I’ve always considered getting a manicure and pedicure a luxury—something I only do for special occasions. Dropping $40-$50 on nails just isn’t my thing. So recently I was fixated on proving to myself that I could give myself a good mani-pedi at home to save a few extra dollars.
My results are mixed: my feet came out fabulously and they’re still looking good three weeks later. My hands—that’s another story. I know that I’m extremely impatient, so waiting for my fingernails to dry is torture for me. There’s only so much you can do besides sitting like a statue for at least 40 minutes without using your hands—especially when you put on 2-3 layers of polish. Basically, I had to re-do my fingernails 3 times (due to smudging) and then re-do a few nails they next day—making it a highly annoying and redundant process.
The verdict: if you’re patient and have a lot of self control when it comes to the drying process, then at at home mani-pedi is for you! You’ll save tons of cash and won’t get death stares from your nail lady when you accidentally smudge and have to fix it. But, if you’re like me and have a hard time sitting still and are smudge-prone, you may want to reconsider. In my case, I’ll definitely do my own toe nails but for my next event, I may have to visit the salon for a manicure—and probably the gel kind! Haha.
Here’s how I gave myself an at-home spa mani-pedi:
- Trim your nails with a clipper to desired length. File to prevent an uneven surface.
- Get a large sized bowl and soak your feet in soapy water for a few minutes to soften your cuticles.
- Drizzle olive oil on your cuticles to moisturize. Dip your feet back in the bowl.
- Use a pumice stone to exfoliate the dead skin from the bottom of your feet.
- Use a cuticle remover to remove dead cuticles. I used Sally Hansen Gel Cuticle Remover. You can find it at drug stores.
- Rinse off cuticle remover and dry your feet. Apply lotion if desired.
- Paint your nails and give them 2-3 coats. Finish with a top coat to prevent chipping. I used Sally Hansen No Chip top coat.
- Wait for nails to dry!
- Repeat process with your hands.
Do you have any money-saving tips for getting your nails done?
It’s wedding season again, which means some of you are jetting off or packing up the car for bachelorette or bachelor parties. Over the past decade or so, it seems that these events have taken on a life of their own in addition to the wedding itself. This also means your wallet is getting hit pretty hard.
I just came back from a bachelorette party in Vegas last weekend myself. It was super fun but Vegas will not be on this list due to their $8 beers and $30 entrees. I’ve partied enough to know that there are many, many other fun places to have your bash that are Frugal & Fearless approved. Check out what made our list:
New Orleans is seriously my favorite city in the United States. I can’t get enough of the place! It’s rich in culture and art, has incredible food, endless bars, and it’s easy on the wallet! Hotel rooms are cheap and you can buy a beer for a normal price—and there’s even a casino!. There’s something for everyone in New Orleans, it’s the perfect place to celebrate with your closest friends.
As a girl who grew up in South Florida, let me tell you a little secret: Ft. Lauderdale is really fun. In fact, I think it’s more fun than Miami. If you live for clubs and the desire to be “seen” and revel in your Facebook status checking you in at the Delano, then Miami is for you. But if you want a fun weekend with your friends with a myriad of choices for bars, clubs, and restaurants that are within budget and also really good, then Ft. Lauderdale is your destination. Ft. Lauderdale is more relaxed than Miami but still modern and young. The beaches are awesome with plenty of bars and restaurants across the street. Be sure to hang out at River Front and Los Olas Blvd. where nightlife is at it’s prime. And if you still want to do South Beach for a night, take I-95 south about 25-30 minutes and you’re there. It’s the best of both worlds.
Austin, Texas is a great spot to host your b-party not only for the great weather but for its unique and artsy scene that has drawn festivals such as SXSW. Aside from it’s fun and robust nightlife—Austin has much to offer such as: golfing, shopping, outdoor activities, and much more! And the best part? Austin is one of the most affordable places to live in the United States, which means prices are reasonable, so no need to worry!
If you like excellent food, history, and feeling like you’re in Europe but you’re actually in Canada, then Montreal is the place to be. Montreal is one of the more expensive places on this list but due to the easy accessibility and driving distance from a variety of states, its made our list. You truly feel like you’re in France when you visit Montreal so definitely brush up on your French before you arrive—especially if you’re driving. The street signs are also in French. There are a few colleges in Montreal so the atmosphere is young and fresh and Montreal also has excellent beer. Also, for strip club enthusiasts, word on the street that Montreal has some of the best around. And don’t forget your passport!
When I think of Seattle, I think of Nirvana and Pearl Jam and the amazing grunge scene from the 90s. Ya know, when music was actually good. Anyway…Seattle has so much more to offer than their live music scene. If you tuned in to last season’s Top Chef, you may have noticed the food-particularly seafood-that many foodies flock to Seattle for. Nightlife is plentiful and diverse so there is something to do for every budget. Seattle’s landscape is nothing short of beautiful so there are outdoor activities to choose from as well.
No matter where you go, just make sure you stick to your budget and most of all, have fun!
