5 Money Saving Tips & Tricks for Broke Girls & Shopping Addicts

Lately I’ve been seriously considering the long term effects of bad credit. I know it’s Sunday and tomorrow’s a holiday/it’s a three day weekend and saving money doesn’t feel as good as spending it but as Jay Z’s “The Story of OJ” song lyrics clearly delineate: 
“You wanna know what’s more important than throwin’ away money at a strip club? Credit.”

The lyrics that follow have been criticized for endorsing a Jewish stereotype:

You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? This how they did it.” 

Regardless of whether or not that statement is true or offensive, and yes he’s banking on reinforcing a stereotype (and sorry if anyone hates or is offended by this line), what is undeniable is the importance and power good credit lends you.

Image from Oprah.com.

I know I don’t usually do posts about topics this heavy, but hey I’m growing up. I started wrecking my credit early in life and had absolutely zero advice or information about credit, debt, or money management. The only thing I knew was that my Mom set an amazing example of using money wisely, but the insistence of peer pressure and an intense shopping habit took over me. She had a lot of willpower while I wasn’t blessed with nearly as much.

Like many people in their 20s, I ruined my credit and I’m barely rebuilding it. 

 Using credit was fun while it lasted but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that credit is free money. IT’S NOT!!! If you can’t pay back every dollar you’re spending with a credit card don’t do it. It doesn’t matter how good it feels.

What does matter though is that down the line you can be denied job opportunities, loans for buying a car, and a lease on an apartment. Not the least bit fun and trust me, you will regret every carefree minute your credit cards lent you.

I am adulting more than ever and therefore adjusting more things so that I don’t have to be a typical struggling millennial. I am here to share the wisdom I’ve amassed as a broke girl and shopping addict. I’m barely recovering. Take that as a warning. 
Here are 6 tips & tricks I learned:

1. Track your credit score for free and without affecting it with an app/website like Credit Karma or Credit Sesame:

If nothing will guilt you enough into not ruining your credit and continuing on as a spendthrift, an app/website like Credit Sesame or Credit Karma just might. Seeing your score decline before your eyes is a saddening reality and you’ll inevitably begin to raise your score with their recommendations. 

Image from creditsesame.com.

If you’re already in the tank like I was, they suggest the best secured credit cards and show you the pros and cons of each and how likely it is that you’ll be approved. I had no idea not having any credit cards is actually a deterrent as having a few you’re paying on time shows you’re a responsible spender and is essential if you’ve already dug yourself a credit hole.

Image from creditsesame.com

2. Reward yourself with a few established treats. (Not every day)
Establishing a routine and frequenting a few places you go to when you want to treat yourself is a good idea. It’ll prevent you from going to random places and more than one place where you’ll spend aimlessly and go overboard. 

(Occasionally) Image from writeraccess.com.

If I want to treat myself to a decent lunch I go to either a local ramen place or a local Asian box place, Koran Ramen and The Asian Project. 

I know if I step into a random bar or restaurant I’ll end up way more than I intended to. I try to keep these splurgy lunches around $10. When I want to buy a new clothing item, makeup item, etc. I try to only purchase it if I actually need it and keep splurges to birthdays and holidays. 

Wet n Wild is a broke girl’s dream. When buying makeup, I stick to drugstore brands or inexpensive quality brands like Colourpop. I also buy makeup through Amazon with money I make on an app I talk about below. Image from gift.kapook.com

I also try to only frequent a few places like local thrift stores, Marshall’s, Burlington Coat Factory, Ross, TJMaxx, etc. If I’m in a huge department store or similar store it’s too easy to end up buying more than to planned on so I tend to avoid them altogether. (Interestingly enough, I work in one so that proves to be a difficult task.)
3. Have a saving buddy or someone else to keep you accountable and vice versa if they need it.

Image from Wallstreetjournal.com

If you have someone consistently encouraging you / nagging you to save money you’ll be less likely to come home or show up to a coffee date with bags of new makeup, shoes, and clothes. (My drugs of choice). Yes it’s annoying and you could find ways to hide it but eventually they’ll see your new fancy jacket or did that just happen to me way too many times? 

Keep them on point too as well as yourself when they point out areas you can improve on. 

4. Wait

That’s right, just wait. It’s so hard to do when you just have to have something. Shopping addicts I’m talking to you. Of course if you’re in an emergency and have no laundry to go to an interview tomorrow and no time to do it, or find yourself with only 30 minutes before work and find yourself nowhere near affordable food I’m not going to judge you for splurging a bit.

