I am a bit embarrass to tell you this: until recently, I have no idea where my money goes. I spend my twenties enjoying life – exotic holidays, fine food, hand-crafted bags, artisanal-anything, etc. It was very easy for me to part with my moolahs. Money are meant to be used right? Right?!
Then I had a chance meeting with a bunch of financially-savvy friends. All night, they were talking about stocks and cryptocurrency. Err, I am more familiar with chicken stock and crêpe. Thank God my conversational skills and my curiosity sailed me through the night and made me a welcome addition to the group.
So, I decided not to be a finance retard ever again. I did all I can to learn all about finances (including taking a course on edx) and wrote this 10 Steps To Financial Literacy. For a girl who appreciates knowledge, I don’t know what took me so long to get interested in finance. But better late than never right?
There are many things to tackle and I intend to share it all here at JewelPie. Let’s start with something fun like beauty! Personal finance is not about the difficult things like investments. It’s also about simple things how you spend your money on everyday things. Today we’re going to find out how much we spend on beauty and how we can make smarter decisions about it.
WHAT INSPIRED ME TO ANALYSE THE ANNUAL COST OF BEAUTY?
I read on Wall Street Journal “The High Price of Beauty – 4 women reveal their annual costs“. They interviewed a few women and have them write a breakdown of what they spend to make themselves look good.
If you can read it, please do. If you can’t, here’s an excerpt from the article (which format we will follow):
Christie Keyes: Entertainment executive, mid-to-late-30s
Manicure and pedicure $60 x 18 a year = $1,080
Haircut and color $400 x 2 a year = $800
Blow-out $50 x 6 a year = $300
Facial (either at the Four Seasons in London or Arcona in Santa Monica) $200 x 4 a year =$800
Massage $150 x 4 a year = $600
Vi chemical peel at the dermatologist $500 x 2 a year = $1,000
Leg and eyebrow waxing $50 x 6 a year = $300
Beauty products (includes Kiehl’s shampoo and conditioner, Oribe Styling Gel, Jan Marini Face serums, Eve Lom masks among many others) = $2,000
Gym membership $180 a month = $2,160
Pilates $60 a month = $720
What surprised you about writing your budget down? “A $50 product here, a $100 product there, a massage—when you look at it together, it’s a big amount. But I have to spend money on grooming because I’m in meetings with senior management who are generally men. If you come in sloppy, people notice.”
What’s your biggest indulgence? “Probably my skin care products. I love to experiment and I read a ton of beauty articles about what good products are, so I’m always buying stuff.”
If you had to cut $2,000 from your budget, what would you lose? “It would probably come out of my massages and facials. And I’ve been trying to buy fewer products so that would probably help. I would never cut the gym, Pilates, the dermatologist, manicures, pedicures, haircuts or wax and brows. Things would be scary without them.”
HOW MUCH DO I SPEND ON BEAUTY?
Cosmetics (lipstick, eyebrow pencil, eyeliner, mascara, liptint, eyeshadow) = RM 500
Haircut, blow, and wash RM 100 x 4 a year = RM 400
Hair care products (serum and hairspray) = RM 100
Skincare (sunblock, facial wash, exfoliator, lotion) = RM 850
Wax strips = RM 100
Eyelash extension package and lash serum = RM 1050
Wax strip = RM 60
Bath care (artisanal soap, generic shampoo) = RM 200
Nose chemical peel at dermatologist = RM 500
Massage RM 150 x 4 = RM 600
Occasional pedicure RM 100 x 3 = RM 300
TOTAL: RM 4660
What surprised you about writing your budget down? I’m shock that about 20% of my budget goes into my lashes! Also, I’m not sure if some health-related expenses should be considered as beauty care e.g massage.
What’s your biggest indulgence? My eyelash extension package and lash serum definitely. When my friend introduced me to it, I was hooked. I don’t have to put on makeup and still look good. I told myself it’s worth the money because it saves so much time and I look pretty all the time! Because continuous eye lash extension caused my natural lash to thin out, I had to spend another RM 400 on lash serum to make it grow again…
If you had to cut RM 2,000 from your budget, what would you lose? The eyelash extension, massage, and pedicure (RM 1950). While people may think seeing dermatologist is a waste of money, I rather pay a professional for a treatment that works (e.g chemical peel) than buying cosmetic products that doesn’t (e.g porepack). It saves money in a long run.
Note: This was my last year’s beauty budget, which is the most expensive so far. My normal beauty budget is much lower. I had to replace some cosmetic and decided to buy good quality ones that last e.g Urban Decay’s Naked Palette (RM 250). I also uncharacteristically spend on beauty services like eyelash extension and pedicure for fun. I normally paint my own nails.
HOW MUCH DO YOU SPEND ON BEAUTY?
Now, it’s your turn to analyse your spending on beauty maintenance:
Do the breakdown above and answer these three questions:
- What surprised you about writing your budget down?
- What’s your biggest indulgence?
- If you had to cut RM 2,000 from your budget, what would you lose?
Next, I’ll talk about how you can look beautiful on a budget.