Several years ago, before kids and this goal of living a simpler life, I was pretty self-conscious about how I looked, and would pay a nice price to improve myself.
I wouldn’t say I was conceited at all, actually I would say it was more of a problem with low self-esteem. But I never ever thought of myself as “high maintenance”. Looking back I see that I definitely spent more than was necessary
Being low-maintenance comes into play in several ways. It not only has to do with your appearance, as I mentioned above, but also your behavior.
What does it mean to be low-maintenance? I’ll tell you – and I’ll tell you how it can be better for you, your mental health – and your relationships, too. Here are some tips on how to become a more low-maintenance woman.
What Does it Mean to Be “Low-Maintenance” – and Why Should I Strive for This?
If you’ve ever had a high-maintenance friend or family m ember, you already know the routine. They want you to be attentive to their needs at all time, and throw a complete fit when you drop the ball. They are draining to be around and likely leave you feeling exhausted any time you spend time with them.
For me, the biggest benefit of being low maintenance is that it simply takes less time. It takes less time to get ready – for example, I can spend twenty minutes getting ready in the morning versus the two hours it takes lots of women. I can feel pretty without wearing makeup or doing my hair, so I don’t have to worry about all that extra time where I could be doing something more productive!
After all, spending that much time getting ready is plain exhausting. When you are low-maintenance, you can spend more time exploring your hobbies and other activities (like homesteading!) because you aren’t spending hours each day focused on your hair, makeup, and nails.
It’s exhausting on an emotional front, too. Being low-maintenance is related to both your physical and inward appearances. If you’re constantly fixated on being high-maintenance on an emotional level, it takes a heavy emotional toll, too. That’s quite tiring in its own respect!
Low-maintenance women are often described as being laidback, fun, or confident. They are easygoing. High-maintenance women are often described as selfish, uptight, or money-obsessed. I’m not fond of these latter descriptors – I don’t necessarily think that you’re a bad person if you are high-maintenance. After all, I was!
But I do think that being low-maintenance is something to strive for – simply because it makes life a lot easier.
That’s not to say that, as a low maintenance woman, you should become a total pushover. You shouldn’t go with the grain just to please everyone else – that’s not the same thing.
While you can be easygoing and relaxed, you shouldn’t ever set your basic needs or wants aside. It’s all about how you go about pursuing those needs and wants.
Be Patient and Practical
One of the best tips I have for becoming a low-maintenance person might not come easily to everyone. However, if you’re going to be a low-maintenance woman, it’s something you should strive for.
Think about how you react when someone – say, your husband – forgets to do something he was supposed to, like taking the garbage out. If you’re high-maintenance, you might react poorly with an argument, a fight, screams, or tears. But if you’re low maintenance, you brush it off and take it with a grain of salt.
Yes, it’s frustrating – it’s okay to admit that. However, when you’re low-maintenance, you see the big picture. It sucks that he forgot to do that, but he also did 800493 other amazing things this week – so maybe you can just overlook it and move on. You don’t need to keep score in a marriage.
When you’re low-maintenance, you are quick to listen and slow to speak. You consider your reactions and responses carefully, avoiding any unnecessary shows of drama. We all like to be heard, but a low-maintenance woman knows that the best way to be heard is to slow down and speak thoughtfully.
Own Your Own Happiness
The most high-maintenance people I know are those that rely on the people around them for everything – including their own happiness. This isn’t fair and it’s a heavy burden for anyone to carry. Plus, you’ll find that you’re never actually happy because you rely on other people (and possibly other things) to make you happy instead of your own self.
Clarify Your Expectations and Intentions
A low-maintenance person communicates clearly what he or she wants. One of the hallmark indicators of a high-maintenance person is that they don’t communicate what they want or need and then get angry when those expectations are not met. Well, duh! People aren’t mind-readers, no matter how intuitive they might be.
You also need to examine the flipside of things. If you’re low-maintenance, you will think about what other people might be trying to do before you jump and react.