Sometimes you just need a latte. Image from mixwellness.com

Circumstantial spending happens and sometimes there’s nothing you can do to help it. I’m talking about waiting on things you really want until you’ve saved some extra cash and/or it’s gone on sale. I know it seems like certain things never do but believe me, almost everything does and a lot of things will not run out. Wait for sale days and those magical emails with deeply discounted codes. Colourpop has incredible sales all the time. You can easily find out about sales and codes by signing up for emails from your favorite stores.
5. Recycle

If you haven’t jumped on to the bandwagon of thrifting, what is wrong with you? Used clothes may smell like used clothing shops which are musty and dusty at times, but hey that’s what washing machines are for. 

Image from refinery29.com. Their article on 8 thrift stores in LA you can score great stuff 

here.

I’ve found many a treasure in the mustiest of Goodwills. As an added bonus, you’re helping to save the environment and many times other worthy causes as in Goodwill, Discovery Shop, and Salvation Army’s cases. If you’re ocd about other people’s germs or just love your friends’ sense of style and they love yours, do a clothing and accessories swap.
6. Use an app that rewards you to indulge your shopping cravings without touching your bank account.

One thing I learned in 2017 that changed the shopping addict game for me is that you can make money to shop by using several apps. My favorite three are Quick Thoughts, Ibotta, and Shopkick. Quick Thoughts is an app where you take 5-30 min surveys which each pay $2.00. One about TV watching habits pays $0.40. Once you reach $10.00 you can redeem it as an Amazon gift card. It’s easy to rack up gift cards and money to spend I’m your spare time. If you shop on Amazon a lot, (and who doesn’t?) you can easily save a lot of your own cash. As long as you only spend what you make it’s a great idea.

Amazon packages make me happy. Image from digitaltrends.com.

Shopkick is an app where you scan items in stores and you can redeem your points for gift cards to Target, Sephora, Starbucks, and a ton of other places. It’s very easy to rack up points as you probably go to stores and walk around the items that are worth points anyways.
Ibotta is an app where you upload pictures of your receipts for money. Once you reach $20.00 you can pay yourself out through PayPal. If you don’t buy the items worth points it’s a bit hard to do bit regardless, eventually you will definitely rack up some extra cash.

7. Use apps religiously.

Why pay more than you have to? If you haven’t downloaded many restaurant’s and store’s apps that reward you, you probably are. If you drink as much coffee as me believe me the Starbucks and/or Coffee Bean app could come in handy. Both apps reward you with a free welcome drink and a birthday reward. Personally, I use the Starbucks app more, simply because their coffee is more caffeinated and therefore gets the job done. I also love racking up a reward every 125 stars because I can splurge on the fanciest drink imaginable or a yummy salad. 

My favorite thing to use my rewards on, Starbucks’ Lentils & Vegetables Protein Bowl with Brown Rice. Image from Starbucks.com.

Also, free refills on coffee, which is amazing. With apps like Urban Outfitters’ you get 20% off for signing up and can easily rack up tons of $5 rewards by shopping, using the app, and even just visiting the store. Yup, you can get paid to window shop.
Basically, if you put even a little effort into being responsible and a smart spender, it pays. It does sound like something a cheesy motivational speaker would say, but who cares? Who wants to be broke and miserable all the time?

I hope this article helped you even a little. 

Love you guys and hope your bank accounts grow a little fatter and 2018 is treating you kindly. 

❤️❤️❤️

Advertisements

mood: pantone’s color of 2018; ultra violet

mood: pantone's color of 2018; ultra violet

Jimmy Choo glitter stiletto
matchesfashion.com

Alexander mcqueen clutch
$2,900 – selfridges.com

Maison Margiela bracelet
$450 – yoox.com

Pat McGrath gloss makeup
$165 – net-a-porter.com

Eyeshadow
$31 – cultbeauty.co.uk

Wall art
society6.com

Wall art
etsy.com

Golden Sunset Eye Tutorial with Yes Please Palette by Colourpop 

Colourpop’s Yes Please palette. $16. I am in love and all I have to say is Yes Please. (Well I do have a little more to day so read on).

Colourpop’s Yes Please palette won Nylon’s 2017 Beauty Award for best eyeshadow palette and the love of countless fans, including me, for good reason. It comes as no surprise that I fell for this palette as I’ve professed my love for Colourpop before on this blog. This one of the many things I generously gifted myself for Christmas. What can I say? No one knows me better.

The creaminess, blendability, and pigmentation is insane for the price. For $16 you get 12 gorgeous high quality extremely wearable eyeshadows. You really can’t lose. 

