Tuesday, November 8, 2011

life (lahyf) | manicures & coffee

I'm going to confess something that made my stomach churn when I actually realized it.  On a monthly basis, I spend close to $150 on mani/pedis to make sure my fingers and toes are always presentable.  But wait it gets worse.  On a weekly basis I was spending close to $75 on my daily coffee fix because up until a few weeks ago I refused to buy a coffee maker.  Annually, that's roughly $5400...talk about expensive habits!

I feel sick just writing this post about it, BUT I'm changing all that.  I've always said that one of the benefits to blogging is that it keeps you accountable.  If you want to challenge yourself as a blogger, write it in a post.  It encourages you to push through because it's been published on the interwebs.  So here's the agreement that I've made with myself.  I will reduce (not entirely give it up) the amount of mani/pedis I get done professionally and limit myself to only 3 coffee shop visits every week. 

It's ridiculous to say that I'll never go get my routine mani/pedi ever, but it's possible to only go once a month and keep up the maintenance by doing it on my own at home.  Although I don't think I paint my own nails very well, the only way I'll get better is if I keep on doing it.  That reduces my expense to only $55/month.

nail details | opi's wocka wocka & excuse moi from the muppet collection |

Now there's the coffee habit. Sometimes I have a hard time evaluating whether it's the routine that I'm addicted to or the actual coffee itself.  Whatever it is, I've slowly been learning to change it because with the amount of money I was spending on my daily Starbucks fix, I could have purchased a new pair of boots...each week!  Since I like my coffee on the strong side, I bought a french press which is perfect for me since Matt doesn't drink coffee.  It's easy to clean and tastes so much better than brew from a coffee maker.  Last week I calculated my savings and my expense went down to a whopping $11.  Drastic change isn't it?


I can't promise that I can keep this up permanently, but what I can promise to myself is that I will try.  Now, if only I could be better about not eating out as much.....

|Have you ever evaluated the cost for some of your routine habits?  If so, did it motivate you to re-adjust your routine because of the cost?|


Style Journey said...

It truly is amazing when you total up all the everyday purchases you make. Coffee, manis/pedis, and going out to lunch everyday really add up! I pack my lunch 4 days a week, bring my coffee in a travel cup (a cute one), and do all my own manicures at home. Although, pedicures are done at the spa. Can't wait to see how you do!


eek said...

We started drinking French pressed coffee about 1-2 years ago and haven't looked back. I like how simple it is, how you can control how your coffee tastes and how much $$ you save by skipping Starbucks. Now I just got get a latte there once a month just as a treat.

I think a good reward would be to put the money you normally use for coffee or manis/pedis into a shoe fund :)

Elena said...

I have the same coffee vice, but am also trying to get better. I went through periods last year where I awesomely made coffee every morning...but afternoon pick-me-ups would still happen. Right now I aim for $30/month at coffee shops. As for the manicures/pedicures: you can do it! I'll admit that I don't like them at all, so it's an easy save for me, but I've only had one in my life and find it pretty manageable to do my own. Just have to keep myself from spending too much on new polishes ;)

maranda (persnickety vintage) said...

buying coffee and going out to eat and to the bar were our big expenses! i actually added it up one month and got that same sick feeling in my stomach! my husband and i have switched to the cash in the envelope system of budgeting now and it made a HUGE difference! it's so easy to just pop into star bucks and use the card to get a $3 drink, but when it's cash and you know you only have so much until next month...you really think about how much you want that iced coffee!! we have actually been making big deposits into our savings and paying off debt, which feels pretty awesome!!

Sandy said...

I only get Mani/Pedis once in a blue moon, because why not DIY?! And as for coffee... I'm working on that habit as well.

We should have a blogger get together where we do our nails!!

GOOD LUCK ON BREAKING THE HABIT, I know you can do it!

Mel said...

Good for you Tabitha! I quit the daily Starbucks habit a few months ago. My co-worker got engaged, said she was cutting out Starbucks as part of her wedding budget and I agreed to do it with her. The free coffee at work? It's Starbucks anyway. So I just started bringing in my own flavored creamer from home. It's not always the same, but my wallet thanks me.

Lindsey N. said...

Good for you! I just signed up for mint.com (it's free!) and it's helping me to realize where my money goes. It breaks down your spending (I spend way too much on eating out!) and gives you advice on how to save!

I've actually never gotten a professional manicure (1 pedi, but it was a gift and I've never been back!). I am afraid I'll get hooked on them! Although I would like to try it...I've been told it's really relaxing!

Lindsey Soup

Piper Alexander said...

@Sandy - we should have it at Beauty Bar!

If you get tired of using the french press, I recommend the Kuerig. I've got one and the coffee tastes just like Starbucks (IMO). It's fast & easy.

Katie said...

Youll definitely get better at doing your nails with practice! I used to get mani/pedis regularly then just gradually started doing it myself at home. Now I look forward to doing it myself just as much as getting it done since I bought all the stuff I like, have all my fave polish colors, and can change my mind and do my nails at 1am if I feel like it :)

Eleanor said...

