It can be done.
You can have the graduation that you want on a budget and not have to feel like you missed out.
This graduation season was not like the first one for me. My finances were not a ‘free’ this go round. Yet, I think that this was my favorite one thus far. I know that I learned so much with this degree. I knew that I could take the things that I could learn to work in the industry that I want to work in.
Everything that I wanted for this had to be budgeted — the cap and gown, beauty, transportation and my wardrobe.
There are some things that have to be in the proper position for that day. You never want to look at your pictures and say ‘What was I thinking’ or look in the mirror that morning and question if it’s right. Well, at least I did not. From my head to my toes needed to be right. But beauty can be highly expensive as well. There were things that I knew I could do, because I had previously done them myself and there were things that I knew I had to let a professional hair do.
I have natural hair, which means that I needed my style to be protective. I also needed it to be professional for upcoming interviews (hopeful) and easy to manage in the heat. This led me to a professional. It was the most expensive item that I had to take care of and the most detailed that I knew I personally could not handle.
Manicure, pedicure and eyebrows are always done in one location. Well, all of these services are not free. Regularly, if I was not making many purchases at one time i would have just done them all without question. But in that little amount of time I had to make sure I had the money for one weekend of work. All of that plus the hair appointment and pay regular expenses were not on the roster. I knew how to give myself a pedicure, because I have a bad ankle I had to do them more often because I knew how to not stress the muscle. My brows, well I would help do some on others, but had never done my own. I chose to take my own skills to my own face. The only thing I had never practiced was my nails. Manicures I knew I could do; acrylic I had never done. But I taught myself for this occasion. Otherwise I would have to take the acrylic off and do my own manicure. I ended up doing a good job. Plus I have the supplies to do them all. A friend who previously worked in the industry judged my work and said I did a great job.
So, we all know a woman on a special occasion wants to look her best. Especially in pictures. With your makeup you want it to well done, natural but glowing. I had done my makeup for previous occasions, even my previous graduation. Every time that I have had my makeup done I paid close attention to the details taken to make me look my best. I even asked what I could use in my everyday life. I had been wearing makeup since I was 13 but as you get older the amount of product you need may get larger, for different reason — to try something, to ‘disguise’, or to enhance. I was doing all of those. Though I do not have all of my pictures, the ones that I have seen the light hit perfectly and it looked perfect.
We always want to look our best, so we feel like we have to go shopping. Then we forget to look into our own mall…our closets. I had a gorgeous dress that I had never worn and it was perfect. I had a pair of wedges that I rarely wore because my current job, I have no need to be dressed up. The only thing that was new was the little cross body purse. I needed to carry my id, ticket and metro card. They fit perfectly in the purse.
Let’s not forget the most important part of wardrobe that day. The cap and gown. I wanted to stick out. i wanted to be memorable that day. I was. Thanks to the amazing craft store Michael’s I was able to create my own individual brand on my cap, my gown and my sash. I did got all the supplies that I needed for less than $30. If anyone feels the urge to be crafty, you should definitely check out Michael’s. I’ll be going back soon for the Class of 2015 mug that I thought was too cute.
There are ways to be creative and beautiful on your graduation, even when you feel that your pockets will not reach. Though all of those things were great. The day itself took the cake. The bouncing beach balls, the excitement of the achievement. Turning that tassel. All the words of inspiration and wisdom. Forever grateful. Never forgetful.