5 Affordable Beauty Tips for Summer

By: Tori Lutz

Everyone wants to look their best, particularly during summer months when you get to show some skin.

Fancy beauty treatments that help you get to that goal look can get quite expensive, though, if you don’t budget wisely and find some ways to save money with it all.

To help make sure you feel as confident as possible this summer without breaking the bank, here are a few affordable beauty tips to get you ready.

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At-Home Spa Treatments

One of the easiest ways to save money on beauty treatments is to do all of the pampering yourself at home!

This can help you save an enormous chunk of money when it comes to simpler spa treatments like doing your own nails, putting together a skincare routine that involves masks, scrubs and other necessities, setting up your own aromatherapy and more.

A good rule of thumb is really just asking yourself what all you can accomplish on your own. Some treatments and services may require an outside party (laser treatments, massages, elaborate hairstyling, etc.), but many don’t.

The best part about an at-home spa day is that it can be tailored to your exact specifications without dipping too deep into your wallet. Choice of treatment, brands and application methods are all up to you!

Research Affordable Beauty Providers and Products

Big price tags don’t always mean the best service or quality, and there are often plenty of affordable salons, med spas and other beauty providers that will provide excellent service and results.

This tip is something that will require basic amounts of research in your specific area, but making sure that you do this will help to guarantee that you aren’t overspending.

One general piece of advice is that if there is a beauty school in your area, they will often provide great service for a fraction of the price. Not only are the students almost always receiving advice and instruction from experienced professionals, they are also often meticulous with their work since they still have a lot to prove.

If choosing a beginner stresses you out a little, there are often tiered options to select more experienced students as well.

As far as products go, just remember that a brand name doesn’t inherently imply quality. If you have products that you love but feel are a little expensive, try to look into the specific ingredients or type of product it is and see if you can find a lesser known brand that accomplishes the same result for less.

Sunscreen Will Save You Headaches

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A big part of summer fun often involves much more sun exposure through days at the beach, strolls through the park or even just being out and about in the hotter weather.

A little goes a long way with sun protection, and this is definitely one of the least expensive parts of any skin routine!

By making sure you take care of your skin and keep it protected from UV rays, you will save yourself a lot of stress over things like sunburns, peeling skin, uneven pigmentation, advanced signs of aging, skin cancer and much more.

Treatments do exist for a number of the issues that sun damage can cause, but they can sometimes get expensive and it’s possible that not all of the damage can be undone.

The best thing you can do for your skin at any age is to make sure you invest in some good sunscreen this summer and skip the tanning oil!

Invest in Long-Term Solutions

If you do already have existing insecurities and want to invest in solutions that can leave you feeling more confident, the best way to go is looking into quality, long-term solutions that will leave you happier and healthier.

When it comes to beauty, medical spas, dermatologists and naturopathic physicians are often great resources. Many of them will also offer free consultations so you can get an expert opinion on what to look into.

Dr. Sarah Bennett, a naturopathic physician in Scottsdale, knows how pricey visits to a med spa can get if you don’t do the right research beforehand:

“I always want to make sure my clients get the best care for them, so I like to give free consultations to not only make sure that we are the right fit but also to make sure that they get all of the needed information firsthand. I know that I’m far from the only naturopathic physician who does this, so I definitely encourage anyone considering treatments like botox, laser hair removal or others to look around online and see who is available for a brief, informative conversation.”

If you have insecurities like body hair or skin problems, looking into a long-term solution can be affordable - you just have to make sure to do the proper research in your area and pick treatments that best serve you and your needs to make sure you don’t accidentally rack up a bill on things that you could otherwise handle in more affordable ways.

Clean Eating Goes a Long Way

Food can impact a great deal more than just your weight. It can also impact your skin, hair, mood, tone and more.

Clean eating can help to make sure that you avoid a lot of the toxins that can cause problems like acne and weight gain while also boosting your morale and helping with energy, motivation and overall mood.

The most important thing to remember when you try to make a switch in your lifestyle like this is that it is just that: a lifestyle choice. Looking at it as a diet has a tone of impermanence while also carrying negative connotations that will make you think of suffering or “going without”.

