What do you feel are "reasonable" costs? - Mothering Forums
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Frugality & Finances > What do you feel are "reasonable" costs?
crunchy_mommy's Avatar crunchy_mommy 03:33 PM 11-12-2011
I am just curious on the variation in what people consider "reasonable" costs for items & services -- the cost that you would pay and feel like the majority of people would be able to pay.

For ex., what would a reasonable cost be for:

A shirt (everyday clothes, nothing special)
A haircut
A massage
Nails or pedicure
A 1-hour class for your kid (music/dance/art/yoga/karate/etc.)
A toy
A monthly night out with friends or your spouse

Feel free to add other items... Answer with the assumption that you'd spend money on those things, even though I know some people, myself included, don't actually spend on some of those!

Vancouver Mommy's Avatar Vancouver Mommy 03:42 PM 11-12-2011

shirt - $15-$45 (I mostly shop sales)

pants - $50 (more for "good" pants)

shoes - $100 (I walk a lot and like comfortable shoes)

haircut - $75

massage - don't spend money on this

nails - $30 for a pedi? Have only done this once.

one hour class - $10 at the art studio

toy - We usually buy a small number of good quality toys, and only on birthdays or Christmas

night out - $150-$200 for dinner, movie, popcorn, parking, babysitter. This happens very rarely. I will occasionally spend $40 when going out alone with friends

DoubleDouble's Avatar DoubleDouble 03:52 PM 11-12-2011

Price range depends on other factors. For example: if I'm working (with lots of overtime) - $30 for a shirt is ok if it's a non-iron spiffy dress shirt from a good clothing label. Some of them cost $40 - $50 if the cut was truly amazing and the shirt was very specific (like tuxedo cut for fancy suits.) If I'm between jobs - $15 for a dress shirt is ok, I have less money coming in, but more time to look for sales / coupons / free shipping, etc.


Pants - it was $10-$20. I have a very hard-to-shop-for figure, so I would have try on dozens, regardless of price, usually there is a match from the sales rack. Lately, I found a couple of absolutely perfect pants, so I bought those in every color available, for $40. It saved me time on alterations.


Shoes - $15 - $30 for regular shoes, $60 - $70 for special dance shoes. $1 - $2 for flip-flops, I'm not buying the Gisele Ipanema ones for $24. smile.gif


Haircut -$30 - $35


Nails - only did it once, when I was 16 I think. Not my thing, so I don't spend on that.


Pedicure - never done, because for me it seems like a waste of money and I don't like the hygiene aspect


A monthly night out - about $25 - $35 (a dinner.) $20 for some kind of a movie / small concert thing.


I have to add a disclaimer that I usually shop sales. So $15 shoes usually begin their life as $40 shoes. smile.gif


yeahwhat's Avatar yeahwhat 04:00 PM 11-12-2011

For ex., what would a reasonable cost be for:
A shirt (everyday clothes, nothing special) $10-$20, but I have no need to dress up and lots of time to look for sales
Pants $20-$30
Shoes $100 for the running shoes I buy about once per year, much less for others.
A haircut $30-$40
A massage- never had one, so no idea
Nails or pedicure -never had one, so no idea
A 1-hour class for your kid (music/dance/art/yoga/karate/etc.) I think the kids' swimming lessons work out to about $7/hour
A toy -depends on the child and the toy;  we try to keep relatively few, but versatile toys
A monthly night out with friends or your spouse $100 I guess, less with friends


waiting2bemommy's Avatar waiting2bemommy 04:48 PM 11-12-2011

A shirt $5-10
Pants $5-15, maybe 20 if they are high quality
Shoes $10-15, however, I admit to having owned a pair of Jordans that SO bought me for like $100 and they are VERY comfortable. So I can understand spending more on good shoes.
A haircut ummmmmm, been so long I'm not sure what's the going rate for a female to get her hair done, probably in the $60 range but that can really, really vary depending on what you're getting done. A kid/guy haircut runs about $10 but we do our own.
A massage I think a massage is typically a dollar a minute? Not sure. If I had it like that, I'd be willing to pay $30 for a good half hour massage.
Nails or pedicure plain manicure $7 plus tip, acrylics start around $15 and can go up to $35 if you get super fancy. (I've only done this once in my life, but I see the signs in the nail shops everywhere)
A 1-hour class for your kid (music/dance/art/yoga/karate/etc.) Ds' soccer, if he keeps his uniform, is $45 for the season. Dance for dd was $30 a month which is out of our budget, but I don't find that unreasonable by any means.

