4 Tips for Saving Money on Self-Care Services

Money Ning @sogomoney

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Taking good care of yourself is important, right? Basic hygiene can ward off things like unnecessary dental visits, while keeping yourself neat and presentable can do a lot for your self-esteem, personal relationships, and career. But, when it comes to personal care services like salon haircuts and color treatments, mani-pedis, and other spa services, it isn’t always as easy to justify the expense, especially if you’re trying to trim unnecessary spending from your budget.

Depending on your lifestyle and career, it might be important to get a quality haircut every 6 to 8 weeks and keep your nails looking immaculate. For many of us though, these personal care “necessities” would rightly be categorized as luxuries. Regardless of whether self-care services are more necessity or luxury for you, there are ways to save money on these budget-eating expenses. Here are a few ways for you to try.

1. The Cheapest Alternative is Almost Always to DIY

If you’re into do-it-yourself solutions, you’re in luck: there are tons of online advice for giving yourself every imaginable beauty treatment at home using more natural ingredients, giving yourself salon-quality nail care, and even cutting and dying your own hair. But let’s admit it — many of us just don’t have don’t want to find the time. We also don’t have the patience, nor the confidence in our own skills to DIY. And that’s okay. Just keep in mind that, if you’re in a pinch, it’s always one of the cheapest alternatives.

2. Snag Discounts on Service-Oriented Deal Sites

Discount and coupon sites aren’t just for saving money on electronics and apparel; many, such as Groupon, LocalFlavor, and Yipit, also feature deals from local service providers like salons and spas. Just be careful to make sure the deal that’s being advertised represents savings compared to any promotional events or pricing the salons or spas are already offering. It’s also smart to follow more than one deal site to ensure getting the best price.

3. Alternate Your Haircuts Between More Upscale Salons and Beauty Schools

If you’ve ever received a bad haircut the one time you chose a different salon, you’re probably someone who sticks with the same place — and the same stylist — to make sure nothing unexpected happens again. It’s scary to entrust our hair to just anyone, but it can also be cheaper to use services like beauty schools and colleges — by as much as 50%. A good suggestion is to go to your trusted salon whenever you want a new style, then visit a beauty school if you just need a trim.

Of course, you might want to switch your haircuts to a beauty school, as well. Hairstylists in training tend to be more careful and attentive to your requests, and their trainers will probably be hovering over them, ready to take over if it’s needed. Since a less experienced stylist may take longer with your hair, be patient and flexible (and remember the savings is worth a little extra time).

4. Be Cautious About Buying Beauty Products and Add-on Services from a Salon

Most salons use high-end line of products and sell them on the side. While it can be tempting to purchase a product right after witnessing the results on your hair, keep in mind that the salon markup is usually significant. Take a picture or jot down the product name to take home, and do your research to find the best price. Often you’ll find the same item at a retail store or pharmacy chain at a much lower price. Don’t feel bad for not buying stylist-recommended products from the salon — you’re already paying them for their services.

Add-on services can also be sneaky. Find out if your salon charges an extra fee for drying and styling your hair, and ask for a price quote before you agree to recommended treatments you hadn’t already budgeted for.

It’s important to take good care of yourself, if even just for the boost to self-esteem. But it’s also good to be frugal, look for cheaper alternatives that yield the same results, and keep personal services a reasonable part of budget.

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