All the shades are warm and in the red, brown, orange family and though there are a lot of palettes out with this shade range I still think this one is unique for it’s quality and the individual shades, which are outstanding. 

The shades are described as being inspired by the golden hour of the day and they definitely do it justice. Both the matte and metallic shades are gorgeous. You almost can’t help but dip into it. You can do both natural and glam looks and go from day to night easily. I did a sunset smoky eye and can’t wait to do more with it.

To start off I primed my eyes as usual with concealer. I used Wet n Wild’s Photo Focus concealer. I then dusted the first color in the palette, the matte warm ivory color, Full Zip, on the lids to set them. I also used it to highlight my brow bone and it worked perfect for that.

The first color I used as transition was Champs, a matte pale peachy nude. This shade reminds me of Magical in the Dream St. Palette. That shade is more orangey yellow though while this one’s pinkier. I love both as I love using peachy shades in the crease. I then intensified the entire crease and outer v with the matte caramel color, Note to Self. I am a sucker for colors like these. They’re so wearable and useful.

I used Mischief, the matte yellow, in the inner half of the eye and packed it on with a flat brush then went in again with my finger for more intensity. I used Gno, the matte burnt orange and French Kiss, to further smoke out and define the outer v. I also used those shades on the lower lash line.

I also used the matte brick red shade, Spoiled, to transition out of the yellow shade into the browns. The only color I used that isn’t in this palette is Colourpop’s Super Shock shadow, Telepathy, a collab with Kathleen Lights, on the inner corner and inner bottom lash line. It is a gorgeous super metallic chartreuse golden shade. 

The super shock shadow formula is like nothing else I’ve ever tried. It’s like a cushion and I’m so in love with this shade. As an added bonus, if you’re clumsy like me and prone to dropping shadows, these don’t break due to the putty like formula. For lashes I used They’re Real by Benefit.

Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara. $24. Ulta.

For lips I’m wearing Aquarius Lippie Stix and Moonchild  Ultra Glossy Lip also by Kathleen. Love both and I’ve been wearing them on repeat.

Ultra Glossy Lip in Moonchild. Colourpop X Kathleen Lights. $6.

I love that both of these formulas are moisturizing and don’t create flakes on your lips unlike a lot of other brands do. I’ve tried tons of lippies and I love the look of matte lips but I can only wear it if I load on lip balm beforehand. I have extremely dry lips so I think it’s awesome that the lippie stix creme formula has moisturizing ingredients like she’s butter and vitamin E. 

Aquarius Lippie Stix by Colourpop. $5.

On a side note, I tried Wet n Wild’s brow pencil for the first time and it actually worked great! The pigment is intense with one swipe and creamy, which I liked, and the spoolie worked well. I can’t say I’m surprised because Wet n Wild is outstanding, but for $2, all I can say is how do they do it?

Wet n Wild’s Color Icon Brow Pencil. $2.19

I love you guys and I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and review of Yes Please. What palette have you been lusting after?

Hope you all had a fabulous New Year’s Eve and a fantastic start to the new year.

❤️❤️❤️

2018 = year to be me / year to be you

2018 = year to be me / year to be you

Joseph button coat
alducadaosta.com

Prada floral pumps
matchesfashion.com

Karl Lagerfeld mini purse
$175 – stylebop.com

Olivia Burton bee jewelry
$210 – veryexclusive.co.uk

Highlight makeup
$35 – revolve.com

Laura Mercier pencil eyeliner
$26 – harveynichols.com

Glossier lip gloss
$22 – harveynichols.com

Cream eye shadow
$4.05 – wilko.com

Diptyque perfume
$155 – forwardbyelysewalker.com

Beauty product
anastasiabeverlyhills.com

Anti New Year Resolutions 

This year I’m not going to make resolutions to do anything. I’m just going to do it. Here are five things I propose to do:

1. Put away money out of every paycheck, even if it’s a few dollars. I know I can’t realistically save $200 or $100 out if every paycheck. It’s just not in the cards for me at the moment, though it very well could be soon if I play my cards right. I know at the very least I can save something. That’s what I aim to do.

2. Dispose of clothes and makeup I don’t use or need. If someone else could use these things, great. I’ll donate them. If they’re unusable I have no problem with throwing them away though I definitely used to. I already do these things periodically, I just know an overhaul is due.