A toy Depends. If I had the money I'd be willing to spend good money ($50 or more) on a high quality, open ended toy. ds loves legos and if I could afford to buy those new I'd happily do so even at $30 a box. However I'd not be willing to pay $30 or 40 for a plastic character type toy. We generally shop thrift stores and I find amazing things for under $10 in most cases.
A monthly night out with friends or your spouse $30 for a sitter, $40-50 for a nice meal out. However we have never actually done this, so this is all conjecture. lol.

Feel free to add other items... Answer with the assumption that you'd spend money on those things, even though I know some people, myself included, don't actually spend on some of those!

yeahwhat's Avatar yeahwhat 05:16 PM 11-12-2011

Yes, I spend more on shoes, but I wear them until they completely fall apart.  I don't have more than 4-5 pairs at a time either, counting sandals and winter boots.  My current running shoes need to be replaced in the next couple of months because I've completely worn away the sole and they have no traction anymore (and it's about to get icy), but I'm currently on the look out for a good sale on the ones I like.

rachieface's Avatar rachieface 05:23 PM 11-12-2011

A shirt (everyday clothes, nothing special): I rarely spend more than $10 on a shirt, but that's because I'm cheap.  I find shirts for $2-8 alllll the time on sales racks.
Pants: $20-40, if they were a good fit.
Shoes: $5 for your average thrift store ballet flats, $50-100 on nice, occasional buys (running shoes, boots)
A haircut: $20.  But I don't color or anything and go to discount places.
A massage: I recently got several for $18 on a groupon type deal, so I'm always looking for those kind of buys. 
Nails or pedicure: $35 for both is pretty standard at (cheaper) shops in our area
A 1-hour class for your kid (music/dance/art/yoga/karate/etc.): $5, although I probably wouldn't go to one very often.
A toy: $5, since most of our toys come from the thrift store.  More if it is something nice, like a once-a-year train set/water table/etc.
A monthly night out with friends or your spouse: $30 when we go to the movies and get cheap (think burgers and fries) dinner.  We're pretty easy to please. :)


cristina47454's Avatar cristina47454 06:16 PM 11-12-2011

I'm gonna play :)


Shirt - just had to replace some.  I shop Marshall's/TJMaxx.  I found that I was not willing to pay more that $7.99-$9.99 for a long sleeve tee (had some detailing, i.e. nice neckline, interesting sleeve seams.  Detail mean a lot to me) or $16.99 for a dressier knit type blouse.  I put one back that was a $24.99 event though it was a super cute.  I might be able to justify $19.99, but I'd feel guilty.


Pants - I need to try on a bajillion pairs of pants to find ones that I'll wear and feel good about. I've found  jeans for $12.99 before, but I recently bought "designer" jeans at a discount store - paid $59 for a pair that retails at $125+ and I have to say, I totally notice a difference in how they are cut.  I wear them ALL the time, and feel GREAT in them, so no guilt whatsoever about them. WHen I've shopped for cords/khakis I'm usually in the $25 range, but it's been so long since I've shopped for them I have no idea.  I'd be willing to pay up to $60 for a great fitting pair of cords, but that's only after years of wearing ill fitting pants. (and we are on a pretty strict budget, but i wear things until they fall apart, so by the time it's time to replace certain items, I'm ok with spending the money). Likely, I'd only have a couple pairs though, not a shelf full.


Shoes - just spent $60 on winter boots and almost threw up at the cash register. But we've had a couple of cold days and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them. They are warm and cute, and I've gone without for over 10 years, so I'm about due to have warm, dry feet! My mom bought me Uggs for an early Christmas gift and I feel nauseous about it - and it wasn't even my money. :( For everyday shoes, again, discount/sale shopper. So $12.99-$19.99.  Bought a pair of Danskos for work several years ago and LOVED them - wore them until they had  hole in the sole: everyday for FOUR years! but just can't justify that at this point. Esp. since I bought myself the nice jeans and winter boots recently.


Haircut - used to pay $60 + tip back in the day.  Paid $85 once and it was the best haircut of my life.  But I just don't spend that kind of money on myself. I don't get my hair cut but  couple times a year, and $25 is painful these days (although dh gets his hair cut every 6 weeks or so and pays $16-$20 a pop)


Massage - would never pay for this, although I love them.  I fall asleep so I end up not experiencing very much of it.LOL I'd much rather put the money toward a spa service (facial, etc) but don't ever do that either.  I know what the going rates are, I just would never spend the money.


