Perhaps some of you readers are choosing the frugal life because you’re trying to save money to start a family. Mazel Tov to you!
Whether you’re pregnant because you want to be or it just sort of happened the first and very important step is to check if you’re actually expecting with a pregnancy test.
The pregnancy tests they sell in Walmart, Target and most everywhere else are absurdly expensive. I’ve seen some in the $20+ range. That could go towards diapers or…whatever! It’s so bad that teenagers have resorted to stealing these expensive sticks from the store…and ain’t no one got time for that.
Luckily, this budgetologist has a cheaper alternative. It’s been one of the industry’s best kept secrets for years. And no, it’s not going to some clinic to get a free one because that takes upwards of an hour, although that is an option if you have the time.
Well, here’s the secret: You can get pregnancy tests at the 99 Cent Store. I repeat, your dilemma of buying an $8 pregnancy test or lunch that day has just evaporated.
The 99 Cent Store is heaven for budgetologists and this case is no exception. Pregnancy tests for under a dollar…take as many as you want just to be sure!
At this point you might be saying, “But budgetologist, are those ones like expired or defective or like whatever?” To which I might reply, “No you fool! They’re just cheaper!”
If there’s one thing this budgetologist should be teaching you, it’s to get that notion out of your thick skull that just because it’s more money means it works better. Maybe it works better for Target’s pocketbook if anything, but your best bet is to head to the land of everything under a dolla.
♥ The Budgetologist
Not only can shampoo and conditioner be expensive, it can also be cancerous! That’s right, studies show that shampoo has cancerous chemicals in it that are bad for your body. If you want to talk about budgeting, the best thing you can do is not get cancer, which has wiped many out financially despite health insurance…but that’s a whole ‘nother subject.
The point is, something that is cheaper, healthier, and heck, even fun to do is make your own shampoo and conditioner. It will save you money and leave you so fresh and so clean.
To make what this budgetologist likes to call “po man’s shampoo and conditioner” you will need two ingredients:
- Baking soda
- Apple cider vinegar
So how does it work? First, you’re going to need old shampoo and conditioner bottles with nothing left in them. Take the shampoo bottle, fill it with two parts baking soda one part water. Then shake-a shake-a shake that. That’s your shampoo. Baking soda cleans the hair and leaves it refreshed. Scrub the mixture into your scalp like normal shampoo then rinse.
Next, it’s time to make the conditioner. In your empty conditioner bottle mix one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water. dump that on your scalp and hair after the baking soda to leave it shiny and soft. And that’s it! Not only have you created way cheaper conditioner and shampoo, you’ve gone all natural. Rock on with your bad self.
Here’s another fun thing you can do with apple cider vinegar: use it as a natural appetite suppressant so that you don’t spend as much money on food. Just one table spoon accomplishes this. Then you can do the costly craving avoidance method and there you have it! Multiple uses for cheap-ass products.
♥ The Budgetologist
Do you love soda but hate shelling out the cash to pay for it? Well, you’re in luck. This budgetologist has figured out how to get free coke, pepsi, sprite, you name it at any fast food restraurant with very low initial cost — not more than two dolla.
The first step is to order a soda at a fast food restaurant. This will be your only start up cost and will range from a dolla to two dolla and some amount of cents. Pay it, it’ll be worth it. For this example, I’ll use this Jack in the Box cup I bought about a week ago.
There’s coke in here
Now, it gets real simple. All you have to do is keep the cup. Whenever you have a soda craving, simply walk into Jack in the Box and refill your soda. Any day. Any time. I wash out the cup with water in between to make sure it stays clean. None of the store workers will question you — you could’ve just gotten it in the drive thru and now you’re refilling it before you leave again.
If you want to get real fancy, you can continue acquiring cups from different fast food places. Whenever you need a soda, simply go into your trunk and pick the fast food cup that your closest to. This is a fool proof and simple way to get non-stop soda for only an initial buck.
