Do You Spend $12,000 Each Year To Look Good?

Do You Spend $12,000 Each Year To Look Good?The other day I came across an article that said men and women spend around $15,000 in their lifetime to look good.

At first that amount of money seemed like a lot, but when I really thought about it, $15,000 really did not seem like enough at all.

When you include, beauty products, hair cuts, spa treatments, clothing and so on, the number is probably much higher than $15,000 in your whole entire life.

In fact, I came across another article that said the number is actually around $12,000 per YEAR (according to Siren Magazine). $12,000 a year sounds like way too much to me though. [Read more…]

How To Become a Stella & Dot Independent Stylist: Income Series

How To Become a Stella & Dot Independent Stylist: Income SeriesHey everyone. If you are new to my website, I am all about making extra money to improve your financial situation. Before I left my day job, I was making around $5,000 to $10,000 each month on the side with my online business. Now, this online business is my full-time business and I LOVE it :)

Today I bring you the next edition of my “Extra Income” series which talks about Stella and Dot jobs. If you would like to be featured, please send me an e-mail. Other hustles in this series can be found here.  Sign up as a Stella & Dot Stylist for $199 and get $450 in free accessories! I will let our interviewee take it away now.

I am a wife, mom of a 3-year-old girl, and public health dentist.

I recently decided to join my friends as a Stylist with Stella & Dot, the jewelry and accessory company and hold one of the many great Stella and Dot jobs.

I was looking for a creative outlet and a fun, flexible way to earn extra income.

As an independent Stylist with Stella & Dot I share and sell irresistible jewelry and accessories online and at in home trunk shows or pop up shops.  Currently there are 12,000 active stylists for this Inc. 500 fastest growing company with a $25 billion global market opportunity.

The products are often featured in style magazines and are described as modern-vintage boutique style, chic yet affordable. I absolutely love their products, that was a lot of my motivation to get involved! They carry irresistible products from statement necklaces, earrings, bracelets, scarves, bags, and tech accessories. [Read more…]

Maintaining a Minimalist Wardrobe

Maintaining a Minimalist WardrobeI have many reasons for having a minimalist wardrobe. I move around a lot, I haven’t lived in the same place for more than eight months in awhile, so not having a lot of clothes to pack up and unpack is beneficial. Minimalist living is what I am all about.

I also live in a 400 sq. ft. house, which, needless to say, has no walk in closets. Finally, I’m trying to pay off $20,000 in debt, so buying fewer clothes means more money (read further about how to make extra income) to send towards my debt.

That said, I love to shop. I really didn’t spend too much cash on my wardrobe in University (what with have no money and all) and now that I’m out and earning a steady paycheque, the urge to upgrade, replace, and spend spend spend has been strong.

My preferred poison is online shopping, where I can agonize over the perfect pair of jeans, hunt for free shipping, and make wish lists galore, all from the comfort of my couch.

In order to keep that shopping urge under control, I try and keep my wardrobe minimalist. Whether you are wanting to have a minimalist travel wardrobe, a french minimalist wardrobe, a chic minimalist wardrobe, and so on, it IS possible! Minimalist living most of the time starts with your closet.

Here’s how I do it: [Read more…]

Budget Beauty!

Today I have a post from Bre. I’ve been swamped at work this week, so this post came at a much needed time. Anyways, I always love beauty items on a budget. The items that she has listed below are great comparisons, for MUCH much cheaper. Who doesn’t love a great deal?

Hello Making Sense of Cents readers!
Bre here from Basically Bre!
I am pretty much your typical blonde, fashion loving, twenty-somthing gal. I only wish I had the “sense about cents” like Michelle over here! I am more of an attempt at a fashion blogger! However I am pretty savvy when it comes to shopping and beauty products! I like to shop so I have to shop on a budget!
I am here today to tell y’all a few of my beauty shopping secrets. Well no secrets, just lessons learned when I spent money on the nice stuff and learned that the drug store stuff was just as good, if not better!

Beauty on a Budget

-My favorite budget friendly find has been the Rimmel London Natural Bronzer. I used to pay $26 for Urban Decay Baked Bronzer which I was in love with! After going through a rather broke stage in my life I stumbled upon the Rimmel bronzer and I swear the $4 stuff is even better than the UD bronzer! Just be sure to try and go lighter with the Rimmel bronzer, it tends to run a little dark! 

-Being the Urban Decay addict I was I almost gave in and paid $50 bucks for the infamous Naked palette. So glad I didn’t! When e.l.f. became popular I scooped up one of their palettes and was very pleased! I am not sure of the exact palette I have but any of their shadows are great and fun! And for $1-$8 price tag you really can’t beat it! I have also found that many drug store shadows are identical to the Naked colors, just try some out! 

-Philosophy, oh Philosophy. I love their products but the price tags just don’t love my wallet! I got a sample of Hope in a Jar a few months back and was very impressed. However once I realized a small 4oz jar was $60 I knew a jar was never in my future! I squeezed that little sample tube till it was dry and then googled the next best thing. Enter Olay Moisturizer, all-day UV coverage with SPF 15. It is wonderful! I love how my skin feels, its not greasy, not too runny or thick, the perfect moisturizer! The SPF is also a huge plus, something that the Hope in a Jar didn’t have! 