Nails or pedi - only as a once in a very long while treat. Like maybe once every couple of years. Like $10 for  mani, $25 for a pedi? Waxing here is $7 for eyebrows. I'd go more regularly if I would remember to take the time.  That seems reasonable to me.


Kids Class - I think the going rate around here is $10-$12 dollars.  Our kids are in dance and swim team, but grandparents gift it. We couldn't afford it otherwise. I'm taking an adult dance class that is $65/mo for 12 hours. (classes are 90 minutes).  Can't really afford it, but it's my mental health therapy so I've decided to make myself a priority for the first time since having kids (10 years! First time I've done something like this! )


Toy - don't buy toys except for Christmas and Birthdays. I guess it depends on what it is.  We tend towards board games and crafty/science types of things. $25 would probably be my upper limit. 


Nights Out - Yeah, never do that. Don't even know how to price it...


What about Family Fun stuff that you'd have to pay for? (I know there are a lot of free things you can do...)






sunflwrmoonbeam's Avatar sunflwrmoonbeam 07:10 PM 11-12-2011

A shirt (everyday clothes, nothing special): $10-$30. I tend to wear a lot of tank tops and cardigans, so definitely on the lower end of the spectrum.
Pants: $25-$50
Shoes: $25-$60 (again, I go cheap here because I hate shoes. $25 rope sandals ftw!)
A haircut: If I actually wanted my hair cut, I'd probably be willing to pay $75 from a highly recommended stylist who understands curly hair. As a pretty dedicated long haired person (I just hit classic length!) $0
A massage: $65 for an hour
Nails or pedicure: no idea, never do this
A 1-hour class for your kid (music/dance/art/yoga/karate/etc.): $15/hour
A toy: $10-$30
A monthly night out with friends or your spouse: friends: $40 tops. Spouse: $100

Poddi's Avatar Poddi 01:51 AM 11-13-2011

Mine would be in Canadian dollar. :)


A shirt (everyday clothes, nothing special)

up to $30, usually $10 - 20


up to $50, but we only wear jeans, no dress pants.


$20 - 35 for kids, $50 - 100 for adults

A haircut

$0, I cut the whole family's hair, including my own

A massage

I don't remember, when I used to get those they were covered by insurance

Nails or pedicure

Never had one.

A 1-hour class for your kid (music/dance/art/yoga/karate/etc.)

No idea. :) Their speech therapy cost $110 an hour, though.

A toy

Anywhere from $1 to $50.  If things like video games consoles and games don't count.

A monthly night out with friends or your spouse

I haven't had that for a long time.  We only get a "date" about once a year and I have no IRL friends who would go out with me.


Those are prices for new stuff.  For used stuff, I will spend:

up to $25 for a good coat

up to $5 for a piece of kid's top, usually name brand (thrift stores are not exactly cheap here)

up to $10 for adult clothes

up to $7 for kid's pants


SunRise's Avatar SunRise 04:52 AM 11-13-2011

A shirt (everyday clothes, nothing special): $10-$30.  - I just bought a nice shirt at Macy's for 10 dollars (on sale)

Pants: 50-100 - I have a hard time finding pants that fit well. But I do wear them for along time, once I find them. And I do try at old navy and h&m first, but no go usually
A haircut: 95 includes colouring; add in a tip (twice a year)
A massage: A guess 50-75 - I don't do this - BUT I did pay 75 for acupuncture
Nails or pedicure: 15 (A guess)
A 1-hour class for your kid (music/dance/art/yoga/karate/etc.): 13 (for adult); $2 - $20 for the kid (2 for swim lessons - anything in between - $20 for music lessons)
A toy: there are too many categories! 10 - for a used video game; 5-15 for a toddler type toy; I do think that "organic" type toys are over priced.
A monthly night out with friends or your spouse: for one: $50.; for two: $100 plus babysitter

aeterna's Avatar aeterna 11:30 PM 11-13-2011

Fascinating - I think most people have pretty similar ideas of "reasonable cost" - I'm surprised to see that estimates are really pretty similar, though of course whether or not we're willing to spend on it varies person by person. =)


Mine - 


Regular shirt: I'll say $20, but honestly I am a thrift store shopper, so usually $2.50. xD

Pants: $50 for a pair of pants I like (...such a rare thing!) but again, usually at thrift stores, so $5.

