Gals, this one is for you. We’ve all got those must-have-done-otherwise-will-look-like-ogre treatments that we consider ‘essential’, and often we find these spending habits harder to give up than more material goods like clothes or makeup.

While some finance experts and savings gurus may argue that eyebrow threading and hair highlighting has no place on your ‘essential spending’ list, this is The Broke Generation – and we don’t want you giving up the things that make you feel EXTRA FLY.

With that being said, I took a look at how much the average girl spends on her beauty routine, broke it down into cost and frequency of appointment, and worked out a way to make those $300 hair appointments have less of an impact on our wallets.

Expensive services like highlights or balayage can set you back several hundred bucks a pop, and while you leave the salon feeling 110% yo’self, your bank account often doesn’t feel quite so flush. That’s because many of us ignore these costs between appointments, and live our lives as as true members of The Broke Generation – guzzling happy hour Aperols and scoffing goji berries like they’re goin’ out of fashion.

When our next haircut comes around, we hop onto online banking (while in the queue for a $4 flat white) and pretend to be surprised that our account balance isn’t even enough to cover the haircut, let alone the latest shade of ombré a bag of potions that we’re too polite to tell the hair stylist we don’t want.

Then what do we do?

At this point The Broke Generation has three choices:

  1. Dip into savings to pay for the hair appointment (if we have any)

  2. Put the hair appointment on a credit card (YOLO!)

  3. Cancel the hair appointment and reschedule when our finances are looking more rosy (ahahahahahahhahahah HAHAHAHAHHAH LOL NO)

Okay so option three is not really an option. I get ya.

But what if there was an option four? (Here’s here you go oooooh, ahhh….)

Thank you, thank you, too kind.

Option 4 is the one where we dip into our ‘beauty maintenance’ account that we’ve been incrementally depositing into all year without really realising it.


Here come the numbers:

Let’s say the average gal of The Broke Generation – we’ll call her Carly – has a headful of caramel highlights and a gentle balayage with stretched roots. She also gets her eyebrows and upper lip threaded (girls gotta do what a girls gotta do, ok), and has phases when she gets a hot blush coat of shellac slathered onto her sometimes-bitten nails. On occasion, she has a set of semi-permanent eyelash extensions applied when she’s pursuing a new love interest she’s pulled from Bumble.

Haircut + colour + blow wave = $280 (every 3 months)

Eyebrows and upper lip = $20 (every 3 weeks)

Shellac nails = $35 (approx 6 times per year for birthdays, holidays, etc).

Lashes = $120 per set (approx 3 times per year)

So, Carly’s annual spend is:

Hair: $1120

Brows + Lip: $360

Nails: $210

Lashes: $360

TOTAL: $2050

Carly gets paid fortnightly, which means she gets paid 26 times per year.

By dividing Carly’s beauty maintenance total by the number of pay cycles, we can see that if she puts $78 from every pay into an account called ‘beauty’, she can afford all of her ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL MILLENNIAL MUST-DO beauty treatments, and live her life as normal. Her savings will be on track and she’ll never have to wack it on the emergency credit card, or worse still, attend the Christmas party with un-threaded brows and self-painted nails.

Carly wins – and so does the rest of The Broke Generation!