Spending Money on Looking Good…?

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We all have grooming maintenance that we need to do to keep ourselves looking presentable to others, and especially your significant other.  I personally don't like adding any sort of regular monthly expense unless I absolutely have to.  I have many friends who get pedicures on a monthly basis.  I personally go perhaps.. once a year for a bachelorette or birthday party or some other event that renders it necessary to go.  One friend has been asking me to go for monthly pedicures with her.  At $35+tip a pop each time for some scrubbing, cuticle pushing, filing, and nail bed painting (which adds up to a whopping $450 a year), I told her that I just do it myself and I could do hers too, if she wants to pay me $35+tip a month (of course I was just joking…I think).

So here I go, analyzing how much I spend on being presentable to the rest of the human race.  Guys, if you are somewhat squeamish about grooming, please look away (or don't click on the “continue reading” link lol)!

Salon Pictures, Images and PhotosHAIR: I do go and get my hair done twice a year (much to the chagrin of my BF, but tough luck for him) but go “all out” when I get my hair done (dyed and cut) which costs about $175 including tips.  I've been to a gazillion hair stylists and finally found one that I like and does a good job, so I'm keeping him even though he costs me an arm and a leg.

My BF gets a hair cut around monthly for $35 or so.  Other than that, he doesn't have any regular grooming expenses.

I know many guys who cut their own hair (and don't do a bad job), so being able to do that is a fantastic money saving skill.

tweezer Pictures, Images and PhotosBROWS: I get my eyebrows threaded about every 6-8 weeks as well, and this costs me $5.  Ever since I've discovered threading, I have been much too lazy to tweeze my eyebrows.  Threading is where the esthetician takes a piece of white thread (same as the thread you would sew with) and somehow magically twists the thread so it catches the hair and yanks them out.  It's basically like tweezing on crack.

I have a friend who goes to get her eyebrows tweezed by a well known esthetician and it costs $40 a session, but boy, do her eyebrows always look great.

WAXING: I don't wax my legs, I use an Epilator.  The Epilator is this tortuous looking device that has three metal grips that pulls each hair out three at a time in a quickly rotating fashion.  It's the greatest thing since sliced bread in my mind- it costs about $50 but lasts forever.  The pain you get initially subsides after a few more uses of the Epilator.

Spa facial bride Pictures, Images and PhotosFACIALS: Again, this is something that once you get hooked, can become a very expensive monthly expense.  I have gotten a facial once, it was lovely but expensive (I think to the tune of $70).  I bought another one thanks to Groupon (sigh).  It was 50% off or so, so I obliged.  This marks the second time I'll be having a facial in about 5 years.

I believe those are all my grooming expenses.  There's another one that I do regularly but I would much rather not share the details, but it's in the realm of waxing.

I try to keep my expenses down as much as possible and do only the things through a salon that I can't do myself.

Readers, how about you… How many times do you: Wax, “get your hair did”, get your nails done?

Do you review your grooming expenses regularly? Do you think that grooming is a area in personal finance that shouldn't ever been compromised or sacrificed?

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Young is a writer and former owner of Young and Thrifty and the main "twitter' behind Young and Thrifty's twitter account. She lives in Vancouver, BC and enjoys long walks on the beach, spending time with her anxious dog, and finding good deals. If you like what you read, consider signing up for email updates.

26 Comments

  1. Invest It Wisely on October 20, 2010 at 8:58 am

    You’ve reminded me that it’s time to go get a haircut. 😉



  2. Alex C on October 20, 2010 at 9:14 am

    It’s interesting to point out that while women spend a lot more on their visits to stylists for a haircut than men do (as you say $175 or so) they do go less often then men. So that 20-30 a guy spends every month or so (we’ll say 10 per year) comes pretty close to a woman getting her hair cut twice per year.

    In my case I bought a pair of trimmers and just buzz my hair every couple of weeks, so it payed for itself within a couple of months.

    It’s also important to treat yourself every now and then so you feel good. If you can’t afford it, then don’t, or look for cheaper alternatives (I know stylist schools give good discounts if you are willing to take the risk of a student cutting your hair). If you can, maybe it is a luxury, but you need to remember to treat yourself every now and then.



  3. Suba @ Wealth informatics on October 20, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Grooming expenses are very low in our budget, not on purpose, just for most part I don’t care (probably I should for others 🙂 ). I do my hair twice a year, but it is just a hair cut so $20~ or so per visit. I use epilator regularly too. I thread my own brows only when I have some special thing I have to attend otherwise it is just maintenance with tweezers. Pedicure/manicure/facials DIY as well… it might not be good as the professional ones but I just want to look hygienic not pretty lol so it works (for me, may be others are thinking I am this cheap ugly girl lol).



  4. eemusings on October 20, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    I don’t do any of those! I’ve had one massage and facial in my life (birthday gift) although am planning another on our anniversary.

    I’m not that hairy, so brows and body hair aren’t a major for me. Also, I’m hopeless with my hair; the best I can hope for really is a low maintenance cut that doesn’t accentuate my huge forehead/chin/cowlick. I usually get a cut 2-3 times a year, about $25 each.



  5. Newlyweds on a Budget on October 20, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Once I calculated all my grooming costs–hair highlighted and cut, waxing, mani-pedis, and eyebrow work, I realized I was spending about $5,000 A YEAR….since paying off our debt was high on my list, the mani, pedis left, so did the eyebrow waxing and I haven’t gotten my hair cut or dyed in about 5 months. however, I’m planning a small mini spa day this Saturday to get my hair done (at a much cheaper salon) and get a massage (through Groupon!)



