Welcome to Foxxy Female Finance Fridays! How many more F words can I add to the alliteration? Fridays are dedicated to females and their finances. I hope these articles specifically target women and bring up issues and decisions, as women, we all struggle with.
This week I want to talk about nails, and getting them done.
For some of us, our nails are who we are, it’s like our hair, our go-to outfit, or a bag- they help define us. Well groomed nails, that are shaved trimmed, and often painted look better than nails that are manicured. Even nails that have a thin, clear layer of polish look better.
But not all of us are good at clipping our nails without making them stubs (me), painting their nails (me), or maybe we just don’t have the patience for it (also, me). So, we go to a nail salon to have them professionally done. The nail salon is also a great way to catch up with girlfriends, bond with mom, or have some alone time with a coffee and a magazine.
Salons are also a great way to separate yourself with your hard earned money,
In an ideal world, I would get a manicure every 5 weeks. That’s about the time where the growth really starts to show. For a pedicure, I could go every 5 weeks, but let’s just say every 8 weeks because that’s more realistic.
The average cost for a gel manicure is between $35 – $45, so I’m going to go with $40. The average cost for a pedicure is $25 – $45, I’m going to go with $35, again right in the middle.
With tip, that’s $45 for a manicure and $40 for a pedicure.
Let’s do the sexy math:
Annual Manicure = $45 * 52 weeks / 5 weeks = $468
Annual Pedicure = $40 * 52 weeks / 8 weeks = $260
For an annual total of $728.
Let’s say you’re 25 and 40 years away from retirement. Saving that $728 and letting it grow at 7% interest is almost $11,000.
You can do the math too! Download the below Excel template and try it for yourself!
Now for me, I don’t go every 8 weeks or every 5 weeks. This year, I went 3 months without going at all. But I was consciously not going to save money and hated every second of it. There are a lot of assumptions in the above calculation, but I hope the message is clear: getting your nails done is expensive and you need to weigh the opportunity cost. Would you rather get your nails done, or invest 728? Would you rather get your nails done or come close to buying a pair of Valentinos?
When I was in college, I was poor. Not twenty-something broke. But poor. I had no parents to bail me out of a bad situation, or anyone I felt comfortable accepting money from. But, I still wanted to look good and feel good.
Starting in my freshman year, one night a week I would have “spa” night where I would soak my feet, scrub of dead skin, trim my cuticles, and trim my nails. It was fun “me” time where I could stream a movie and relax. I was never good at it, but it did the trick.
I would usually paint my toe nails and put a clear coat on my fingernails. As I became a sophomore and junior I started trying designs I could do with Scotch Tape and was horrible at them, but, a couple of times they did work.
In effort to up my nail game and turn it into a self-care hobby I bought a gel nail UV lamp and polishes. My nails looked better and I was the one doing them. I had no talent for design or even getting polish only on my nails, but by doing my own nails I was able to save money.
When the time came and I found a full time job, I waited until I paid off my student loans. Then I sold my gel kit for $20 and have never touched my nails again except to ruin them with a nail clipper.
Now, I could afford to go every 5/8 weeks if I wanted to. But to me, being able to go a few times a year and having naked nails the rest of the year is a much better alternative than doing my own nails because it turned out, I never became good at it, and I rather it be a service than a hobby.
Yes! You do look more put together and professional when your nails are done. But, you need to understand if it’s something you’re willing and able to do yourself or if you can afford to have your nails professionally done. Even when you can have your nails professionally done, is it worth the cost? With the savings could you get something else that will last you longer than 5 weeks?