Net Worth Week 15 – Dental Pain Edition

Gentle Readers,

There’s been a slight setback in my finances due to some pain issues I’m trying to take care of.  It’s been a physically painful week in my house. I had my semi-annual dental cleaning and learned the reason for some of my jaw pain – I have a new wisdom tooth that is stuck inside for the next six months at least. My chronic, undiagosed back pain also grew much worse. My physician won’t even look at the body parts I complain about so I’ve been pursuing some alternative healing methods. I have an acupuncture and massage appointment this weekend to try to help with this pain until I can find a new doctor. This will cost me roughly $100 because I’ve found places I trust that give really good deals. Hopefully my back approves. I miss being able to run. My girlfriend misses me not being in constant pain.

I initiated a balance transfer on the 15th and it went through today. My old Barclay Card missed me and offered me zero percent financing until next July. I intend to pay it off before then, and it will be a lot easier when it is not earning interest. Thank you, to YETInvesting for talking me through the process and encouraging me. Hopefully this will help my debt reduction process.

I would be delighted if you read my entry to win a trip to FinCon. I’d love to meet y’all.

I still love Earnest and credit them with my ability to conquer some of this debt.

Date 7/1/16 7/8/2016 7/15/2016 7/22/2016
Joy 1099 1099 1099  1099
Travel 323 323 323 323
Down Payment  19 19 19 19
retirement  21 21 21 21
health  45 45 45 45
Moving  31 31 31 31
EF  2002 2002 2002 2002
Business  1 1 1 1
Bed  .29 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life  1929 863 746  897
IRA  9580 9653 9894  9908
Brokerage  324 329 335  337
CC (largest)  0 0 0  -4791
CC (longest)  0 0 0  -529
Rewards Card  -5675 -5247 -4862  0
SL 1  -102482  -102258 -102374 -102489
SL 2  -45112  -45010 -45062 -45115
Earnest  -9328 -8878 -8897 -8915
-$147222 -$147006 -$146678 -$147156
  .35% change .14% change .22% change  -.32% change

Have medical issues ever set you back financially?

My Frugal DIY Hair Routine

Gentle Readers,

You know that I have a frugal face-routine, and you will not be surprised to learn that my hair routine is similarly personally tailored and low-cost. I spend less than $2 a year on the products I need to look fantastic.

I have a very short hair-cut and was frustrated at the amount of money I was spending on shampoo and conditioner and products. It felt wasteful. It was also just silly since none of the products did precisely what I wanted.

I have very clear vanity needs. I want to look a very particular way. I like that women stop me on the street to tell me how much they love my hairstyle. I even had a woman at my podiatrist’s office ask to take photos of my hair, because she is a stylist and wanted to try and replicate it.

Everything that touches my head is created by me.

I ditched traditional shampoo and conditioner nearly two years ago. I read around and asked my friends, and learned about the No Poo movement (a horrible name).  I thought it was worth a shot since the ingredients were simple and were things I had around my house. I was also intrigued at the idea of washing my hair once a week. Shorter showers means less water waste and more time sleeping in.

On Sundays, I wash my hair.

I have a little container I bought at CVS that holds some baking soda and water. I use a squeeze bottle with a lid that closes so it does not dry out. That’s all you need. I personally add tea tree oil,  which is good for my scalp since my hair is so thick. I don’t like the smell of tea tree, so I add in some mint oil  to have a smell I like that adds a little scalp tingle.  I pour some into my hand and scrub it into my scalp. I leave it in until I feel the tingle and then rinse it out. After that, I use a bottle that is 1/4 apple cider vinegar and 3/4 water as conditioner.  I make sure to rinse thoroughly because I don’t want to smell like a salad. Once I’m out of the shower, I warm a tiny bit of coconut oil in my hands and put it through my hair as a deeper conditioner. That’s it. My hair is clean for a week!

I like my pomade to have a little bit of shine, but mainly I want it to just let my hair’s glory come through.  My current favorite version is easy to make and much cheaper than buying a product that someone else made for me.

I use a glass bowl and a pot as a make-do double-boiler. In the glass bowl I put some Shea butter or coconut oil and then half as much Beeswax.  It melts quickly on a low heat. I stir it and watch carefully to prevent burning. Once it is all melted down, I put on my potholders and carefully transfer into a little metal one ounce container. I let it sit with the lid off until it solidifies. That’s it. My pomade is ready for 8-12 months. You only need a little when your hair is short.

The shea butter version feels a little greasier, but is nice in the winter when my hair just wants a little more love. The coconut version is my go to in the summer when looking crisp is my greater goal.

Sometimes I add an essential oil for a little scent, but not much, because I don’t want to cause anyone to have an allergic reaction around me. I try to have so little in that only someone who actively tried to smell my hair would know.

Do you make any of your own hair products? Share your recipes below.

 

My Frugal DIY Face Routine

Gentle Readers,

Part of my path to financial freedom involves keeping my product-game frugal. For the past two years I have experimented with making my own face wash, pomade, no-poo and ACV conditioner, and recently added face masks.

I make my own products partially because they are cheaper than the store-bought versions, but I also like that there is less plastic in the world due to my beauty regime. I use a few base products to make everything I need. It has also allowed me to have my products individually tailored to my skin, and I’ve never looked better. Vanity gains are happy in my book.

