Playing off the theme of last week’s blog, “Why Do Spend Money on Intangible Things?” I present to you, dear readers, another thought: I think tattoos are a waste of money… and that’s coming from someone who has one. Just one. And not a tramp stamp, thank-you-very-much. While I am happy with my tattoo and its location — you’ll never see it unless I’m wearing a bikini or show it to you — I won’t be getting another anytime soon, if ever. My tattoo has meaning to me, and I suppose that’s all that matters, right?
Mr. Saver, the man I love and married, has EIGHT tattoos on his arms and legs. Now, he’s talking about getting another one in honor of our child-to-be, when s/he arrives early next year. While I appreciate his sentimentality, I feel it’s a waste of money. Depending on the size, complexity and time required to complete the tattoo, costs can be anywhere from $200-$700.
Of course, I think we can all agree that tattoos are a fashion statement of a sort – the permanent sort. Out of Mr. Saver’s eight tattoos, I truly only like one, of St. Michael the Archangel slaying the devil (and not for any religious reason — I just think it’s a well-done piece with vibrant color and done with skill. Many people today have tattoos, although I wonder how we’ll all look with them when we’re 70-80 years old!
For many, tattoos are art. If they’re done well, then they’re probably worth the cost to the wearer — just like any fine art, cost correlates with the quality and size of the piece, and also the expertise and renown of the artist. Expert tattooists command the highest rates, which can be by the hour or by the tattoo piece. But unlike a piece of art you buy for your home, you can’t get rid of it or sell it when it no longer interests you. In fact, it costs much more to have a tattoo removed, and takes many treatment sessions with a laser to get through all the layers of skin and lift out the ink. Even then, you’ll likely be left with scarring and a faint outline.
Considering a Tattoo? Keep These Points in Mind
Don’t go into hock for a tattoo. If you’re in debt, owe money on your credits cards or just don’t have the cash on hand, skip it. If you really want one, save up the money.
Tattoos may keep you from your dream job. If you want to get a tattoo in a place that can’t be covered with pants or sleeves (and who wants to wear long sleeves all year round?), know that many companies reserve the right not to hire you. The U.S. military’s feeling on “appropriate” locations for tattoos varies by branch, and many police departments also impose restrictions.
It’s permanent. If you someone who changes his or her mind like the wind changes directions, a tattoo might not be for you. Maybe go with body piercing, instead — at least those holes usually close up!
Think about how you will feel about it in 10, 20 or 50 years. Imagine yourself as a parent or a grandparent with the tattoo. Will you be proudly showing it off or regretting the day you got it?