6 People Confess How Much Cash They Drop On Health And Beauty

We’re living in an age where the health and beauty industry is rapidly expanding, and it’s expected we scramble to catch up. Health and wellness are clogging up our social media feeds and for some, the pressure to invest in their mind and body seems stronger than ever before.

But can you even put a price tag on healthy? Having a disposable income may allow room for young Australians to spend money on premium lotions and gym memberships. But for those with tighter purse strings, this isn’t the case. As Emily Lackey recently wrote in The Billfold, “there is something to say about health and privilege. It is a privilege to be able to be afford to be healthy. Having had money and not had money, it’s clear to me that health does have a cost. It is not free.”

So how much money are we actually spending on our health and beauty? How much is too much, or too little, to invest in our bodies and minds? Can you get away with not spending a cent?

We asked 6 young Australians at different ages and stages of their lives how much they money they spend on health and beauty each month.

Ellen, 27

$394 per month.

The Breakdown

Income: $5208 per month

Exercise: $220

Prescription: $14

Vitamins: $25

Pedicure and brow tint: $40

Make up: $65

Toiletries: $30

“I definitely shudder every time I buy a new eye cream or moisturiser, and often wonder how justifiable that expense is. Then again, I think I generally spend a lot less on beauty products than my friends. But it’s 1000% worth it to spend money on the gym – you can’t put a price on your actual physical health. Even though it’s so expensive, the alternative is being unfit and unhealthy. If I don’t go to the gym it impacts my sleeping habits and mental health. I’d rather spend the money. It’s an investment in my future.”


Samantha, 20

$590 – $860 per month

The Breakdown

Income: $1800 per month

Exercise: $240-$300

Make up: $300-$500

Toiletries: $50-$60

“The amount I spend on the gym is worth it because I end up going 5-7 times per week and even do some personal training sessions as well. I don’t think the amount I spend on make up is worth it though, only because I know I won’t use it all and it is such a waste. My spending on make up is definitely a hobby rather than a necessity. An expensive hobby. I think social media has a massive influence on my spending, especially with new trends in fitness and make up.”


Harry, 27

$349 per month

The Breakdown

Income: $7500 per month

 Exercise: $100

Health insurance: $99

Haircut: $60

Products: $50

Medication: $40

“I think my money is well spent, I could probably spend more in this area. At this stage I don’t have physiotherapy or anything like that. Sometimes it goes up a bit more with dental. The one thing that I don’t put into health is Protein Powder, that goes into my Groceries budget and is like $50 per month. I feel okay about investing in exercise as this is great for my physical and mental health. The health insurance is kind of ridiculous to be honest. Extras I don’t really use. But I want it just for the hospital cover in case the worst happens. I switched to Qantas Assure this year, so now I earn points on every dollar I spend but I also get extra points for hitting my steps goal each day, week and month.”


Ahmad, 26

$0 per month

The Breakdown

Income: $4166 per month

Exercise: $0

Healthcare and beauty: $0

“I walk a lot and sometimes go for a run. I don’t go to the gym or buy any products. I also haven’t been sick since 2014. My money is mostly spent on rent, food, travel and going out with friends for experiences. I don’t have insurance or anything like that. This is intentional though because I spend too much on eating out. But I fast once a week and rarely eat meat as a preventative measure. Preventative measures have kept me healthy.”


Justine, 27

$175 per month

The Breakdown

Income: $3583 per month

Exercise: $80

Make up: $30

Prescriptions: $35

Beauty: $30

“It all keeps me feeling like a normal person. I used to spend over $60 per week on a gym that was 110% worth it. I was motivated to go, it had such a good vibe and my body benefitted from it. I have had to change to another gym now and although it is cheaper, the amount of motivation has reduced. In regards to my beauty products, I don’t feel a need to wear makeup, I really only ever wear it when I go out. This is because I’ve invested in a few skin care products that help my skin feel amazing. I don’t feel the need to cover it up everyday like I did in the past. My spending on products is a lot more consistent these days. I take better care of my skin than I did in my teens and am aiming to take better care of my body once I settle into my new gym.”


Grace, 21

$190 per month

The Breakdown

Income: $2500

Exercise: $105

Make up: $15

Skin care: $10

Vitamins: $25

Remedial massage: $35

“Some of this is well spent. For example, the non-makeup beauty I feel I spend more than I have to by buying from ethical beauty companies like Lush. The yoga cost is also a well spent one, as it helps me relax and frequent yoga reduces how often I will need a massage to realign my shoulders. Some of it, less so. I don’t use my gym membership but don’t feel like I should cancel it. I would also really prefer not to spend so much money on iron vitamins, for example, but this is a necessary cost rather than a luxury like the beauty products I splurge on. Beauty and health accounts for a big chunk of my spending, probably a lot more than a lot of other people in my financial bracket.”

Josephine is a writer from western Sydney who likes to blatantly lie on her bios. She played the youngest sister in 80s sitcom Family Ties and looks fantastic running with a backpack on.

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