Bangs I don’t know if it’s the New Year approaching or the fact that new cameras and old friends seem to be out and about a lot more this month but something about December makes me long for some kind of change. It’s easy to get in a rut. So what’s a girl (or guy) on a budget to do?

I find there are a few things that have help me get excited about a new me in the upcoming year. Maybe a few of these can work for you. They are all instantaneous, meaning you can do them right away, as opposed to say, working out, which takes a few weeks to feel good about. Today, it’s all about instant gratification.

  1. Get a haircut. Today, I got bangs and am toying with the idea of a boxed hair color (or possibly some of that glaze stuff) to tone up my natural color. A twenty dollar haircut and a ten dollar box of color may be all you need, too. Don’t like it? It’ll grow back! It’s not like you’re getting a tattoo or anything! Here’s a good link about choosing a box hair color. I also recommend bringing a friend to help select as they can see your hair better than you can and give you a much needed reality check (“No, Nicole, your hair will never look like hers.” is sometimes exactly what you need to hear).

  2. Get a new accessory… or outfit for cheap. A thrift store or discount store can have something great that won’t break the bank, whether it’s a new scarf or a whole new outfit. A great place to find a fun New Year’s ensemble that no one else will be wearing! Find a store near you (and read what other people think about the store) here. Or, you know, check your Yellow pages.

  3. Get a new lipstick… or have your way-too-eager friend do your makeup. Sometimes buying one trendy item to go with what you already have can inspire you do try new things. My hot pink lipstick last year really gave me a lift when I needed it. I’ve always wanted to learn how to look better with makeup and if you or your friends aren’t so gifted in this department and you’re interested in learning, check out Bobbi Brown’s site which includes videos of how to create make-up looks, like for me the elusive smoky eye.

  4. Clean out your closet and get the clothes you keep tailored. Get rid of those old clothes holding you back (plus get a receipt when you donate them for your very own tax write-off!). If you don’t want to get rid of things right away, put them in a box for six months. If you can’t name what’s in there six months from now, you officially don’t miss them. Have a few nice pieces of clothing that could fit better? For a few dollars at the tailor, your clothes can fit you like a glove and become clothes you love. Here are some ideas about how to find a tailor.

  5. Do something for someone else. Join a board of a local non-profit. Volunteer at a shelter. Do something for someone else. Nothing gets you out of a rut like getting out of yourself for a few minutes. It puts those couple extra pounds and a lack of smoky eye into perspective like nothing else. Volunteer Match will match you to a volunteer opportunity near you, or you can just ask around.

So make a change if you want, or even if you don’t want. Because we all need change. It’s a good thing and really the only way we can attempt to improve ourselves. Until next time, I rock my new bangs and all other chances I have to try something new.

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