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Sure, Starbucks doesn’t seem expensive in the moment. It’s only a $3 transaction! Come on, you can totally afford that! Except, you don’t go there once a month. You go there once a day. Or more. Riiiight? You’re so busted.
So, let’s say you don’t get their fancy drinks–you just get their plain ole brewed coffee. You’re like, so boring. And, that’s only $2.35! Whatta steal. However….if you drink that same coffee 5 times a week, that’s about $15 bucks. Or, $60 a month. Or, $720 a year.
$720 a year!? That could be two car payments! Three student loan payments! Your entire rent!!! But, if you make your coffee at home, even if you are using K-cups, you’re looking at around $120 a year. Costco sells 100 units of Pacific Bold for $40 bucks. That’ll last you probs around 4 months (or more). You buy those 3x a year. If that.
Yeah, we’d take an extra $600 a year, too. Cheers!
Hair cuts and coloring treatments are so freaking expensive. You know this. And a lot of times, you do get what you pay for. However, there are times in our lives when we just can’t afford these expensive trips. The nation’s average for a women’s haircut is $44! That’s a lot! And let’s be honest—most of the salons you’re going to are starting in the $60 range. And highlights? Good grief. We know most girls walk out with a $250 bill from a trim and some lighter locks. Ouch.
So what do you do when you really can’t afford it, but still need some hair R&R? You become a model. Duh.
Now, we don’t mean the high fashion kind. What we mean is, most salons have some sort of training program for their new students or apprentices, and they need people to practice on for a small fee. Bam! Salon quality products with a trained professional for half the price. Supervisors watch over, and the only thing you really lose is time. (It normally takes a wee bit longer for these less experienced stylists to get the job done, but in the end it all looks good).
We’ve tried the Aveda Salon for students–hair cuts range from $15-$20 and highlights are around $40. Meaning, yes, your entire head could be nearly perfect for less than $60! AND THEY REQUIRE NO TIP. It’s so magical.
And in case you’re wondering, that would save you around $760 a year. Just make sure you tell them exactly what you want. Or else. Trust me.
The next time you’re at the grocery store, don’t reach for the brand you recognize. Normally you aren’t paying for the better quality or taste, you’re paying for the marketing. It’s a harsh reality, but it’s true. You don’t need name brand black beans. You just need black beans.
Same goes for a lot of things. Say, toilet paper, makeup removers, socks…you name it. Just be creative. If you don’t HAVE to get the name brand, then don’t! Of course there are times when you might need name brand due to health–say you really value organic food or need to eat gluten free. That’s ok, we get it. But for every time you CAN get generic, just do it. It will really make a difference over the course of a year.
And don’t even think about grabbing those brand name tomatoes. We’re watching you.
You know how to use a credit card. You charge things up that you can afford, you pay it off at the end of the month, and you start over. (RIGHT? YOU BETTER.) Anywho, it’s not too hard. And, you even build credit along the way. Awesome!
But are you getting rewarded for this? Are you being smart about it? Did you know that you can rake in points to use for air fare, shopping, gifts, and more? WELL YOU CAN.
Even though you may not be making much money right now, that doesn’t mean you have to put your complete life on hold. You should still be able to enjoy a friend’s wedding or buy a new pair of pants because….well…they’re fabulous! But…they’re also expensive!! So why don’t you get rewarded for something you are already doing?
Spend some time researching credit cards and reward programs to see which one will work for you. Our personal favorites are Southwest Airlines (haven’t paid for a trip in 2 years–for real), Chase Ink, and the Chase Preferred. You can save a bizarre amount of money on flights, dining out, and gifts. Lots. And there are many, many more cards out there that may better suit your needs. If you don’t know where to start, check out this blog for pointers and tips!
Get ready to travel in style, girl.
You know that room in your apartment that you pay for but don’t really use? It has like ugly appliances and stuff. Yeah. That room. Maybe you should start using it.
Cooking at home saves SO much money, we can’t even tell you. Start packing your lunches for work/school. Eat at home before you go out to meet your friends. Invite people over for a BYOB snack party instead of spending a gazillion dollars at a wine bar.
We know it’s really intimidating when you don’t know how to cook, but it’s not too hard to learn. Start out buying a few spices and some basic ingredients–chicken, fish, pasta, veggies, flour, sugar, blah blah blah this isn’t a food blog–and google recipes without the crazy obscure things (I can’t stand it when they ask you to put in finely chopped shallots! What the HELL are shallots and why would I have those?!). Over time you can start adding things to your kitchen that you know you will enjoy (not shallots), and build from there. You’ll learn. Promise.
Even if cooking isn’t your favorite thing in the world–a night in can cost $5 as opposed to a $50 night out. Calculate the numbers and you’ll see, you’ll save a meeellion dollars. Or super close to that. Plus, you will probably even eat healthier. You never know what restaurants are putting in their meals anyway, and if you’re cooking we sure as hell hope you know what you’re putting in your meal! So, in reality, cooking means mo’ money, less heart problems.
We ALL love splurges. It’s normal to want to treat ourselves. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be smart about it. The next time you see something that you know you HAVE to have, don’t buy it on impulse. Think about it. Research the exact product you like, in the exact color and exact design. Think about it some more.
Once you’re sure you want it (try waiting a few weeks!) you can either a) go ahead and purchase it, you know it’s worth it, eh? or b) wait for it to go on sale…because most things do. Now that we have the Internet, we don’t have to worry about things going out of stock at our local store. We can simply order it online or ship it from another store, nbd. So cultivate the spirit of patience, save some money, and enjoy the rewards of splurging!
Ya, manicures and pedicures are relaxing. Sure, waxing is a lot easier to do at a spa. And yes massages are ZE BEST. But somewhere along the line, we turned these luxuries into necessities. And…they’re not. We like these things. We don’t need these things. And guess what? We can do them ourselves. (OK FINE–no you cannot massage yourself but you can buy a back scratcher thingy).
Painting your own nails, tweezing your own brows and making somebody else give you a shoulder rub will save you MEGA dollars if these are habits you habitually engage in at least once a month. You could seriously eliminate around $75/mo just by cutting out two of these per month. That’s around $900/a year. Yep–another months’ rent. You’re welcome. Now go buy your fave nail polish colors at the grocery store. Go.
So this one is new to us, but we’re totally in love. Cable bills have gotten so ridiculous expensive! I mean you’re looking at $100/month at least for all the channels you would probably want. So, don’t pay it. For real.
Streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, HBO GO, Showtime Anytime, and Hulu Plus are letting customers everywhere see all the shows they want at a fraction of the cost. Unfortunately ESPN even has its own app to stream those stupid games your boyfriend wishes to see. (Damn you ESPN). I’ll admit, sometimes you do have to wait a bit longer for the shows to become available–but most are available instantly!!!!! I mean, at $10 for each of these services, that’s a steal. (PS–to stream them to your TV, grab a Google Chromecast for $35. I have two…because I’m lazy and want one for each TV. Don’t judge.)
BYE CABLE! BYE FELICIA!
No problem. Blush provides coaching in all different areas–relationships, academics, family dynamics, and yes….you guessed it….MONAYYYYY. We’ll help you create a budget, get back on track, save, save, save, and get to a financial place where you’re comfortable. Get started now!
We know. We’ll get cha there.