-I am a lip-color, lip-stick addict. I even wrote a post about all my favorite lip colors and why they were my favorite! So maybe I have been known to spend too much money on lip colors. Like NARS, it started with my fire-engine-red color and down hill from there! However I recently started using Maybelline Baby Lips and discovered that for $3 I could get some color, moisture and SPF 20! Hollah!! My favorite is the Peach Kiss, nude color and awesome moisture. The Cherry Me and Grape Vine also provide just a hint of color that is flawless for a $3 “chap-stick!” 

Well ladies there ya have it, a few of my budget friendly finds! I can’t reveal all my secrets in one post so be sure to head over to my blog and read some more! 

You can also follow me on: 


Instagram: basicallybreblog

Thanks for letting me take over Michelle!



Bargain Beauty

Today I have a post from a beauty blog that I really love. Her tutorials are very easy to follow and she makes everything seem super easy. I’ll let her take over my blog now…

Hi, I’m Elle, from ElleSees, a beauty-based lifestyle blog. I feature beauty tips and tricks to get the celeb looks without the price and so much more. I’m on a pretty tight budget, so how do I save money when it comes to beauty products?

pic via

Here’s how:

  • Dupes–There is almost always a dupe or knockoff of a more expensive beauty product. Try the drugstore generic of a favorite beauty or hair product. Usually they’re made in the same factory! Not in the mood to treasure hunt and try? Search for ____dupe (ex. Mac lipstick dupe) and you’ll easily find a comparable product for a fraction of the price.
  • Drugstore--Most of the products I use are drugstore! The quality of what you’ll find is so much better than it used to be. Try Wet N Wild shadows, Revlon lipsticks, and Covergirl mascara, just to name a few.
  • DIY–When I saw a brown sugar scrub for $65 (seriously) I knew I could easily make my own. And I do for many hair, skin, and body products. Check those out here.
  • Returns–Is there anything worse than spending your money on a new lipstick only to hate it once you bring it home? Luckily, many stores allow returns, even with opened & used products! Try Sephora, Ulta, drugstores, Wal-Mart and Target. Keep the receipt!
  • Monthly Subscriptions–One way to sample new beauty products is to try a monthly subscription service, such as Birchbox or MyGlam. Some are even free–try
  • Beauty Swap–If you have a lot of good friends who use beauty products, try a beauty swap. What doesn’t work for you might be perfect for someone else! Makeup can be easily disinfected (click here for a post on how to).
  • Sell, Donate, or Repurpose–See link above for more details!
  • Multipurpose Products–I love it when I can use a product for more than one thing. Conditioner easily becomes shaving lotion, baby wipes make great makeup removers, and lipstick can be blush!
  • Choose Wisely–I love drugstore products, but I do spend money on my haircut and color. But drugstore mascaras are always better than high-end brands. If you have finicky skin, a name-brand foundation is a wise investment. Drugstore shampoos work just as well as the fancy ones.
What bargain beauty tips do you have?

Michelle’s comment: I’ve honestly never even THOUGHT about looking up dupes! That is such a great idea. I’m going to start doing that. And I recently signed up for influenster and received my first box. I love everything that I got, and best of all, it was all free.

Habits you need to kick in your 20’s

rp_5069108088_cf45c1b666-300x225111.jpgThere are many habits that I hope to get rid of soon. Learnvest had an article about it the other day.

Here are habits you need to kick, immediately!

  1. Tanning. Tanning in expensive and will most likely lead to problems as you get older. Be happy with your color that you have!
    • I used to tan all the time (I was never orange), but then recently I started getting weird skin problems, and I was told it was due to tanning and that I need to stop. I have saved a lot of money since I stopped. I have gone spray tanning though. I look like I’m dead if I don’t have some sort of tan, so I am guilty of this.
  2. Having credit cards with high limits (and maxing out these limits) but not making enough money.
    •  My credit cards ( I have 2 now) have low limits. I have never carried a balance, so I’m assuming credit card companies don’t like me because they’re losing money on me. I’m not guilty of this. Thankfully!
  3. Smoking. This is expensive. And deathly.
    • I don’t smoke. I never have. My dad passed away partly from lung cancer, so this is my reason. The BF smokes, but he’s more or a social smoker. I wish he didn’t though. Not guilty.
  4. Shopping. Shopping purely for labels and not quality or what you need.
    • I used to be guilty of this.  When I managed a retail store, it was all about who had the nicest Sevens or the best purse, but now I don’t really care. I’m more about quality and classic items that look nice.
  5. Expensive drinking.
    • Drinking is expensive. I’m guilty of this.  I need to quit the habit of going out multiple times a week.
  6. Depending on your significant other. Both of you should have equal say about your finances.
    • I’m not guilty of this. I probably control the finances a little bit more than the BF, but it’s mainly because I’m better with numbers.  I go over everything with him though.
  7. Not having a budget.
    • We didn’t have a budget for quite some time, but this has changed. Not having a budget can wreck you very quickly, so it’s best to have one. Not guilty!

What do you do that you need to stop?