Clean eating is just the opposite of that. It’s adding to your life by giving your body more of the nutrients it genuinely needs and less of the unnecessary chemicals, fats, sugars and other contents commonly found in more processed foods.

If grocery stores are a place of temptation for you that will make clean eating hard to stick with, try to only shop the perimeters of the store where you’ll find more natural and healthy essentials like produce, fresh meat, dairy needs and bread.

In Summary

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it is more than possible to achieve the best version of yourself by making a conscious effort.

This effort doesn’t even need to break the bank. By pampering yourself at home, switching to more affordable providers and products, remembering sunscreen, investing in yourself and eating cleaner, you will already make all the difference.

For more money saving tips to avoid overspending in other areas of your life, be sure to check out our other great blog posts on this topic!


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Katherine (Tori) Lutz has made a career out of freelance work and published through a variety of outlets in many industries. Her work has been published on platforms like USAToday, the Tallahassee Democrat, Altitude Group Inc., and others. She has contributed a breaking news story that ranked as the top viewed article on USAToday for 3 days, served as the sole resource for the Tallahassee Democrat and USAToday network at the 2017 Richard Spencer event at the University of Florida, and stayed on top of on-going coverage of Hurricane Irma. In addition to over 175 published articles, she has also completed a collection of poetry, managed social media for numerous companies, worked at an independent newspaper as a writer, section editor, and Editor-in-Chief, and taken on a number of corporate copywriting and copyediting jobs.

Be Your Own Knight in Shining Armor

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA

Are you still looking for your knight in shining armor? Or have you already found him? Either way you have your work cut out for you when it comes to finances!

$ More than 50 percent of all marriages fail.

$ After a divorce, the average woman sees her standard of living drop by as much as 30 percent.

$ The average age of widowhood is 56 years old.

$ The average woman lives to 80. (The average man, to age 74.)

$ The poverty rate for elderly women is twice that of elderly men.

Savvy Ladies’ Tip: Read Prince Charming Isn't Coming: How Women Get Smart About Money by Barbara Stanny.

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Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA

Stacy Francis is the Founder, CEO and President of Francis Financial, Inc., a Wealth Management and Financial Planning firm. With over 18 years of experience in the financial industry, she is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®), a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA™), and a Certified Estate Planning Specialist (CES™). She is the Co-Director of the Association of Divorce Financial Planners’ (ADFP) Greater New York Metro Chapter and a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) and an honoree member of the Private Risk Management Association (PRMA). A nationally recognized financial expert, Stacy has appeared on ABC News, CNBC, CNN, PBS Nightly Business Report, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fine Living Network, and The O’Reilly Factor. Stacy attended the New York University Center for Finance, Law and Taxation.

4 Ways Healthcare Reform Will Affect Your FSA

by Manisha Thakor  

'Tis the season... for open enrollment.

Open enrollment is the annual window where you can sign up for valuable employee benefits such as a Flexible Spending Account ("FSA"). If you work for an employer offering this benefit, trust me.  You want to keep reading.  As a self-employed person not eligible for this benefit right now - I'm here to tell you an FSA is nothing to sneeze at.  Back when I was in corporate America I didn't appreciate FSAs enough - and want to make sure you don't make that same mistake.

FSAs are a great way to plump up YOUR bottom line by enabling you to pay for necessary out-of-pocket medical expenses with pre-tax dollars. As a result, when you sign up for an FSA, you can save up to 40 percent on expenditures that you are going to make anyway. This year, healthcare reform has brought about some changes to FSAs.  To help current and prospective FSA users prepare for open enrollment, I've teamed up with Wage Works on a "Save Smart, Spend Healthy Campaign" to spread the word about what you need to know to make the best choices for you and your family. 

