Tattoos can be an amazing addition to your body: They're a way to carry meaning, expression, and art, all on your skin. But because tattoos are so special, they're certainly an investment. It's important to consider how to save up for a tattoo, because high-quality ink doesn't come cheap.
The price of a tattoo varies a ton, depending on a few factors. The size, design, and placement of a tattoo all play a role in the final number. Some tattoo artists charge per piece, and some charge per hour. Tattoo parlors can give you an estimate based on what you're looking for, which you can use as a starting point in deciding how to pinch pennies to get what you want.
But as the old saying goes, "good tattoos aren't cheap and cheap tattoos aren't good." There are times when bargains are a great thing, and other times when they're a red flag. Unfortunately, getting a tattoo falls into the latter category. You want to have trust in the person who's putting something so permanent on your body.
Getting a tattoo often requires some pre-planning to save (or make) enough cash to get the ink of your dreams. Here are nine ways to save up for a tattoo:
Set Up A Budgeting App
Downloading a budgeting app, like Mint, can help you track your finances and figure out where you're spending most of your money. From there, you can decide what you can cut back on to set aside cash for your tat.
Freelance Out Your Skills
Sites like TaskRabbit, Elance, and Care.com provide awesome opportunities to put your expertise and free time to work. Whether you've got a knack for graphic design, copywriting, organizing, or you're just really great with kids, chances are there's someone who needs your skills, and fast.
Sell Unwanted Stuff
If you don't have time to make money by offering up your skills, consider hopping on Craigslist, Ebay, or any buying and selling site or app. If you've got stuff you really don't use lying around, why not exchange it for some cold hard cash? Think of electronics, expensive clothes, and fitness equipment that could use a new owner.
Start Canceling Subscriptions
This one's going to sting a little: Do you really need Netflix, Hulu, and HBO? If you're serious about saving for your tattoo, go through your bank statement and look at all of the monthly charges that don't really need to be there. Whether it's a magazine you don't have time to read or a beauty subscription box you're not loving, pare down to save a little extra cash. Hey, $8 or $10 a month can go a long way in the long run.
Nix Frivolous Expenses
Sorry, Starbucks lovers (guilty over here.) When you think about the things you're quick to swipe a card or scan your phone to pay for, what can go? Those peppermint mochas are amazing, yes, but if you find yourself splurging every day, that's a lot of cash that could go to better use (like a tattoo!)
Host Girls' Nights In
Redbox: $1. Swedish Fish: $2. A movie night in with the girls: priceless. Hosting girl's nights in can save you a ton of cash on going out — think about how much you spend at the movie theatre between your ticket, your popcorn, and your small soda. Absurd, right? No need to skip out on time with your buds, though. Plan a night to split a bottle of wine and some high-quality conversation with a friend.
Set Up A Savings Jar
Like the grown-up version of a piggy bank. Grab a mason jar and start filling it with spare change, singles lying around in your purse, and spare money you've got on hand here and there. You can also set up "rewards" for doing things you're working on improving: Say, put a dollar in for every time you go to the gym or give a family member a call.
Watch For Your Tax Refund
This is a great way to save money without actually giving up anything: It's almost tax season, and if you're willing to wait a while to get your tattoo, you can put your tax refund towards your new ink. Hey, it might even inspire you to file a bit early!
Remind Yourself What You Want
Most importantly, remind yourself of the tattoo you've been dying for, and why you want it so bad. When you're tempted by an online shopping spree or a new pair of shoes, think back to your goal and put the credit card away. Keep a photo of your future tattoo in your wallet for a little willpower boost, and you'll be inked in no time.
Images: Maglara, Nenetus/Fotolia; William Iven, Tim Gouw, Milada Vigerova, Annie Sprat/Unsplash; Kaboom Pics, Ed Gregory/Pexels; 401(K) 2012/Flickr; jarmoluk/Pixabay