I’m not a vain person but working in an office required me to have certain vanities. I needed to wear make-up (sometimes), have nice, presentable clothes, shoes and accessories and regular trips to the salon for my hair.
When I became a work-at-home mom, at first I was happy to be finally free of all those things. I gave away my make-up and my office clothes. Instead of investing my money on good clothes and hypoallergenic make up, I now invest in a good laptop, reliable internet, and comfortable clothes.
Then one day, I opened my closet and I wondered; where did all my pretty things go? I then looked at the mirror and saw I didn’t just let go of my make-up, clothes, bags and shoes, I let myself go as well!!
This is actually a common occurrence with work at home moms. We forget to take care of ourselves because we don’t need to dress up for bosses, colleagues and clients anymore. However, we shouldn’t forget about our appearance just because I work at home. We need to feel pretty for ourselves and the people who love us.
But I can’t afford to splurge. I wanted to stay frugal because we’re saving up for a house and my daughter’s education. So I’ve come up with ways to help me keep myself pretty and happy without breaking the bank.
1. Get nicer “work clothes”. You’re probably asking, what work clothes? Don’t you work from home? My work clothes are my home clothes. And that’s why I finally understood why my sister and my sister-in-law have been bugging me to get “girlier” house clothes. If you don’t feel pretty at home, it’ll be hard for you to feel pretty anywhere. That’s why I’m now slowly trying to get rid of my ugly, shapeless yet comfortable home clothes for shapelier yet still comfortable home clothes. And the easiest way to do it is to just fix up my old, nice, and comfortable work clothes. I still wear my husband’s shirts (it’s a hard habit to break) but at least now all my shorts distinctly feminine and I have a few nice housedresses as well.
2. Going for the nicer stuff at consignment stores, sales, and tiangges. The nicer stuff in consignment stores and tiangges are pricier but they’re still cheaper than the stuff you find in stores. I do watch out for sales too but I only go when I want to really buy something in particular. The price and the styles there are just perfect for the times that I do need to go out for work.
3. Swap and borrow. I love that my sister and I have different tastes. We keep each other’s wardrobe interesting by swapping accessories and borrowing clothes and shoes.
4. Invest on your skin. I thank my mom for my genes and for teaching me early on to take care of my skin. She was absolutely right when she said that as long as I take care of my skin, I won’t need that much make up. I hardly have any breakouts (yey!) and have managed to keep wrinkles to a minimum. I still do the regimen she taught me (cleanse, tone, moisturize). Now, I don’t need that much make-up when I do go out.
5. Find a good hair dresser. This is probably my only splurge and it’s a splurge I can afford. My hair dresser is so good, my haircut lasts for several months. He knows how to cut for the shape of my face, the texture of my hair and my lifestyle. Regardless of how I wear my hair and how much I neglect it, it still looks nice. It took me a year and a half to find him and he’s more expensive than most hair dressers here in Davao. But when I calculate how much I’ve saved not having to go to a salon every few weeks, his services are a bargain.
6. Exercise. My sister and I don’t have the time and the money to go to the gym. We do meet every other day for camaraderie and for meetings about our business. But instead of sitting down when we meet, we jog around the subdivision. Our jogging sessions have helped me lose a bit of weight and have more energy for work.
7. Nail buffer. In addition to not having the time and money for mani-pedis, I also have weak nails. They have a tendency to chip when I try to grow them long and they weaken when I put polish on them. I do, however, love the look of manicured nails. With a nail buffer (only P75 at Watsons!); I have that clean, manicured look for less than the price of a mani-pedi.
If you have other tips, please let me know. I’d love to try them!