Single Mom Money: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Friday, November 20, 2015


I'm on a budget. I have specific goals in mind and I want to reach them by a specific time. I've switched to cash-only purchases and zero balance budgeting which is super scary and stinking hard. But I'm also going through a super hard, emotional time in my life and with the holidays coming around - I feel the need to treat myself so I'm not totally depressed. I deserve it, right? Well, how do I manage that without exploding my budget completely?

Some ways I've opted to "treat myself" without ruining my budget is to look little or no-spend opportunities that I'd enjoy. One of those opportunities recently was a $10 student haircut at Mario Tricoci for my haircut! I have an inverted bob hairstyle and I've had it for years. It looks good on me, it's super easy to maintain (I can even blow dry and iron with the twins running around because it takes minutes!) but it's hard to keep up with since it grows out fast, and it's even harder finding a hair stylist that can actually do the cut correctly.

When a student for MT posted on Facebook that she needed a hair model and the cut was only $10 I was in!! It did take about 2.5 hours of my life, but it was well worth it. I got a great haircut at 1/5 of the price. And I'm super duper happy about it and it helped me feel excellent about myself - a much needed perk in this emotional crap-show I'm currently experiencing.

Another way I treated myself was cashing in my United frequent flyer miles. In a role I previously had at work, I traveled - a lot. I racked up tons and tons of miles and for the past 2 years where my traveled dwindled to maybe once a year - I've kind have just been sitting on the miles. Well, instead of saving them up for a trip I'm not taking any time soon, I decided to spend them on myself. Selfish, but worth it. After wracking my brain deciding what to spend it on - there's a catalog you can choose items from with mile values associated with the product ... everything from jewelry, to travel bags, to designer bags (Kate Spade, swooon!) to Mac Books. I finally picked two things I truly, truly have wanted. One is a pair of wireless, sweat/water resistant ear buds that actually sound good and I can use for working out. I've been pained to spend $30+ on a good set of earbuds. So, by using my miles I was able to score a $200 set of earbuds for free. It's a true splurge, but something I'd never in a million years buy for myself. Now - I hope it gets me to the gym more often!

The second thing I picked up with my miles is a Michael Kors black zip wallet. I've been eyeing a Kate Spade one but didn't have enough miles. But I've been wanting a new wallet and this again, was the perfect splurge because it's something I'd use every day that I'd never buy for myself. A $150 wallet? Psh, no. But to cash in my miles and treat myself - you betcha!

It's too bad, though that I didn't have 70,000 more miles or a Mac Book Air would have been mine like WHOA! #allthehearteyes

I'm just excited that I was able to treat myself with miles that were just sitting there - and I didn't have to spend a dime! Not even shipping costs! Merry Christmas, to me!

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