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Quick Tips to Look Your Best on a Budget

Look Your Best on a BudgetJust because you’re on a budget, doesn’t mean you can’t look good.

And I’m not talking about just the superficial, “how’s my hair?” looking good. What I’m talking about is looking good inside and outside.

How’s your appearance? Maybe gained a few pounds? Have bags under your eyes from too many late nights? Are you married? Do you think that just because you’re married you can forget about your appearance?

I hate to rain on your parade, but you’re wrong. It would be great if we lived in a world that didn’t value appearance over substance. But we don’t.

That said, every article I read is aimed at women looking better. It’s such a double standard and unfair to women. If we’re going to judge women by their appearance, we should be judging men too.

So I have put together the following list of quick tips to look your best on a budget aimed at men:

Change your haircut. Unless you are under 25, or in a band, or rich, long hair on dudes doesn’t work. Cut the sides short and let it grow a little longer on the top. Keep it neat and trim. I cut my own hair and have for years. Once a week or every two weeks, I pull out the trimmer and clean it all up. As long as it’s even and relatively short, you don’t need to worry.

Update your wardrobe. Get clothes that fit. Every guy needs a decent suit or two, a good pair of “going out” jeans, and casual clothes. Wear good shoes that don’t look like they need to be polished. Make sure your shirt fits. When you wear jeans, your shirt should be untucked with the ends falling about halfway down your back pocket. Too short and you will look like your clothes don’t fit. Too long and you’ll look frumpy. Same with your pants. Unless you’re a rail-thin fashion model, short pants will look goofy and long pants will bunch up and again make you look frumpy. When it comes to buying clothes, go for quality over quantity.

Exercise regularly. I am not talking about marathon training. Just get out and walk for 30 or 45 minutes 5 or 6 times per week. Do push ups, sit ups, or lift weights if you have access. Not only will you reap the benefits in terms of weight loss, you will feel better. There are few things as beneficial for eliminating your stress as moderate exercise. By the way, don’t be afraid to get a little color on your skin. Wear sunscreen so you don’t get burned. But the pale pasty face look isn’t doing you any favors.

Improve your posture. Whether you are sitting or standing, good posture helps strengthen your core and helps you look better.

Get more sleep. More than likely, you are not getting enough sleep. Find ways to relax. Sit in the sun a little more. Take naps when you need to. Do more of the things you want to do. Think of now, not the future.

Get rid of your facial hair. It seems like every guy wants to grow a beard. I grew a November beard and then didn’t bother shaving it until sometime in January. It’s easier to go for the shaggy look, but unless you are super thin, a beard makes your face look fat. So go ahead and keep clean shaven.

Keep your nails trimmed and clean. Few things look worse than dirty fingernails.

Be confident. Nothing helps you look good like being confident. Assume you will be successful in whatever it is you are doing. Most of us hate losing more than we like winning. As such, we’re often afraid of making a mistake, being wrong, or looking foolish. Change that attitude.


Other than the wardrobe, nothing on this list costs anything. It’s not about looking better than others, it’s about doing the best with what you have. Look better tomorrow than you do today.


Permanent link to this article: http://financialslacker.com/quick-tips-to-look-your-best-on-a-budget/


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  1. FinanceSuperhero

    This is a great list! Most people will be prone to nod in agreement with you until they get to the parts about sleep and exercise. I tend to do well on the sleep part and struggle with exercise unless I am training for a half marathon/marathon/ultra marathon.

    My only disagreement? The beard. I love my beard and think it works for me. But you are completely correct – a beard just doesn’t work for many dudes.

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    1. Financial Slacker

      I loved my beard too. I really wanted to grow it into a lumberjack, but Ms. Financial Slacker was not a fan. Maybe in the next life.

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  2. Stefan @Mllnnlbudget

    Exercising regularly is not only good for your money it saves you money down the road. Better health = less healthcare bills! Being in the business world I like this article a lot as looks are the first thing people see. I try to look as clean as I can as people are very judgmental.

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    1. Financial Slacker

      Exercise is even more important as you age. As I’ve gotten older it takes so much longer to heal. The last few times I’ve started training for a race, I’ve gotten injured and wound up having to scratch.

      I need to start earlier and ramp up more slowly.

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  3. Julie@ChooseBetterLife

    It’s nice to see advice for guys! There’s so much (usually contradictory) fashion advice for women, it’s great to see some basic, useful info for the men too that doesn’t involve expensive consumption. Lucky for me, my husband thinks having a beard is itchy and I like it when his face is smooth.

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    1. Financial Slacker

      That’s me too. I like growing a beard for about 6 weeks. After that, I look too grungy and Ms. Financial Slacker wants me clean-shaven.

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