These days, I put effort into thinking about how to allocate my income. This is a form of budgeting, but it isn’t a traditional budget in the form of expected expenses and actual expenses, etc. I’m lucky enough to have very few expenses these days, even though I have a lot of financial goals, which I outlined here. I have noticed, though, that if I were to try to guess how much I spend in certain categories, some areas be a little tough for me. I track my spending, but things like toiletries are purchased sporadically and often alongside grocery purchases, so I don’t have a specific idea of when I purchase toiletries and how much they cost me annually. All that brings me to List # 1, which I started in a notebook in late December.
List #1: Toiletry Usage (when I buy, for how much, and how long it lasts)
- Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap in Baby Mild Liquid, 8 oz. $5.99, started 12/25
- Giovanni Organic Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo, 2 oz. $1.99, started 12/25; I’ve been trying out different shampoos, and I’ll buy a larger size when I find one I love. This one is workable, but not necessarily what I’ll stick with long term.
- Giovanni Organic Tea Tree Triple Treat Conditioner, 2 oz. $1.99, started 12/25; I use this a couple times a week, usually if I bathe or shower at night rather than as part of my morning routine.
- Preserve Triple Razor Blades, four pack. $7.99. These are pricey, but I find they really last forever. For instance, as of 12/25 I started a new blade (and had one more + a 4 pack left in reserves). I am just now starting to have trouble with that same blade and will likely replace it in the next few days! It’s not that I think this blade is necessarily made any better than other brands’ blades, but I think most folks throw them away sooner than necessary. I like my Preserve razor, I like that these blades don’t have bells & whistles I don’t need (like aloe pads, built-in shaving cream, or five blades), and the price isn’t necessarily that bad in relation to how judiciously I use them.
- Mitchum Roll-On Antiperspirant and Deodorant Unscented, started 1/23; I’ll check the price on this next time I buy it. I really would like to switch to another deodorant, especially one that was not an antiperspirant. I’ll likely end up doing this (Mitchum) on some days and a healthier alternative some days, along with a salt deodorant crystal on yet other days. I’ve used the Mitchum for years, and while I like it, I don’t think it’s the best option for my body. While I’m happy with how non-anti-perspirant deodorants work, I’m still a little embarrassed about sweating, even if it doesn’t make me smell. Part of me thinks I just need to get over it, and another part of me can’t imagine teaching high schoolers and being comfortable with the sweat. TMI? Probably. Bottom line? I’ve got some experimenting to do on this one. [If you have any recommendations, I’ll gladly take them!]
- Preserve toothbrush with ultra soft bristles. I haven’t started a new once since I started recording when I start things. I’ll update this list once I do.
- Reviva labs Vitamin E stick. Same story as toothbrush.
- Collective Wellbeing Hand Cream (Unscented). I paid $10.99 for this, but it is so worth it for me, even if it is a splurge price. My last bottle, purchased about a year ago, is almost done. This has a scent I don’t mind (I’m not a scent person at all, whether it’s natural or not), is emollient without feeling greasy, and each application lasts for a long time. I’m a big fan; in fact, I searched for this product at five grocery stores in three states and finally nabbed the last bottle at a store! I haven’t started my new bottle yet.
- Eco-Dent Gentle Floss. I forget how much I paid for this, I’ll check next time I’m at the store. It’s a little pricy (MSRP is $5.49), but the kicker is that it is for 100 yards! (most of the rolls at drugstores are more like 27 or 50 yards) I am still finishing my last box, I’ll update this when I start a new box.
- Nature’s Gate Creme de Peppermint toothpaste, $3.49. I’m still finishing up another tube, haven’t started this one yet.
I think I’ve covered all of my toiletries aside from cosmetics. If I realize I forgot something, I’ll add it later. Right now, I don’t see myself cutting out any of these products even though I’m willing to switch out some of the brands. I tried the no ‘poo method for my hair a few months ago, and it left me with dandruff and never looked so hot. Maybe this summer I’ll give it another try? Also, I tried making my own toothpaste (with baking soda, glycerine, essential oil, pinch of salt), but it was a little abrasive for my teeth. Man were they white, though!
[Note: On second thought, maybe I should try the homemade toothpaste again and just use it sparingly, like two times a week. Here’s how a convo with Little Sister went the other day: LS: “I need to get my teeth whitened.” Me: “Oh yeah?” LS: “Yeah, I was just looking at your teeth, and it reminded me.” Me: “Oh, okay,” thinking she must consider mine relatively white. Apparently not, because the next thing she said was: “Yeah, don’t worry about it, I’m sure it’s just the coffee you’re drinking.” Thanks, Little Sister. Good thing I love her! 🙂 ]
List #2: Purchases I’m Considering: (the goal is to avoid impulse purchases–which I’m finding increasingly easy to avoid–and to save up for these purchases before I make them, even though the tabs won’t require too much of a wait at $2 🙂 )
- extra-long file folder tabs
- dark, uniform wash, straight leg jeans (need to look nice enough for casual Fridays in a school setting; I have a $50 gift card to Talbots, so this might go toward jeans; ideal would be to wait for the Talbots jeans to go on sale and then let the gift card take me most of the way to the total; typically they’re $89 pre-tax, I think; I’m looking at this pair)
- a pair of neutral (tan or beige) or maybe metallic (gold, silver, or pewter) flats (I have problems with my right calf, and my doctor has advised against wearing heels very often; I’m trying to transition my wardrobe to one where it’s easier for me to wear flats on a daily basis); also, the two pair of flats I have right now look pretty “fall,” and it would be good to get a pair that was either season-less or more appropriate for spring
I think that’s it on the wants front right now! Oh, actually there are two other things, but they’re not physical things:
- a car wash (It has been ages; last time, I did it myself at a coin place but the ticking time made me frantic! I think it’ll be worth having someone else do it, and then doing regular touch-ups to it myself to keep it in good shape. It has been months since the last wash, and I think it will be worth paying a little to have it done. The problem is, I never want to divert money away from savings for it!)
- a hair cut (I have fine hair, and it has been nearly four months since I had a hair cut. That means my head of hair is split end city these days! I have a friend in cosmetology school, and the students at the school give hair cuts for $7. I think I’ll try to get one in the next two weeks.)
Hope you’re having a good week! I’ve still been a little under the weather, but I think I’m nearing the end of this mess. I’m excited to see my boyfriend this weekend, as it has been longer than I’d like since I saw him last! He just moved to a farm that’s about 45 minutes from where I’m living, which is very exciting because he has been almost two and a half hours away for the last six months. Also, this weekend is Dad’s birthday, so we’ll all celebrate it on Saturday night. Which reminds me, I mentioned here that I was interested in finding reasonably priced birthday gifts for Littlest Sister and Dad, who both have birthdays this week. Check and check! I got Littlest a ruffled scarf for $16–she loved it!–and went in with Little Sister on a pair of waterproof sandals for Dad to use for the YMCA, so I spent $12 on those. He’s been wanting a new pair, I hope they work!