Shoes: Generally, my most expensive shoes are running shoes at $50-60 for a pair. For casual shoes, or occasional-use-dress shoes, I generally stick to $20-30. However, I recently discovered Sketchers Shape Ups, and if I ever had to work another job standing on my feet for long periods of time, I would spend the full $120 retail for these shoes. They were worth EVERY penny.

Haircut: $60 plus tip for a cut and color (every 3 months or so).

Massage: $0... I trade with a therapist when I want bodywork. However if I were paying, $60 for an hour, plus tip.

Nails/Pedicure: Including the tip, $20 for a mani, $45 for a pedi.

1-hour kid class: Erm.... $5-10 for a one-hour class?

Toy: I seriously have no idea... $20? But I don't like having a lot of random, miscellaneous crap lying around. =/

Monthly night out with friends/spouse: $50 for a night out with friends (although generally I'd spend much less); $100 or more for a night out with my honey (we're paying for 2 of us, after all!)



I think my price points are based on an insider's appreciation of the service industry - I believe skilled labor deserves fair pay, and I am a pretty generous tipper. I certainly could spend less on these things, I am comfortable with my expenditures. Massages I get for free, since I was previously an LMT and can leverage that knowledge for bodywork that only costs me an exchange of time. My hair is done by a friend, and while she could/would cut me a deal if I asked (or needed it), I'm happy to support her growing business. Nails I get done irregularly, but find the indulgence worthwhile when I feel like I need a little pampering. =)


Generally I am a quality-over-quantity kind of girl, and I'm willing to pay for the difference. I do most of my clothes shopping at thrift stores, where I am selective about brands and pick up quality clothing at a very low price. Shoes, I will spend what needs to be spent to get the support and durability I need for "working" shoes (like my running shoes, or like the Shape Ups when I was working standing retail over the summer), but I tend to buy cheaply for shoes I will wear infrequently (like heels) or don't require much function out of (like flip flops and casual shoes). However, I buy things like this very, very sparingly... I have probably spent $200 on clothes/shoes in 2011, and $120 of that was a pair of Shape Ups, and I have bought more clothes than normal due to needing maternity clothes! xD If I can't find what I need at thrift stores, I head to discount stores (like TJMaxx or the Zappos outlet, which I am fortunate enough to live near) and after that, to the clearance rack at retail stores. But generally speaking, I only buy what I need, and I plan ahead, watch for good deals, buy secondhand when reasonable, and buy quality brands to ensure longevity, and overall spend very little money in this area.


But I do love my "experiences" and am happy to spend money there when I want or need it. =)

meemee's Avatar meemee 12:17 AM 11-15-2011

hey crunchy what a great question.


as i try and think about it i look back and i realize my 'reasonable' depends on my earning ability. or rather what i would spend. i have been super rich and now super poor and i am not sure how i would do if i went back to having enough money to spend as i wish.


now that i look  back, i find i don't really have a reasonable price. i will pay for quality. the ability to pay is a whole other thing. but i would definitely pay a hundred bucks for a handmade, hand embroidered blouse. or even a hundred bucks for a good pair of pants that fit well. it depends on the quality of the item.


for instance one place where i don't crimp is shoes. you  pay for what you get. i would willingly pay upto $300 for a good pair of shoes (i did and those shoes lasted me a good 15 years of everyday rough wear). however it is v. v. hard for me to find a great pair of shoes that fit well without giving me calf pain. so...


as i think more i find i don't really have an idea what reasonable is for me. i would choose quality over quantity. 


as i am thinking of this i realize my reasonable also depends on how that thing is worth to me. for instance i paid almost 200 bucks for private swim lessons for dd. for total of one and a half hours of the teachers time. was that reasonable? yes it was. because that teacher was awesome and dd went from dog paddle to swim laps and not be afraid to dive into the pool. 


however having said all that i would say that a regular shirt should not cost more than ten bucks. a regular simple top. i hate all the gimmicks of sales, half off etc. i don't want to do any of that. i don't want to look for the best deal. i don't want to have to go to different shops just coz they have different prices. why overprice and then bring things down (however please note i absolutely abhor clothes shopping). though that is my thought with everything. 


why gimmicks. i do not like chasing sales for anything. 


today my night outs are almost free. a lot of my night outs are also by myself as i really enjoy that. so if i were to go for a movie and dinner i could easily spend 50 bucks just on myself (i love getting the works at the movie theater).


also i am not sure i know enough about the thing to understand the worth to define what is reasonable. for instance i treasure hand made stuff. my reasonable for hand made stuff is v. different than say factory made stuff. 


hmmm.... i still don't know what to think of this. i need to spend more time on this. 

