Practice, practice, practice. You don’t need a billion brushes–you just need one or two really good ones (I used only MAC’s 239 for a couple of years, as in one single 239!). Always step back to admire your work; you might think it’s not quite there when you’re two inches away from the mirror but the big picture might tell you something different. Try doing gradients of the same color to get the hang of blending–like a light brown with a darker brown.
I don’t give myself a monthly or yearly budget – I just keep an eye on what’s coming in and how much needs to go out for day-to-day things like groceries, rent, student loans, etc. I use my debit card about 95% of the time, so I only buy what I can afford. (The only time I use a credit card is like my Nordstrom card to get points, then I go home and immediately pay off the balance.)
The only thing I do is ensure I only use Zoya’s Remove+ as my nail polish remover of choice. I don’t use any cuticle oils, creams, etc. or treatments for the actual nails. When I was much younger, I remember using Sally Hansen’s Nail Strengthener, but I don’t find I need anything for my nails really.
Anything that’s expired gets trashed; if I can get the residual product out, then I’ll recycle the packaging when possible. Empty packaging gets recycled!