The Finances of Fashion: Subscription Boxes

Some of you may not know, but one of my day-to-day duties that pays for the clothes I wear is analyzing a company's financials.  I decide what to buy, what to stop buying, and how to save more money (among many other things).  So I've decided to take my "expertise" (ha) here to show how I make purchasing decisions.  And trust me, I'm still learning.  I don't want this to be a lecture but more of an opinion to help give you a piece of mind.

My first tip: Subscription Boxes.

These things are awesome!  You don't have to go anywhere, you have something to look forward to every month, and you get to try something new.  I am a subscriber to Birchbox for many reasons:

1. When it comes to makeup, I'm a little in the dark.  I'm still learning how to put on lipstick and eyeliner to this day.
2. Since I'm not super knowledgeable about makeup, it's not that fun to purchase and when I go to Sephora & Ulta, I'm a little overwhelmed.
3. I spend about $20 a month on makeup and probably waste $10 a month since I don't know what I'm doing.

Birchbox costs $10 a month for me and I still spend about another $10-15 a month.  That said, I've found that Birchbox let's me try out something new, learn what I like and what I don't, and the extra bonus - serves as great travel-sized goods.  

As you can probably tell, most of these things are travel sized, but the eyeliner is full size and normally costs $15.  I paid $10 for the box - guess who just got about $10 worth of free loot?  Sometimes, it's not that lucky, I get all travel sizes and they don't last too long, but then you have boxes like this.  

Some things to consider when subscribing to a box:

1. Don't subscribe to a box that costs more than your monthly budget.  I love Julep nail polish but I would never spend $20 on nail polish, since I tend to pick it off within 48 hours of application.  If you have great nails and aren't afraid to leave the red/pink family, Julep Maven be right for you.
2. Do your research.  Some boxes are unique and the sole one of it's kind.  Others have competition.  Make sure you know what's out there and make your choice after researching.  Read some reviews, most boxes lock you in for a certain amount of time.  I think Glossybox is a great makeup box as well, but it's not in my price range which was one of my decisions in choosing Birchbox.
3. Be willing to try something new.  While most boxes have you fill out a survey at the beginning, you are destined to get something you don't like once in a while.  But if you're willing to at least try, say the Cate & Chloe Jewelry Box or Stitch Fix, you may find something you would have never picked and LOVE.
4. Think about going outside the realm of fashion.  I think the Whimsey and Popsugar must have boxes are some really great boxes with crafts and all sorts of fun goodies.  When I get my puppy (whenever that is) I will probably get a Barkbox, and if I lived in a more urban area, I'd be signing up for Blue Apron today.
5. Don't limit boxes to yourself!  Boxes can be great gifts!  I'm not the only one in my household who gets one - Boyfriend subscribes to Dollar Shave Club and loves it.  It's a gift that keeps on giving for 6-months to a year!

This post is not endorsed by any of the companies that were mentioned.  They are my own opinions and show the options that are out there in the subscription box market.

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