Fnord's Avatar Fnord 09:42 AM 11-15-2011

A shirt (everyday clothes, nothing special) --> $5-10
Pants --> $20 - $25
Shoes --> I don't buy shoes very often, but I probably paid about $20 for most pairs. I just bought a pair of Keen's for $80 though, and they're super comfy.
A haircut --> $13 at the local Aveda school
A massage --> Free, from my SO. :)
Nails or pedicure --> Never had one.
A 1-hour class for your kid (music/dance/art/yoga/karate/etc.) ---> I don't have a child, but local yoga and dance classes for adults are about $10 each
A monthly night out with friends or your spouse --> $30 - $40


I never buy things from malls unless there's a super sale or I'm desperate for a certain item of clothing that I can't find used.

AnkaJones's Avatar AnkaJones 10:58 AM 11-15-2011

This is a fun game!



A shirt (everyday clothes, nothing special): 2-4 dollars (we only buy clothes second hand)
Pants: 3-6 dollars (up to 8 for nice/dressy work pants, again only second hand)
Shoes: $60 (these we buy new; for adults).  For kids $30 because they grow out before they wear out.
A haircut: $40.
A massage: $100 for about an hour.
Nails or pedicure: Mani/pedi in my area $50
A 1-hour class for your kid (music/dance/art/yoga/karate/etc.): $10-20
A toy: <5$.  Again, almost never new.
A monthly night out with friends or your spouse: This has changed since going on budget -- we used to spend $100 going to a really nice new restaurant.  Now, we have just as much fun for $30.

I love seeing what everyone else says!



AnkaJones's Avatar AnkaJones 11:12 AM 11-15-2011

Originally Posted by Poddi View Post

A haircut

$0, I cut the whole family's hair, including my own


I've really been wanting to do this -- at least my own hair if not DHs.  Did you have a background in this?  It seems risky.  Or are there special tricks?




crunchy_mommy's Avatar crunchy_mommy 04:02 PM 11-15-2011
Great to read everyone's responses!! I'm kind of embarrassed to share mine because apparently I'm really really cheap. This is good perspective, to know yeah I'm cheap & I've got to ease up sometimes lol. wink1.gif

A shirt (everyday clothes, nothing special): $1-3
Pants: up to $6
Shoes: $8 or less (only buy clothes/shoes with gift cards or mega-clearance or second-hand)
A haircut: $0, we cut our own, maybe if I had different hair I'd try a professional but can't imagine spending more than $15
A massage: I've never had one but to me a 'reasonable price' (i.e. one I could actually afford) would be no more than $10 but that sounds horrible because some of my friends are massage therapists & obviously they deserve more than that
Nails or pedicure: never had my nails done, maybe $10?
A 1-hour class for your kid (music/dance/art/yoga/karate/etc.): $5 at the most, but we almost always stick to free classes
A toy: $4... maybe I'd spend a bit more if it was something really special
A monthly night out with friends or your spouse: $10


I was raised to always get the best deal & that's definitely helped me stay financially stable but lately I've been thinking a lot about what a few of you mentioned -- things like fair wages and stuff, which never really crossed my mind until a year or two ago. We buy nearly everything used and abstain from services we can't afford. So how does that work with fair wages? Is it better that someone gets a meager amount of money from me or none at all? Is it ethical to receive items or services for so little money? I mean, I don't have much choice right now because my DH was laid off & has been unemployed for a year now... but when he has a job again & we're back on our feet, do we focus on deals or fair wages??? Or avoid the whole issue by continuing to buy used items only? OK I really meant this just to be a fun thread so I'll stop rambling now!!
crunchy_mommy's Avatar crunchy_mommy 04:12 PM 11-15-2011
Originally Posted by AnkaJones View Post

I've really been wanting to do this -- at least my own hair if not DHs.  Did you have a background in this?  It seems risky.  Or are there special tricks?


I cut everyone's hair, including my own, and DH has been getting adventurous (or umm... tired of asking me??) and started doing his own lately. You don't need any kind of special background but it really depends on your hair type.

DH's hair is kind of thick & wavy and we use clippers to cut it. I've messed up once or twice (buzzed too short in areas) but then I just cut the whole thing shorter than he originally wanted (or he wears a hat for a few days) & I've both gotten much better at it by now. He's not too picky about his hairstyle.