Where are some of your favorite inexpensive bachelorette or bachelor party spots?
In honor of the start of baseball season, we’ve come up with a few tips and tricks of how not to spend tons of money at the ballpark. Utilize these strategies and you’ll be sure not to strike out:
- Buy bleacher seats when available. Bleacher seats are usually significantly cheaper than traditional seats and almost always have an awesome view from the outfield. And from my experience, the crowd in the bleachers is more fun anyway. I’d rather have more fun than more back support.
- Skip the souvenirs. I know it’s tempting…no one loves a nice vintage throwback tee than me. But not for $40, that’s ridic. Go online to buy your fan gear. There’s a larger selection and more reasonable pricing compared to stadium shopping. And for us ladies, there is no question there are more options available online. Touch by Alyssa Milano has done a phenomenal job with female fan gear.
- Take advantage of games that offer activities before or after the game. Last year at Citi Field, we got to see the Mets and then a free REO Speedwagon show. Many stadiums also do “fireworks nights” and have “Fan Fests” for the kids—for free.
- Unless you are lucky enough to score a corporate suite, keep yourself to a drink limit. Prices of beers and cocktails vary from park to park, so make a mental note of what you want to spend on booze and stick to it. Beers in NYC parks cost about 8-10 a pop, you can easily drain your weekly entertainment budget on just drinks if you’re not careful. Will power people!
- Use mass transit! Not only will you not be sitting in traffic but you’ll be saving on obnoxious parking fees. If mass transit isn’t an option, carpool. There is no need to spend money on extra vehicles when you could have squeezed into one. Driving from different directions? Meet up at a local, safe parking lot mutually convenient and leave your cars there until after the game.
- Skip the fancy schmancy “club.” I know it’s pretty awesome to sit at the “Diamond Club” or “Delta Club” and dine on 4-star cuisine but you’re at a baseball game. Stick to the hot dogs made of plain beef—not “farm raised, grass fed Kobe beef” or whatever they’re serving these days…
What are some of your game day savings secrets?
Ah, spring is upon us—maybe, depending on where you live. It is most certainly not upon us here in the Northeast. Regardless, I can’t help but fantasize about the sleeveless, non-wool, flip flop-filled, balmy days in my near future. It’s time to put away those pea coats and take out those shorts. Here’s a list of inexpensive, must have items that will never go out of style and will transition perfectly into summer and beyond!
- The classic plain white t-shirt. This piece goes with everything. Seriously. You can even wear this to the office underneath your suit jacket. And there are so many variations—I prefer v-neck but you have: crew neck, scoop neck, and deep v to choose from. Possibilities are endless. Check out these t’s from Old Navy for $8.50.
- Khakis. Khakis look particularly cute in spring with fun, colorful tops and a nice wedge. Plus, the weight of the pant is perfect for those chilly mornings and warmer afternoons. Khakis are also the perfect jean alternative and do just enough to make your outfit a little more sophisticated. Gap has a ton of khakis in a variety of colors. Use promo code GAPGIFT and get 15% off!
- The neutral wedge. The wedge goes great with shorts, dresses, and skirts and can go from day to night. I prefer a neutral color so it’s more versatile and perfect for a weekend away. I just bought some Aerosoles myself! Check out what DSW has to offer.
- The ballet flat. It seems like ballet flats are the perfect summer version of the boot. Goes perfectly with just about everything and is more tasteful than a sneaker. The possibilities are endless! Ballet flats from Zappos.
- Shorts. This seems obvious but even if you don’t like wearing shorts you still need a pair for those steamy afternoons. J.Crew make my personal favorite. Use promo code SPRINGTOIT and receive 30% off.
- The classic trench coat. The trench coat is a perfect weight for spring and can also transition into fall. Plus, it’s a timeless classic that you can wear for years on end. I don’t mind springing for this item because of its longevity. Here are some choices from Macy’s.
What are some of your inexpensive spring must have items?
Recently, I booked a hotel in Las Vegas not realizing that my special promo code had already expired. This promo code included a 20% room discount and a bunch of drink and food specials within the hotel. Yes, it was definitely my fault for waiting too long to book but I didn’t freak out because I knew somewhere down the pipeline I would get another email with a special offer—which I could apply to my already existing reservation.
How did I know this information? Because I simply asked. And guess what? I got everything I asked for, no problem, whatsoever.
You wouldn’t believe how many people lose out on money because they are too afraid or too lazy to simply pick up the phone or send an email asking to receive a discount or deal they missed out on—or just simply desire!
And when I say “ask,” I don’t mean demand (unless you’re talking to the cable company, haha). You one hundred percent catch more bees with honey. No one is going to delightfully help you out if you’re an asshole.
This frugal strategy is not exclusive to travel deals or promo codes. If you have a question regarding a purchase you’ve made and want to see if you can get a better deal—all you need to do is ask! Here is a sampling of situations where I got a better deal because all I did was ask:
- Group dining discount
- Event space discount
- No cover at various bars
- Hotel rate discount
- Drink specials
- Better tables at restaurants
- Salary negotiations
- Parking fee discount
- Cable bill discount (and free Showtime!)
