Sunday, October 23, 2011

Frugal Retirement- Looking Good When You Have No Money (or Time)

Note: Hopefully the change in title of this blog will not confuse anyone-although I am a frugal gal in texas, this blog is mainly about retirement frugality or retirement preparation.  I enjoy it when folks come and read about frugality from any walk of life. That said, I think the new title defines the blog better.

I'm truly loving (for the most part) being back at school. I have to say though, I don't recall it taking as much time, or as much effort in 1974 as does now. Whether it's me or the schooling that's changed, who knows.  Probably both. Add the school equation to twenty hours a week of sewing for fun and profit, my need to travel and have some fun, and you end up with not enough time.  Really, was it me who was bragging about spending a half a day mid week on the patio with a book and a mimosa?  Oh, that was last summer-my how life has changed!

So here I am in the midst of this business, also known as life. It's because of my desire to have time to be a laid back retiree while pursuing school and a job that I am trying to streamline some routines. I prefer my half days out of school to include that patio relaxation, a day trip, or whatever hits my funny bone.  To that end I have been trying to find ways to streamline my "beauty" and health routines.  When you add my extremely frugal budget to my time constraints, the challenge can be a big one.  I'm always searching for quicker, cheaper ways. I'd love to hear what others do as well.

When it comes to my hair, I'm already on the right path.  I've worn my hair short for years. Originally I started going short because I could not STAND to have hair on my glasses-so I explained to the German hairdresser that I wanted a girly version of the "white wall". No hair touching the ears at all.  This look is both cheap and stylish IF you find the right person who understands you. I have been fortunate to find just such a person at the local Great Cuts, of all places.  Yes, my hair needs to be cut every four weeks, but the cost is twenty dollars with tip. I get an A both in the frugal and time management areas. My hair requires a quick blow dry, running my fingers, and I am finished.

On the other hand, there's the color issue.  For years, I was gray, since like forty something. My husband liked it. I am one of those people who is not washed out by gray, and it was easy. On some level I decided to color my hair when I was returning to school-a security blanket issue I guess. While I also like the color, it also has to be done every our weeks.  In theory ten dollars is not a great deal overall.  But I wish I didn't have the expense.  And I despise coloring my own hair.

When it comes to my skin, I've been fortunate to see a direct correlation between the exercise and diet I used to lose sixty pounds and my skin.  Obviously said diet has been frugal over all (except in the area of needing new clothing).  However, I have really, really, really dry skin.  The kind of dry skin that makes you want to put face cream on more than once a day. Even the good, rich stuff.  I used to use expensive products like Clinique.  Those are really out of my budget now. I'm still experimenting and I would love to hear what others use-as long as it's not Vaseline or cold cream.  Been there and done that.  At the moment I'm experimenting with Olay Total Effects. Not cheap, but not as much as department stores jars either.  In this area, life is an experiment.

I don't wear makeup.  I know, I know.  I'm either not valuing myself, or others will think I'm untrustworthy (see this research), or I've just let myself go.  This is not an I'm retired and I'm a widow thing. It's what I did as a soccer mom/wife-and hubby loved it. It's an I don't have the time or patience thing.  It's also the fact that I put cream on my face more than once a day on occasion-what would that do to my foundation.  I wear a medium priced blush on some occasions(because my face never gets pink even when I'm outside in the fall).  I use a good lip gloss, light perfume, and occasionally throw on some eye highlighter. Other than that, no makeup products cross my threshold.

Trying to exercise on a budget (especially with bad knees) has been an issue.  Another area where I'm still searching for solutions. I am not a morning person-this can not be said often enough. I have bad knees.  During the summer, my homeowners association had a pool and I did water aerobics every morning. Now, I'm trying to get myself to walk twenty minutes, which is a serious slow down. A gym is out of the question. So this area that I'm still working through is under improvement.

The nail issue. I'm a quilter, painter, home repairer, typist-it would be a waste of good money for me to do anything other than trim the nails on my hands close, buff and moisturize.  On the other hand I love a good pedicure. In my perfect world, they would happen every three weeks.  My wallet says think again!!!!! So, In the summer I go about six weeks, and in the winter (sock weather) I try to go every month or so. Unfortunately this is surely not a need, and I need to learn how to take care of my own feet. Now.

Other than that, I simply streamline my routines and clothing ( a separate subject in itself), and drink water, lots of water.  Not as much as I should, but more than I did before I began my diet.

What about you? I would love to hear from both women (and their spouses/significant others) regarding how you look good (on or off a budget).

16 comments:

  1. Good for you writing about this. If you are comfortable wearing no makeup then that is the way to go. The same with gray hair. I think a smile, kind heart, and cheerful disposition are the most appealing beauty aid on anyone.

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  2. I too try to keep it cheap and simple. I'm blessed with good skin, and only use Nutrogena anti wrinkle cream in the evenings $14@Walgreens, drugstore cosmetics. I do use a base, blusher, eye pencil and mascara daily but my routine is less than 10 minutes. Hair is a problem as in the past few years it's thinned. I color it myself every 2 weeks, my hair is shoulder length. I only go to have it cut every 2-3 months, cost about $30 including tip. Hope that helps!

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  3. Does your school have a fitness center/gym for students that you can use?

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  4. Try Cetaphil moisturizing cream - I get it at Sam's in a two pack - very reasonable and lasts a long time. I also use Cetaphil liquid cleanser - also lasts a long time.

