When you are trying to set up a monthly budget, those variable expenses, such as the cost of personal and beauty products, can trip you up.
You might find that some months you spend more on personal care than others, for example. Subscriptions for beauty products, pet care and baby products can help you balance your budget.
For a flat rate each month, you receive a box full of products to try. The trick to getting the most from your beauty subscriptions is finding a company that offers products you’ll use.
Subscribing to a beauty or personal care box won’t necessarily eliminate the need to purchase your standard products each month.
What beauty subscriptions can do is eliminate the feeling of buyer’s remorse after you’ve shelled out the cash for a full-sized product that makes you break out or leaves your hair feeling greasy.
When you subscribe to a service such as Birchbox, you receive a box with six sample-sized products in it. You can try each product and purchase a full-sized version if you like.
If the product doesn’t agree with you, the small size means it’ll be gone before you know it and you can get on with your life.
A subscription to Birchbox won’t bust your monthly budget, since it’s just $10 a month for women (for guys, it’s a slightly more pricey $20 a month).
The low price means low risk, as you might have ended up spending that $10 on a product that didn’t work out.
Another beauty subscription option is Umba Box . For just $25 a month, you receive a box full of handmade goodies, such as jewelry, beauty products or accessories.
Umba Box doesn’t send samples. Instead, each item is full-sized. Typically, the boxes contain up to three items.
If you find yourself tossing away money purchasing bracelets, scarves or other accessories each month, subscribing to Umba Box might help you get your spending in check.
If you have a dog, you know that the urge to buy him treats is always there.
Barkbox can provide a budget-friendly solution if you regularly find yourself splurging on chew toys and other treats for your pup while at the pet store.
A box starts at $29 per month, but the price drops to $19 a month if you subscribe for six months.
Along with providing you with between four and six treats for your pet each month, a portion of the proceeds goes to help other pets in need.
Having a baby or child is generally a budget buster, but a box from Citrus Lane can help you control your spending on toys and products for your child.
For $21 to $25 a month, you receive a box with up to five mom-tested and approved products. The items in the box range from toys to books and from snacks to household items.
Since there’s a big difference between a 6-month old and a 5-year-old, the boxes feature items tailored to your child’s age and sex.
A monthly subscription for products you know you’ll use can help you get your spending under control and balance your monthly budget.
Have you signed up for any subscriptions? Did they help you spend less?
Kelly Anderson is a financial planner who blogs about financial advice you can use in your everyday life. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.