Having been in lockdown and out of the country for most of 2020, I am pretty much behind on everything. And that includes filing. I’m just getting done with 2019.
And since like many others, I lost my job due to the pandemic, I have a lot more time on my hands. I would say I am a very organized person so my paperwork is usually where I can find it even when that place might just be a pile in a box marked “To be Filed” under my desk. So although I usually filed and tallied things up, I typically didn’t pay close attention. Plus when you are working mandatory overtime which I was, you don’t have that much energy or time to do more than the minimum required for tasks such as filing. Frankly the only reason I filed was to have totals to file my taxes rather than to budget my expenses. Yes, there was a time I did do that but with increased responsibilities as happens in life, I had gradually stopped and basically, I had one general goal: What are my general totals? , what’s my general spending? and more importantly what the hell is deductible on my taxes? Plain and simple
But well as it happens, here I am with ample time on my hands and in a I-Gotta-Get-My-Shit-Together mood, I am paying a little more attention. Also, without an ongoing income, I am more conscious of my spending habits. And as I was tallying up totals, these two categories just popped out for me. What I spend to keep up my hair and nails or maybe it was the number of receipts to get hair color and the answer was many. Don’t get me wrong I love my hair and I do love keeping it up.
We all know that women spend a ton of money on cosmetics–make up, hair color, face creams and all other manner of beauty products and perhaps procedures–it is a multi billion dollar industry. We may know that in an abstract way but check this out. In 2019, it was estimated that the total revenue from the beauty cosmetic industry in the United States alone was more than 40 billion dollars. Yes, that’s right! Billion dollars. Wow! right? So in retrospect, my little amounts are miniscule and I know more women spend way more
Yet even with my own amounts and knowing my spending habits, I was a little taken aback by these amounts:
- Nails: $250
- Hair Color and Accessories: $162.53
- Dining Out: $62.29
Because in comparison, I only spend abut $60 going out with friends. I don’t know it, but just seems like our–my priorities were a little backwards. Maybe that was one of the good things about 2020, the year put us more in touch with our immediate families, forcing us to spend more time indoors. And with beauty shops, nail salons and hair salons closed, in general, we spend less money on these things and activities. I’d be curious to see if these trends continue or are we simple going to go back to old habits in time.
And one more thing :-), if I had saved this money that I had very freely given to the cosmetic industry that tells women we are less than we were created every single day, that drives to spend money on unnecessary items, I’d be at least $500 richer today. I am simplifying a complex issue, yes, But at it’s core, it is true. Okay, I’ll speak for myself, I spent unnecessary money on things like hair color and accessories and getting my nails done every 3 weeks.
On a final note, in contrast, I spend less than $50 in 2020 on all of the above. And there are two main reasons for that, we were all in lockdown and things cost less abroad. Everything and I mean everything costs less abroad. In other words, we (both women and men) in the US are cheated, we make less and pay more for everything.
So do I have a conclusion or advice here? Yes. Spend less–time, energy and money on enriching the cosmetic industry and invest more on relationships and play and togetherness. All in a masked and socially distanced manner of course–until further notice! There, that’s my two cents on the matter.
I finish with this blog with a photo of children playing at dusk coz it reminds me to check into my playful side which we all have and is a really fun part of us.