8 money saving tips for keeping up with your beauty routine on a budget.

You don’t need to have seen Tracey Spicer’s TED talk to know that as women we spend a lot of time and energy beautifying ourselves. (You should watch the TED talk though, it’s great).

But it’s not only time that we spend to look and feel good. It’s cold, hard cash – and we spend a lot of it.

Australians reportedly spend over $100 billion on our looks each year according to a recent survey by Suncorp. Over a four-week period they reported that an individual would spend around $600 on clothes, accessories, beauty products, cosmetic services. That’s a whopping $8000 per year.

And women are taking the majority of the hit. Glamour recently analysed the cost of the average woman’s morning routine and compared it to that of the average male’s – it was more than double.

Even five years ago British women were carrying a staggering £256 worth of make up (that’s about $500 AUD) casually in their handbags everyday.

'Australians reportedly spend over $100 billion on our looks each year.' Image via iStock.

So what do we do when our bank accounts simply can’t keep up with the onslaught of new must-have beauty items? Believe it or not, you can still look good and feel great – without the credit card guilt.

1. Find your closest beauty school.

Track down the closest beauty school to your place and put your name down as a volunteer client for the students. In return you’ll get great treatments like manicures, pedicures, waxing, facials and massages at heavily discounted rates.


2. It's time to cut back on alcohol and junk food.

Save cash AND calories by cutting back on the alcohol and high sugar items – they’re usually higher in price too. Things like cakes, lollies, cocktails and wines can be traded for fruit and vodka-lime-sodas to benefit your waistline and your wallet.

How much sugar is really in your favourite drinks? Post continues after video. 

3. Say goodbye to brunches.

When you’re catching up with girlfriends, skip brunch and hit the pavement instead. Kill three birds with one stone – reconnect with friends, get in some exercise and save your bank account the pain by going for a good long walk outdoors.

4. "The trend is not your friend."

When it comes to your wardrobe, the trend is not your friend. Buy classic styles that won’t date. Half of my wardrobe is 15 years old and no one can tell the difference. And when you do need some new items, have a swap party with girlfriends where you can try on each others clothes and trade some of your favourite pieces, or try your local markets for pre-owned (pre-loved!) styles.

5. Score a good deal.

When you’re heading out on the town, check Living Social, Daily Deal or your Entertainment Book for some great discounts a few days beforehand. The deals are always good value, and sometimes you get nights out at steal prices!

6. It's time to revamp your hair.

If your hair appointments are costing you a bomb you’re in luck. Ballyage and ombre are IN so you can easily get away with an extra few weeks (or even months!) between hair appointments.

7. It's time to become a bookworm.

Need some time out? Instead of hitting the the shops or the movies, power down by reading a good book. Remember those places called libraries? Big building with loads of books? Hit up your local council library or second hand book store for free or cheap reads.

8. Go bare faced.

Forget the expensive foundations, primers, moisturisers and so on. The best tip for flawless, youthful skin is FREE – H20! Keeping hydrated and cutting back on the junk food will keep you looking and feeling fresh. And when you do need some extra help, buy quality, good value products that only require a small amount to do the job – they last longer.

What are your budget beauty hacks?

Natasha Janssens is the founder of Women with Cents and finance expert. You can see more from her on her website.