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How much does a tattoo cost? Budgeting tips


Getting a tattoo is an exciting and personal decision, but it can be difficult to know how much you should budget for your ink. With tattoo cost varying greatly depending on tattoo size, design, experience and location, it's hard to determine exactly what you should expect to pay.

Not knowing how much tattoos cost ahead of time can lead to unexpected financial surprises that could derail your ink journey.

Don't let money stand in the way of getting the perfect tattoo! If you're wondering what a half-sleeve tattoo cost is, or what to expect to pay for tiny tattoos, we have you covered. In this blog we will dive into understanding tattoo pricing, explore factors that influence tattoo cost and provide practical budgeting tips.

Demystifying tattoo costs

How much does a tattoo cost? It's almost impossible to give an exact answer to this question as tattoo prices are based on a number of different factors.

The size and complexity of the tattoo design are major considerations when it comes to pricing. Generally, larger tattoos will cost more than smaller ones due to the amount of time and level of detail required.


Man getting a tattoo on the back


Additionally, more intricate designs or those with vibrant tattoo ink colours may require additional time. Tattooing is an artistic skill that takes time and experience, so tattoo artist experience also influences pricing.

Don't be afraid to ask questions—an experienced tattoo artist will be happy to answer your queries and discuss their pricing structure upfront so you know exactly how much to expect before committing to the tattoo.

Hourly and daily tattoo rates

Many tattoo artists in the UK will charge an hourly rate as this is on of the simplest and fairest approaches to billing clients. Hourly rates can range anywhere from £50-£200 per hour, depending on a number of factors.

Nonetheless, no matter how small your tattoo is, it's important to note that tattoo artists will charge a minimum fee for one hour's work. This fee covers the cost of materials like single-use needles and the time it takes for the artist to set up and get ready.

Some tattoo artists charge a daily rate for a day's work. However, this approach is sometimes problematic as not all clients can't endure sitting through an entire day for their tattoo session.

Tattoo location

The location of your tattoo can also have an impact on the final cost. Tattoo shops located in larger cities or popular tourist destinations tend to charge higher rates than those tucked away in more rural areas.

Plus, the average tattoo prices in the south are often higher than those in the north, so it's worth also taking this into consideration

The reason for these differing tattoo costs comes largely down to the need to cover higher overhead costs, such as rent for their premises.

Tattoo deposits

Many tattoo shops require a deposit prior to beginning the design process. This is usually a percentage of the total cost and is used as an assurance that you will show up for your appointment.

Deposits also indicate that you are serious about getting a tattoo and give the artist some financial security in case they have to turn away potential customers.

Tipping your tattoo artist

Tipping is always appreciated, but it's not a mandatory practice. If you're pleased with the work your tattoo artist does for you, feel free to tip them as a sign of appreciation. However, many people prefer not to since they've already paid for the service.

You can also show your appreciation in other ways, such as leaving an online review or sharing their work on social media to give them more exposure.

Ensuring you get a quality tattoo and value for money

It's important to remember that when it comes to tattoos, you often get what you pay for. Remember to do your research and look for reviews when choosing a tattoo artist in order to ensure you’re getting quality work and value for money.

You should always seek out a reputable, licensed tattoo artist and a tattoo shop that uses sterile supplies. Never compromise on safety and hygiene to save money.


Piggy bank to help cover tattoo costs


Tattoo apprentices often offer cheaper rates than more experienced artists, but if you're after a really complex design, they may not always be suitable. For example, if you're wanting a full-sleeve tattoo that will require years of experience to pull off, it's best to spend a little extra money upfront in order to get the best results.

Protecting your investment with tattoo aftercare

Tattoos are a long-term investment, so it's important to look after them properly. Once you've gotten your tattoo, use care products specifically designed for tattoos to ensure the ink stays vibrant and the design remains intact.

Good quality tattoo aftercare products can help increase longevity of the ink and protect against fading or damage. This means the tattoo will look better for longer, saving you money in the long run. If you're on the market for a reliable product, check out our range of MTS Tattoo Balm in three fantastic scents: Original, Cookies and Cream, and Cotton Candy.

Be sure to follow your tattoo artist's aftercare advice and avoid swimming, sun exposure and any activity that may cause excessive irritation to your tattoo in the early stages of your tattoo healing process.

Setting a realistic tattoo budget

Now that you have a better understanding of tattoo pricing, it's time to create a realistic budget for your ink. Start by researching different tattoo shops in your area and get a sense of the going rate for the type and size of art you are looking for. Once you have an idea of the cost, decide how much money you want to commit to your tattoo.

It's also important to remember that tattoos are not just a one-time expense – there may be additional costs associated with the healing process and possible touch-ups. Be sure to factor these into your budget so you don't end up with unexpected costs down the line.

Deciding on a tattoo timeline

Having a timeline in place when creating your tattoo budget is crucial for several reasons. It allows you to plan ahead and save up the funds in advance. By breaking down the process into manageable steps and establishing milestones, you can stay organised and save up for your tattoo within a specific timeframe.


Calendar to help budget for tattoos


It also prevents you from rushing into a decision without proper research or consideration of your financial situation.

Tracking your spending

To determine your disposable income, take into account your fixed bills and other financial obligations.

Track your spending across categories such as rent, groceries and entertainment to get a clear picture of how much you can realistically allocate to your tattoo. If necessary, start setting aside money in a designated savings account so that you'll have the funds ready when it comes time to get your new ink.

There are many online tools that can help you with this, or you can just create a simple spreadsheet.

Planning for your next tattoo

Tattoos are an investment, so it's important to take the time to understand the costs and create a realistic budget before you start your ink journey. There are many factors that influence tattoo pricing, and it's essential to research different shops and artists in your area to get a better idea of what you should expect to pay.

By tracking your spending, setting aside money in advance and planning out a timeline for when you want to get your tattoo, you can ensure that you're making the best financial decisions for yourself and your ink adventure.

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  • Caitlin Moore