You can also use your presence in the place to get free sauces. For example, this budgetologist was at a fundraiser and bought some tri-tip (I forked over the money because it was for a good cause.) The tri-tip was dry though! And desperately needed BBQ sauce. So, I killed two birds with one stone. I saved money on soda by walking into the building and filling my cup full of free coca-cola, then I simply asked the cashier for BBQ sauce. It made my charity tri-tip more delicious and satisfied my coke-craving all in one trip.
♥ The Budgetologist
Wrapping paper can be expensive…the cheapest I’ve seen for plain gold paper is $4 a roll! That $4 could be spent elsewhere like going towards your savings account. Or, you could buy two and a half hotdogs and cokes at Costco for that!
One thing that this budgetologist’s mother used to always do is wrap gifts in newspaper comics. It’s a cute and actually aesthetically pleasing way to save money on wrapping paper. Your friend or family who you’re giving the gift to will probably get a kick out of it as well.
You can find comics in pretty much any major newspaper, which you’ll probably see sitting around neighbors lawns or in one of those ancient dispensaries on the street for free.
Best of all the gift receiver will think you took that extra step to come up with some unique way to wrap their gift, but really you’re just being cheap! It’s a win-win!
♥ The Budgetologist
You gotta love cheap prices, right? Someday my future fiancé will buy my engagement ring from Costco and this bugetologist will know he’s the one because he’s frugal and reasonable.
I remember my first adult purchase was a Costco membership card. I paid $55 for it for the year. They even took my picture and everything. But after a few months, I realized I wasn’t using it and so, in defeat, I returned it like a sucker. I got the money back and quickly my spirits were lifted as I thought about how many Costco hotdogs I could now buy.
Anyway, Costco, like Jack in the Box offers one option that is so cheap this budgetologist takes advantage of it on the regular.
Honestly, tho. A dolla fiddy for a hot dog AND a coke. That’s a frugal lady’s dream. You can even upgrade it to the coveted polish sausage for the SAME DAMN PRICE!
Now remember, when you’re at the condiments portion of the transaction, stock up on that shit! Get enough ketchup, mustard and onions to last the next few weeks. You can then use that to make your own hotdogs at home, put it in deviled eggs, a burger, whatever your heart desires.
In that way you’re saving money on condiments while getting a cheap ass meal at the same time. Score!
♥ The Budgetologist
There is absolutely, positively no reason to have cable nowadays. A bold statement I’ll stand by it. Cable costs hundreds of dollars a month for a service you can get online for free.
Want to watch your favorite TV show? Just wait until the next day and it’ll be streaming online. Want to watch sports? You can watch those online too. Movies? Yep, it’s called Netflix, hop on the train people.
You can watch a lot of different TV shows on Project Free TV. It’s a free service! Hulu has a lot of television shows on it for free, or borrow your friend’s Hulu Plus account. If you type in any TV show or movie, chances are you’ll be able to find it if you go to Google and put “Gone With The Wind Streaming Online Free.”
You’re probably saying to yourself, “But Budgetologist, I hate sitting through the ads on the MTV website when I’m trying to watch Teen Mom 2 what the ef mannnnn.” To which I reply, get on Google Chrome and get AdBlocker. It works fantastically no commercials and best of all…it’s freeeeeee.
If you haven’t seen my other cost-eliminating techniques to get out of debt check those out. But for christ sakes, get rid of your cable now. It is a luxury that is completely useless…like paying a phone operator to connect your cell phone.
Cable can cost anywhere from $60-$300 a month WHAT?! Cut it now and put that money right into your savings account.
Don’t just sit there eating your popcorn watching your expensive ESPN that isn’t even making you happy anymore, cut that cable! You’ll thank me later.
♥ The Budgetologist
Here’s a secret: The budgetologist loves to eat. And I mean LOVES to eat. But, eating is expensive and so are food cravings.
Ever find yourself craving a chocolate bar and ice cream cake and a hot fudge sunday all at the same time? Yeah, you’re not alone.
Indulging on these cravings every time you have them will only dip into your savings, and let’s not dip our spoons for that.