It is so true!
When I think of all the money we threw around when I was working...and on what???
Take out, and useless, useless things.
It feels good to be a little more frugal ~ great post!

Johanna said...

I used to be the same with coffee and now I make it at home during the week so the weekends are a treat and field trip. I do miss the mochas but hopefully my tush will jiggle a little less without the calories! :)

susan#'s said...

I can't do pedicures so get one about every month in summer and every six weeks in winter. When the polish starts to chip, I just take it off.

For coffee, I put $20 a month on my starbucks GC and when that is gone, that is gone. I have become the master of the "cheap drink" though. Ask for a "wet cap" instead of a latte for pretty much 1/2 the price. Love my french press and have a keurig at work. Saves me a ton of money AND calories!:)

Put that exra 5K in an IRA!

Samantha said...

My coffee addiction was something that had to change - Starbucks gets expensive cumulatively!! So, I now make coffee at home everyday (and I like it strong too so I can make it how I want)!

I really want to keep my nails appropriate but I always lack the time, so at least I can save on mani/pedis by default!! :)

Ashleigh said...

Great plan! I re-evaluated my mani/pedi a few years ago - I was a no-chip addict & that was when there were like 2 places in Chicago that it, talk about expensive! Now that I've started doing my nails more on my own I'm having more fun with it & trying different things. You should try the nail stickers, no mess, no mistakes!

misslarissabree said...

I love your nails they are so pretty.
Also your ring is GORGEOUS

rebecca said...

we did the same budget examining a year or so ago and realized we spent to much on eating out. we cut meals out to once a week and have saved a ton. not the easiest in NYC, but well worth it.

Rebecca said...

I make my own coffee most of the time. I don't have a french press, but I do have a grind and brew coffee pot, which is almost as good!

LC said...

i can completely relate to this! prior to my office job, i worked for starbucks for 5 years. i was heavily caffeinated alllll the time for free, but as soon as i quit, i realized my drink was ~$6 with tip! needless to say, i cut the habit haha.

my friend was spending tons of money on manis too, but i bought her some polish and she`s been pretty good about going only once a month. totally achievable!

Coffee man said...

A very nice blog with a very nice and clean design. Wish I could do this.


PP - Breville BES860XL | DeLonghi ESAM3300

Bad Joan said...

love your manicure!


just tututiny said...

I know - it's not until you sit down and calculate every dollar that you realize how much you spend. I spend my money on ebay, it's only a couple dollars here and there for jewelry but I realized that I spent almost $100 bucks in a week. I know it's crazy. Lucky you realize it now and can start to cut back ;)

Fauxshionable said...

If I am feeling broke, I force myself to budget out how much I take in and exactly where I'm spending it. It's a tough pill to swallow, but a good lesson! Starting to cut back a little at a time like you are is the BEST way to go! You won't even miss it. Good luck!

Delane said...

I make my own coffee and bring a to go cup with me. I treat myself to a latte on Fridays and 1-2 3PM fixes a week (when its 99 cents at D&D)

Summers I get more pedis but in the winter, I do it myself. I'm usually letting my nails grown from running season (uck!)

I go get one good mani a month..it last 2 weeks. I do a light color or clear the other weeks.

And i bring my lunch and snacks...HUGE savings there.

LyddieGal said...

Lately I've been getting coffee out more often, even though I'm still making it at home. It's really about the ritual. Getting coffee, going shopping, having a manicure, these are things I do because they make me feel fulfilled. If I spent all of my Saturday hanging around the house I'd feel like I wasted the weekend.

But these things do add up, and I commend your efforts to cut back!
And painting your own nails does get easier, the hard part is not moving until they are dry.

when you are in the salon, you sit down at the drying table and sit there until you are g2g - at home it seems like the second i paint my nails I have a million things i NEED to do with my hands!

Chic on the Cheap

JustPatience said...

Love the red nail color.


SassyUptownChic said...

Isn't it amazing how all of those things add up? Good for you for recognizing it and making those changes Tabitha. You'll be able to buy so much more for yourself. Starbucks is so addictive. I was sucking down Frappucinos left and right. I just stopped, because the prices were ridiculous. I do a lot of things at home now to save. Good luck and I know you can do it. I'm with ya! :D

Hallie said...

Good for you, gf - I totally need to watch my coffee (latte, even wor$e) spending habits!


laura said...

Hooray, Tabitha! I used to spend so much money on my daily coffees too. So I bought myself an espresso machine and started making my own at home. This was about 5 years back, but I still saved $20+ a WEEK.
♥ laura
the blog of worldly delights
enter my Too Faced and Hello Kitty Giveaway!

Pilar said...

I love this post! I routinely brew coffee at home and take it to work with me in the morning (my favorirte mug is by Oxo - completely spill proof and I throw it in my bag). I have a set budget for splurges durin the week to treat myself to an afternoon pick-me-up! I rarely get mani/pedis, so I really savor them when I do.