Ok so I’m not a Dietitian, a Physician, a Beautician, a Clinician or any other kind of ‘Ian’, but over my 35 years on this earth, I’ve picked up a few tips on how to be attractive and healthy and how to do it all while saving money and living on a budget.
I wish I had started making these slight adjustments to my life a long time ago. I would start out with a whole new routine with gusto, then fail dismally after a few weeks because it was too much all at once and i would soon feel overwhelmed and unmotivated. The key is to make improvements that are feasible, doable and realistic. If something doesn’t work out for you, change to something that does and if that’s too much, cut back and work it up slowly. Taking care of your body is an ongoing life-long commitment, but if done correctly, it can be almost unnoticeable and just becomes your regular ‘life’.
Now I understand for some people the gym is something you can’t do without, especially for men who lift heavy weights, but the fact is that most of us can get our weekly exercise requirements absolutely free. Take me for example. I have lost a total of 50lbs in 1 year by cooking at home and jogging around the block for 30 minutes a day. I was one of those people who brought a year gym membership, went 5 times and never used it again. The gym just felt like work to me. Going into another building after coming out of a building and HAVING to workout. Yuck.
What I do enjoy is hitting the pavement and being out in the fresh air. It’s 30 minutes of time just for me where I can clear my head and jam out on my favorite songs. I come home feeling exhilarated, happier and reward myself afterwards by eating a home cooked dinner, slipping into my jammies and watching my favorite shows on YouTube or Netflix. It’s the perfect way to end a busy and stressful day. If you want to lose a lot of weight fast or are feeling particularly motivated, then do it morning and night.
For bad weather days and times when you want to work on upper body strength or abs, there are literally thousands of free workout videos on YouTube in all skill and intensity levels, all instructed by the worlds best fitness professionals. Can’t ask for any more than that. Get the whole family involved and get moving!
One of the best things about working on your fitness and weight a little bit everyday is that you are always ready for anything, anytime, anywhere! You no longer have to diet and you’ll be ready for that vacation or event, and instead of saying, ‘I don’t have anything to wear’, which is basically just code word for ‘I don’t feel sexy or confident in anything i own’, you’ll grab whatever is clean, because you know for a fact that you you look wonderful and others will think so too!
Vitamins and Supplements –
Vitamins are a $28 billion a year industry and a lot of studies have shown over the years that most of it is completely unnecessary. The fact is that nature has provided us with what we need in the food we eat. If you eat balanced healthy diet and are a reasonably healthy individual, you don’t need much else. Now if you can notice a huge improvement and it makes you feel better, then by all means go ahead, but speak to your doctor and find out what you really need, then do some research. Compare prices online and in stores and buy what you need in bulk. If it’s something that you use religiously every month then sign up on Amazon or the numerous vitamin sites for recurring shipments. You can often get a considerable discount
Supplements and protein powders used for sports and bodybuilding are also a super profitable industry with a lot of players and competition for the customer base. That’s good news for us because it means they are willing to make an effort to get your dollars. What does this translate too? free samples! Yay! You can acquire these in several ways. Go to trade shows and load up your goody bag (best time to go is a just before the trade show closes as they will be more willing to unload stock), walk into GNC and The Vitamin Shoppe and ask what products they have to sample, or if you have a specific brand you want, email them specifically and ask. Be professional about it. Introduce yourself, say you are serious about your training, tell them you are currently using a competitors brand and you would be interested in switching to their product but want to try it first. Give your email, street address and name. You will be surprised how generous they will be to get your business. 😉
Cosmetics are a must have for most of us. Your beauty routine is one of those things that you can spent an absolute fortune on, or you can be smart and just look like a million bucks for minimal money. Luckily today there are a lot of services that cost next to nothing and offer BIG returns. Let me introduce you to the world of….Beauty box Subscriptions!! Ta Da! These are boxes filled with beauty products sent to your door and typically run from $10-20 a month. Some good examples include: IPSY, Allure beauty box, Birchbox, Sephora Play! and BoxyCharm. They offer huge savings and in the case of Ipsy, your $10 a month output will normally net you $40-70 a month of make-up and hair care. Boxycharm consistently delivers over $100 worth for $20 a month. Target and Walmart also offer boxes but they sell out in a few hours so you have to be super quick. With beauty boxes You don’t get a choice what you get but i’m not usually disappointed and it’s so exciting getting a gift in the mail every month. Also, you can sell the products your don’t want on eBAy and make up the cost of the box, essentially getting it for free. Its definitely addicting. You can view subscription blog reviews and compare products and prices at My Subscription Addiction.
