Women & Money: Looking Great Without Breaking the Bank

Don't let vanity come between you and financial stability

hefreeman0126Savvy money management skills are a necessity to weather these tough economic times. BlackEnterprise.com has got you covered with our supplement to the magazine’s three-part “Women & Money” series.

Over the next two weeks, we’ll have money management tips and strategies from Harrine Freeman, CEO and owner of H.E. Freeman Enterprises, a credit counseling service.

BlackEnterprise.com: What advice do you have for women who spend a lot of money on grooming products, much to the detriment of their bank accounts? How can they budget effectively?

Harrine Freeman: As women, we all want to look our best, but we must examine our budget before going shopping. If you don’t have the money to buy it, don’t buy it.

Woman can budget effectively for grooming products by comparison shopping on Websites such as www.pricegrabber.com or www.bizrate.com. You can try shopping at discount stores such as Target, Walmart or Walgreens. Also amazon.com offers the same grooming products found in department stores at a reduced cost.  Read women’s magazines to get reviews on various grooming products and compare the products to your specific needs. Consult a skincare professional or hairstylist to get feedback on the type of products you should use for your particular skin type or hair type.

Set a monthly spending limit for grooming products, and stick to it.  If you go over your monthly spending limit, take the items that caused you to go over the limit back to the store. Doing this a few times will help to break those bad spending habits.

Women who live above their means by buying grooming products should consider these questions:

– Why are you spending lots of money on grooming products?
– Was this a behavior learned from your mother or other female role model?
– Are you doing it to get the attention of a man?
– Are you doing it to make yourself feel better because you don’t feel good about yourself or because you have low self-esteem?
– Are you oblivious to your spending habits and will deal with the consequences of your spending at a later time?
– Do you value your appearance more than financial stability?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you must re-evaluate your priorities. Looks fade, and your appearance should be neat and clean, but you don’t have to look like a movie star every time you walk out the house if you can’t afford to.

In addition, wearing lots of makeup damages the skin over time. Try using grooming products that do not contain animal products or those that are organic. Also use products with SPF 15 or higher to protect the skin from sun damage.

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