My friend was telling me about the good feeling that comes with a back massage and a pedicure, when my thoughts were rudely interrupted. First, there was the memory of an article on frugality by a writer who calls himself Billybuc1, then the sound of Dr. Oz’s warning2 about fungus in the pedicure tubs.
Was there a way to obtain that good feeling without spending money and contracting germs?
The answer came slowly but forcefully. What if friends learned the skills of manicuring and pedicuring, and became nail technicians for each other?
The prospect seemed exciting. Then my thoughts galloped on to other money-saving activities for friends to do together.
Including beauty salons, there are six areas listed below in which friends can have fun and save money at the same time.
(1) Beauty Salons
What if friends exchanged some movie time for Beauty and Fashion Tutorials on YouTube? The objective would be two-fold.
- Keep each other looking groomed;
- Save the money they would pay to the salon.
If friends learned to wash, cut and style hair for each other, they could still visit the salon for occasional specialized treatments, if necessary. However, they could save the weekly or bi-weekly fee of $45.00 for shampoo and styling.
It costs $40.00 to braid a child’s hair and an extra $5.00 for a few beads from the big bag available from the dollar store. Moms can help one another style their little girls’ hair. There are also tutorials on cutting the men’s hair.
Additionally, think of the social and emotional benefits of such caring, supportive friendships among singles as well as families.
My friendly neighbor bumped into me at the airport which was an hour’s drive from where we lived. He was dropping off someone; I was picking up someone. I had driven there by myself; he was driving home by himself. We vowed that it would never happen again.
Friends can make carpooling a habit and save on the cost of gasoline. It takes just a query:
“I’m making a trip to someplace tomorrow; would you happen to need a ride out that way?”
“The next time you’re going to the farmer’s market (or to the mega-mall in the next city, or to the outlet store for school supplies), could we travel together?”
I imagine someone saying, “I like my privacy; I don’t want my friends to know what I’m buying.” Concentrate on the reason for doing it: you’re saving money. After a while, common sense would seem more important than what you consider privacy.
(3) Bulk Purchases
Bulk purchases of most commodities are less costly than purchasing individual items; but the single person still buys single items, mainly for two reasons.
- The single person’s budget does not allow for the bulk price;
- The quantity in the bulk package is more than the single person can use before the expiration date.
Solution? Friends buy bulk together, share and save. Friends can form their own little co-op (cooperative) type organization where they purchase organic foods at much reduced prices.
My participation in such a group was highly satisfactory. We bought health food items from an organic facility more than a hundred miles away. Delivery was free only for orders worth a minimum of $400.00. We made one large order monthly, got the food delivered at a central place, and without a delivery fee.
For those wholesale stores like Sam’s Club and Costco which offer memberships, friends can share the membership fees and shop separately on the same account, if it will benefit them.
(4) Vegetable Garden
Share the work and reap the benefits together. One summer two of my friends in a senior-living community approached me about sharing their garden plot. My thumb is any color but green, so I promised that if they did the planting, I would be responsible for the weeding and watering. I still remember the juicy tomatoes.
Friends who prefer not to work a garden plot can go picking together in gardens and orchards where they sell their fruits and vegetables. They can purchase strawberries, grapes, peaches in bulk and enjoy their time together juicing or canning. They can have a supply of preserves for an entire year for a few dollars and a lot of fun.
After having roommates in college, and the first few years afterwards, most people want their separate abode. However, single friends have several options.
Of course, there are issues that can turn perfect friendships into nightmares when the friends live together; but love, respect and maturity can make the experience pleasant.
- If two friends own their own homes, they can live in one and rent the other.
- If they live in apartments, they can rent a three bedroom unit which allows them to have some extra space, while they still pay less than if they live alone.
The declining economy and high unemployment rate have made people find feasibility in these kinds of arrangements. Even single mothers with children have shared their homes with the awareness that it was the only way to survive the difficult times.
There are also opportunities for friends to make money while they save money. Three friends, all mothers, shared their ideas and start-up cost for a preschool daycare. They were able to watch their own kids, while they received an income.
Friends can engage in various types of business together. Here are three, for example. The friends can continue their full-time jobs and treat these as secondary part-time activities while the business grows.
- A thrift shop starting out with personal items from the friends (and donations from other friends), used but in good condition; they may be their own first customers.
- Tutoring classes in the skills that each friend has (they may tutor each other’s children or each other)
- An online store or distributorship for which friends share the responsibilities while each person gets to make purchases at cost price.
If friends really want to help each other save and make money, and they give serious thought to the idea, they will find opportunities.
Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller, friends in business have the final say: “If there were more genuine friendships in business the world would be a much more enjoyable, simple and prosperous place.” (Read their success story in the link above.)
About MsDora : Author of this Article
Since Dora the Explorer is already taken, I am MsDora the Writer-Explorer. My articles explore healthy relationships, positive living, morality and other life challenges.
My writing reflects my Christian beliefs; my previous experiences as teacher, counselor, published author, organizer and speaker at seminars for women and families; as well as my continuing roles as mother and grandmother.