Frugal Beautiful: It’s possible to live gloriously on a budget
You know when you meet someone really cool and hip, and you think, “Wow. This is somebody I want to be friends with”? That’s exactly what we thought when we came across Shannyn Allan from Frugal Beautiful. She believes in living a beautiful life without having to rob banks to do it, loves to splurge and knows how and where to cut costs in order to do so. She even owns a pair of Christian Louboutins. Jealous, party of one. Her blog is lovely, real, funny and gives us hope that we can change our spending habits and still shop online with gusto. Shannyn, the floor is yours…
Where I’m based: Chicago
How long I’ve been blogging: Two years
Blog basics: Frugality that isn’t frumpy! I love to help women live fabulous, fit lives — no matter what their budget may be, with advice on fitness, fashion, beauty and budget living.
Guilty pleasure: Tiramisu
Last thing I bought: A gorgeous white ceramic cake stand for 50 percent off on a Target clearance rack.
How do you live a beautiful life on a budget? Set priorities on what you want and save up, cutting costs where it doesn’t matter. For years, I lusted over and saved up for a pair of Christian Louboutin pumps — I cancelled my cable and started using the library instead of buying books and it saved me a lot of money. Some purchases never can be budget friendly, so, when that’s the case, get creative and get what you really want.
What’s the best deal you have ever scored? I lust over Philosophy bubble bath, but it’s usually $16 a bottle! I always find it on clearance at discount stores or get a deal online — I have never paid full price and feel less guilty when I buy it.
How do you get creative with your budget when shopping? Everything takes either time or money to create. When you don’t have money to spend, you have to spend time. Learn how to DIY in a way that brings you bliss: If cooking drives you bonkers, don’t force yourself to be a chef. Instead, learn to save money on gift giving with crafts or save money on travel by using rewards points. Thrift shop or use coupons if you need new clothes on a budget.
What do you find most difficult about following a budget? Anticipating life’s expensive blessings you don’t budget for — like when a friend gets engaged and asks you to be in her wedding or someone gifts you some fabulous tech gadget but (of course) you need the accessories to make it work. It’s hard to be psychic, but do your best.
What is one thing you splurge on? Food. For a while, I tried to eat boring meals and it drove me nuts. One thing I’ll spend money on is quality, healthy and fresh food and beverages. I’ll spend more to support small businesses and local shops, as well. It’s important to put your money where your priorities are.