You don’t have to like everyone you meet, but a low-maintenance person will get along with just about anyone. You can hang out with multiple types of people and still keep it cool as a cucumber.
Learn How to Listen
Low-maintenance women are often viewed as being great company because they are not demanding. They are relaxed and aware of their companions. Plus, they are great listeners. If you’re a low maintenance person, you’ll find that you do not need as much attention so you will spend more time listening and less time talking.
Find Your Own Solutions
When you’re low maintenance, you don’t expect everyone to fix things for you – you fix it for yourself. You are flexible and can roll with the punches. Hey, great traits for a low-maintenance woman and a homesteader to have!
This is perhaps the top characteristic of a low-maintenance person. High-maintenance people are so high maintenance, as I told you in the story about myself before, because they require constant upkeep to maintain a certain “image” that they have for themselves. They must always strive to be something that they really are not, deep down inside.
If you are low-maintenance, you know what you have and you own it. You are humble and content with your natural assets -be they your physical or emotional traits.
Over the years I’ve decided to let the extra superficial go. Now, don’t get me wrong. I still care about my appearance.
It’s not like I’ve just become a lazy slob when it comes to my looks, I’ve just learned to maintain an image that I am happy with (and that my husband is happy with) without breaking the bank.
If you are wanting to learn to live more within your means, and begin to save instead of squander your money, you might be wise to consider making some changes to the price of your personal upkeep. Here are some things that I’ve done to save my family big bucks:
Manicures / Pedicures
I used to get acrylic French Manicures done at least every two weeks. The cost of this, cheaply done, was about $40/mo.
Now I keep my natural nails a little shorter, and paint them myself when I feel like a manicure!
I wasn’t tanning all of the time, but I would go to the tanning bed for the Summer, usually for about 4 months in a row. My cost $60/mo. Plus a good tanning lotion for about $40.
Now I may use something like Jergens Natural Glow, or some kind of lotion with a gradual building tint if I feel like I need a little color.
I won’t count the $250 cost of the custom fit trays that I got as a birthday present, but to buy the bleach gel from the dentist cost me about $30 every 3 mos.
Now I just use a whitening toothpaste. I don’t smoke or drink coffee, so that probably helps too!
Yes, I did this too every now and then. Probably every couple months. Cost $15.
Now I tweeze. With frequent grooming in good lighting, you’ll never know the difference.
For many years I permed my hair. I usually did it twice a year, for about $100 a pop.
Then I had my hair straightened, and started highlighting and layering it, about every 3-4 months. That cost me around $100 each time as well (my hair has always been pretty long, so it costs a lot to do anything to it).
I finally decided that it’s ridiculous for me to be spending so much money on my hair… and for what? So people can look at me and think to themselves that they like my hair?
It just wasn’t worth it to me anymore. So, I had my hair colored one last time, back to my natural sandy blonde, and had one last cut. I haven’t been back to the salon in two years! My sister has trimmed my hair for me, for FREE 🙂
If you have short hair, consider growing it out long. Longer really is lower maintenance, and much cheaper! Plus, the guys dig it.
I used to buy the cute stuff a the mall, and not blink at paying over $30 for just a shirt, or $50 for shoes. Even that wasn’t excessive. I never did go overboard buying “designer” stuff, but buying at full price was normal.
Now I hardly ever go to the mall, and I definitely don’t go there to do random shopping for myself! I only shop good sales, and try to keep it around $5-$10 per item.
I much prefer to buy at local Thrift stores for a fraction of the price without sacrificing quality. I’ve also really re-evaluated how much clothing I really need, and have kept it to a minimum.
So, just by making these changes in my life I’ve been able to save my family over $2650 per year. And this is a very conservative figure. I’m not even counting how much less make-up and hair products I am using.
I guess this is my frugal living food for thought for the day. What do you think… can you do any of these things? Can you do all of these things?
If you are in the habit of frivolous spending then perhaps you can slowly cut one of these things out at a time. And now is a great time to start saving those extra dollars!
I’d love to hear what you are doing to become a lower maintenance woman!
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.