Ladies, we go through great lengths for beauty, don’t we?
And men, I know this baffles you.
Men, you probably wonder why it’s so integral we get our nails done, and women, well, you understand why.
Simply put, being pampered makes us feel beautiful. It’s no wonder that women across the country who can’t pay their bills still manage to get a manicure.
Why do these smalls acts of beauty mean so much to us? Why are we consistently willing to give up other “necessities” in order to keep the beauty budget?
For the last few years, I convinced myself that highlighting my hair blonde was the one thing I’d do for myself that was nice. I even used this blog as one of my many excuses, “My brand is Budget Blonde. That’s why I should keep it that way.”
After seriously looking at my bills and building the momentum to pay off my credit cards once and for all, I decided to do the unthinkable: I went brunette!
This is after 10 years of highlighting it blonde, ever since it got darker from being blonde as a child.
It might sound a little dramatic, but I almost felt like I lost a piece of me when I dyed it back to its natural color. I have countless pictures from special trips, events, and even my own wedding that have this blonde person in them that looks very different from me now.
Still, the numbers don’t lie.
By not highlighting my hair, I’m saving $975 a year.
By letting a friend cut my hair on her front porch instead of getting it cut at a salon, I’m saving $130 a year.
Now that I’ve given up regular manicures, I’m saving $300 a year.
By plucking my eyebrows instead of letting someone at a salon wax them, I’m saving $104 a year.
By buying only clothes that we need and shoes we need replaced, I’m saving approximately $700 a year.
All in all, I’m saving $2,209 a year!
That’s a nice trip. That’s two plane tickets home. That’s a great start to an emergency fund.
And you know what? This actually works well for our lifestyle now, since we live in such a relaxed environment.
My dress code at work is what you’d expect for a tropical island. It’s very beach casual. The women wear sandals and flip flops with pretty skirts and the occasional long board shorts with a nice top. Many of them hit the gym before coming to work, shower, and let their hair air dry. Others, like myself, just throw our hair in a ponytail. So, there’s not this constant pressure to look a certain way or have certain brands.
Everyone is free to be who they are.
Also, I don’t feel like I am “letting myself go.” Rather, I feel like I am embracing the casual minimalist life that this island has to offer. I’m sure when I get back to the U.S. it would be great to get my nails done from time to time. For now, however, I’m enjoying life without budget strains or credit card payments. It’s a great place to be, blonde or no blonde.
What is the one beauty treatment or pampering secret that you just can’t live without? Does anyone else D.I.Y. their own beauty treatments? Men, I’m looking at you here, too. Don’t tell me you don’t have a special shaving cream you splurge on.