I’ve written before about how living on a budget, even a small student one, doesn’t mean cutting out all the nice, frivolous things. There are lots of ways to treat yourself without it costing the earth.
I used to spend a lot of money each month buying magazines. Every time I did my weekly supermarket shop or popped into town on my lunch break I’d pick up a magazine or two. Over the month it would really add up. A few years back, when money was particularly tight, I set up a subscription to one magazine. Not only does this save me money through paying by quarterly direct debit, but knowing that I’ll have a magazine arrive by post each month is enough of a treat to stop me even looking at the magazine rack before I start my weekly shop.
More recently, my sister-in-law introduced me to the vast world of subscription boxes – I did used to subscribe to a Graze box once a week but there are now so many amazing companies out there delivering wonderful, lovely things on a monthly subscription basis.
I think this concept is such a nice way to spoil yourself a little without it costing the earth.
This company lets you choose your preferences and then once a month then post you a gift they think you’d like. It costs £19-£24 a month (depending on how long you sign up for). My brother subscribes to this one and has so far received a beautiful hand-made Italian leather card wallet and a glasses case.
The boxes from this company contain must-have beauty items, fashion and lifestyle accessories, a copy of their magazine and always a few surprises. They cost £14.95 a month (includes packaging and postage of £3.95). Every month their box has a different theme and the photos on the website of past boxes are completely to die for.
Something extra from this company is their My Little App which gives you a little treat each day for free – I love this app and the treats range from exclusive discounts, to thought-provoking videos and messages, to recipes and much more.
Slightly more expensive but if you spend a lot on shoes or gym wear then this has to be the subscription to go for. Just Fab starts from £35 a month and Fabletics from £44 a month. The monthly amount is added as credit on your account and then you can select which pair of shoes or gym clothing you’d like – or roll the amount over for next month and then buy something more pricey. A friend of mine bought a couple of pairs of shoes from Just Fab recently and they were gorgeous.
Not so much a subscription box but just a lovely and unique way to buy beauty products. Some companies create their own boxes (I’ve bought the Glamour Magazine Beauty Edit ones a couple of times before) or you can add a selection of items you’d like to create your own box. This is a great way to sample some of the best brands out there without having to pay a lot of money for the usual full-size products. I’m really fussy about perfume so this is a nice way to try ones out for a little while without wasting a whole bottle if I decide I don’t like it after all.
I’ve been telling myself to wait until I’ve graduated and have a full-time job before I sign up for a subscription. Shouldn’t be too long now. If anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know. And for more awesome UK-based boxes, check out this Buzzfeed article.