How Avoiding Vanity Has Saved Me Thousands of Dollars

Facebook is certainly a time suck, but it can also be a fun way to catch up with old friends and even high school acquaintances.  Just yesterday, I followed a rabbit hole of people I had known in high school, which ultimately led to Kimmie’s page.

Where Beauty and Fashion Meet

I’m sure you had a Kimmie in your high school.  She is pretty–perhaps beautiful.  She wears stylish clothes and is one of the most popular girls in high school.  Her parents have a lot of money and are happy to spend that money on their kids.

The Kimmie I went to school with married her high school sweetheart, who was a popular prep himself.  Thanks to their Facebook pages, I see that they now have three equally beautiful children.

What struck me most, though, was how pretty Kimmie still is.  Some popular,  pretty high school girls don’t age well, but at 42, Kimmie is just as pretty, if not prettier, than she was in high school.  She looks like she could be a model for a fashionable clothing line.  Not just because of her face, but because of the stylish, chic way she dressed.

For a moment, a part of me was a bit envious of her put together, stylish look.  But that thought quickly disappeared because I have neither the time nor the inclination to be a fashion plate like Kimmie.  (Besides, there’s no way I could pull that look off as well as she does!)

Avoiding Vanity Saved Me ThousandsHow Not Being Vain Has Saved Me Thousands of Dollars

Women like Kimmie make looking beautiful easy, but I know a lot of time goes into picking just the right clothes, make up, and hair styles.  I also know it can be very expensive.

Thanks to my lack of vanity and acceptance that I will never be one of the Kimmie’s of the world, I estimate I’ve saved thousands of dollars.

Here are some of the ways:

Embrace the Features I Have

I would love, love, love to have naturally straight hair, but I was born with naturally curly hair that has become curlier after each pregnancy.  Rather than spending time and money straightening my hair regularly, I instead bought a bottle of hair gel to tame the curls and make them more manageable.  This one bottle lasts forever!

Take Advantage of DIY

My hair began to go grey when I was 23, long before I had children.  By 25, I had to have it dyed for the first time to cover up the grey.  I had my hair dyed professionally for about six years.  However, for the last ten years, my husband has dyed it for me at home.  Every time he does so, we easily save $40 to $60.

Avoid Being a Trend Follower

I tend to rely on the same classic clothes and colors.  I don’t follow trends.  This allows me to wear the same clothes for years without looking particularly in or out of style at any moment.  This also allows me to buy classic pieces at garage sales and second hand stores for a fraction of the retail price.

A Kimmie I will never be, nor do I want to.  Instead, I rely on practicality, and doing so has saved me thousands of dollars.

How do you cut costs on personal appearance, care, and grooming?  If you like to follow fashion trends, how do you keep it affordable?

Super SwagBucks Bonus

I haven’t written about Swagbucks in quite some time.  But, this is one that you’re probably gonna want to hear about.  Every once in a while, there’s a promotion that they put on that is well worth the effort, and this just happens to be one such promotion.

So what it is, you ask?

If you sign up through this link before April 5th, and then earn 1500 Swagbucks, you’ll be credited with 500 additional bonus Swagbucks.  If you’ve read any of my previous posts about Swagbucks, you’ll know that the reason I like it so much is that with a measly 500 or so Swagbucks, you can get a $5 gift card to Amazon.  Depending on how active I am, I get one every quarter or so.

Swagbucks 500 Bonus

Rules.  There’s always rules.

You’ve got to be a new user.  You’ve got to sign up through my referral link.  (I’ll get referral bucks for anyone that does that equal 10% of your Swagbucks earnings.  They’re not subtracted from yours, just bonused to me.  After you sign up, you can refer anyone you like and do the same!)  You’ve got to earn 1500 Swagbucks before April 19th.

