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).