it takes to look their best. Some FI community members are recovering spenders who can’t imagine painting their own nails, yet others have gone au naturel so long they can’t even remember the last time they paid for a haircut.
Whatever your ideas are for saving money on clothes, grooming, self-care, and beauty–you can always squeeze just a little bit more value out of your favorite grooming routines to save money.
Here are some quick ideas to do just that!
Be A Beauty Student, Or Find One
You can learn how to do just about anything on YouTube these days, so if you’re needing to wax your legs or trim your significant other’s hair, there’s likely a free online tutorial on how to do it. If you can take a lesson on how to trim bangs or apply self-tanner, you can save big bucks.
If you’re not keen on learning how to trim your own tresses, you can also save by going to a beauty school to have a student do your services.
Be advised though, while this does save you some money, it may eat up a bit more time if you’re having more complicated work done (like highlights or eyelash extensions) as students will need to slow down and get sign off from an instructor as they work on you.
Be Smarter With What You Use
You absolutely still deserve to take good care of your hair and skin, no matter what your budget–but you could still benefit by simplifying your routine and finding multi-use products that give you more value.
For the ladies, you can find a BB cream that covers like a foundation, moisturizes, and provides sun protection. Often for makeup, investing in the right shadow palette can double as a cheek highlighter and a brow powder, so you don’t need a unique product for each.
If you find you spend a lot on trying new things and it leads to waste, create a moratorium on trying new colors and products and stick with what you know works for your skin type and color.
Simply Use The Right Amount
Many of us use more product than we should. We waste body wash, dull our dye jobs with frequent shampooing, and have far too many chapsticks floating around the house. Next time you squirt out shave cream or dollop on some face wash, be mindful of how much is leaving the tube.
The Huffington Post recommends the following usage:
- Facial cleanser: Use a dime-size amount to get clean.
- Sunscreen: Apply a quarter-size portion on your face.
- Eye creams or serums: Use a penny-size amount of these products.
If you pay to have your hair colored, use a dry shampoo to get by in between prolonged washes. The more you wash your hair, the faster the color will dull or turn brassy–requiring a touch-up If you can stretch your shampooing an extra day or two, you’ll save on both maintenance product and dyes!
Find A Good Dupe
The internet is a glorious place where beauty bloggers have built entire careers reviewing high-end products and create videos to find the best knock-offs for half the price. Simply search “Brand X Dupe” and you’ll likely find a beauty blogger who spent hours tracking down the best drugstore brand knock-off of your favorite expensive brand.
While you might find actual knock-offs in some seedy parts of town or on Ebay, stick to buying a dupe that’s a well-known store brand, not a counterfeit knock-off. While it may be tempting to pick up an Urban Decay eye palette that normally retails for $50 and get it for $5 on Ebay, it likely is made in China and laced with some really toxic products.
To save money and stay healthy, search for “dupes” not “knock-offs!”
Use A Capsule Wardrobe
The benefits of a capsule wardrobe (also known as a minimalist wardrobe) are apparent for everyone. From the blissful fashionista to the person who wishes they could live in their pajamas; each can benefit from choosing clothing that is versatile and feels great. With less time spent shopping, organizing, cleaning, and moving things you own–you have more time to focus on other activities.
When you're ready to start limiting your wardrobe, here are some questions you'll need to ask yourself:
- Do I love this item, do I look and feel my best when I wear it?
- Does it work with other pieces in my collection?
- Could it have more than one use?
- Could it be used for more than one season?
- Is it still in good shape? If it’s not in good shape, is it because it is used frequently and should it be replaced to become a cornerstone of my capsule?
Good, now that you've got your wardrobe paired down, here's are even more guidelines to follow to fully build your capsule wardrobe:
- Focus on timeless pieces, in neutral colors or a few brights that you love. Use accessories to experiment with color, formality, and trend.
- Avoid trendy pieces at fast fashion stores that wear out fast and can look dated quickly. The goal of these fast fashion stores is to have you coming back as often as possible to make the most money from you on cheap pieces.
- Invest in quality items that are ethically produced if you can. Research well made garments that are worth paying a bit extra for. If you prefer cheaper or generally more casual items, that’s okay too–but look for things that will hold up.
- Focus on comfort. You’ll have limited but strategic options to wear, so make sure they fit right and you feel great wearing them.
- Focus on the middle ground between formal/casual. Build your capsule with items that are good for meeting with friends, dressed up for date night, or could work for a party just by changing a few accessories.
- Build layers. If you have staples that can be versatile, you don’t need chunky sweaters in fall colors or airy summer clothes in neons. Adding layers or removing layers gives you the flexibility to wear what you have on hand.