Learning to manage my spending is one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to struggle through as an adult, and living in New York sure doesn’t make it easy. Temptation is everywhere, and I’m certainly not the most responsible person when it comes to money.
I know I’m not alone in this, though. We all have our vices, be it shopping or splurging on a must-have beauty treatment, as indulgent as it may be.
Getting by with what we’ve got, however, means we have to prioritize, monitor our spending and sacrifice those oh-so-satisfying splurges accordingly.
We thought it would be interesting to see how these priorities stack up against one another: With the limited funds we do have, what do Millennials consider valuable enough to spend our precious dough on — and what do we (begrudgingly) give up?
So, we rounded up a list of “Would You Rather” questions, each pitting life experiences against popular (and pampering) beauty treatments, a common vice among the 20-something crowd.
We shared the survey via Twitter to garner a random pool of participants. After collecting the responses from anonymous participants, we got answers -- and determined some pretty interesting truths about what actually matters to Millennial women.
Check out our results, below, and answer the survey for yourself -- you might just learn something about your own values in the meantime.
We were surprised to find in every single case the majority of respondents voted in favor of spending on life experiences rather than beauty treatments.
What’s more: These victories often won by a landslide (see graph above), revealing not only the majority, but the vast majority, of Millennials value memorable experiences and activities far more than the quest for physical perfection.
When respondents did choose beauty treatments over the life experiences (as above, indicated by the split in responses), it tended to be for longer-lasting treatments -- like highlights -- than those likely to wear out quickly, like blowouts.
Perhaps, we see these longer-lasting treatments as investments of sorts, whereas we deem quick, temporary fixes unworthy of the financial commitment.
Another pattern: Those beauty treatments we can do ourselves, like facials, lost out by a bigger percentage than those we can't do ourselves, like highlights.
It seems we're willing to DIY the beauty treatment (though the results may be poorer than if done professionally) so we can save money for more hands-on activities and social outings.
No surprise here: Happy hour wins the majority (58 percent) of votes when pitted against the mani/pedi. We wonder how different these responses would be during the summer, for example -- would more people choose Happy Hour because of the weather and access to outdoor bars?
Or would more prefer the mani/pedi because hands and feet will be on display?
Fitness, we noticed, tended to be a very popular choice among Millennial women when pitted against beauty treatments.
Staying healthy and in shape seems to be a primary concern amongst all respondents, perhaps because health and fitness pay off more in the long run than beauty treatments do.
Plus, feeling fit gives way to feeling beautiful and self-confident, no beauty treatment necessary.
This was one of the closest we conducted, which isn't too surprising given it's T Swift and all. Highlights are great, of course, and extremely popular -- but, like everything else in life, Tay Tay always wins.
This is perhaps the best evidence socializing (and booze!) blows away the beauty competition. We'd rather wash it down than wash it out.
We admit this one could be a bit biased because, seriously, who really wants to get a bikini wax? Food always wins, especially in this case.
But this is another scenario, however, in which the poll results could change with the seasons. In the summer, we're more inclined to go out (and more inclined to wear bathing suits) than we are now.
Another case for the DIY: Though perma-straightened hair is undeniably appealing, it seems Millennials are willing to spend extra time each day straightening their strands in order to save up for a pricey splurge gadget.
If we can do it ourselves, we will (at least if it comes with an iPad).
Netflix is a staple. Enough said.