Here are four key differences from last year that you should know about when planning how much to contribute to your FSA account:

1. OTC Medicines Are Still Covered... But You Will Need A Prescription. When there is change, there is often confusion. A number of news stories have inaccurately reported that the IRS is no longer allowing over-the-counter (OTC) medications to be paid for with FSA funds. Thankfully, this is incorrect. The truth is that starting January 1, 2011 OTC medications (excluding insulin) will require a doctor's prescription in order to be paid for with FSA funds. Note: the key word here is "medicines." Other non-medicinal OTC items such as band-aids, crutches and diagnostic kits can still be paid for with FSA dollars prescription-free. The easiest way to prepare for the new rule around OTC medications is simply to have a frank dialogue with your doctor at your next annual exam and get the necessary paperwork (specifically, a prescription) in advance for things like allergy medicine or pain relief capsules.

2. Contribution Caps Are Coming... So Plan Today For Elective Procedures. Starting in 2013, annual contributions to FSA accounts will be capped at $2,500. (Right now contribution caps are set by individual employers, and tend to average around $5,000). If you've been contemplating an elective procedure for you or a qualified family member - such as LASIK or braces - 2011 and 2012 are the last two years in which to set aside and use extra funds in your FSA. Remember, a payment made with FSA dollars is akin to getting a discount of up to 40 percent off since you are paying with pre-tax dollars. So it's really worth it to make an estimate of your FSA eligible expenses for the coming year and sign up to contribute that amount into your account.

3. Adult Children Get A Helping Hand... Under Certain Circumstances. Thanks to healthcare reform your adult children can stay on your healthcare policy up to age 26 - as long as they are not offered coverage by their employer. Now is a great time to check in with your entire family and see who might need coverage and/or whether any of your adult children qualify as dependents. Note: some firms will allow mid-year FSA contributions to reflect the addition of adult children so check with your HR department about their policies on qualifying events.

4. "Free" Preventative Care... Means Some Costs Will Go Away. Last but not least, routine screening for blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol may no longer require a co-pay. Other cancer screenings like mammograms and colonoscopies as well a pre-natal care visits, vaccinations, and routine infant and childcare checkups may also be provided as part of your baseline insurance - thus requiring no additional out-of-pocket cost. If you had previously used your FSA to pay for these expenses, you can pare back here.

Ultimately, spending a little bit of time understanding how healthcare reform may change the amount you choose to contribute to your FSA for 2011 is an investment that you won't regret.


[Want more financial love? You can follow Women's Financial Literacy Initiative founder, Manisha Thakor, on Twitter at @ManishaThakor or on Facebook at /MThakor.

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Manisha Thakor

From Manisha's linkedin profile page:

Manisha Thakor is the Director of Wealth Strategies for Women at Buckingham Strategic Wealth and The BAM Alliance. 

Manisha and her colleagues provide both evidence-based wealth advisory services for high-net-worth households and core asset management solutions for women and families nationwide with $80,000 or more in investible assets. 

An ardent financial literacy advocate for women, Manisha is the co-author of two critically acclaimed personal finance books: ON MY OWN TWO FEET: a modern girl’s guide to personal finance and GET FINANCIALLY NAKED: how to talk money with your honey. She is on Faculty at The Omega Institute and serves as a Financial Fellow at Wellesley College. Manisha is also a member of The Wall Street Journal’s Wealth Experts Panel, a member of the 2015 CNBC Financial Advisor’s Council, and wearing her financial educator’s hat serves as a part of TIAA-CREF’s Women’s Initiative. 

Manisha's financial advice has been featured in a wide range of national media outlets including CNN, PBS, NPR, The Today Show, Rachel Ray, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The LA Times, Real Simple, Women’s Day, Glamour, Essence, and MORE magazine.

Prior to joining the Buckingham team, Manisha spent over twenty years working in financial services. On the institutional side she worked as an analyst, portfolio manager and client relations executive at SG Warburg, Atalanta/Sosnoff Capital, Fayez Sarofim & Co., and Sands Capital Management. After this she moved to the retail side and ran her own independent registered investment advisory firm, MoneyZen Wealth Management. 

Manisha earned her MBA from Harvard Business School in 1997, her BA from Wellesley College in 1992 and is a CFA charterholder. She lives in Portland, OR where she delights in the amazing Third Wave coffee scene and stunning natural beauty of the Pacific NorthWest. Manisha’s website is MoneyZen.com.