Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Art of the Budget: One Homemade Product at a Time

When I turned sixteen and finally got my license my father gave me a twenty dollar bill. My eyes lit up, my heart jumped and my mind started racing as I thought of what I could spend this congratulatory money on. These feelings were quickly squelched when my father said, "this is your emergency money, you keep it in your glove box in case you are ever in a situation where you need cash and don't have any on you." WHAT?! The new pair of shoes I had already bought in my head disappeared into reality.

It was about a month later when my dad asked to see the twenty dollar bill he had explicitly deemed "emergency money." Realizing the money was no longer green and in my glove box but pink and hanging in my closet I frantically fumbled for words. All I could say was, "daddy, sometimes a really cute sweater and a really amazing sale IS an emergency!"

Budgeting--it definitely didn't come naturally to me! It still doesn't come naturally. Sometimes really great sales are STILL emergencies in my mind! Celibacy? That will be cake compared to giving up my plastic!

About a month ago I sat with two sisters as they discussed the amazing sales happening at a local RiteAid store that was closing. The one sister turned to me to share that this was the type of thing I had to start to learn to look out for and take advantage of! Yes, in deed I need to start gaining this skill set in my life!

I must share, albeit a boastful manner, that I have come a long way in these past few months! As a candidate I am financially responsible for myself and so not yet required to live on the budget given to sisters. In the fall I began paying attention to what I was spending, without making any conscious effort to change my shopaholic ways--this was to have a baseline, what was I spending on personal products? In January and February I was actively attempting to live off of the budget I will be accepting as I continue on this path. And much to my surprise I am doing fairly well.

Googling "home recipes" for products has become my new best friend. Typically eye make-up remover (for the mascara of course) is not cheap. This was the first thing for which I attempted to find an alternative. I FOUND ONE! Girls, did you know that olive oil removes even that hard waterproof mascara!!! Honest! Put a dab on your fingers and rub it in--not only does it come right off, but it moisturizes AND conditions your lashes!!! My lashes have never looked so healthy!

They say "necessity is the mother of invention." Praise Jesus for the Internet and the inventor of Google! Budgeting, it really is an art, maybe someday I will be a true artist! For now I'm just taking it one homemade product at a time.

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