The sky could be the limit when it comes to spending money on self-care, but as a busy parent, it is hard to find the time and sometimes hard to justify the expense. Adulting is physically exhausting. With grandparents no longer living down the street to help with the kids, most parents are “on” all the time. This can take a mental and physical toll on the aging body!
Sometimes parents get to a point of being so run down that you lose sight of you or even start to physically not feel well. No one wants to feel that way, so better to plan for self-care just as you do feeding your family and keeping the power turned on.
I am often asked what is “normal” spending on personal care. I have seen it all. I’ve seen families that spend less than $25 per month or $300 per year in this area. Mom cuts everyone’s hair and she either doesn’t want to spend money on herself or it’s just not in her DNA to do it. Then, I’ve seen the families that spend closer to $1,000 per month. They do it all, hair, massage, facials, blow outs, expensive products, laser treatments, etc. However, most often families tend to spend between $250-450 per month on personal care. This is for hair, body, product, and treatments. This does not include fitness.
Personal Care “Essentials”
Technically, these are all wants in life and not needs, but since we don’t live in the middle of the Amazon, there are certain personal care costs that are common.
Hair- Cuts and color range but in general cost about $100 each. My gray hair started to come in with a vengeance after turning 40. To cover those grays, I get my hair colored every 6-8 weeks. If I go longer than that the kids start to comment on it. Haircuts are about 4x per year. Total spending on hair is ~$1,300 per year including tips.
Product- Okay, I have gone through some crazy expensive product phases in my life but most of that was before kids when I had plenty of play money. Now, I’ve got my routine, and thankfully an aesthetician sister in law who hooks me up with the good stuff. A good estimate is approximately $1,000 per year.
Treatments- Pedicures, massages and facials are wonderful and should be part of our healthcare system as wellness. If you get nails done every six weeks, a cheap-ish massage every other month and a facial once per quarter, that would be about $1,500 per year.
So, hair, product and treatments cost about $316 per month or $3,800 per year. Some spouses see this number and freak out. To me and most of the women I work with, this is pretty basic needs to feel like a human being and look half decent.
There are plenty of tantalizing other personal care treatments out there that can blow this personal care budget out of the water. If you want those things, own it and find a way to pay for it. Don’t feel guilty about spending money on yourself, unless you are going into debt to do it.