Mobile Journalism

How and When to Save for Personal Items

Here are some ways to save on toiletries, personal grooming and laundry– the annoying, so-not-fun expenses that are perhaps some of the most spendy.

  • Ladies, how ‘bout forego the salon nails for the year. Instead make it a girl’s night in and do each other’s nails. Same thing for waxes and facials.
  • You don’t have to let your hair grow to your knees, but you don’t have to choose the toniest “hair design” spot in town either. Shop around for a salon that offers student discounts. Have a cosmetology school nearby? They will charge much less for cuts, highlights and color in exchange for the use of your head. Also, funkier little salon/barbershops offer great services, for a fraction of the cost; you just need to be a bit adventurous.
  • Share the cost for personal toiletries. This works well if you share a room, apartment or suite with others and can agree on products that suit both or all: soap, shampoo, blow dryer, curling iron, hair spray, conditioner, package of razors, shaving cream, lotions, toothpaste, mouth wash, etc. I
  • don’t recommend sharing your tooth brush though.
  • Whether you share or not, it’s always a cost-saver to avoid high-end grooming products. You don’t really need the most expensive shampoo or facial scrub to keep yourself looking good. High-end products can run you between $10 and $20 per product. Buy affordable and quality products at much lower prices.
  • Shop for your personal items at a discount retailer. Money strategists suggest buying the “store brand” as a cost-saving alternative, as well.
  • Doing laundry costs money. A machine load of laundry costs at least a $1, and in most places a good bit more than that. Don’t drop your laundry at a service, stay and wash it yourself. Spend the time studying or decide to use laundry time to catch up on your favorite magazine or book. Maximize your laundry savings in the following ways:
    • Bring your own detergent versus buying the single use from the machines.
    • Buy discounted detergent or on sale only.
    • Bring your own drink and/or snack versus buying from the vending machine.
    • Fill the machines to capacity.

    If you are totally outraged with the cost to wash and dry at the nearest laundry joint or your residence laundry machines, then shop for cheaper at another nearby residential building. Most have laundry rooms. Keep your ear to the ground for the best cost per load deal in the area and only wash when it’s necessary.8 You can always hand wash a few items to get you through to wash day.

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