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How to Budget for a New Tattoo

How to Budget for a New Tattoo
Guides4 min Read


We give you awesome tricks and tips to save up for your next tattoo appointment.

Figure Out How Much

The first step in every tattoo adventure will be figuring out what tattoo you want and what tattoo artists you’d like to do it. Whether you’re going on vacation and want a forever something to remember your time, or you just want to pick up a piece at your local studio..doesn’t really matter. But planning ahead can be fun and make getting those bigger tattoos a bit easier.

Once you know what you want and by who, you can either estimate how much the tattoo will be by using things like our Tattoo Cost Guide, or when you actually schedule your appointment, you can ask your artist for an estimate so you can start putting money aside.

Tattoo by Marcus Norrild #MarcusNorrild #portrait #ladyhead #traditional #mask #hand
Cardcaptor Sakura

Figure Out When

Once you know what tattoo you want, the next step is to figure out when you’d like it done. Sometimes it’s better to have a concrete goal to work towards, so you can go ahead and actually book your next tattoo if you know you’ll be able to save up for it by then. If not, you can always save first and book later! Many tattoo artists who are in demand and have their calendars open, only book up to three months in advance, so keep that in mind as well.

Patience tattoo by Nikita Williams #NikitaWilliams

Patience tattoo by Nikita Williams #NikitaWilliams

But at this point, you should know about how much your tattoo will cost and when your appointment now, it’s time to figure out how much you need to save! I’ll give you an example:

I’m getting my neck tattooed and it will cost $1000. I have four months between now and my appointment to pull together the cash. That means I need to put aside $250 a month which equals $62.50 a week.

How will I save that much cash a week? In order to do that, I’ll ride my bike to work instead of taking the metro, which saves me $32, and I’ll pack my lunch instead of eating out, which will save me $25. That still leaves an extra $5.50, so instead of ordering an extra drink at the bar, I’ll pre-game at home and then get one while I’m out! At the end of the week, I can move cash from checking to savings but to keep things even easier, I’ve set up an auto-save with my bank.

Tattoo by Josh Lin #JoshLin #sculpture #geometric #portrait #blackandgrey #arm
Filigree #blackandgrey #filigree #ornamental #tattooartist #ladytattooers #femaletattooartist #inked #art
Straight through the heart by Rodrigo Canteras! #dagger #heart #daggertattoo #traditionaltattoo #hearttattoo #nyctattoo

Create Your Tattoo Budget Worksheet

Creating your tattoo budge means calculating all of your fixed bills like rent, phone, car payments, etc. and then figuring out how much excess cash you have for your tattoo. This should be a time to prioritize. If you look at the example above, you can see how I take into account where my money is going and plan for future expenses. So, keeping with the example above, if I pre-game at home before hitting the bars with friends, I should make sure to budget for alcohol in my grocery bill. Mostly, it’s like a game of making sure that every dollar is accounted for and every expenditure is necessary.

When you create your budget you can take into consideration the things you have to spend money on, and the things you can live without. Nerdwallet has a really great budget worksheet that you can use to help you do this.



Save Now, Treat Later

Sometimes budgeting for a new tattoo may mean just waiting until your tax refund comes in the mail but, more often, it means going without other special treats for a small amount of time. Look at it this way: let’s say you go out to the bars or to eat at restaurants on Friday and Saturday. If you’re trying to save for a new tattoo, perhaps you start only going out on Friday and putting the cash you would’ve spent on Saturday aside! Try not to think of it as something “restricting” though...getting a little creative with your money in order to save for a tattoo should be fun.