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  5. Try Cetaphil moisturizing cream - I get it at Sam's in a two pack - very reasonable and lasts a long time. I also use Cetaphil liquid cleanser - also lasts a long time.

    Also - for pedicures - go to a beauty/salon school now and then and in between do it yourself - it's really not that hard.

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  6. I use Queen Helene cocoa butter creme-15 oz for $5.00-on both face and body-they make body lotion too-32oz cost $2.99. I also color my hair-Colorsilk cost $2.50 to $2.99 on sale. For makeup you could try ELF-this is sold at Target-not your favorite I know-but it is good and cheap! They have tinted moisturizer with sunscreen for $3.00,bronzer for $1.00,eye shadow for $3.00.
    For exercise I mainly walk,do yoga and use weights on my own. Melissawest.com gives a free yoga podcast for all levels every week. Yogatoday.com also gives one free class a week-but it is harder. If you have Time Warner cable they have exercisetv and sportkool on sports and fitness on demand. Hope this helps.

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  7. I too try to keep it cheap and simple. I'm blessed with good skin, and only use Nutrogena anti wrinkle cream in the evenings $14@Walgreens, drugstore cosmetics. I do use a base, blusher, eye pencil and mascara daily but my routine is less than 10 minutes. Hair is a problem as in the past few years it's thinned. I color it myself every 2 weeks, my hair is shoulder length. I only go to have it cut every 2-3 months, cost about $30 including tip. Hope that helps!

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  8. Zeenextthiry-we actually do in a way, and I need to look at that. The school doesnt have it's own faciity. but they do give free admission with our student id to the local city center. I may see if I can do watner indoors there as an alternative

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  9. Anon-I will look into cetaphil again. The last time I tried it it wasn't "rich" enough, but I am willing to try other things. Just as an example, my skin is so dry that I used so called heavy "night" cream in the day.

    I agree that for many people pedicures are nto that hard. I have mobility issues and frankly, with my knee, I simply cannot "get there" to do a proper job.

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  10. Donna, I never even thought about a podcast...........I will seriously check those out. Ihave doen seated aerobics to a series of utube videos one after one before, LOL. I will definitely try the lotion you advise

    Its not the cost of the color I object to by the way, its the doing the color. I hate doing it and truly, I enjoyed my silver hair. So...we shall see.

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  11. Hi Terry.........Hmm Neutrogena. And I even have a coupon for that, says the extreme couponers.

    Lots of good advise from everyone.

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  12. I do use a vaseline product at night - Vaseline Deep Moisture Creamy Formula (in a tube). During the day I use Neutrogena Sensitive Skin sunblock lotion (30 SPF) as a moisturizer. I'm 68 and have had more compliments on my skin in the last couple of years than ever.

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  13. Anon, I would not be opposed to a vaseline brand lotion. I know some people who swear by vaseline itself and that will simply not work for me

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  14. Hi Barb,
    as I age gracefully I find I need to drink more water.
    I gave up on face creams after reading the chemical ingredients.
    Olive oil mixed and warmed in the palms of my hands has worked for me the last 7 yrs. Sometimes I use safflower too. Place it on after a shower, thinly.Good for hands too!
    I swim as my feet are bad and yoga stretches my muscles and relaxes me.

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  15. When I was 16 years old, I saw a consumer TV report comparing vaseline to the most expensive eye cream. Vaseline won and I've been using it under my eyes ever since. People are always amazed (me included) on the fact that I have practically no lines under my eyes. My daughters can't believe it BUT they still choose to use expensive eye cream because they think it works better.

    Live and learn.

    Also, the cheapest and quickest way to look 10 years younger is for me to dye my hair. Even though I hate it, I still trudge and color my hair every 2 months or so. I use Clairol's Nice N Easy which sells for under $4 in most stores.

    I used to get my hair cut for only $5 at a local beauty school but they went out of business with the economy (couldn't get student loans) so I get my hair cut at a local, fast-food-type hair cutting place at the local mall. On Wednesday, cuts are only $13. $2 more for a blow out.

    I rarely wear makeup but when I do it's mascara and eyeshadow that I pick up at a discount store (brand names only!) and Revlon's face color moisturizer combo. I always wear lip gloss or chapstick. I do my own nails but sometimes my daughters will treat me to a mani or a pedi. I never refuse!

    I wash with an Oil of Olay beauty bar and ALWAYS follow up with their moisturizer. Once a month I'll exfoiliate my skin or do a deep skin face mask. I always use Oil of Olay products. Sometimes I can pick these up at the Dollar Store or discount centers.

    My exercise is walking, swimming and I do yoga stretches every day. You're never too old or too young to do yoga. I've been doing it since the 1970's! I try to keep my weight at a constant level. I weigh the same now as when I met my husband 30 years ago! But back then I wore a size 9. Today I fluctuate between a 12 and a 10 (more so on the 12 side). Don't know why.

    I try to look 'presentable'. That's what I call it. I don't have to look like a movie star but their assistant works just fine for me.

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  16. Morrison, I tried vaselin on my face and it didnt work,t I will definitely rethink it for my eyes only. as for my hair, I really did like it white, so thats a work in process. Iuse garnier hair color and its not that expensive but because I have a short short cut that gets cut every three weeks, that is how often I have to color and I hate it, lol.

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