Guest post from Kim of Money Under the Cushions
You’re a busy lady… you work hard, you take care of everyone, you are the definition of frugalista.
You deserve a spa day!
No, I’m not talking about the unplanned yogurt facials that happen during “playful” feedings, or the warm foot soak that comes when sitting on the side of the tub when giving your kids a bath. I’m talking about a real outing where you can get your nails done, or have a massage, or get a soothing hair service.
A little alone time doing something decadent sounds awesome, right? But who can afford that?
Sure, maybe you’ll treat yourself to an occasional Starbucks, but spa services? Somehow it’s difficult to reconcile the word “frugal” with “spa.” The two don’t naturally fit together.
But what if they could? What if there was a way to treat yourself to a spa service for the price of a Starbucks Frappucino or two?
How do the following prices sound to you?
- Shampoo, blow dry/set – $7
- Facial – $8
- Manicure – $8
- Wash, deep condition, cut, style – $15
- Full body massage – $20
- Kid’s haircut – $5 (I know it’s not a mommy spa day any more, but it’s a great price if you don’t cut your child’s hair)
- No tipping required
This is just a sampling of what could be available to you.
If you’ve ever looked at day spa prices (even just as a fantasy like I have), you’ll know that the above prices are a tremendous discount. You could package them together for a real splurge for less than $50, or do them individually. How?
Go to the computer, open up your favorite search engine, and type, “beauty schools in my area” (be sure to substitute your location for “my area”).
When the list appears, look through them to see which ones offer spa and salon services (the websites will typically have a spa/salon/guest services tab.) From there you’ll find a list of options, prices, and information about scheduling an appointment.
How are They Able to Offer Such Great Prices?
The prices are so great because the services are performed by students who must complete a certain number of training hours before graduating with their certification. The students are supervised by instructors who are certified professionals with years of training.
The fees charged usually cover the costs associated with operating the guest facility. Because it is a school, students cannot accept tips, though you can choose to make a donation, typically to the program’s scholarship fund or something similar.
If the thought of having students performing some services makes you uncomfortable, or you want additional information, consider the following:
- As with restaurants and hotels, reviews of different beauty schools are available on sites like Tripadvisor or Yelp. Here you’ll find information about the overall spa, as well as individual services, or specific students.
- Students at all levels are completing services. Many schools allow you to request a senior level student. Some may impose a fee for this request, while others don’t.
- Prices may differ based on the area and cost of living. For instance, I found that beauty school spa services in New York City and Los Angeles were sometimes more expensive than schools in areas where the cost of living is lower.
- There are beauty schools like “Empire Beauty” that operate nationally and keep prices consistent state to state.
We often talk about the importance of taking time out for ourselves when we can… and I know from experience that “spa time” probably doesn’t come to mind.
If you enjoy such things, however, this is a wonderfully less expensive way to occasionally treat yourself and rejuvenate. Come to think of it, my mom’s birthday is coming up soon and she enjoys manicures. Manicures for two for less than $20. That works for me!
Have you ever had a spa service from a beauty school?
Kim is a psychologist, former big fish in a little pond, happily married entrepreneur, who is a huge believer that living richly and being frugal is not an oxymoron. Join her soon-to-launch “different kind of” personal finance blog, Money Under the Cushions.