The High Cost of Being A Girl

vanity tableRecently I went to my favorite makeup counter to pick up some lipstick. I left empty handed. By the time I was done hearing about the possible “free” gifts and pricing out the products I was interested in I didn’t know what to do. Should I go with just the lipstick? Or by spending just thirty dollars more should I maximize my purchase by getting $100.00 of free product I hadn’t been interested in ten minutes ago? The only other product I was truly interested in was $80.00. Now what? Spend $100.00 to get $100.00? I brought my tired brain home so I could do the math in peace. No decision has been reached.

The situation was compounded by the fact that I had just cashed in on a bunch of “deals” at my favorite retailer in order to have a decent wardrobe to get through the summer. So there went several hundred dollars. I only buy every couple of years but still, ouch! After coming home with my ill-gotten gains I realized I needed a pair of shoes to go with one of the outfits. This wasn’t just me being fussy. I only keep two colors in dress shoes – a dark cream and black. The dress is brown. It needs another set of shoes. So there lies another purchase in my near future. Look out Payless, here I come!

While shopping for clothes I also bought a necklace. It is an absolutely adorable teapot and teacup charm necklace and since I am going to a tea party on Sunday and it was on sale, I snatched it up and added it to the overflowing box in my closet. Fortunately I am a costume jewelry girl or the amount of bling in that box would be a pirate treasure. Literally.

So there are the shoes, clothing, and jewelry – what about under it all? I’ve broken the sexy lingerie habit but there is still the perfume. Bath and Body Works sees me quite often as I try to buy as inexpensively as possible without resorting to something that stinks rather than sweetens. Yet shopping there requires algebraic math because between the discounts and coupons arriving at the proper amount to spend to get the coupon amount off requires prodigious use of percentages. I always wind up coming home with six lotions, half a dozen sprays and enough hand sanitizer to ensure no one in my family suffers from stray germs again.

Now compare this to the men in my household. They use Lubriderm for the skin, sparingly apply a bottle of cologne which lasts a good long while, wear clothes that seem to stay in fashion for over a decade, their jewelry consists of a watch a piece and there is no makeup. They get 10 haircuts for what I pay for a cut and color. My husband is a runner so his shoe budget blows mine away but that is the only area in which he outspends me. After all this shopping – and the resultant depression over what was spent – I look at the other ladies around me and realize that I probably still spend far less than they do on being a girl. That’s okay. I would really rather spend it all on books anyway.

So what about you – do you spend a lot on being a girl? What girly things are your weakness – clothes? Jewelry? Lingerie? Handbags? Nails? Shoes? Expensive perfumes? Makeup? Do you do all of them? Some of them? Or are you strong and just say no?

– Maggie AAR

10 thoughts on “The High Cost of Being A Girl

  1. Tee

    Nope, in the above sense of the word, I am not a girly girl. I have what I need in sensible amounts. But my secret wish is that I would WANT more! I always felt I was shortchanged in that area of girly hormones (or whatever) when they were being bestowed on our way down to Earth. :)

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  2. Tory

    I have gone back and forth between being truly girly and not. Succumbing to peer pressure back in the 80’s I did the artifical nails and tanning bed – but not for long. I hated how dry my skin felt. And the nails – well they never lasted long.

    I used to buy only name brand make-up from the cosmetic counters – but after I moved to a small town I discovered I could make do with drug store brands. I still treat myself to Lancome mascara and occassional lipstick – like you I try to visit when they are offering gifts wth purchase. However it is frustrating trying to meet their dollar requirements. I have bought something and just needed three more dollars to get a gift – and end up buying something that I don’t really need. And honestly sometimes the gifts are not that great – wrong shade of lipstick or base or some weird eye shadow.

    I downgraded my skin care regiment. No more creams for face, eyes etc. I buy Olay cleanser and moisturizer at the drug store.

    I haven’t shopped for clothes in a while. Everything seems so expensive. I just bought a new pair of shoes for work, and then my dog just chewed one up yesterday so I am replacing those.

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  3. LeeB.

    I haven’t shopped for clothes in a long while either because the last time I did all I saw were things I would never wear — low cut tops, flimsy fabrics and they were made in a country that I refuse to buy products from (if I can). I don’t wear a lot of makeup but I do buy skincare products when they are on sale at the drugstore.

