I haven’t been a big fan of the DIY approach as an adult because of my busy schedule. Growing up, I used to do a lot of things myself, such as take care of my nails, flat iron my hair and give myself a perm. I also had to cook because in my culture it was imperative a girl knew how to cook. But for a while, I tried freeing myself from these responsibilities because I was too busy. I chose the path of “convenience”.
Last December, as I was evaluating my expenses for the year, I realized my so-called “convenience” was very costly. I spent about $290 every month just for “convenience”. As I was staring at the undeniable facts from my bank statements the lightbulb went on for me. I knew something had to change this year in my way of life. I resolved to adopt the following “DIY”, thereby saving myself an average of $290 for the first two months of the year.
3 simple DIY tips that will save you an average of $290 a month …
- DIY Mani-Pedi
The average price for a manicure and pedicure is $35 a visit. Instead, I invest in a good nail file, cuticle treatment and a top coat. I usually use Sally Hansen and Motives by Loren Ridinger nail products. These are great products. They stay on for about two weeks and they don’t chip. It only takes 30-45 minutes to do a mani-pedi at home.
- Morning coffee
I always thought it was easier to stop by a Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks or any other coffee shop to get a cup of coffee. Now, I wake up ten minutes early to make it at home. I realized with the time I stand in line to get the cup of coffee, I can make it myself and save an average of $43 a month.
- Lunch at work
I used to spend an average of $8 a day on lunch at work. Sometimes I didn’t even like the food. Now I bring my own lunch from home. Not only do I make the food that I like and enjoy eating, I prepare healthier food.
Just by adjusting my schedule a little bit, I save myself a lot of money each month. I feel healthy and I have beautiful nails. Some would call that “frugal living”, but I call it “taking better care of myself and my wallet”.
What about you? What are some things you’ve chosen to do on your own in order to save money?
Myrlande E. Sauveur is the award-winning and bestselling author of Daily Spiritual Vitamins and Minerals for Your Soul, a daily devotional Bible study book. She lives in Stamford, CT. When she’s not writing, Myrlande is volunteering, clipping coupons and finding online deals, spending time with her family and friends and collecting exotic gemstones.
P.S. Ready to get out of debt ASAP? Check out the Spending Fast Bootcamp! SpendingFastBootcamp.com
These are all things I DIY as well. I found that it was more time consuming for me to go out of my way to get an expensive coffee from Starbucks, when I could just make it at home. If I could outsource anything, it would be paying for a cleaning lady, but I just can’t bring myself to do it! It would save me from having to use a whole afternoon every weekend to clean, which I hate.
I’m working on bringing my lunch to work more often. I was really good about it a few months ago, but after starting a new job I got into the bad habit of ordering from a nearby cafe every day…which is about $10 on average for lunch. That’s $210 a month I’m spending on (delicious) lunch that could be saved :/
Something I was just faced with today involved giving up savings for convenience-I needed to pick up creamer and was at a gas station. Creamer there was $3.49 for some simple half and half while my local grocery store (on my way home) I knew had some for $1.50. Another example is dragging myself to WalMart to get our contact solution $5 cheaper than at our usual grocery store. I HATE WalMart, but I would hate to overspend by $5 every time we needed contact solution, too. In the end, I decided that just because it’s convenient, doesn’t mean I will feel better about that money spent when it’s all said and done.
I have KonMari “Tidy Festival” our home and my Visa bill is down significantly every single month. Sometimes as much as half or a thousand bucks. I no longer love to shop or impulse buy and my house is a breeze to clean now that I’ve discarded or donated so many superfluous items. Use the library for books and save almost $500 a year Try it, you’ll like it!.
The problem for me is that I do all these and still come up short. I have even started rolling my coins and spare change to throw on my credit card debt. And also what do you do when your spouse doesn’t see a problem? He won’t buy in to the fact that we need to get rid of cable!!
We’re on the debt free kick too! But I read the things you save on & I think “I don’t spend money on those things” but yes I know there are things we could save on. I pack my lunch every day but Fridays, yes I could pack that day too but it’s kinda like a reward for eating healthy & packing all week! I don’t get mani, I paint my nails almost every day (it has to match!) I dye my own hair with a $5 dye that lasts me a couple months. I don’t buy coffee, only make it at home. I go to a gym (fitness is our lifestyle) but that costs $5/mo! I rarely shop for clothes. I do have a subscription to Sephora that costs $10/mo, I guess I could cut that but dang it’s my one & only reward!! Even my supplements are free bc I promote them & earned them free monthly. So I feel as if I don’t really spend but where the heck is my money going?? I think my cc’s are mostly racked up due to kid, pets & cars. Yes a vacation or two may have been in there (my bad) but otherwise I’m thankful I have them bc I don’t know what I’d do if a pet was sick or my car broke down & I had to rely on my savings… SCREWED!!! I know it’s a vicious cycle, if I get those cc paid off then I’ll have more saved, baby steps! Just trying to find those “little things” like you did to help me save. Wednesday is date night, guess cutting dinner out is a good start. We even cut the cable OFF after NFL season :) No cable for 7 months! I think I spend A LOT of money on food, such as groceries. We’re very health conscience so we buy organic, top grade meats (not much, don’t care for meat much) but all those special milks, waters, veggies, fruits, cheeses… they add up!! Sigh… I’ll figure this out someday! :) Thanks for all the great advice, just found this site today, i’ll be back for sure!