I’ve been very happy with the Oil Cleanse Method of face washing that I found all over the internet. I personally mix castor oil and either olive or almond depending on what I have closest to my hand at the time. I put it in a small bottle and pump once in the shower. I spread it all over my face with my fingers. Then, I wipe it off with a hot rag. This process has eliminated the need for moisturizer. My skin is clear and soft.

I still have the same bottles of castor and almond oil I began with, because it takes an incredible amount of time to go through these products even though I use them for other frugal beauty purposes. I keep some almond oil in a tiny spray bottle and use it for extra moisture in a spot or to remove makeup. 

In the winter, I use avocado oil on my face at night to decrease headaches from my skin drying out in the winter heat. I don’t need such a thick oil in the summer at my age and with my skin type, which I would not have learned without playing around.

Recently, I tried a mask that my girlfriend had and wondered if I could make one of those as well. Per usual, I asked my friends what they are doing in their diy-mask routines. Many of my friends suggested a bentonite clay mask with apple cider vinegar. I had some leftover Aztec Clay from previous pomade endeavors and keep ACV around as part of my hair conditioning routine. So I was ready to go!

It’s really simple. You combine the two ingredients in a plastic dish until it is your desired consistency, and then you apply it to your face. You let it dry for thirty minutes before using a hot rag to wipe it off. Simple. Cheap. I was willing to try.

On a recent Saturday evening, I gathered my ingredients and did what I was told. I used my finger to mix the clay with the ACV, because the internet is convinced that using metal will ruin everything. I have no idea about the science of the thing, but I love having one last thing to clean and my fingers were going to apply the mask to my actual face anyway.

I put the first of the mask on my face.

My eyes burned with rage.

They were not fans of having the ACV so near them. They were fearful of the assault on their senses. Thankfully they calmed down after 5 minutes, but I had 25 minutes to go after applying all of the goo to my face. I went to my room and read until the timer called me back.

I entered my bathroom with a new, clean washcloth and gently removed the mask from my face.

ALARMINGLY my face was red and hot. It was fine when the clay was still on, but the removal caused it great distress. I consulted my friends and they said it was normal. Just wait, girl.

I waited.

It took thirty minutes for my face to calm down. I was not pleased. I don’t believe that beauty should hurt. This was confusing.

And, then, something magical happened.

My face was so soft. They promised me radiance, but they did not think to promise me the only thing I want in my face – SOFTNESS.

Armed with this knowledge, I performed the same routine a week later. My eyes were less than civil with the NEARNESS of the ACV, but everything else went well.

And my face grew softer again.

I have found the ultimate my face routine for me. Home-made face wash calibrated to my skin type and a homemade mask all for less than the cost of the average store-made face wash. And I am as soft as I want to be. It’s been a wonderful learning curve.

Have you tried to make any personal products? How did it go?

 

Expensive Shoes Can Be A Frugal Investment

Gentle Readers,

I love shoes.  As a lesbian who refuses to allow fashion to hurt me, I have some problems finding appropriate shoes for my professional work environment that follow my personal aesthetic. This problem is compounded by my walker’s lifestyle.

I am on a mission to have 5 pair of amazing shoes that I can wear for work and play. I want one pair per day of the work week.  Dressing in a manner I like is important to me. I perform my gender, and my shoes are a huge part of that. I also know that good shoes need a day or two to breath between wearings to extend their life. I am at 3 pair of amazing shoes. I’m on the lookout for 2 more.

I buy (or am gifted) expensive shoes because I prefer quality construction that is meant to last. I want shoes that I will be wearing for decades. I want shoes that do not harm my feet. Not all expensive shoes are expensive because they are good. You must be careful. I focus on quality construction and classic styles. I don’t trust brands.

You’ll notice that I do not wear heels, but I like a fancy look as I am a fancy lady. Finding shoes that work well with dresses at fancy events is a mean-feat if you ignore heels, but it is doable.

I have a further problem in that I have smallish feet. I adore men’s dress shoes, but most do not come in my size. I’m excited about Tomboy Toes, but I cannot personally recommend them yet as I have not worn any. If I hadn’t had work shenanigans impacting my finances, maybe I would have tried them this summer. Sigh.

These shoes, the Lita, from BedStu are my go-tos. I have them in a color they no longer sell. But they have been my main-stays for two years. I paid nearly $200 for them, and get them re-soled every year for ~$60. Absolutely worth it. I can walk in them day after day and never have foot pain from them. Most women can tell you how incredible that is.

I also appreciate Fleuvog’s Tuxedo Flats. Unfortunately, they are not available any more, but these are close.  They are beautiful and narrow. Perfect for fancier events, and do not cause me pain from standing. Sadly, they do not include much by way of arch support so they can not be for daily wear. My feet just won’t allow it.

These are the most beautiful shoes I own. I feel like I can take down any enemy when I wear them. I wear them like armor. I wear them when I anticipate a client is going to be tough. I still need to take them to the cobbler to stretch the toe-box a tiny-bit, but holy cow are they beautiful!

A good cobbler will lengthen the life of your shoes by many years. Especially if you are like me and do not drive, but walk and use public transportation for all your needs. My shoes and feet need this pampering so that they will both last me many decades. Men can expect this in their dress shoes, and I think all genders should be allowed this non-luxury.

Where do you find your professional shoes?