3. Do things that make me happy more and things that aren’t good for me less. Of course I already do some things I love, but it’s easy to neglect oneself and get caught up in doing more things you hate or just plain have to do. I think life is too short to waste it on a dead end job or dead end toxic people. Live your fullest life, and don’t feel bad for taking some personal time to yourself or pursuing something no one else believes in. I’m worth investing time in and so are you. Cheesy yes, but true.

4. Pour love into the little things

I think some weird thing happens after you turn 21 that makes you realize almost everything your Mom said was true. It makes you a little mad that she was right about that happening too, but it also liberates you. Time spent laboring over trivial petty issues or fighting in general is most likely time wasted. 

There is a solution to almost every problem and I’m going to try to remember to pour more love into every relationship and friendship. If a strong bond exists it’ll be more difficult to lose respect for people you love and have damaging blowout fights. Who needs them? It’s more fun to have coffee or write a love letter for no reason. Be nicer to the people you love. Those are moments that matter.
5. Take care of my skin.

This is kind of random but skin care is so important and so many people including myself neglect it at times. Another weird thing happens after 21 when you suddenly start worrying about these things. Luckily thanks to YouTube and the internet it’s easier than ever to find the perfect skincare routine and how to apply it to your daily life. 

Love you all and wish you a very wonderful new year’s!

NYE: Liquid Metals

NYE: Liquid Metals

Fur collar coat
$24 – newchic.com

The Row mini purse
lanecrawford.com

E L L E R Y cluster earrings
$805 – net-a-porter.com

Tom Ford lipstick
bloomingdales.com

Polish makeup
$35 – harveynichols.com

Illamasqua blush
$31 – coggles.com

Mascara
toofaced.com

Mirrored home decor
kirklands.com

Paper globe
$19 – trouva.com

Holiday Red Smoky Eye Tutorial with Dream St Palette

I haven’t stopped using the Colourpop X Kathleen Lights Dream St. palette all month and I have been visualizing several holiday looks since it arrived due to the alluring red, gold, and emerald shades. 

This look required much blending but any good smoky eye does. Other than that the application was very simple. The color payoff is intense and as I mentioned before in my emerald holiday eye tutorial, the shades are creamy, blendable, and very high quality. 

Though the red shade is bold, I think it’s stunning and pairs so nicely with a nude lip. I used the Aquarius lippie, also by Colourpop X Kathleen Lights. I then layered the Moonchild gloss from the Dream St. collection on top.

I knew from the beginning the star of the look would be the gorgeous red shade, Spark, which is described as a “matte neon red”. (Colourpop.com)

Image & recipe on 

thekitchn.com. (Peppermint Red Velvet Roll, yum)

I’m here all day for neon reds, like candy reds, Ruby Woo lipstick reds, etc. How good does this cake look by the way?

There are so many ways to use this palette but this has turned out to be one of my favorites. I’ve never done such a red eye look and I think a lot of people shy away from red for fear of looking sick but with the right transition shades and smokiness I think red eye looks are so pretty.

If you are really fair skinned, I suggest bronzing up the rest of your skin with a bronzing powder or contour cream a fair amount to complement the overall warmth your eye look will bring to your face and so you won’t appear vampire-esque unless that’s what you’re going for.

As usual I primed my eyes with concealer and did my eyes first to be able to clean up any fallout before doing the rest of my face. I began by using the first two shades in the first row as my transition colors in my crease. I mixed the two and focused them on the outer corner and used a fluffy crease brush.

Image- uwishunu.com.

I then packed the red shade onto my entire lid with a flat brush. If you see any specks of fallout, and I didn’t see too many, brush it off with a powder brush or wipe it off with a makeup wipe.

I used the shimmery gold shade Sweet Dreams, which is. “metallic soft champagne with a peachy pink flip” 

On my inner corner, on the inner half of the lid, and on my brow bone. I also used Moony on the brow bone for a little extra lifting. I recently learned from Desi Perkins’ YouTube channel that brow bone highlights should only be placed on the highest point of the brow, so in the arch, to lift the eye. If placed all over it brings the eye down. She says she learned it from makeup artist Patrick Ta so it’s legit.

Image & recipe: delightfulemade.com. (Candy Cane Kiss Cookies)

I packed all the shimmery colors on with my fingers as this has been working best for me. I learned that from Kathleen Lights. I feel like I might need to purchase a brush for the inner corner though as it’s never as poppin as I would like. 

That’s it!

I love a beautiful holiday red lip but since it’d be too much IMO with the eyes, I think a nudey pink or brown or even just gloss are perfect. Love how it turned out. 
What do you think? Any holiday looks you’re pondering on? 

Has the holiday shopping begun wearing you down? 

Love you all!