We all want nice things and there’s nothing wrong with rewarding yourself once in a while with a couple of nice items. However, if the money is tight, shopping for your favorite products can add to the problem. But there is a way to have the best of both worlds. It may require some discipline and changes but it isn’t impossible.

Avoid splurging all at once. It’s easy to get carried away and buy a heap of items at one time but the total amount is going to hit you where it hurts and you will feel the effects. No matter what you are buying, keep it small. Buying two to three things at a time is much easier to deal with financially than going out and buying an entire wardrobe or skin care line of products. If you buy a little each payday, you won’t feel the sting in your wallet the way you would if you spent a large amount of money all at once.

When you’re on a budget, the last thing you need is debt. Do not use credit cards to make your purchases when shopping for personal items. The key to smart shopping is to only spend what you know you have. Piling purchase on top of purchase on your credit cards is tempting but it won’t help your budget in the long run when you receive your statement in the mail. Instead, stick to cash, as this will keep you from spending more than you have. Debit cards are also ideal when it comes to shopping smart since this draws money directly from your checking account so you’ll be comfortable knowing there’s money in the bank at the time of purchase that you won’t have to pay back at a later date.

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Sales can be both a good and bad thing if you’re on a budget. In-store sales tend to be easier to tackle without going overboard. If you’re on an online shopper, you may be in trouble. If shopping online, steer clear of small sales offering “15-20% off” or “free with purchase.” As nice as it may be to get a free product, or free shipping and handling, you have to take into account that you are, in many cases, paying full-price for the items needed in order to get special offers and deals online. Wait for sales that advertise within the “40-50% off” range if possible – this also applies to in-store sales.

Because skin care and makeup items can be pricey depending on where you buy them, turn to do-it-yourself alternatives to save money when you aren’t able to afford your regular products. Instead of spending money on toner, use witch hazel, which is cheap and a common household item. Skip on fancy makeup remover and use baby shampoo. It may not seem like it, but regular baby shampoo works wonders as a makeup remover that is gentle enough for sensitive skin types. Don’t feel like you have to spend a lot of money on skin care products for your face if you don’t have to. Depending on your skin type, even the most basic cleanser and moisturizer can get the job done in place of the more expensive products. Olive oil and other essential oils mixed together or added to your favorite lotion can serve as the perfect homemade moisturizer.

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