Nail Care –
It’s an expensive luxury getting your nails done every 2 weeks, no doubt about it. I used to go through stages where id enjoy it for a while, then get sick of spending money on the upkeep and bite them all off. Last year i discovered the magical world of Jamberry. Ahhh, I love you Jamberry, you make nail care fun and easy! They are plastic sheets that fit over the nails and in all honesty, it’s the only way I’ve been able to grow my nails as they break and chip easily. You can pick up Jamberry’s half sheets on eBay for $5 and that’s enough to do a full manicure, a pedicure and several other accent nails. Pick up a couple nail files. a pumice stone for your feet and a base coat nail polish and you’ve got an awesome budget friendly mani/pedi. PS. I get at least 2 compliments a day on them every day!
I used to spend a small fortune on my hair. At least $200 every 5 weeks going to the best salons in Sydney and Los Angeles. Throughout my varied degrees of career success I’ve had to downgrade to more humble options and honestly it’s turned out for the better. I now go to a not so glamorous neighborhood and pay $30 and it’s actually better than all the fancy hair salons I’ve been to. I get my regular stylist ASAP whenever I want and 100% of her time always. If I had dark hair I’d just do it myself with a box color, but as a highlighted chick, I let the experts do it. ALSO, if you want top shelf shampoo like Joico and KMS for half the price, get it at Marshalls.
ohhh I love smoking so much. Its been my biggest addiction and crotch in life, but I finally managed to break away. If it was healthy id be a 2 pack a day girl, but after watching my neighbor with lung cancer AND COPD trying to catch enough breath just to speak, I knew I had to quit. We take breathing for granted, but watching someone suffer and struggle just to do this simple life giving activity is disturbing and terrible. Yup smoking is super expensive (even more so in Australia at over $20 a pack!), but quit smoking aids are just as expensive….Rip-off bastards….
There are a couple things you can do to quit cheaply. Some states will give you fee smoking cessation methods if you email them. Another way is to look on good old eBay. A lot of people will buy a huge pack of gum, patches or lozenges, quit or take up smoking again, and sell whats left over on ebay. You can buy or bid on these items for a third of the price of the original. When it arrives make sure the safety seal has not been tampered with and your items are in tact.
The method that worked for me was the 2mg mint flavored lozenges. I did them for a couple of weeks, then switched to mint sugar-free Altoids as a placebo for a couple weeks, now i’m nicotine free and so much happier for it. Bye cigarettes…P.S i loved you! (by the way, the more intensely you work out the less cravings you will have – double win!).
Interesting fact: Obama has been struggling with quitting smoking and using Nicotine gum since 2009. That’s literally YEARS! He says it’s expensive but he can afford it. I’m glad he can but most of us can’t. Quit and make the break permanently, it’s for your own good!
Also, don’t allow people to smoke in your home or vehicle and don’t be around them when they are smoking. That’s been the hardest lesson for me.
So I’ve pretty much worked out a way to wear clothes for free and it works for Mens clothing too. It’s like a Secret Santa box swap for the broke and fashion deprived. Here’s how it works. People list gently used clothes on eBay for a pittance ($1-8 an item). Some of these items are designer and it great shape. You bid on it, buy it, wear it for as long as you like, then you list it back on eBay with the same ad as it had before. There you have it, minimal effort, maximum results and FREE. You can do it as often as you like and get a fresh wardrobe every week. I used to purchase my clothes at Marshalls and Ross, but you don’t get as much of a discount as you used to, so its just not worth it anymore. I’d rather wear a gently used item for free and change whenever I want, and the more people who do it, the more variety you have to choose from. You can also find clothes at the second hand shop (look mainly for designer and unique items), or clean out your existing wardrobe and list them on eBay for extra money. You are Welcome. 🙂
Phew! that was a long post. I hope you enjoyed my tips on how to look and feel amazing on a budget and get some good use from them. Remember we only have one body and one life, so let’s take care of ourselves now and make it count. you’ll regret it later in life if you don’t. Hey I’m just trying to look out for ya!
*I have no affiliations with any of the companies mentioned, nor am I receiving any money for recommendations. Opinions are my own and from personal experiences only*