Five ways to treat yourself without breaking the bank

We don't treat ourselves enough. We don't have the time; we don't have the energy; we don't have the money. But treating yourself does not mean living like Kim Kardashian for the day.

Life isn't supposed to be lived by restricting your "nice things" intake. While we wouldn't do a Carrie Bradshaw on it and buy copies of Vogue instead of paying the rent, we recommend taking the time to enjoy yourself. It's for your own good.

The best things in life are free, but nice things in life don't have to cost a fortune.

hair style treat

Get a new do by a rising styling star

Getting a hair cut in a hairdressing academy will not suddenly turn you into Jareth, the Goblin King from Labyrinth. Nor will you exit with cut-up ears from misplaced scissors or hair that's now one block colour in a fetching shade of mud. Supervisors watch trainee hairstylists with a beady eye. They only graduate to cutting hair when they've proved themselves worthy.

The prices are a fraction of what a senior stylist would charge, and you never know; you could get your chop from the world's next Nicky Clarke.

Buy a designer lipstick

Dupes for designer beauty products are amazing, but there's something about owning the real deal that just feels so good. But you shouldn't have to wait for Christmas to be gifted a designer lipstick.

A YSL or Chanel lippy costs on average €30, which is basically the cost of a week's worth of coffee. So drink instant for a week. You will have your designer lip for up to two years if you take care of it properly.


afternoon tea treat

Go for afternoon tea with your besties

One of the best ways to save money is to abstain from Friday cocktails and Saturday nights out. This, unfortunately, puts a dampener on one's social life. A nice way to catch up with your friends is to organise something that won't escalate into spend-thrifty madness, like afternoon tea. Many hotels around the country offer group deals or their prices are reasonable to begin with.

Another option is to organise the tea in the comfort of your own home. You can even create your own baked goods and sandwiches.

Get post

One of the simple joys in life is receiving a parcel in the post. Except when you're not at home when they deliver... But we won't get into that.

So how to get mail without getting your friend in Australia to send you a postcard? Two words: online and shopping. Shopping sites like Boohoo and ASOS allow you to search by price, so enter your budget before you even start browsing. And remember, you can always send it back if it's not quite right.


Have a spa day at home


You have every aspect of a DIY spa, trust us. Put aside at least two hours to pamper yourself, but do a little prep work first. Make sure you have a few candles lying around, create a soothing playlist and get your lotions and potions in order. Give yourself a manicure while you're at it. And don't forget the face mask.

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