Tattoo by Shishkin Mikhail #illustrative #surreal #sun
matching doggo portrait tattoo for the lovely couple Kyle & Samantha, thanks for trusting me ?
Freehand lily done in London, Instagram: @wulfbaron #londontattoo #death #london #handtattoos #blacktattoos #japanesetattoo #pink #blackoutfit #illustration #allblackeverything #blackmetal #worldstarhiphop #deathmetal #grind #pinkaesthetic #punk #dark #w

Some people put all their pocket change into a jar until it’s totally full, some people value shop meaning buying generic rather than name-brand, some people skip the Starbucks line and make coffee at home, and others shop at thrift stores instead of the mall! There are even apps and credit cards that round up all your purchases to the nearest dollar and then automatically puts the excess into a savings account. All of these things may seem small but they really add up together in the long run.

?First one first day at the @londontattooconvention ✨thank you so much to the lovely @fleur1512 for choosing one of my available pieces and sitting like a rock ? #claudiaducalia #matermedusa #londontattooconvention #tattoodoambassador #tattooedlady #tatto
A super fun purple/pink rose I tattooed at Bombshell Tattoo in Edmonton. #tattoo #tattoos #ink #inked #tattooidea #tattooideas #amazingtattoos #realismtattoo#femininetattoos #tattoodesign #besttattoos #amazingtattoo #superbtattoos #fusionink #tattoodo #
Tattoo by Popeye Dan #PopeyeDan

Make sure, however, to treat yourself well when you’ve had a bad day or reached certain if you finally went to the gym after procrastinating fooorrreeeever, you definitely deserve a treat. But also keep in mind not to unnecessarily taunt yourself by wandering around a shopping mall or grocery store without a real specific purpose. We don’t want you to be a hermit in your home but we do want to help you make good decisions that pay off in the long run with the thing we love more than anything: tattoos. Most of these small changes will show positive effects in other aspects of your life too, not just with tattoos!

Tattoo by Pinyeyu #Pinyeyu #blackwork #dotwork

Tattoo by Pinyeyu #Pinyeyu #blackwork #dotwork

Apps That Can Help Save for a New Tattoo

Want to save for a new tattoo? There’s an app for that. Well, not exactly. But sort of. Some of the best budgeting apps out there are actually free! Check out Mint, Wally, Acorns, Trim, Clarity Money...there are so many different ones out there that you just kind of need to play around with them until you find one that works for you. Most of these, however, have the ability to set goals such as “New Tattoo Fund” so that you can actually schedule putting money aside with ease.

#tattoo #oldschooltattoo #traditionaltattoo #oldlines #boldlines #boldwillhold #classictattoo #tradtattoo #classictattooing #tradworkers #København #copenhagen #traditionalamerican
eye #eye
El sueño, obra de Pablo Picasso #picasso #picassotattoo #pablopicasso #pablopicassotattoo #paintingtattoo #famouspainting #fullcolor #fullcolortattoo #colortattoo #buenosaires #buenosairestattoo #argentina #tattooargentina #bsas #lovetattoo #tattoogirl #g

Just like doing research for apps will help, if you’re looking to pick up a part-time job to help save for a new tattoo faster: research helps. Since many companies are remote these days, that’s a good place to start. Think about your skillset and look into if you can use freelancer sites like Upwork or Fiverr. You can even be paid to be a virtual assistant, to take surveys, mystery shop, or put together furniture with sites like TaskRabbit.

In the end, it’s all about how bad you want it and how hard you need to work to get it. But the absolute best advice we can give is to set realistic goals and remember how fulfilling it will be when all that saving finally pays off with the best treat you can give yourself: new tattoos!

Tattoo by Wahid Echad #WahidEchad
Tattoo by Grey Un #GreyUn
Tattoo by Luis Loureiro #LuisLoureiro
Sacred geometry #dotworkers #dotwork #blackworkers #tattoos
Tattoos by @zimovan #ship #shiptattoo #wolf #wolfhead #wolftattoo #blackandgrey #blackandgreytattoo #blacktattoo #blackwork #blackworktattoo #tattoos #ashevillenc #nctattooers #traditional #traditionaltattoo #AmericanTraditional

Justine Morrow
Written byJustine Morrow

Social Producer, Journalist, Editor, and Curator for Tattoodo I am here to support you 🌻 IG: @lathe.of.heaven