Moving into your own pad is a big step, and knowing you have to foot the bill personally for all your needs can be daunting. Draw up a monthly budget using a spreadsheet program, showing your projected income and expenditure for rent, utilities, transport, food and clothing. List everything you buy regularly, including toiletries, to avoid going over your budget because an item slipped your mind.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
How much you should budget for toiletries depends on several factors, such as your income, the cost of goods in your area and how many people you have in your household.
Identify your Needs
Make a list of the toiletries or personal care products you use daily. These typically include soap, toothpaste, shower gel, shaving products, shampoo and conditioner. Go through your bathroom cabinet and add any items you use weekly or less often, such as depilatory creams, tampons, cleansing masks and deep conditioning hair treatments. If you use cosmetics, list items such as foundation, face powder, eyeliner and mascara, and don’t forget the important stuff – cleanser, toner and moisturizer. Group everything into categories such as bath products or beauty products.
Frequency of Use
Identify the quantity of each product you need, based on the frequency with which you use it. For example, if you apply a deep-cleansing face mask once a week, and the product you buy contains enough for six applications, you will need to replace it after six weeks. Other products might need replacement monthly or even weekly, and some might last for years. Break your list down into the quantities you need to buy monthly over a six-month period and list them in your spreadsheet.
To find out how much to budget for toiletries, research the prices of the products you use and add these to the spreadsheet. This will enable you to calculate your monthly budgetary requirements, as well as provide a means to identify good discounts and bargain deals. If you only need to buy a particular product every second month, budget for half of its cost each month. One month you will buy the product, and the following month you can buy another long-lasting product, so it will balance your budget in the long term.
Budget for Contingencies
Make provisions in your budget for extra purchases each month. If you spot a promo offer for one of the items in your budget, it might be worthwhile to buy it in bulk and save the difference for unexpected expenses. Give yourself a small monthly allowance for special purchases too, such as a new fragrance in summer or extra-rich body lotion during the dry winter months. That way, you won’t feel guilty when you do spend something extra on yourself.
Tracey Sandilands has written professionally since 1990, covering business, home ownership and pets. She holds a professional business management qualification, a bachelor's degree in communications and a diploma in public relations and journalism. Sandilands is the former editor of an international property news portal and an experienced dog breeder and trainer.