I’ve had some major life changes, and there are quite a lot of things that are quite stressful emotionally and somewhat financially (not my personal finances, but a close family member’s.) The good thing is that I got a new full time job, after not working for the past 2 years, so at least I have stable income. I also have a small business designing engagement rings, which bring in a decent bit of bonus income so I’m going to keep at it so long as there’s someone who’s interested.
So here are a few realizations for me… My job pays $2600 (in my currency, relatively standard or even on the high side for entry level jobs in our country.) 20% is a government mandated pension contribution (like if 401ks were mandatory.) The amount I take home a month is $2080. I also teach mathematics to this boy, which nets me $240 a month. So $2320 total.
A normal work day is 9 hours spent at the office (8 + 1 lunch hour). Assuming there are 22 work days a month, that is 198 total hours in the office, which gives an hourly rate of $13.13. That is very low, as you know. Even with my cheapo habit of buying destashed make up off others, it’s gone in like 2 drugstore lipsticks, 1 drugstore foundation, maaaaaybe a mid end lipstick if you can get a good deal. Unless you’re making significantly more than I am, I highly suggest you calculate your hourly rate. You will then ask yourself: Is a new blush/impulse buy worth X more hour of my life at my office?
I am also buying a very small 0.5% share in my uncle business as an investment, as I have mentioned before. That amounts to $50,000. With some prior savings, gifts and some windfalls, I have scrimped up $28,250. My goal for this year is to scrounge up the remaining $21,750.
Because I’m working with a very limited income pool, I have decided to save $2100 a month. Most of my other costs for existing is covered by my parents, so I only have a few basic obligations a month. I have an agreement with them to streamline all the various expenses and make everything more efficient, such as by maximizing credit card rewards, so I guess that will kind of cover my cost. After all of that, I have a ‘fun’ budget of $80 a month, which is the remaining. That includes any food or drink consumed outside and anything strictly unnecessary that I buy, which of course includes make up. Anything I destash (clothes, books, make up etc) will increase my fun budget. (FYI, I bring lunch to the office every day, rain or shine, tasty or not. I treat weekday lunches as simply a joyless act to fill the stomach.)
Thanks to my changes in life and my self imposed shoestring budget, I have not bought anything since January, except when I was in the US and bought 1 lipstick and kept my spending low even though I was on holiday. My last purchase was the the Maybelline Touch of Spice during the US trip. All my purchases will eat into the $80 budget, whether it’s a replacement, or new shiny things, so I have to think very hard about whether I want that new shiny thing, or I want to replace something. Or indeed, whether I treat myself to the luxury of outside food once a week.
In this way, make up is no longer something I obsess over, or even a priority in my life. It is right where it should be, a luxury that I have of actually applying crap on my face just to look better. It has also changed my panning habits. I’ve realized that if you pan something that you regularly use or will be repurchasing, it’s just increasing your costs. The main thing is NOT to impulse buy stuff, and you will not have a problem with desperately trying to pan stuff. If I panned all my existing moisturizers I would have to buy a new one, but do I even have the budget to get a new moisturizer? So I’m just going to use them at my existing rate, no funny methods to increase usage, and focus on never increasing my stash further.
I’ve also done LOADS of destashing, since it adds to my fun budget. I destashed all foundations other than Lasting Sil, even the ones I liked (since it appears I take 2 years to finish 1 oz of foundation…) I also found strength to cull my already tiny highlighter collection: from 3 full sized products (+ 2 teeny samples I’m halfway through) to just 2, 1 ‘natural’ colour highlight (ie champagne) and 1 weird highlight (CP Monster.) I really had a soft spot for Mary Lou-manizer, but I had less and less justification to keep it around. I’m mailing it out today, sobs.
Another way to still try out interesting new make up products while being on a super strict budget like me is to do trades. Recently I traded a palette for some non-make up stuff (a new basic bra that was the wrong size for OP but right for me, and a black slip – boring as f, right?) AND a couple of nail polishes. If people want to trade, I’m more than happy to swap my items for a chance to try out interesting goodies – at just the price of postage.
Now, I still have way too many lipsticks and eyeshadows (hard to sell them, le sigh) but at least I’m most definitely not buying anymore, which is far better than what I could say last year.
If anyone is interested in a super frugal lifestyle, you can visit www.mrmoneymustache.com which was the site which spurred me onto frugality. I discovered it around 2 years ago and I immediately made changes in my life, although I was still a work in progress until now. I know make up is kind of an antithesis to his super minimalism, but I’ve always told myself that I have no hobbies that require money except make up. And you can be super creative with very basic and cheap make up, instead of always indulging in new releases or high end things.
Sorry for the extremely long post. A $80 (around $60 USD) total fun budget (eating out, movies, any purchases at all) is difficult for me to accept but I’m trying to tell myself I’m doing a good thing and look at my long term goal, which is to make a good investment, rather than frittering it away.