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The Cost of Beautiful – Confession and Resolution


Over the last year, I have gotten my nails done regularly. It began the day before my job interview for my W2 job and has continued up until a little over a month ago. Even though I knew I needed that money elsewhere, I regularly had them done.

I always justified it by saying, I need to have a good corporate image. I don’t spend money on make up or my hair, this is my treat. There was always a good excuse. At $40 a visit, it is no small cost when you go regularly!

When I lost my job in January, I did start going longer and longer between appointments, but I still didn’t stop. And as things have gotten tighter and tighter, I am more and more convicted by this type of “extra.”

Last week, I went to the nail salon to have the industrial strength nail polish removed. It cost me $10. And have since bitten my nails to the quick.

In reality, I don’t know if people even look at your hands. However, I’m on a computer all the time so I see them regularly. Between the job loss, financial instability, etc. well, this one more thing tipped me over the edge.

DIY Nails

I decided to do something about it. Wal-mart shopping it was. Last night, I went and bought the basic necessities for doing my own nails. I bought a file, nail trimmers, one bottle of clear polish and one bottle of color. Now, I will admit I bought a good brand, in hopes it won’t chip as quickly.

In the end, for less than the cost of one nail salon visit, I should be able to do my own nails for months.

A Long Way to Go

As proud as I am for how far I have come in the last four years, these little things still remind me that I have a LONG way to go in my relationship with money.

Here’s to all the DIY women out there making good financial choices especially in regards to our personal appearance and hygiene. Those costs can add up quickly if you are not careful.

What do you do for self care? How do you minimize the cost? Do you have a treat or splurge for yourself?


  • Reply Megan |

    For me, self-care is nearly always time related and not very related to money. Time for myself where I am not mentally planning for the management of my family or going something for others. Often for me, that is a cup of tea and a book after my toddler has gone to bed. Or leaving the chores until the weekend so I can go to bed early (or rather at a normal hour) one night. Keeping my nails painted is an at home job for me. I can do it as well as anyone else and honestly, I always like my color selection better.

    I think the thing that helps me is that my treats are the time and the focus on myself. I bet if you think about it, you enjoy taking some time for yourself and having nice looking nails. Neither of those things needs to be about spending money. The money and having someone else do it might have added to the feeling of it being a treat or gave you dedicated time for self-care, but that isn’t essential to the self-care itself. Make time for yourself.

  • Reply J |

    I spend more money on my self-care, but I’m also in a place where I can afford to do so. I have been in times in my life where I couldn’t afford it, so I didn’t do it.

    I get my hair cut regularly (every 12 weeks), brows waxed (4 weeks), and nails done (4-6 weeks).

    I’ve also had some stupid-good luck in finding beauty professionals who are dissatisfied with their jobs, and strike out on their own. My old manicurist would charge $20 (including tip) for a gel manicure. It costs me $20, including tip, for a brow/lip wax with my current waxer; at his previous place of employment it was about $35 for the same service. So being loyal can pay off.

  • Reply Sue |

    I know exactly what you are saying – it makes you feel good to look down and see beautiful nails instead of bitten, cuticle torn ones that remind you of how much stress you are going through! I think it is a big deal that you are doing your own – you can use that $40 to pay down debt and once it is gone, pamper yourself again every now and then!

  • Reply Cwaltz |

    The money I spend on enjoyment and self care has gone up as costs have gone down. In our lean days self care was $20 every two weeks which often went to a fancy coffee and a book(feeding my soul has always been more important than outer appearance for me, I haven’t had my nails professionally done for years and tend to get hair and brows done quarterly or $60 every 3 months for brow threading and wash cut and style)

  • Reply Sandra G |

    I had been getting my nails done for 8 years with acrylic and just recently quit doing it. The damage that was being done to my nails was incredible. I’m not doing acrylic anymore but I bought a UV light and the same exact gel polish my nail tech was using on me and have done my own nails for the last month. It’s great not to have to schedule and make time for a nail appointment. I can even do them while on a camping trip, win win for me.

So, what do you think ?