There’s a secret though. It will help you to curb food cravings. Using this secret you can eat a few of your friend’s fries for free instead of going out and buying your own. Aren’t you a good friend?
Here’s what you do: Let’s say your friend is eating delicious french fries and it’s making you want to buy some. Take two of the fattest french fries you can finagle from your friend.
Get a full cup of cold water. Water…is freeeee!
Eat the first french fry slowly. Really enjoy the taste of it. Don’t be distracted as you’re eating it. Focus on the fry. Got it?
Savor it for a minute longer. Then drink the whole glass of water. Even if you’re feeling full and uncomfortable, finish it anyway.
Then take the second french fry and repeat. Eat it slowly and enjoy it.
Now what will this do?
This tricks your stomach into thinking it just consumed a whole bunch of french fries, when really the stupid thing only ate 2! Tricked you, body!
This is a method models use to lose weight and end food cravings but it’s this budgetologist’s trick for saving money on those horrible cravings!
♥ The Budgetologist
I work in television, which means people have the misfortune of looking at my mug every day. It also means I must buy a lot of make up to glob on so I look camera ready on the daily.
Make up is very expensive. Very, very expensive. Upwards of $40 for some face crap then anywhere from $8-16 for mascaras, eyeliners and eyeshadows. Um, no thank you. Frankly, I just don’t have that kind of money to spend.
That’s why I say, praise the lord for ELF brand make up. Now you may be asking, “But Budgetologist, won’t ELF and other cheap make up make my skin break out and make my prom date spit in my eyes and never talk to me again?” To which I reply: shut your dirty mouth, you know nothing.
It’s true, ELF might make you break out for the first month. I broke out slightly the first month of wearing it daily. But, a month of break outs is worth a lot of savings. And oh the savings you’ll see.
I’m gonna be flat out honest with you right now and say there’s really no reason to buy those more expensive brands with ELF on the market now. They’re no longer higher quality, they just can’t compete.
And if you’re still caught up on the acne thing, I’ll put my make up removing regiment in a post you can find here this so you definitely won’t break out (4 steps). And duh, of course the make up removing regiment is cheap as hell.
You can get all this shit at Target or Walmart, BTW.
- Granted, there are some ELF products that are just crap, and I will take my money with me elsewhere to get something that actually works. Here’s the make up I use with the cost: Foundation – I get the ELF studio flawless finish ($6) it lasts me about a month and a half to two and a half months wearing it every day. And let me tell you, it saves so much money. This quality foundation would normally be at least $40 for a bottle like this. I take my loads of savings and put it right into my investing account. Wahoo!
- Powder / Concealer – I use the ELF essential cover everything powder ($2) I swoop it over my whole face and it covers all my hideous blemishes with the liquid foundation above! Now all the boys at the bar will buy me free drinks saving even more money. It’s a win-win, ya dig?
- Eyeshadow – I use the ELF essential flawless eyeshadow ($2) You know how much those Naked Pallets are? Well, cut that shit out it’s just not worth upwards of $50 every time you need new color for your eyelids. And btw, DO NOT get the studio baked eyeshadow it’s absolute garbage and doesn’t even work at all.
- Any brushes at all – They’re all good whether it be for your eyes, bronzer, powder, whatever. And they’re pretty much all a dolla. Again, saving you tens (possibly even hundreds at this point).
- Bronzer / Blush – contouring blush and bronzing powder duo pallet – do NOT get the cream version of this, that stuff is absolute garbage. But the powder is a little cheap miracle. It’s based on that good Nars shit but it’s only a fraction of the price. ka-CHING!
Did you really think imma pay for this picture?
Things I don’t use ELF for:
- Lipstick – Don’t use ELF lip anything it’s all absolute garbage. I still opt with a cheap option of course. I go with the Wet n’ Wild brand ($0.99) it’s a nice color and surprisingly stays on. Plus, it’s below a dolla. Cheap cheap cheap!
