I know the economy has affected us all, gone are the days of shopping over lunch and manicure Fridays. Sigh. However, as a working girl on a budget, it’s an interesting balance to still look good and watch your pennies. This is a great article about all the things you shouldn’t save money on. Some of the things on the list made me laugh, but when I got to thinking about how the economy has affected my wallet, there are some things that I have sacrificed and others that I would rather skip a meal for then go without.
What are things you can’t live without? What are things you pass on as a working girl?
Here is my list…and yes, I am posting it here for you to see. Since I have been a working girl on a budget and most of these have become more of a lifestyle change for me, I had to really think about what I have changed since the market crashed…
Can’t Live Without
Hair Cut/Color-With two stories of botched cuts and bad highlights, I will sacrifice just about anything for a good cut/color. Last year I tried dying my hair back to my natural color so I could save money. The result was beyond awful…a few months later when I went back to highlight, even my boss commented on how happy I was.
Gym/Yoga Membership-For some, this probably is in the do without, but over the course of the last 9 months I have learned to appreciate the importance of fitness in the workplace. It keeps both my stress levels from work and my waist intact. Tip: One of my girlfriends was able to negotiate her gym membership way down. Have you?
Groceries-You may laugh at this, but it’s something I take very seriously. No more care free meal planning or trips to Whole Pay Check Foods. Now I make a point of spending a little more at the store to get the most out of my grocery budget with things that I like and will last me awhile.
Maybe…I Try to Practice Self Control
Clothes-This is a tough one. Every girl makes sacrifices, and in this economy, this one has taken a nose dive. I have learned to control my impulse purchases, and focus more on essentials.
Shoes-I love shoes, but have learned to spend a little more on nicer shoes that will go farther than lots of shoes that hurt my feet. Am I getting old?
Magazines- I love a good gossip magazine, but my subscriptions went out the door about two years ago. However, that being said, there are a few business related magazines, that my father and I share subscriptions on.
Out the Door
Dry Cleaning-I made the choice to start wearing less of my dry clean only clothes when the market turned. As a result I found cute stuff in the back of my closet that I can wash anytime.
Manicures/Pedicures- I still love get mani/pedi’s but, with some practice, I have become pretty good at painting my own nails.
Lunches Out-When the economy started crashing, this was the first to go. When I really sat down to look at my spending habits this was a major chunk. Now I pack yummy lunches and can’t wait for noon to roll around.
Starbucks Habit-This working girl loves a Grande Chai Latte, but same as lunches, this is a luxury I can do without. I was able to kick a bad habit and save money. I also love Good Earth Tea, a little milk and honey, and I am good to go.
Happy Hour-Happy hour with co-workers/friends is such a fun way of getting together, but also a huge waste of money. There is always that one co-worker who slides out the door without paying, leaving the rest of us to pick up the tab. Tip: One of my friends makes a point of hosting happy hour at her place as a way of saving money. She is one smart cookie.
Parking-Whether it’s for work or personal reasons, when I am out, I refuse to pay for parking. Even if I have to walk a mile. Plus walking the little extra to my destination helps me burn a few more calories.
My list could go on forever, but I think these are the essentials…what are yours?