My hair is super curly so I just use scissors to cut it to the length I want and the curls hide any unevenness. I've done a few cute short hairstyles too, with a bit of layering & stuff, but it turns out I like ponytails so now I leave it long. I've been cutting my own hair since I was a kid so I'm really comfortable with it now, and curly hair is sooo forgiving!!

DS is only 2.5 so I've only trimmed his (he keeps it just past his shoulders). I guess if he wants a 'boy' haircut we'll try out the clippers on him & buzz it completely if I mess up. smile.gif I can't imagine him being picky about his hairstyle either, so he probably wouldn't even care if I messed up. His is easy to trim because it's a bit wavy too.

So I guess you just have to be flexible with the end result & preferably have wavy or curly hair. And hats if necessary. smile.gif
AnkaJones's Avatar AnkaJones 05:53 PM 11-15-2011

You're my hero, Crunchy Mama!

crunchy_mommy's Avatar crunchy_mommy 06:26 PM 11-15-2011
Originally Posted by AnkaJones View Post

You're my hero, Crunchy Mama!

lol.gif that just made my day!
meemee's Avatar meemee 06:56 PM 11-15-2011

crunchy i know u started a fun thread... but it certainly generates food for thought doesnt it?


btw OT my midback length hair is now short and in steps cut by my 9 year old with me helping a little bit. she did a really great job :) i cut her almost to her butt hair to her earlobe length in one shot. so yeah we are an adventerous family where hair is concerned. 


it is really hard isnt it to come up with a philosophy that you feel all right about. it takes a long time to come to where you feel you are ok.


so here are some of the things i do. lets take clothes for example. i consume v. v. v. little. instead of 7 shirts and 2 pants, i have 15 shirts and 10 pants. i have variety and dont look like i wear the same clothes all the time AND my clothes last me longer than if i was rotating very often (though whether you have 3 shirts or 5 shirts rotation, the time taken is the same - personally i just prefer lots of variety). 99% of my clothing is from thrift stores or hand me downs. however whenever i have a few $$$s i buy something i like to support someone. since i particularly like hand made stuff i might spend some money on a hand made blouse. that money i collect over time from somewhere i scrimped. for instance instead of say choosing to add another ingredient to my soup i save the money. instead of buying a drink i am dying for i drink water. now that similar blouse might be ten times cheaper from a chain store, but that's not the point. i get it either directly from the person or from a store i know who takes 20% of every dollar and returns it in the many communities that it gets its products from.  if i ever get a cup of coffee i go to local small ones. i wear more skirts than pants coz i find it easier finding 'fair' skirts than pants. 


we go for childrens plays because the cost of the ticket is 5 bucks each as opposed to 20 to 30 bucks. but once in a blue moon we do go for the 20 bucks ones. when i go for movies i go to the local theater - not the chain. 


in other words my world is - robbing peter to pay paul. 

crunchy_mommy's Avatar crunchy_mommy 07:29 PM 11-15-2011
That's an interesting philosophy, meemee, and I guess that's kind of what we've been doing recently. When we have the money & it's "worth it" to us, I do spend a bit more to support someone local or something. Maybe I just want to do that more often. It's hard to even do that though, because I've always had such a save-save-save-scrimp-scrimp-scrimp mentality!!
aHikaru's Avatar aHikaru 07:40 PM 11-15-2011

Awesome! I cut our hair also, and you do get better w/ practice :D


As for other things, we're semi minimalists, so we rotate our clothes and donate them or repurpose then for blankets, decorations or to fit the babe, who actually has the most clothes. Anyway! So when we buy things, it's what we want, we never settle.


Tee shirt: 10-15$

jeans: 30$ (sale)

Shoes: 40$

Socks: 5$

underwear: 5$

hair: free :D

massage: free (we massage each other, practice)

Nails: free (I do everyone's nails)

Kids class: $20 (that's what we pay for 2 hrs)

Toy: 10-25$ (wooden/ natural)

book: 5-10$ (amazon)

night out: $$$ (doesn't matter, usually $10/ person)

groceries: "        "


onlyzombiecat's Avatar onlyzombiecat 08:29 PM 11-15-2011

A shirt (everyday clothes, nothing special)- $0- $20
Pants- $0- $30
Shoes- $0-$50
A haircut- I don't pay to get my hair cut or dd's hair cut. Dh pays $10 and feels that is reasonable.
A massage- no idea as I've never done this
Nails or pedicure- no idea as I've never done this
A 1-hour class for your kid (music/dance/art/yoga/karate/etc.)- no idea as I've never done this
A toy- $0-$50
A monthly night out with friends or your spouse- $0- $30 We don't go out or just do low cost things.


