How I Budget

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Now, it probably isn't any surprise at all that I am rather obsessed with beauty products. I'm also probably no different from other beauty bloggers in that I'm constantly craving new releases and the most recent recommendations from my favourite bloggers. This can often make it really hard to keep track of what I'm buying and how much I'm spending each month on beauty products alone. At the beginning of this year I decided that this had become a bit of a problem that I wanted to address. I sat myself down and began writing out a beauty budget. I thought I'd share that process with you in the hopes that it helps you get control over your beauty spending, as well.

First, I set myself a goal: I wasn't going to spend any more money than what I used up. I already have plenty of makeup, skincare, haircare, etc. so I didn't need to be buying more and more of these things I didn't need. This meant I had to start keeping track of what went into my collection and what went out in terms of being used up. I made myself a handy spreadsheet on Microsoft Exel and I began my list. I gathered up all my recent purchases and empties and put them into my spreadsheet. For each new product I recorded the name and price, and for each used up product I recorded the name, how much I paid for it, and whether or not I would repurchase it. I also separated makeup from other beauty items to give myself a better idea what type of products my money was going into. This now gives me a great document to reference when I want to know what I've used and what I thought, or to just note what I've been spending a lot on recently.

The most important part of this process, though, is sticking to the goal. Every time I make a purchase of a beauty item, I record it in my spreadsheet. The same goes for when I use up a product. I have a constant view to keep me accountable for how I'm handling my spending at any given time. I will be honest, though, sometimes it gets pretty bad and I go well over budget. This could just be because I've replaced a product with something more expensive, or I let myself get away like at IMATS last month. Also, makeup is much more difficult to use up than skincare or haircare in my collection so that can cause a bit of a halt in my empties count. If this happens, I just have to be honest with myself and cut back a bit until things even themselves out. I'm well known amongst my friends and family for having no-buy months. These are never fun but sometimes they're just necessary!

Something I keep in mind is that my beauty budget is not a hard and fast rule. If I feel like splurging on a lipstick (NARS Audacious, anyone?) or picking up a new sparkly eyeshadow, I'm going to let myself do it. The main reason that I run my budget this way is that I want to ensure I'm getting the most out of the collection that I have. It can be hard with all the new releases, hype, and whatnot but it's important to me that my money is being well spent and I'm actually enjoying the products that I have instead of constantly looking for the next big thing.

What a mammoth post that was! It's an important topic, though, and one I think we should all address more openly and often in this ever increasingly commercialised and material world. Well, those are my thoughts anyway. What do you think about beauty budgeting? Do you have a process of your own? Share it with me and we can keep each other honest about our spending!

xx Julia

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