Ways You Might Not Have Thought Of To Budget-Manage Your Period
Tampons, pads, painkillers, hot water bottles, maybe even needing to take time off work…the cost of your period can start to really add up. It only gets worse if you get really bad PMS or have an aggravating condition like PCOS or endometriosis. Add in the need to think more green as well as thinking about what is healthier for your body and suddenly that monthly budget can start to be a real headache!
In the UK, period products cost an average woman around £70 a year, or a smidge under £3k for a lifetime, but costs go way beyond tampons and pads. A survey done in 2015 found that women can actually spend a horrific £18,000 on period-related things over a lifetime; not just the bare bones sanitary products but things like pain relief, new underwear (we’ve all been there), additional toiletries and “comfort purchases” like chocolate or a new show to watch.
Why should women have to choose between health and affordability? There’s no reason that sustainable period products can’t be more widely available – so you can be kinder to your bank account as well as your body.
Plan & Budget In Advance
It isn’t hard to find a free period tracker app these days, but even a good old-fashioned bit of journal work can do in a pinch. Avoid a panic-buy rush to an expensive corner store or petrol station (or, god forbid, a vending machine!) by getting to grips with your cycle, however regular or irregular it is, and giving yourself plenty of time to shop ahead of shark week. That’s a good chance to stock up on cheap painkillers and make sure you don’t have any fancy undies on, too!
Can’t Do Reusables? Go Organic!
Reusable products like a cup or washable pads are tip-top for Mother Earth, but some people just don’t have the facilities to make them practical, and others may just find that reusables just don’t suit their bodies for whatever reason. Not to panic – you can still be nicer to your vag and to the planet by opting for organic disposable products that are made with all-natural cotton, grown in an eco-friendly way without nasty pesticides or chemical runoff. Great for reducing itchiness (which saves you even more dosh on dealing with some of the – ahem – secondary problems that mainstream brands can cause down there).
Even better, a lot of subscription boxes can save you money by making sure you’re never caught out and have to waddle down to the corner shop with toilet-paper stuffed knickers to pay some hideously inflated price for a basic necessity. Most of them will let you pause or vary what comes each month too so you don’t pay a penny more than you ever need to. Sweet.
Watch Out For Subscription Packaging
One thing to be wary of with subscription boxes is the packaging they use. Quite a lot of brands load their deliveries down with meaningless pamphlets, random freebies and elaborate box designs which don’t fit properly through your letterbox, even the organic ones. Not really great for the planet and it tends to inflate the costs pretty substantially too. Besides, who wants to go hunting for their fancy tampon delivery behind the bins or wherever the postie left them this time?
Fortunately there are some post-sensitive organic subs out there who focus on letterbox friendly deliveries with fuss-free packaging to keep costs and nonsense down.
“Having simple packaging built to fit through a normal letterbox was a big driver when setting up our service. If you’re just inflating costs and delivery complications with wrappers, you’re not really helping women or the planet.” Daniella Peri, founder of Yoppie, is a big believer in keeping waste to a minimum. “We focus on making all our packaging as minimalistic as possible, which lets us pass savings onto customers and be more environmentally friendly. There’s no point in having a super-green product if you then package it up with a bunch of landfill.”
Green All Over
So there are in fact plenty of ways to make your body and your budget happy when it comes to handling your periods. Huzzah! Reusables are a fab option if you can cover the initial investment and they suit your body, but if you can’t get on with them it’s still possible to use much greener and packaging-lite organic disposables instead.
Whatever you choose, make sure you pick what’s right for you, and never be ashamed!