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When you run a niche blog, it can be easy to feel a little shoehorned into a bit of a one-dimensional person. On this website, I talk all things money, frugal living, and essentially how to manage your money better. Across my social media platforms, you’d believe to all intents and purposes that I’m completely money mad and keep my finances in immaculate condition – without much else going on!
However, we’re all only human. No one is perfect – and my frugal living habits certainly are not.
I struggle sometimes when posting on social media about frugal living because I often feel the need to link into money to suit to my blog’s theme.
Of course, when you’re a multi-faceted person with a number of interests, this isn’t always possible. When you’ve just splurged on a rare take out or shopping spree (all perfectly fine and normal things to do!), you can feel like a bit of a hypocrite preaching about budgets and saving.
I want to be transparent and completely me, even when I’m dedicated my online space to one subject.
I want my readers to know that just like you, I’m just trying to live a little better every single day, and that means that sometimes, I spend my money in ways to might not be considered ‘wise’ or ‘frugal’, but that simply make me happy.
For me, voting with my money is far more important than saving it. If that means spending a little more to get something that puts some good back into the world, so be it.
So today I’ve arrived to totally lay myself bare.
These are my ultimate not-so-frugal confessions from a frugal living blogger.
Enjoy, judge if you want (but I hope you won’t!), and let me know if you have any big unfrugal secrets you want to get off your chest!
1. My Expensive Skincare Routine
For the past year or so I’ve struggled with breakouts on my skin – particularly on my forehead. I got through my teenage years almost blemish free, and now at 25 my hormones decide to get all out of whack and wreak havoc on my face – cool.
As anyone who has breakouts (so, everyone) knows, it can be a huge dent in your confidence. I know that my breakouts are only visible in certain lights, but some evenings I can’t focus on the conversation because I’m worried that the lights overhead are highlighting my uneven skin.
As a result, I now spend a fair amount of money on my skincare routine, especially after returning from travelling.
Just recently, I received some Pai Skincare products for Christmas, and they are an actual game-changer. After a year of travel, (and the damage from humidity, sun and pollution that comes with it) these products are finally taking care of my skin. The tiny under the surface pimples that scattered across my forehead are finally going down, and my skin has never felt so soft.
The one caveat?
Pai is expensive. It’s an organic, cruelty-free, vegan brand (I know, that’s a bit of a mouthful!) that uses all natural products that are not only good for your skin but are also sourced from sustainable plant ingredients to minimise their impact on the environment.
These kinds of values are really important to me, but they do mean that there is a higher premium attached to the products than a cheaper, less ethical brand.
However, the difference the products have made on my skin, tied in with the fact that they’re a truly fantastic, ethical brand means I’m fully happy parting with more cash in return for an effective skincare routine and brand that I fully believe in.
I believe that if you’re going to spend more money, at least make it on good quality brands whose core values really align with your own.
If anyone is interested, I have the following products and use every single one almost daily (fair warning – they are not a budget purchase!):
- Rosehip Oil
- Kukui & Jojoba Bean Exfoliator
- Geranium & Thistle Rebalancing Day Cream
- Camelia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser
While we’re talking beauty products, this is my second confession; I recently spent over $30 on an item of makeup.
Phew, I said it.
After almost a year of make-up free life, I was ready for makeup this year.
I’ve never been someone who slaps on products every single day. It was wonderful to wake up every morning, sling on the same outfit I’d already been wearing the past 2 days, and be ready to go.
That being said, sometimes I couldn’t help but look in the mirror as we were getting ready for a night out and think man, I wish I could mix my look up a bit.
I started watching beauty YouTubers and honestly, I was mesmerised. As a naturally creative person, I saw how makeup could be a fun way to be artistic on a daily basis – and if that makes you look fantastic at the same time – double bonus!
As I said in the last point, if a product is high quality and aligns with my values, I’m happier to spend my money on it. I purchased a Too Faced Foundation for two reasons:
- A higher quality product is less likely to aggravate my skin (meaning I’m more likely to actually use it!)
- The brand is cruelty free and vegan friendly
Yes you can get amazing drug-store products that also fulfil these values and a lot of my products are from the cheaper brands, but for some things I’d rather have one really fantastic product that costs me a little more than to have 10 super cheap mediocre ones (plus, with how little I wear makeup, those items are going to last me a long while!).