- Eyeliner – This is the one thing I’ll drop coin on. Eyeliner is the lion’s nest of the face (WHAT?!) To me, it’s the most important part of my look. ELF brand is absolute garbage don’t even go there. Any drugstore eyeliner will be more than you want to spend, but sometimes that’s just necessary in this cruel girl world.
- Mascara – This is at your discretion. Usually, I steal mascara from my mother and sister until they yell at me, give up trying and finally go buy more for themselves, but I’m hearing that Wet ‘n Wild, which you can get at Target as well, has mascara that is quality and inexpensive. Elf brand mascara is absolute garbage and dries out after like…30 minutes.
♥ The Budgetologist
When you’re getting out of debt, no matter how long it takes, it’s hell. Straight up. You just will not be able to live the life you were once accustomed to…you know…the life that, oh, I don’t know…got you into debt in the first place? Hmmm? Moving on…
When getting out of debt your first question should be: what am I spending my hard earned cash on that I shouldn’t be spending it on? You will find there are probably a lot of things in the month that suck up your money.
There are a few things besides your expensive morning coffee you should consider getting rid of immediately like:
- Your gym membership — anywhere from $30-$60 a month and you really don’t need it. Bust out that dusty elliptical, go for walks and runs or swim in your pool. Heck, even look up free YouTube tutorials on how to be fit and shit.
- Have a second car? Guess what, it has A GOTS TA GO! You only need one car at this point in your life and there is no good reason at all to be paying for a second one.
- Afraid you’ll lose money on your second car because you haven’t paid down the loan enough to make it worth the sell? Sell it anyway. Holding onto it now is what I like to call financial insanity. Everyone has to cut their losses in finance at some point. Remember, your ultimate goal is to get out of debt FAST. That means zoom that car into the dealer and get rid of it.
- Your clothing budget. It’s gone. No new clothes. No new shoes. No new purses. You have perfectly good stuff that will look as great this month as it did last month. Desperate for new clothes for a job interview or because you get bored of your wardrobe every 15 minutes? Borrow something from a friend, or buy a dress you know is returnable from Ross, Kohl’s, Target, or somewhere else they’ll definitely give you a full refund. Keep the tags on (I won’t tell anybody).
- Electricity bill — there’s never an excuse to leave on lights. They waste energy and, more importantly, money! Shut off lights no matter what. Another interesting tidbit: if you leave things plugged into the wall they also use a minute amount of energy so unplug everything in your house when you’re not using it.
- Don’t be spending money on the movies. There’s tons of free ways to see anything you’ve ever wanted. Ask for your friend’s netflix or Hulu Plus account, find it streaming online, if you’re a girl go on a date and get some chump to pay for you, or torrent it (you won’t get caught…most of the time). Spending your money on movies, music or any sort of apps is a huge waste. Saving these expenses now will only help grow your money!
♥ The Budgetologist
The forex market or the FX market is the central haven for all currency exchanges. If a French company wants to buy a parts from a Chinese company, they have to do it on the FX market, ya dig?
But British pension funds can also invest in Australian insurance companies too using the FX market. And you can use it too to learn trends and make some cash!
The FX market is open around the clock 6 days a week. If you hear about news or events and want to invest accordingly, you can do so pretty much at any time.
VOCAB: “Spot” refers to the price you can buy or sell currencies right now or ON THE SPOT (see what they did there?) This is to differentiate from future trading.
The guess is that 90% of trades in the FX market are made based on speculation. Which is good news for you because you’re just speculating too, ya n00bie. Take comfort in knowing nearly everyone, even the experts, are speculating when they trade on this kind of market.
VOCAB: “Major currencies”— Most trading takes place within the 5 most developed currencies in the world which are:
- The U.S. dollar (USD) um…duh!
- The Japanese yen
- Great Britain’s pound
- The Swiss franc
On top of that there are also minor pairs such as:
- The Canadian dollar
- The Australian dollar
- The New Zealand dollar
But just what should you do with these currencies or the FX market for goodness sakes? Read on to learn more…