Monday, November 1, 2010

Money Matters Monday: What Matters and What Doesn't

I remember distinctly the first time I cut my hair really short. It was the fall of 1994 and I was going through an identity crisis. Me and my beau at the time were on the outs and I needed a change. I remember looking at myself in my rear-view mirror and not recognizing the severely shorn reflection that was staring back at me. I knew no one would approve of this drastic change I had made for myself, but that only added to my exhilaration. I felt liberated. I felt free.

While pondering all the ways that I could save money, the thought of letting my hair grow out has crossed my mind. It's safe to say I spend about $30 a month on haircuts and $75 every two and a half months (or so) on highlights to go with the needed trims (that's $75 for the haircut AND the highlights). Compared to others I've talked to, that's less than some folks pay, and a little more than others. But every penny counts, right? Umm, no.

Well, yes AND no. I'm all for cutting back. But there are some things that you just can't scrimp on. Cutting Chuck's hair with shears... yes. Buying the store brand beans in a can... sure. Alberto V05 shampoo on sale at CVS for 79 cents... you bet. But there are some things this momma will not scrimp on. The proverbial "line in the sand" has been drawn and here is a list of things I just can't cut corners on:

1. Tampons. TMI? Sorry. Just trust me when I say that Tampax Pearls make life worth living.

2. Frozen broccoli. If you want to eat all stems and no trees, that's up to you. We like our trees around here.

3. Moisturizer. Ran out of my Mary Kay moisturizer and bought the Wal-Mart brand of Oil of Olay. I literally have to use TWICE as much. Where's the savings in THAT?!

4. Razors. Getting older has brought on it's share of sensitive skin. Cheap razors make my legs look like a victim from A Nightmare on Elm Street.

5. My salon visits. Let's face it, for a stay-at-home mom, a visit to the hairdresser is like a mini vacation. Not to mention, my hairdresser has MAD haircutting and highlighting skills. She's a magician, I swear. :) I get grown-up girl talk and I get to catch up on all the celebrity magazine gossip I can stand in just a few short hours. It's pure bliss. I haven't seen my natural hair color in about a decade (it's mousy brown if you must know), so shocking the world (and myself) with it now just seems so unnecessary. Besides, having a short haircut cuts my "getting ready" time to nil and time IS money, right?
So like the day in 1994 as I was sitting in the chair at the salon, I ponder, "should I?" Convenience with a side of selfishness won out that day. And it's looking like another winning combination for today, too. :) We all have things that are important to us and worth every dime we spend on them. The trick is maintaining balance so we're not so quick to jump ship on this budget thing altogether. So, what is it that makes your list?

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