REBECCA ASKS | Do you keep a beauty (or style) budget? | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

20 May, 2015

REBECCA ASKS | Do you keep a beauty (or style) budget?

Happy Wednesday, everybody!

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This week's question was actually inspired by fellow blogger adordee, who posted an article earlier this week called How to Beauty Haul responsibly. Speaking as someone who usually plans out beauty purchases instead of just impulse-buying everything in sight, I can relate to a lot of what she says—but it got me wondering:

Do you keep a specific budget just for beauty or style purchases? If so, how do you ensure that you stick with it? If not, do you wish you did have a budget?

I do keep a budget, mostly out of necessity (hellooooo student loans that I will be paying off until after the end of time). I'll admit that some months I don't stick to it to the cent, but for the most part I'm keeping my spending within a certain range. I also try to keep a list of what I've bought recently on a spreadsheet so I'm not like "Oops, forgot about that $50 I spent on squirrel nail decals last week."

I actually got in the habit of keeping separate budgets for separate spending categories a few years ago when I had a "normal" job with regular paychecks—a friend recommended some budgeting software to me called You Need A Budget. It's a bit trickier when you have freelancer income (not the same from month to month), but I still think is an excellent resource if you're trying to pay off debt or save up.

Anyway, this post is not meant to be judgmental towards folks who don't keep a beauty budget—there are plenty of reasons why it might not be necessary. Either way, let me know in the comments!

20 comments:

  1. You do SO WELL with budgeting! I don't budget but I won't buy super high end makeup products because I know I can find something that I like that is much cheaper.

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  2. I actually have a separate checking account for blog/beauty stuff LOL. It's a holdover from my single days and now it's my Mad Men-style "Executive [beauty] Checking Account." Even my wild spending is totally tied to reality--anything the blog earns pays the blog bills and the beauty bills. That said, I'm totally haphazard and emotional about my spending. lol

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  3. I have a separate bank account (well, accounts) for my blog too, but that's mostly to make tax time less confusing. The "I need 700 purple eyeliners because REASONS" fund is separate from that, lol. I hear you on the emotional spending though. It happens to me too, but I usually end up hauling weird shit like novelty socks or 3 gallons of soy sauce.

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  4. Thank you! That's my attitude a lot of the time too. I have to be really, really, REALLY convinced that a high-end product is amazing before I buy it, because otherwise it just seems like a waste. I'm more likely to splurge on skincare than makeup though... I feel like more and more good budget-friendly makeup is available these days.

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  5. Paying essential bills first is definitely a good strategy. I think some folks get their paycheck and are like "WHEEEEE MONEY" and just go nuts spending before they've really stopped to figure out how much they need to save for rent and stuff. I may have had a roommate like that... didn't drive me crazy or anything. :P

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  6. Drugstore makeup has most def. improved over the years!

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  7. I definitely do, since I blog about it monthly! I don't generally include blogging expenses in there though (which I have considered adding, but haven't yet). I do keep a separate bank account for those purchases which makes it easier to track.

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  8. I kind of do, but I'm awfully bad at sticking to it. Eep.

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  9. I know, I usually peek at your posts! :) It's interesting that you bring up blogging expenses - sometimes I wonder if other beauty/fashion bloggers consider buying makeup, clothing, etc. for their own use to be a blogging expense. I usually consider stuff like that to be a personal expense unless it's something that's really only used as a blogging aid (like nail swatch sticks, just to name one ultra-specific example). But I don't know, I bet there are a lot of differing opinions on that.

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  10. Well, the good news is that there's no budget police out there, right?

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  11. Thank goodness because my car would be a paddy wagon.

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  12. Items that I buy specifically for review, like subscription boxes (clothing and beauty) I do include as expenses. I'm also working on a series that covers multiple beauty products in one category that I bought specifically to test/review. Otherwise, mostly no I don't count clothing or makeup as expenses. You should be able to write off all of the items you review, but obviously consult a tax professional. Mine happens to be my mom ;)

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  13. I did talk to a tax professional - two, actually. One basically said the same thing you said, the other told me that I needed to calculate the % of the product that was used for personal use vs. business (just like you would with office equipment). Hence the confusion. I think it's a bit of a grey area - I mean it makes sense that you would count fashion subscription boxes for review as an expense, but do you wear the garments once you're done with the review? If so I'm not sure that's solely a business expense. (Not saying that you're wrong to do it the way you do it, but the rules don't seem 100% clear-cut to me.) In any case, deducting that stuff vs. not deducting it would have made a nominal difference in terms of my tax liability last year, but I wonder how folks who do review blogging on a much larger scale handle it.

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  14. Oh that's wild on the % - I guess it's a good thing that most of what I'm buying I am using up in order to write a proper review! I will have to mention that to my mom and see what she says. So much gray area, I wasn't even fully aware that items sent "for review" was considered barter income, so I had to go back through all of my blog posts last year in order to claim things properly. What fun that was!

    When it comes to the fashion clothing subs, I only "expense" it if I don't keep anything. (So just the styling fee, like I did for the Wantable Style Edit since I sent it all back.) The actual clothing I don't expense since like you mention, I keep for personal use!

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  15. Yes, that's also confusing! When a company sends you a product in exchange for review/styling that clearly could be construed as barter, but what about when they send you random unsolicited stuff? Is that a "gift"? I mean it sort of is but it also sort of isn't, because they're obviously sending you stuff in the hopes that you'll post about it. Or what about when a company sends you an item that's a required part of a sponsored post? The value is income, but if it's necessary for the post it's also probably "supplies". In any case, I started tracking all of the stuff I received with dates/values/etc on a spreadsheet last year. If you log stuff right as you receive it, it makes things much easier to keep track of come tax time.

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  16. Yes, that's absolutely a gift. If you post about it, I always mark it as "gifted" to distinguish it from a sample. Same with anything you receive in a gift bag at an event.

    If an item is required in a sponsored post, that is also income since it is in exchange for a post. If you have to go out and purchase it, or purchase something for your post (like say in your scrub post, the container, sugar, etc.) those supplies are expenses. So true on logging it as you receive it, that's what I do now as well, though I have slipped up a few times!

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  17. I always claim supplies I purchase for a sponsored post (like the sugar scrub ingredients) as expenses. But that's not what I was talking about - let's say for example I do a sponsored post about body lotion, and the company/agency mails me the actual lotion instead of sending me out to purchase it. The value of the lotion I receive is income, but it's also a required element of the post - so in that sense it's part of my "supplies" that are necessary to facilitate the post. Using that logic, some or all of the value should be deductible. Maybe. :P

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  18. So I did it! I bought the finance inserts and it felt so good to do so! Awesome post!

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  19. Woo-hoo! Don't forget to write your purchases in scary red ink, lol.

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  20. Yeah, I know what you mean - I'm not sure on that. I always just include that as income. Since I'm generally only taking sponsored posts of things I like, it's usually fine since I'll be using it anyways. I could imagine that might be different though if the item is really expensive and you're having to consider it as income. The gray area of blogging and taxes is so confusing!

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