I do try to get a good price on stuff but also do not spend on non-essentials often so sometimes will spend a bit more if it looks like a better choice.

elus0814's Avatar elus0814 08:35 PM 11-15-2011

I really think that all these things depend on many, many factors so it's difficult to put a price on things. Shoes, for example, I might get a cute pair of dress shoes for $5 on clearance then spend $100 on another pair a few months later. 

A shirt (everyday clothes, nothing special) - $20, maybe $10 for something inexpensive on sale or $40 for a nice one
Pants - $50 per pair
Shoes - $75 for a decent, comfortable, everyday type pair that will last a couple years
A haircut - I pay $40-45, including the tip, but I only have my hair cut once every year or two
A massage - I consider a massage a huge luxury and something I only do when I have a physical need or I'm given a certificate for one as a gift; I would say $1 per minute plus a 10-20% tip if they do a good job
Nails or pedicure - I've only ever had my nails done a couple times and it was when I was in high school and early on in college but if I had to say what's a fair price I might say $20 but that could be way off
A 1-hour class for your kid (music/dance/art/yoga/karate/etc.) - totally depends on what it is, there's no reasonable amount that applies to all these; our kids have done soccer and it worked out to about $2/hour and they've done suzuki violin that worked out to $40-something per hour plus the cost of the violin
A toy - again, depends on the toy, we have some great made-by-me felt play food that cost pennies and we have dolls that cost $150 each, they're both played with plenty; I would say that it's reasonable to pay $15 for a made in china plastic toy from target but it's also reasonable to pay $40 for an average natural made in usa toy
A monthly night out with friends or your spouse - this is a rare treat because of the cost of babysitting but maybe $10-20 for an inexpensive outing with friends while DH is home with the kids all the way up to $150 for a nice dinner out with DH, including babysitting (we are not willing to scrimp on babysitting, a good babysitter is worth a minimum of $15/hour when we're out and we usually pay more like $20)

meemee's Avatar meemee 09:33 PM 11-15-2011

Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

 It's hard to even do that though, because I've always had such a save-save-save-scrimp-scrimp-scrimp mentality!!

thanks to my parents and my marriage breaking down i have been able to get out of that. i saw what it did - how it can change things. in a way i am grateful to my parents coz they taught me the magic of childhood which i now share with dd. my dad made good money but we lived frugally - too frugally sometimes. we spent sometimes but we gave up family fun time (saving pennies) to build the savings account. my parents got so used to saving that when time came to spend in their retirement they couldnt. mind you we were by no means poor ever. but we never spent even close to what my dad earned. i swear he saved 50% of his salary. before he could enjoy his money dad died of cancer. adn then the taking care of financial burden fell on my mom. its kinda an albatross round her neck. and her spending urge is GONE. she rarely buys anything for herself. mostly while she enjoyed financial freedom when young she enjoyed money by buying things for family and friends. now family is thousands of miles away and no money can cover the loss of that. 


and so they taught me how to invest in now which i do with dd. forget savings for future (when i had the opportunity i did that - now forget it). sometimes i have to spread a few dollars over days. its during those times if i can spend on something frivolous then i consider it a feat. i have lost too many good times with dd (u dont spend your last $$s coz those are ur last $$$s and then you find some in ur pocket that will help you get thru till your next check) to not grab the chance when i get it.


that's why its important not to focus only on the monetary worth of the item or service. it may not be financially wise decision but it might be a huge life changing things (and hugeness comes in small packages so its only in retrospect do you realise how huge it was). i have a friend who is a single mom who came across some money she wanted to use with travel. she felt it was irresponsible and instead put it in an investment. she regrets her decision pitifully lately as life has been pulling her down and she is unable to have her usual deal with it attitude. instead it drives her batty.


i tell you there is something to living in constant fear. i've noticed it actually makes me sick. and actually sometimes buying that hand made blouse makes me feel 'rich'. not living in that fear mode. however also i find its easier to do all that as a single mom rather than with a partner. to have a partner be on teh same page as you is huge. ex and i were poles apart. however he taught me how to value things. his reasoning was if you really, really really want it you should get it. i always remember that. 


texmati's Avatar texmati 09:56 PM 11-15-2011

What a neat question!

Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

I am just curious on the variation in what people consider "reasonable" costs for items & services -- the cost that you would pay and feel like the majority of people would be able to pay.
For ex., what would a reasonable cost be for:
A shirt (everyday clothes, nothing special) *15 dollars for work*; 8 dollars for home, 25-30 for an interview or special occasion.
Pants - 25 dollars in a pinch, 15 dollars is a deal
Shoes - 50-75 dollars for sneakers, 15 for sandals, 30 for dress shoes
A haircut-30 dollars
A massage - don't get
Nails or pedicure - dont get
A 1-hour class for your kid (music/dance/art/yoga/karate/etc.) - don't get
A toy - 10 -15 bucks every few months (not including gifts from others)
A monthly night out with friends or your spouse -40 -50 dollars; including food etcs. We don't drink, but this includes treating another couple
Feel free to add other items... Answer with the assumption that you'd spend money on those things, even though I know some people, myself included, don't actually spend on some of those!


I love this! I do feel sometimes people who have less than us, spend quite a bit more than us. And I'm sure the opposite is true as well.  It's like living in a different reality when people talk about different levels of spending. This thread is enlightening!

Milk8shake's Avatar Milk8shake 11:50 PM 11-15-2011

A shirt (everyday clothes, nothing special) $10 for home/casual, $20 for work, $40 for a special occasion
Pants - $15-20, more for a decent pair of jeans ($50+)
Shoes - up to $20 for thongs or scuffs, $50-$100 for a decent pair of work shoes or joggers
A haircut - I cut DPs, and wish, WISH I could cut my own (I started out as a hairdresser many years ago)  I don't have that forgiving type hair.  So maybe $40, twice a year.  I do my own fringe.
A massage - only get on rare occasions.  $60 for an hour
Nails or pedicure - Don't have this done.
A toy - we only buy for friend's children, so it depends.  Probably spend more than we should. Maybe $50?
A monthly night out with friends or your spouse - $100 would be a reasonable amount for both of us.  We are more likely to stay in though. 

Youngfrankenstein's Avatar Youngfrankenstein 07:13 AM 11-16-2011


For ex., what would a reasonable cost be for:
A shirt (everyday clothes, nothing special)    $9-$15
Pants   $30
Shoes  $100 (I buy expensive shoes)
A haircut   $50
A massage  $99 but always have a 1/2 price groupon and get massages about once every ten years!
Nails or pedicure
A 1-hour class for your kid (music/dance/art/yoga/karate/etc.)  $25
A toy  all over the place
A monthly night out with friends or your spouse  $100


AnkaJones's Avatar AnkaJones 07:21 AM 11-16-2011



I love the discussion about handmade clothes.  I just wanted to add (since my post made it sound like I spend signifiantly less than everyone else here) that I get nice things.  One of the reasons I love my thrift store and consignment shop is that they tend to have wonderful clothes, clothes that I could never afford if I were buying new.  And most of them have been worn once or even have their tags still on.  And they really do last longer than the "cheap" clothes I could actually afford at the regular store.  Another thing I'm starting to learn is how to sew, which is more expensive than just buying clothes, but I agree there's something special about handmade clothes (although in my case they're still a different kind of special -- kind of funky looking as I figure this whole thing out!).  I like wearing a pretty particular style and color pallate of skirt for religious reasons, and it can be hard to find them.  It'd be nice to just be able to whip one up!  The other option is there are a lot of internet seamstresses that sell plain/modest Christian clothing, and I'd love to support them, but at this point I just can't afford it... even though those clothes last pretty much forever I'm told.


Here's a quote I often go back to as I struggle with my new sewing machine:


"That needle poking to and fro, Means so much more than you may know. Each snap, each button, each shirt, each dress, contains something you'll never guess. Each garment Mom makes, from the start, contains a small piece of her heart. With every snip she adds her love, and whispers a prayer to God above. Dear Father, bless the one who wears this, protect and guide them with Your kindness. Give them strength from day to day. That from all sin they'll turn away. Then into each and every seam. She presses in her fondest dream. That each one in her family. Will join her in eternity. So next time Mom makes you any clothes, Know that, in it, her love shows. It's more than just a thing to wear, It's a symbol of Mom's loving care."

from "Sew Fast and Sew Easy" author wishes to be unnamed


I think it gets the point accross even when it's not Mom, and even if you aren't religious.  There's a meaning to handmade clothes!




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