  6. young on October 20, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    @Newlyweds on a Budget- Wow, $5000 a year? That’s a lot of money! I think it helps to add it all up like that. Congrats on using that to pay down debt instead. Yay for Groupon- I succumbed for a facial with Groupon too. It’s booked for the end of November. Would definitely not do it for full price or if it wasn’t a gift.



  7. young on October 20, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    @eemusings- Lucky you that you’re not hairy! Lol huge forehead/chin/cowlick? I’m sure that’s not the case. 🙂 $25 a hair cut- that’s cheap! That’s like a men’s hair cut price.



  8. young on October 20, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    @Suba- Cool! I had no idea you were female!! I was reading your comment and was like.. wow a guy using an epilator? Where??? Then I read the ped/man/facials lol and realized. You know how to thread your own brows? Isn’t it hard to do it on yourself? I love DIY pedicures. Less ticklish that way anways!



  9. young on October 20, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    @Alex C- Thanks for pointing that out. Very true- my BF goes quite often so I guess it works out to be the same. I know some females who cut their hair quite often, I guess it depends on the cut. When I had shorter hair (a bob), I had to get my hair cut quite often. Yeah, I’ve learned the hard way that cheaper alternatives don’t really work (like the $9.99 cut and style joint lol).



  10. young on October 20, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    @Invest It Wisely- lol that was your subliminal “nag” for the day.



  11. Sunny on October 20, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Those are quite low and reasonnable expenses for beauty treat.



  12. young on October 20, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    @Sunny- Thanks for visiting 🙂 Really? I find $175 for a hair cut quite unreasonable, but I suppose bad hair for six months otherwise is unreasonable too.



  13. Financial Cents on October 21, 2010 at 6:11 am

    I try and go to the spa with my wife every year, does that count? 🙂



  14. young on October 21, 2010 at 8:03 am

    @Financial Cents- you’re awesome! Your wife must love you for that. I try and make my BF go with me but he isn’t interested at all.



  15. Evan on October 21, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    It is expensive to be a woman, huh? Glad I don’t have to go through all that AND child birth



  16. First Gen American on October 21, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I spend money on hair. About $600 a year. Growing up, my mom gave me bowl haircuts and it traumatized me for life..so now I have to make up for it with Cut/Color at $100/pop. It is definitely on my splurge list.

    I have gotten 4 pedi’s in my life (wedding and 2 gifts while I was pregnant and couldn’t reach my feet..& one randomly 2 weeks ago.)

    Never got a facial, ever. Don’t know what I’m missing. I don’t do all the other stuff.



  17. Little House on October 21, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    I’m very low maintenance. I normally get my hair cut about 2-3 times a year, but I color it myself. I usually stay pretty close to my own hair color, so it’s not too difficult. As for any other beautification, I did just get a massage, but it was on barter (my husband fixed their computer and he told them I’d take a massage in return!) I’ve always wondered about the eyebrow threading, I think I’ll stick to plucking them myself (I’m very fair so it’s not very noticeable if I forget to pluck them).



  18. young on October 21, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    @Evan- Thanks for acknowledging the pain and hardship we go through. You’re automatically in the club. 🙂 You’re right, its so expensive!



  19. young on October 21, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    @First Gen American- My mom gave me bowl haircuts too! LOL LOL! I looked like a boy… So you go six times a year? Do you have a regular stylist? Hmm for the facial, you’re not really missing much. I don’t really know what the fuss is about really. I know some people who go religiously and I think it’s such a waste of money..



  20. young on October 21, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    @Little House- Lucky you! And smart for bartering- that’s like going back to the days before industrialization lol- you fix computer, you get massage. Who needs $? If your hair is fair then eyebrow threading is definitely not necessary.



  21. Khaleef @ KNS Financial on October 22, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Well, I’m a guy, so you can’t really go by me! My wife and I combine to cut my hair, and I don’t have any other grooming expenses.

    My wife is pretty good and doing her hair and doesn’t wear much makeup or anything, so our supplies don’t cost a whole lot. We get all of our beauty supplies from CVS and only pay a couple of dollars for a lot of stuff!



  22. young on October 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    @Khaleef- I should try and gain the trust of my boyfriend to allow me to cut his hair. I have fixed a few botched jobs from his hair stylist a few times, though. Your wife sounds really low maintenance and sounds like a keeper! 🙂



  23. The Biz of Life on October 24, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    I rarely pamper myself with anything like this. If I could cut my own hair and have it look halfway decent, I probably would, but don’t have that much courage.



  24. The Rat on October 26, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Well, I can’t relate to getting ‘waxed’ or my nails done but now that I’ve been back working out at the gym regularly, I find that I’m poking around my closet and digging out clothes that make me feel better.

    I’ve also noticed that I have been buying a couple new t-shirts here and there (in frugal fashion of course) to spice things up a bit. I think it’s good to spend a bit of money to feel good about yourself -but within reason.

    I have a family friend that insists on going to fancy boutiques to spend like wildfire and doesn’t think twice over buying a few pairs of the same type of shoe. If it’s not Nike, it’s no good kinda thing. Don’t get me wrong, having quality products is good as is feeling good about oneself, but living the high life with no limits calls for a serious reality check one day or another down the road IMO.

    I think moderation is the key as too much of anything isn’t good!

    Cheers



  25. young on October 28, 2010 at 1:41 am

    @The Rat- A few pairs of the same type of shoe? In different colours? I guess he or she is a creature of habit 🙂 Moderation is key! Too much of steak and lobster tail doesn’t do anyone good (especially not your arteries). Too much spending doesn’t do anyone good either. That bottomless pit doesn’t ever get filled even if you spend $1000 on a pair of shoes to make yourself look better.



  26. Karen on August 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Im not big on pampering myself, at least not to these extremes. Saying that i do have a softspot for great shoes.



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