- Free hotel room upgrade
And these are just off the top of my head!
Don’t underestimate the power of asking! It will most definitely save you money!
Tell us what you’ve saved on just by asking!
Marissa Mayer’s recent decision has sparked much debate of the ever-evolving workplace—or lack there of one. This got me thinking of the ways working from home actually saves money. I should know, I currently work from home and I must say—I’m a huge fan. Not only for the financial savings but for a myriad of other reasons that I won’t get into now.
I’ve worked in a few offices—some were a total blast and others not so much. But in terms of finances, there is no contest that working from home is a huge savings all-around on my wallet:
- There is no commute (aside from business trips) which saves thousands per year in gas
- I am less likely to spend money going out to lunch
- There is no need to buy “work clothes”
- Multitasking is taken to a new level. I can make calls, do my work, and throw a load of laundry in no problem—time is money
- I have no co-workers to buy birthday presents, birthday lunches, and endless holiday gifts or food for
- No one is stealing my office supplies
Not every workplace has the luxury of being able to work from home but for those who are able, it’s an excellent option for productive, motivated, and responsible employees. In today’s environment of Skype, Twitter, Drop Box, email, and smart phones, forcing people to be chained to their desks is not only unnecessary it’s stifling.
Do you work from home? Tell us what you think!
I’ve known about Etsy for quite some time now. I’ve heard there are awesome deals from small business owners and craftsmen alike but I’ve never really checked it out until this week. And let me tell you, there’s so much to check out, especially if you’re planning wedding! Forget retail, Etsy is where it’s at if you’re looking for unique gifts or specialty items that are one of a kind and super creative!
The best part is you get to support small business owners and artists who you may have never come across if it weren’t for this delightful site.
Etsy has everything from jewelry to clothes to handbags to wedding veils to men’s items—much cheaper than going to a boutique. Let me just say, I wish I logged onto Etsy before I started decorating my apartment!
Here’s a sampling of what Etsy has to offer:
Candle & Candle Holders
Candy & Confections
I know that Etsy is going to be my new favorite marketplace and maybe it will be yours too!
Have you scored awesome products from Etsy? Tell us or post a pic!
Check out this real-life story of how even the richest people can make crucial money mistakes that haunt them for years.
I want to start off by saying: I hated lotion. I have never enjoyed slathering it on myself each day. I hated the greasy feeling, spending the money, and feeling absolutely no positive effects that came from it aside from smelling like a citrus fruit. I never could understand the craze of going to Bath & Body Works and spending $15 on lotion that didn’t even help your skin—but just drained unnecessary funds for an item you can get at Target for a fraction of the price.
Granted, I don’t have dry skin and I completely understand why someone with dry skin needs lotion, but for me, it was a nuisance.
That is until I used Banana Boat Aloe After Sun Lotion.
After a day in the sun, I used it and it was marvelous. I was hesitant because it was very thick and the last thing I wanted was a layer of paste permeating me in hot weather. But my reservations quickly subsided.
After the initial application, I didn’t feel greasy. I wasn’t hot and annoyed. It felt like my skin finally drank the nectar it’s been waiting for. My skin felt conditioned and soft. My clothes didn’t stick to me afterwards either. And my tan was looking better than ever.
I was shocked and pleasantly surprised. I now use Banana Boat Aloe After Sun Lotion every day and boy—it’s come in super-clutch this winter. I’ve come from an anti-lotion protestor to a full-on Banana Boat enthusiast—and it’s only $4.99! Yes, less than $5 you can enjoy this amazing product all year long! And it’s a big bottle (16 oz.)!
The bottom line is: don’t get suckered into seasonal products when you can enjoy them all year long. I’m sure glad I didn’t! And don’t assume the more expensive the lotion, the more effective—false!
Have you used Banana Boat Aloe After Sun Lotion? Do you have any suggestions for cheap lotions or season products that are helpful year-long?
Everyone needs to get their credit checked, so do so today using Credit Karma. This site is totally free and easy to use. All you need to do is register, plug in some info, and then you’re good to go.
It’s recommended that you should check your credit every few months. Some sites I’ve come across says to get it checked once a year but I think that’s way too little. Checking your credit is imperative not only when making huge purchases such as a new home or car but it’s also important to check your credit to detect identity theft. If you see strange charges or cards that you never opened, that’s a red flag and you should check on it immediately.
On a personal note, a few years ago when I checked my credit score for the first time, I saw a card that I didn’t recognize. It turns out my dad opened the card for me several years ago to build my credit. Long story short, that card was super similar to the card I opened with the same bank and I was accidentally making payments to the wrong card—the one my dad opened for me! What a mess! Luckily I spoke to the bank and got it straightened out—without affecting my credit score. If I didn’t check that report, that situation could have gotten much worse.
So check your credit today! Do you use a different credit report site? Is it free? Tell us!