There’s a reason why you have to spend the big bucks. Good tattoos aren’t cheap and cheap tattoos aren’t good. But that doesn’t mean your wallet is ready for this kind of commitment. Whether you’re finishing a sleeve or getting your first tattoo ever, here are some tips on how to get inked without busting your budget.
1. Don’t Turn to Credit
If you can’t wait to get in the chair, you may be tempted to put your tattoo on a line of credit. But it’s never a good idea to get credit involved.
A line of credit is a safety net for emergencies. It’s there to catch you if you fall short of something important — like an unexpected trip to the hospital or a burst pipe in your basement.
Charging a tattoo onto this account means you’ll have less room on your line of credit loan to use in an actual emergency. You’ll also have to pay interest and billing charges until you pay off your tattoo. If you take a while to bring your balance back to zero, you’ll be paying a lot more in these extra fees than you realize.
2. Make it a Part of Your Budget
When most people think about budgeting, they think of it as something that helps them tackle the toughest financial jobs, like paying bills and paying off debt.
And while these are some of the biggest jobs your budget handles, they’re only a small part of the picture.
A budget is all about figuring out your financial priorities. Bills and debt should always take the top spot on this list, but you’re allowed to have fun things on it, too.
According to the 50-30-20 Budgeting Method, 30% of your monthly take-home pay should go to fun things, like a new tat.
Just don’t go over this 30% limit. This kind of fun spending is only possible when you assign 50% of your income to essential bills and 20% for savings.
If you’re over 30%, try limiting how much you spend on the expenses below.
- Streaming services
- Night’s out
- Online shopping
3. Save for it Every Month
If a tattoo is more than your 30% allotment of fun, don’t stress it. You can set aside all or some of your monthly fun money into a tattoo fund, where it will grow until you can visit your favorite artist.
Keeping this money separate is easier when you open up a new savings account. But this account only makes sense if you can snag a free account with no balance requirements or limits, so do some research on the types of savings accounts available.
It may take some time and sacrifices (say goodbye to Netflix and fancy lattes), but your hard work will be worth it once you get that ink. Keep this in mind to stay focused and save up.