Let’s talk about a secret bank account drainer; beauty and cosmetics. Whilst individual products can seem affordable, cheap even, there are so many things we’re told that we need that the final bill can be astronomical! And then the trends come in, your ten step beauty routine, using ten different eyeshadow pallets, and a mask for every body type. I’m sure you’re well aware of this issue if you’ve ever taken the time to perfect your skincare or beauty routine.

So let’s focus on the savings! The obvious one is to spend less on each item, if you’re still going the entire ten miles. My mother always said never look for cheap, look for affordable. Because cheap can mean not enough research went into the design, or lower-quality materials were used to cut corners. Affordable lends itself more towards taking as much care as possible, whilst remaining effective and something you would buy again after it’s done. That could also be utter rubbish, it’s just how I was raised. My parents always valued finding the balance between price, and quality. The best quality item at the lowest price was set to last years, and would end up saving a lot more time and money in the long run. That went for clothes, because we needed them to last, whilst also being something we’d want to wear, and skincare, because we didn’t want a hoard of abandoned, half used products in the cabinet gathering dust.

I’ll never forget the day our kettle finally died (I feel like kitchen appliances can come under this rant, or skip it if you disagree!). I couldn’t remember a time before that kettle, and we had all taken our turn scouring the inside to remove limescale, rust, or any other nasties. You could tell that it was old, but it was finally coming around in fashion to have a kettle of that style. Friends started complimenting it when they came over, although the wonder did wear off a little when they found out that it wasn’t new, and was an actual reference of the product. Mother called us all down to the kitchen, and we gave the thing a proper send off. A funeral procession. We decorated the garbage bag it went in with paint pens, like a colourful gravestone. Then we piled into the car and went looking for a replacement. No bargain shops or charity stores, we went big. But they still use that kettle now, even as we all grew up and moved out. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

But if we’re getting back to the cosmetics category, a friend of mine who works in skincare suggested this product to help save some money, a green tea toner The ingredients weren’t the main selling point, but the price and versatility. I can use it to remove makeup, to refresh my skin throughout the day, rebalance after using a drying cleanser or mask, and be a mini quick cleanser in the mornings. I know some people will say a toner isn’t necessary, but I’ve always found that my skin looks its best when I do. And I think whilst having more money for bills, and entertainment, would be nice, this is just a little expense which helps me to be more confident day to day.

I’ll continue this series in the future, but I hope this was a good introduction!