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  4. Caz

    I’m not one for jewellery, shoes or bags. Not that I don’t use shoes or bags, I’m just not one of those women who has to have a bag to go with each pair of shoes or vice-versa.

    Because I’m on my feet most of the day (I’m a teacher) I have to go for “sensible” shoes – but I don’t really like shoe-shopping, so I’ll find some I like and then buy a couple of pairs. Even then, I don’t buy expensive ones – provided they fit well and are comfortable, I’m happy to buy cheaper shoes, wear them a lot and throw them away when they fall apart! Same with clothes – I don’t wear ‘nice’ clothes to work – I stick to dark trousers plain tops and cardigans or jackets, wear and wash and throw out when they start to look tatty.

    I do wear make-up, but I go for mid-priced rather than expensive brands, and I’m the same with face creams (I like Olay and Nivea) etc. The one thing I spend on is having my nails done once every couple of weeks. I’m a nibbler unfortunately and always have been, so a decent set of acrylics not only hides that, but stops me biting them! And I will splash out on toiletries every so often – Body Shop over here or, when I’m in France, I stock up at Sephora (we don’t have them in the UK) because their own range of bath and body products is pretty good – and I do like perfume, but try not to buy too much because I’ve got a drawer full already!

    Oh – and knickers. Not necessarily sexy undies, but I do have knicker-buying sprees now and then!

    I have two daughters (aged 10 and 13) who are also into the bath and body thing, so this is a very fragrant household!

    With clothes and shoes I tend to be extremely practical.

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  5. Kelle

    r u certain that is definitely accurate?Those things the competition actually does with regard to designer dresses and furthermore the thing you’ll need to complete totally different.

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  6. VictoriaS

    And don’t forget hair. I went natural hair a while back,and the money I have spent on haircare products, trying to find the combo I like was astronomical. OK, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but you get my point.

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  7. Blythe

    Okay, I will fess up. I’m sure there are areas I cut costs, but I do spend a lot on hair, makeup, and clothes. Definitely more than my husband does for all three, and definitely more as I get older. But I love clothes and always have. At least most of the clothes I buy for myself and my family are half price.


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  8. AARJenna

    I used to work for a department store, and those “free with purchase” offers are really good at getting you to spend more than you had planned. They always make the amount you have to spend just a few cents higher than the most expensive single item you could buy. There is no way at all to only buy one item and qualify for the free gift. It’s frustrating but I fall for it quite often!

    I just heard on NPR that the average amount a girl spends on going to her prom is over $1,000. Granted, this includes the cost of the prom ticket, but the majority is spent on clothing, shoes, accessories and hair and makeup. Unbelievable. A guy can rent a tux and shoes for less than a hundred bucks!

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    1. Blythe

      Not anymore I don’t think. My son is actually going to the prom tonight. I think the tux is more like $160, but at least it includes the shoes. I don’t know how much the corsage is, and then there is dinner. His date paid for the tickets, though, because she asked him (he’s a sophomore).

      My girls both had prom dresses that were on the cheaper side, but with girls you have to pay for hair and nails! Still I am sure we didn’t get close to $1000.

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  9. CindyS

    I wasn’t a girly girl for years – I didn’t understand obsessions with shoes, clothes, jewelry, purses. I did get my hair professionally done but only about 2x a year.

    Now I adore shoes and clothes and sometimes purses but I don’t buy unless I’m in love and even then, I can talk myself out a purchase pretty fast.

    And now I cut my own hair and color it myself – I think I will go to a professional in the next month of so but normally I’m not happy with the way they cut my hair but I do like having my hair freshly cropped (I have layers and curls) to get the dead out. But every time I cut my own hair I yell down to my husband ‘I just saved you 60 bucks!’. I won’t even get into what I save for color or highlights.

    I don’t do my nails but once again, about 3 years ago I went and got a pedicure/manicure – I love polish on my toes – it’s like a constant little surprise but can’t have polish on my fingers. So my cousin gets me polish and I would absolutely go get a spa treatment every 3 months but I’m on a budget for a few years – then look out!


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