Artists usually need to save money. The bills have to be paid, so our time is taken up with a side job that doesn’t leave much extra. Then there is the cost of our paint, instruments, lessons, and all those other expenses that come with our careers.
The internet is full of random money saving tips. Some of them sound like more trouble than they’re worth. I’m not gluing ten items from the dollar store together to make a fancy serving dish when I can walk into a store and buy the same thing for the same price, if not less. Digging through trash is something I would not be willing to do unless I had absolutely no other options in the world. Other tips sound reasonable. I gave the following five a try.
Put vinegar and dish soap on a dish sponge with a handle to easily clean your tub and sink for only a few dollars each month.
Cleaning is a least favorite chore for a lot of us. I don’t mind doing it, but I’d rather be writing, and I should be getting back into music, so any tip that promises to cut down on the time I need to spend cleaning is welcome…if it works. I purchased a dish washing sponge with a handle from the Dollar Tree. I already use dish soap and vinegar to clean my apartment, but if you’re not already buying it, the soap, a bottle of vinegar, and the sponge can all be found at dollar stores. My dish soap and vinegar mixture wouldn’t come out of the sponge through the handle like it was supposed to, so I sprayed the tub down with vinegar, poured the dish soap over the handle….and scrubbed the tub in less than half the time it would have taken me to reach everywhere with a rag or hand held sponge. And I only had to run the sponge over the sink once to get it clean. Any soap remaining can be allowed to air dry or wiped down with a tissue or two. A one dollar sponge mop will also do the trick, and makes it even easier to reach the whole tub. The most this will cost you is $4.00 per month (if you need to buy a spray bottle), and you can replace all of your usual sink and tub cleaning products.
Build a capsule wardrobe to ensure you have something to wear for everything you do.
Traditional capsule wardrobes consist of thirty to thirty-five pieces that are placed in your closet each season, with the previous season’s clothing moved to storage. The idea is to own around one hundred pieces of clothing overall, not counting sleepwear, underwear, or workout clothing. Year-round capsule wardrobes typically consist of around seventy-five pieces that remain the closet all year, though a few items may not be worn in warmer months.
To build a capsule wardrobe, you start by deciding how many items you will need, choosing a style, and selecting six or seven colors you like to wear. Next, you eliminate clothing styles that are unflattering or impractical for you.
I set a limit of sixty items for a year-round wardrobe and chose black/grey, brown/beige, white, blue, purple, and green. I determined my style is “librarian style,” but know that I do not look so good in those loose dresses you often see worn under cardigans in librarian style fashion blogs. Casual and business appropriate dresses are typically looser around the waist, which makes me look like I’m shaped like a square. There have been a few other mistakes made, but they seem corrected now.
Nearly three years after starting my year-round capsule wardrobe, I have a collection of clothing that is about a third of the size of most peoples’, but I have something to wear to all but the most formal occasions. My closet contains about 49 or 50 pieces. I could used two more sweaters, three or four more blouses, and a couple of pairs of colored jeans to go with my Converse shoes I rarely wear, but I always look like I carefully put a nice outfit together…with the same effort it would take to throw on ratty jeans or sweats, flannel shirts, tee shirts, and hoodies.
Exercise at home or take walks for everyday exercise instead of paying for a gym membership.
People who enjoy working out should not hesitate to pay for gym memberships, but those who really don’t want them, and just want to get out and move around to keep healthy can experiment with different styles of dance or hobbies that require a lot of physical activity. Taking walks is also an option. I used to walk at least three miles three times a week simply by walking instead of getting a ride when I needed to look for work or run simple errands.
The trick is to spend less money during the activity than you would spend on a gym membership, and to make sure you are truly getting the health benefits of walking and moving around. Walking around the mall for an hour after work every day is the same thing as walking at the same pace on a treadmill you paid to use. Walking into the mall, taking one slow stroll around, and then settling down at the food court with a giant cookie is not.
Spending more money during the activity than you would spend on a gym membership is also a risk. If you bike a mile to the store instead of paying for a gym membership to use the exercise bike, but can’t resist stopping in and buying ten dollars worth of lottery tickets and drinks five days a week you aren’t spending less than you would spend on a two-hundred dollar a month gym membership.
Switch to a bargain phone service, or downgrade to a smaller data package.
Large data packages on cell phones are only necessary if you use your phone to access the internet for work or other important tasks. If you only use the internet browser on your phone for quick checks of Instagram or Facebook, you can probably get away with the smallest data package.
My phone has Facebook, gmail, Instagram,an app for my spending money card, Pinterest, Uber, Uber Eats, and a Bible app installed. Every once in a while Pinterest will fail to load, and my internet is not always the fastest, but the phone and texting function work well. My tablet and laptop serve for everything else.
Women can use men’s Old Spice deodorant to save money on pricey body sprays and perfumes.
Fragrance is optional. Deodorant is necessary because underarms do not stay clean between showers without it. The fragrance of deodorant isn’t typically noticeable until you start to sweat. Replacing fragrance with deodorant seemed doomed to fail, since you’d basically have to coat yourself with deodorant to replace most fragrance. I was skeptical, but it’s available at dollar stores, so I figured the worst I could wind up with was a good strong deodorant for what I would have spent on deodorant anyway.
This past summer,I bought a stick of Old Spice deodorant in “Fresh,,” The money saving tip is a little over half right. Old Spice Fresh certainly keeps my underarms clean until the next morning when I take another shower. It does smell a little stronger than most women’s body sprays, but doesn’t replace fragrance. No matter how much I put on, I could only smell it when I walked outside in the heat, and when I hung up a clean blouse in the evening. But one stick of Old Spice deodorant is still cheaper than one stick of weak women’s deodorant, plus the body spray or second deodorant or scented lotion you need to buy to make up for the weakness of the women’s deodorant.
Other “save money” tips really will save you money, but will cause so much trouble in other areas, they aren’t worth it. Just spend the money. I knew better than to try either of these two tips.
Women can wear men’s solid tee shirts under jackets and cardigans for work. Nobody will ever know they aren’t blouses.
Yes, they will. Customers, clients, coworkers, and the person in charge of enforcing company dress codes will be able to tell the difference between a men’s tee shirt and a dress shirt or blouse. The only reasons I have a put together wardrobe with a distinct style is because someone else helped me, and I used Pinterest fashion boards and a couple of librarian style fashion blogs. I have no actual fashion sense, and I can tell a men’s tee shirt from a women’s blouse. Even if you do manage to look professional with a men’s tee under your jacket or cardigan, you will have to buy a blouse or dress shirt to wear on days that get too hot for the top layer. Just buy the professional wear and skip the tee shirt collection.
You can make mascara by crushing chocolate sandwich cookies into petroleum jelly or any type of liquid makeup and applying it with a cotton swab. Spices can be used for eye shadow.
Or you could buy real makeup and spare yourself an eye infection. I don’t judge anyone who feels like they absolutely must use a certain cosmetic item. Even those of us who refuse to do anything beyond basic hygiene have to admit their are things about our appearance that matter to us. I don’t feel like myself without some shade of red hair. But if a cosmetic item is that important to you, just buy it. If it’s out of your price range right now, visit www.temptalia.com and look for a less expensive duplicate shade.