I mentioned my previous laptop a few times over the past year and always emphasised that my biggest regret was not investing in a lighter model before travelling.
The thing took up so much space in my backpack (which also contained my entire worldly possessions), was so heavy, so bulky, slow, and really not ideal.
I’d had my laptop for about 4 years so I got a good life out of it, but when a few buttons started sticking and it look literally more than 5 minutes to start up every single time I powered it up, I knew it was time to shop around.
As some of you will know, I now run my own freelance business as well as making money from this blog, so my laptop is my entire ‘career’, as it were. I don’t have any big, cushy PC in an office to work on, so I decided that my laptop would be a big investment for my business.
After a lot of research, I purchased the Microsoft Surface Laptop. As someone who isn’t super informed on technology, I can only tell you what I know: I love it.
It’s lightning fast, has tonnes of great features (including instant-facial recognition which is a huge novelty!), and is so compact and lightweight. I can actually lift it with one hand – a dangerous feat with my last laptop!
At almost $1200, my laptop is probably the most money I have spent on a single item in years. However, because I so rarely spend this kind of money on a really high-end product, I am so in love with it. I value the quality so much more than if I spent money on gadgets and gizmos every month.
As a disclaimer; I’m definitely pretty frugal when it comes to clothes. I’ll hang on to a favourite t-shirt even if it’s covered in holes rather than replace it, and I’ll always declutter my wardrobe (either donating items or selling on eBay) if I feel like it’s built up too much.
That being said, I do love fashion. I love shopping. And I will online shop until the cows come home – I’ve just got so much better and clicking the ‘X’ button than the ‘Checkout’ button at the end!
I wanted to mention this point though because I recently went on a big shopping spree at surfdome.
I purchased 4 new dresses, a top, a hoodie, and some tracksuit bottoms. Doesn’t sound very frugal, does it?
Although this was a pretty huge addition to my wardrobe and I’ll probably sell a few things on eBay to balance it out, I did do a few things that make this shopping haul still pretty frugal friendly.
First, I decided what I wanted before shopping. I love Surfdome because it sells the exact kind of beachy, sporty clothing that is totally my style. I could easily add 50 odd items to my basket because I love the look of so many pieces, so before I went online, I decided what sort of items I would like to buy. For me, that was dresses – this summer, I’m getting a little more girly.
Secondly, everything I bought was in the sale (they currently have a mid-season sale with up to 50% off so get on it now if you like the sound of it!). That means that I had a 7-item shopping spree for about half the price of what all those items should have been.
This is my favourite way to shop. I now have a bunch a new items that I love, that are still really high quality clothes that will last, but for so much less than the haul would have been if I didn’t shop for the bargains.
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Well, there you have it! I hope this post shows that no one is perfect, and we all have areas to improve on when it comes to finances, motivation, fitness, health…you name it.
Now – it’s your turn. What’s your biggest not-so frugal confession? Share in the comments below!
I think all of these purchases sound frugal? I don’t think of frugal as not spending money at all. I see it as spending money on well-thought out items that make your life easier/better (but not going overboard).
Instead of purchasing every new skincare item on the market, you’ve found one brand that works for you and you use it every day. I use Rodan and Fields, which is also expensive, but it works for me, AND because I’m more confident with bare skin, I don’t spend as much on makeup. (I am intrigued by this Pai brand though!) Same with your makeup purchase. You found an item that works, and don’t have 70 different blushes and eyeshadows.
You bought a laptop that was well thought out and intensely researched to ensure it works for you personally and professionally. And you purchased some clothing items that you love and will wear all the time, but didn’t buy everything that was on sale.
I wish I was this frugal!
The Wallet Moth says
Thank you Melissa, you’ve looked at everything with a totally different perspective to me and you’re right, those purchases do sound pretty frugal when you put it like that! It’s funny how people can view certain habits completely differently – maybe I am a good frugal living role model after all!
Katie Kinzler says
Hey! I came across you on Instagram. As a mom who stays home and a wife to a farmer. I’m looking to get my family out of debt. Where’s a good place to start? Program to follow and app to use?
The Wallet Moth says
Hey Katie! I’d recommend starting here: https://www.thewalletmoth.com/budget-ready-get-budget-shape-2018/ and sign up to my email list as I send out my best tips and latest advice weekly 🙂 Hope this helps!