Monday, October 21, 2013

Monthly Expenses . . . Heh Heh Get It?

This post contains affiliate links

I regularly allude to being poor, only about one quarter jokingly.  My current budget allows me to meet my financial obligations and save a small amount each month.  However, I am always on the lookout for decreasing expenses and increasing savings.  

Every now and then I get all up in arms about how much money I spend on shit that is useful and responsible and sensible, yet provides zero enjoyment or amusement-stuff like car insurance, birth control, PAP smears, and tampons. . . . Foundation garments.

A few years ago, my righteous anger led me to actually total up just how much money I spent a year on my monthly cycle.  It was sobering, shocking, and just really, really frustrating.  On an average year, I spent well over 100 dollars just on stuff to bleed on.  I found that unacceptable and took to the internet in search of alternatives.

If you are looking to save money on the crappier side of being a girl, you have a few options.  

Option 1: Avoid having a monthly altogether.  If you are on birth control, you can skip the last week of inactive pills, start a new pack, and skip having a cycle indefinitely.

Option 2: Invest in reusable pads.  If you prefer pads, there are washable cloth versions available.  You have to spend more at the outset, but eventually they will pay for themselves.

Option 3: Invest in a menstrual cup.  If you prefer tampons, there are a variety of insertable menstrual cups available.  These are usually made of silicone and are washable and reusable.   They do exactly what their names imply.

Diva Cup

Ultimately I opted for Option 3.  I bought a Diva Cup back in 2010.  At the time it cost me $31.12 including shipping and handling since I ordered it from Amazon.  If you are located near a place where hippies hang out like a Whole Foods, you can also find them on the shelf.

"The DivaCup is approved by the FDA (USA) and Health Canada. It is made of soft medical grade silicone, which is latex-free, 100% hypoallergenic and odorless. For over 50 years, silicone has been safely and extensively used in products for the health care industry. Every DivaCup comes with a discreet drawstring carry bag, full instructions, and an extra pamphlet to share. They also include an exclusively designed Diva pin with silver accents, that they hope you can proudly wear to show your support and help them spread the word about this amazing product! (LMAO . . . Sure) Back in the 1930's the innovative menstrual cup was invented as a form of internal feminine protection. The DivaCup is a modern version of this proven concept that has been redesigned with the latest technology in moulding and materials. Since The DivaCup is reusable, it is very economical. As well, you can feel confident that you are doing your part in environmental conservation. Landfill and pollution problems are on the rise and continue to be a worldwide concern."
Despite the fact that the product actively encourages weird, overly personal proselytizing, I have been really pleased with it.  There is a learning curve when it comes to proper insertion, but there are also many helpful tutorials and suggestions available on the web.  The DivaCup has also more than paid for itself.  In the last three years I have purchased only one box of tampons while on a road trip and maybe three packages of liners.

Why start writing about money by writing about menstrual cups?  The DivaCup was one of my first truly financially conscious purchases.  I thought it through, considered options, weighed the pros and cons, did actual math, and pulled the trigger on actually test-driving the product.  I was able to successfully shave the first little bit off of my monthly budget and that motivated me to finally start taking control of my money.

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