Paying other people to paint your nails and make your coffee

Do you really need to pay someone to paint your nails while you sip on that $5 latte? (If yes, then girl, you do you. Iced vanilla lattes are delicious and that pedi is on point.)

Working in a cafe, I often people-watch during slow moments. Lots of young people on their laptops. Lots of old people sitting with friends. (Which isn’t a commentary on generational differences although as I typed that I realized it very well could be!)

I have a lot of regular customers. Which I love. I love that I know their names and their stories, and they know mine. I see them walk in the door and I start making their usual. It’s half done by the time they reach the counter.

How do I know their usual? How do they even have a usual? Because they are in there multiple times a day, spending money they may or may not have, to get an overly-sugary beverage and throw away their paper cup when they’re done. (Don’t even get me started on the sustainability crisis in restaurants and cafes.)

But back to people watching. Did I mention that the laptops are usually Apples? Because we have to keep in mind that if you’re going to do your work in a public place, you have to look good doing it. And when you hand me your credit card, I do notice your nice manicure.

I’ve seen your credit card a lot. An average of $4, once a day, every weekday, is $87/month or $1,040/year. Or, if you’re really dedicated and come in twice on weekdays and once on weekends — thank you for keeping us in business — then you’re spending $121/month or $1,456/year. On coffee.

Now let’s look at nails. Let’s say it’s once a month or so and about $25, so $300/year. On nails.

We could talk about other cosmetic procedures and treatments. And I didn’t even mention ordering takeout once or twice a week. But I think you get the idea.

I personally do my own nails and grooming, make my own meals (unless I’m meeting a friend for lunch or on a date), and generally manage my own affairs where and when I’m able to. Plus, despite working in a coffee shop, I am not addicted to coffee. Same goes for alcohol, french fries, etc, but again that’s just me.

This saves me thousands of dollars a year.

Do I enjoy the occasional $5 beverage? Sure. Will I eventually one day get my nails done? Maybe. There’s nothing wrong with living a little. There’s nothing wrong with living a lot.

If you enjoy those luxuries and can afford them, then more power to you. I wish you every financial success in the future so you can maintain that lifestyle. And if you are struggling, I support you in dropping some of the unnecessary items from your bills. You don’t need them. You will be fine without them.

To each his own, and the way you spend money is no exception. I’ll leave you with a quote from my favorite minimalism blog, Becoming Minimalist:

“We don’t buy things with money. We buy them with hours from our lives.”



Decluttering my life has brought me peace of mind and relief from the world around me. There’s nothing like walking into the space you created and knowing you have nothing more than what you need. I write articles to help others create that same feeling for themselves.

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