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Finance

8 Monthly Maintenence Expenses I'm Opting Out Of In 2024

The Black girls are tired of the monthly expenses costing more than our car payments. In one month, I easily find myself spending hundreds if not thousands between ordering groceries, hair appointments, lashes, nail salon appointments, etc. I'll be honest and say at first, I didn't notice because while I'm not rich, I'm also not exactly struggling.


Still, last year, I began to look closer at my finances and discovered feeling like "that girl" was costing me way too much. And while I love looking and feeling put together, is spending all my money on maintenance the most financially responsible thing to do?

There's been an outpour of Black women on social media declaring that the monthly expenses we rack up in the name of maintenance are not only unnecessary but unsustainable. 2023 was my year of ease, and while I will continue to prioritize myself and my needs, I want to be intentional about what I spend my money on and become the DIY girlie that my future self will thank me for.

1. Eyelash Extensions 

Last week, I attended a banquet for my grandfather's 80th birthday, and my 13-year-old cousin walked in with the most beautiful lashes. I asked her who she went to, and she told me she learned on YouTube! We have no excuse if the children are learning how to apply their lashes. She's coming over next week to teach me, and I will have some sparkling cider and pizza waiting for her so we can catch up on everything going on in her world.

2. Unnecessary Hair Appointments

Hair care is essential to me, and every week, after a swim, you'll find me in the sauna deep conditioning and loving on my tresses. But I went through this phase where I was changing my hair up every month, sometimes twice a month, because I found myself in a funk. I can't deny that changing my hair brings me joy, but it doesn't need to break the bank. Daily, I scroll through social media and see Black girls do the same hairstyles at home that I pay for, so aside from necessary hair appointments - the hair salons are now on a needed-visit basis.

3. Nail Appointments

This one might upset the girls, and I get that, but hear me out - I work from home, and one day, I had to ask myself, "Girl, who is seeing your nails that cost $120 per appointment on Zoom?!" The answer was absolutely no one. In tandem with that, I've found myself loving the press-ons that I come across, and I have been putting them into my rotation. Am I breaking up with my nail artist? Absolutely not. That's my girl, but she won't see me as much this year.

4. Make-up Appointments

I've been promising myself that I'd learn how to do my own makeup for years, and I'm now in my thirties, calling my makeup artist for every event, whether it's a girl's night or a concert. While I love a beat face, if our girl Jackie Aina, the queen of soft living, still does her makeup, what's my excuse not to start learning?

5. Ordering Groceries 

There is a time and a place for this one. Now, if I'm in meeting after meeting, my food is running low, and time isn't on my side, I'll 100% order groceries to save myself additional stress. But I cannot tell you how many times this year I've driven past the grocery store, went home, and ordered groceries only to have to go the next day because items are missing. This year, I'm intentionally scheduling my grocery shopping around my errands and using that money I save on delivery and mindless shopping for my next girls' night out.

6. A New Outfit For Every Event

Raise your hand if you have a closet full of clothes but still feel like you need a new outfit for every event; now that your hand is raised...ask yourself why you are like this. I say this with love because I've had these same discussions with myself, and we are shopping our closet first all year long and then shopping responsibly.

7. Ordering In 

I enjoy cooking, and I always have, but I found myself ordering out more than ever once I moved out on my own, and it not only impacted my pockets but also my waistline. Recently, I've found myself experiencing so much joy in cooking and deciding to order out less and instead become more intentional about cooking more of what I enjoy, and when I desire take out, driving to go get it, and if I don't want to drive to pick the food up, then I clearly don't want it as much as I thought I did.

8. Luxury Massages 

I went through this phase of needing to go to the most aesthetically pleasing places, only to discover that you're paying not just for the service, you're paying for the vibes. Growing up watching Girlfriends, I thought every massage I'd experience would be with my girls at a luxury spa with champagne, and then I realized it wasn't sustainable. That's not to say that I don't indulge in the $250 massage, but monthly, I can afford the $50 massage at the local spa with ease, and trust me when I say the experience is just as satisfying, if not more because I know I can go back.

Does cutting these expenses mean I no longer allow myself to experience ease and rest? No, because every month, I still have my house cleaned and enjoy dinners out, massages, weekly swims, time in the sauna, and other activities because my budget is now more flexible because my monthly maintenance isn't draining my bank account.

This year, ask yourself what you really need every month. Your future self will thank you for it.

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Featured image by Charday Penn/Getty Images

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