Girly Fun on a Budget

By Sarah Winfrey on 25 October 2010 (Updated 20 October 2011) 2 comments
Photo: Dennis Wong

I don’t consider myself much of a girly-girl, but there are days when I would give anything for a trip to a spa or some new boots. These days, though, the cash isn’t flowing quite as fast as it used to, and I’m finding new ways to get my girly fix so I can feel comfortable with myself as a woman but also save more. Here are some of the tricks I’ve found. (See also: 47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend)

Shop Designer on a Discount

If designer clothes make you feel like a woman, you can get them without spending a fortune. In fact, even if you have the money, it doesn’t make sense to buy designer clothes at full price. After all, saving is saving, whether you have a million dollars or just a thousand.

While you will still pay more for designer clothes than you might pay for brands that aren’t as well-known, you can achieve significant savings shopping online, as well as at sample sales. Try Bluefly, Gilt Group, HauteLook, or Beyond the Rack to get you started.

Focus on Accessories

Every girl knows that some jewelry or a bag can make an outfit. If you’re feeling tired of your clothes or think they're looking outdated, but you can’t afford to replace them, try buying some accessories to spice things up. These can change your look enough that most people will think you did manage to buy a whole new wardrobe.

Belts are big this season, and so are scarves. Both of these offer you the chance to dramatically change an outfit without spending too much money. Try a trendy store like H&M or Forever 21 to update your look without going broke.

Plan a Spa Day . . . at Home

Every girl likes a day at the spa, but a couple of hours there can easily cost what you’ve spent all week earning. Instead of going out, get some friends and spend the day inside. You can do masks, peels, massages, body wraps, and more, all in the comfort of your own house and without spending too much.

Enhance your spa day by making a plan ahead of time. Follow some of the suggestions on the pages below, and you won’t even wish you had the money to go to a real spa:

Learn to Do Your Own Nails

There’s nothing that lifts the spirits (at least for some women) like a good mani-pedi. And while one trip to the salon won’t break most budgets, weekly or every-other-week visits can add up after several months or a year. To save money, learn some basic mani-pedi skills that you can do on your own, or have someone else help you in exchange for your help on her nails. 

You may still want to visit your salon every month or two, but you can easily get the skills you need to do normal upkeep on your nails by yourself. It takes a little effort, but you’ll get your reward when you have money to spend on something else fun.  To get started, check out these tips on how to do a French Manicure at Home.

Are you a girly-girl, or do you just need a girly fix every now and then? How do you get it without breaking the bank?

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I like to do a monthly (or every other month) manicure. I do a decent job at maintenance myself. BUT most salons will do a color change for $5, which I can do every other week if I am good...and if I have a bottle of the same color at home, then I can do repairs also.

I'll do a pedicure seasonally, just because it feels good. Lots of places will run specials on them for a fairly reasonable price. I like to go out to one of my local beauty schools and have it done...like it esp when I can get a girl that is graduating soon...they are very good :D AND I can get both of them for around $20. That lets me give the girls a very good tip since they don't get paid for it, it is part of the training and hours they have to do for licensing. They'll do a color change for $5 for a pedi, whereas the salon will often charge $10. I also go to the school for color, but won't get a cut there. My youngest will, but I have curly hair so it is hard to find someone who knows what they are doing, so I will pay up to $50 (including tip) for a haircut...but I don't need them that often either...usually seasonally too :D

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Yazmin

I like doing my own manicure and pedicure at home. Aside from helping save money, it also keeps unwanted germs and infections away. I've heard so much about nail fungus cases recently that I rather spend the money getting pretty nail polishes than medicine for yucky nails.