Getting 1500 Swagbucks before April 19th is going to be a bit difficult, which is likely why they’re running the promotion the way they are.  However, it’s totally doable.  The only thing that won’t count towards your 1500 are any Swagcodes, but those are few and far between anyways. And, if you do it, you’ll have the original 1500, plus the bonus 500, and be able to cash them in for $20 in gift cards.  Well worth the effort.  Especially if you spend as much money on Amazon as I do. :)

You have until April 5th to sign up through this link.  The longer you wait, the harder it’s going to be to get those 1500 by April 19th, though, so just go do it. :)

Are Money Saving Blogs Making You Broke? Three Tips to Avoid It

Google “How to Save Money”, and you are going to be overwhelmed with all of the choices. There are thousands of blogs and websites out there that offer money-saving tips and deals. However, being a faithful follower to some of these sites has caused me to spend more money. How is that possible?

I know I am not the only one who has fallen victim to spending money after reading a money-saving blog. Many days, I start my computer time by looking at my budget and inputting any new expenses. I know the limits on each budget category. However, once I head over to some of my favorite money saving sites, I feel the compulsion to spend.

How can I pass up that coupon deal for Whole Foods on Groupon? Look those adorable scarves are only $4 each, I can buy my Christmas presents early. Or look there, a coupon for applesauce pouches to make them only .35 cents a pouch – let me run to Target ASAP to get them.

Don’t think that I am blaming these sites, of course! My favorite sites have also been very beneficial getting free items or great deals, as well. However, keep these three thoughts in mind before you browse your favorite money saving site:

Money Saving Blogs Making BrokeNot All Deals are Actually A Good Deal

When I saw an applesauce pouch deal, I printed out all of the coupons to go forward with the deal. Yes, I was getting the pouches at about 50% off their shelf price, but the truth was, I was still overpaying for applesauce. It didn’t help that my 20-month old would suck down 3-4 pouches in minutes. I could just see the dollars being sucked away in her adorable chubby cheeks. After all was said and done, I had spent about $20 on applesauce that lasted about three weeks. The truth was I could have made a whole crockpot full of applesauce* for less than $10, and it would have lasted me longer since it would have been more sauce. I would have even saved time since for the pouch deal; I spent time researching and finding all of the right coupons.

Ask yourself, is this deal worth it? Is it worth my time to drive to the store and clip coupons?

Do I Even Need This?

What good is it to save money on purchases if you are buying things that you don’t really need? The expense of clutter is much greater than you think. Once I purged my house, I really didn’t want to spend money on building more clutter. I had five sets of plates. Some sets were bought very inexpensively, but in the end, they just took up more cabinet space and made me feel like I would never get caught up with dishes.

Wait on deals for a few hours – a whole day if possible. Allow the initial excitement to die down. If you have to be impulsive about your decision, then it will most likely be an impulse buy that you didn’t need. Another great idea is to talk it over with your spouse or partner, since they may help you think logically before buying. Finally, it is easy to have a list of things you need to buy. This way, when a deal pops up, you can easily decide if you need the deal or not based on your list.

You Aren’t Saving Money if You Are Spending It

It always makes me laugh when I buy a few things from Kohls and they tell me I saved a ridiculous amount. For example, buying a sweater, toddler shoes, and a nice gift all on clearance and with coupons has made the receipt tell me that I saved over $200. That sounds good, but the truth is that I would have never spent over $200, especially for the items I bought.

If you are on a tight budget, then saving $25 on a $50 on a restaurant gift certificate or saving 75% off of processed groceries you wouldn’t have bought usually is not actually saving you money. It can be hard to be on a budget with little wiggle room, but if you adapt a “Just Say No” policy, you will benefit. Just say no to spending any money, even if it looks like a great deal, just say no to spending an hour printing out coupons and looking up deal match ups, and just say no to driving out of your way to a store for one deal. Just say no, and enjoy staying on budget.

Like I said, I don’t have anything against deal sites and money saving blogs. However, if you find your being compelled to spend instead of save after visiting these sites, it is wise to take a step back until you can learn some discipline. It has been a hard lesson for me to learn, but my wallet is much fuller!