Although I used to be a regular at the nail salon, you will rarely catch me there anymore. Why? Well, when I realized how much money I was spending each year on manicures and pedicures, I knew it was time to make a change.
I now save over $1,000 per year simply by skipping the salon and doing my nails myself. It turns out DIY can equal big savings.
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Salon Services Don’t Come Cheap
I spent $42 ($35 + $7 tip) at the nail salon twice a month for a gel manicure. Forty-two dollars times 24 visits per year meant a grand total of $1,008 per year. Additionally, every other salon visit, I would get a $30 pedicure ($25 + $5 tip). Thirty dollars times 12 visits per year meant I was tacking on an additional $360 annually.
So, between manicures and pedicures, I was spending $1,368 per year at the nail salon. I realized that was a lot of money that could be allocated elsewhere in my budget. So, it was time to try a different method.
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Doing My Nails at Home for a Fraction of the Cost
By picking up salon-quality polishes and nail tools, I was able to transition to giving myself manicures and pedicures at home for big savings.
A bottle of salon-quality polish runs around $10. Between purchasing a variety of shades, as well as a base coat and top coat, I spend about $100 per year on polishes. I also spend approximately $100 on an array of nail tools such as files, nail clippers, a basin to soak my feet, cuticle cream, etc.
I still treat myself to a salon pedicure at the start of flip-flop season, and again mid-summer ($30 twice a year = $60). But aside from those two salon pedicures each year, I do the rest myself.
Before: $1,368 per year
Now: $260 per year ($100 polishes + $100 supplies + $60 salon pedicures = $260)
Savings Total: $1,108
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An Added Bonus: What I Love About Doing My Nails at Home
Aside from the savings, I have come to discover that there are additional reasons I prefer my at-home nail routine.
I Can Change My Polish Color on a Whim
When I was getting gel manicures at the salon, I would be stuck with the same color polish on my nails for weeks at a time. Now, when my manicure begins to grow out, or if I want to coordinate my nail color with my outfit, I simply grab the nail polish remover and give my nails a fresh coat of polish.
My Nails Are Healthier
Gel manicures meant subjecting my nails to an electronic nail file and UV lights. My nails would then remain covered with thick gel polish for weeks at a time, never having a chance to breathe. This wreaked havoc on my nails, leaving them thin, dry and brittle. To cover up the damage, I would need to get another gel manicure. It was a vicious cycle.
Stopping gel manicures was difficult, as my nails without the gel polish were a mess. But as time passed, the damaged parts of my nails began to grow out. My nails have fully recuperated and look great again on their own, without the gel polish. I now make it a point to leave my nails polish-free for a few days every now and then to allow them a chance to breathe.
I’ve seen at-home gel polish kits available at beauty supply stores, but I have no desire to try them. Now that I’ve made this money-saving change, I am very happy with my simple, inexpensive, at-home manicure and pedicure routine. If you’re finding that pampering yourself is a drain on your finances, look into ways that you can do it yourself or get it done cheaper. You may be surprised at all the options available and the savings to be had.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: I Stopped Getting My Nails Done and Saved Over $1,000 a Year