Budgeting | Life | Personal Finance | Personal Stories | Article

She Paid ₱200K for Dream Nose Job Without Getting Into Debt

by Rica | December 7, 2023 | 6 mins read

Growing up, Martha del Rosario never thought that she needed a nose job. That is until she entered high school. She was often teased about her nose, with friends telling her that she would be pretty if not for her nose.

Although no one said anything at home, the teasing at school was enough to make her feel insecure. It didn’t help that her sister’s nose was nice and thin, like their dad’s, while she seemed to have inherited her mom’s fat, bulbous nose.

When she knew that there were procedures available to change her nose shape, she vowed, she would do whatever it takes to get a nose job. 

Fast forward to present day, where at 28, Martha finally got her dream procedure and she couldn’t be happier, even though it cost ₱200,000. And she didn’t have to take out loan to do it.  

Doing research to set a budget

To make this dream come true, Martha had to first know how much the procedure would cost. And she started doing her research even whilst still in college as she knew that it was something she wanted to work towards.

“My research then informed me that it would cost around ₱300,000. But that was because I was looking at how much it would cost abroad. I wasn’t looking at the Philippine market because I wanted a ‘Caucasian’ nose,” recalls Martha.  

The expensive cost didn’t put her off or discourage her from pursuing the surgery. All it did was just make her realize that it would take more time to save up for it.  

The waiting somewhat paid off as nose jobs became more popular, with more surgeons offering it as an option and prices coming down by the time she started working. At this point, prices for the surgery to give her the nose she wanted ranged from ₱120,000 to ₱220,000.  

That said, Martha wasn’t keen on just going for the cheapest, she wanted a surgeon she could trust. She looked into their portfolio of previous work, how safe their procedure was and their success rate, and finally landed upon the surgeon she finally went with.  

“He does work with people who have the same noses as me. The outcome is the outcome that I wanted. It was very important that I get the surgeon that has experience with the nose that I have because I really used to have a big nose.” 

girl on phone rejecting friends asking her to go on a trip because she is on a budget and trying to save

Budgeting for her dream

 Martha was quoted ₱150,000 for her nose job. This amount was for the services of the surgeon and his nurses, as well as rental of the operating room, but not the various tests that were required before the rhinoplasty could take place and the post-operation care.  

To ensure that she would have enough for all possible costs, and any unexpected ones, Martha decided to work towards saving ₱250,000 to give herself a safety net. Now that she had a firmer figure in mind, it was time to work out precisely how she could afford it.  

Martha also set up a separate bank account to fund the rhinoplasty and prevent herself from being tempted to spend the money in it on other things.  

And these were all good decisions as she was comfortably able to pay for everything related to her rhinoplasty with the money she had saved up.   

“Overall the operation cost me around ₱170,000 to ₱180,000 including pre and post-surgery,” says Martha. However, she ended up having to shell out more money for monthly laser treatments for the surgical scars she had.  

“I didn’t realize how expensive and how much you actually need it. Everybody was saying you could just do a scar gel and everything would be okay, but apparently, I’m part of the population who get scars easily. The laser treatment [at ₱3,500 per session] is very costly,” shares Martha. 


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Making sacrifices to reach her savings goals

Martha was still single and living with her family, hence she had relatively low expenses. But that didn’t mean that she didn’t have to make lifestyle changes as getting her nose job as soon as possible was her aim.  

“Aggressively saving meant I did not spend on wants; and anything that could fall into wants, I didn’t pursue, I just put the money into savings instead,” she shares.  

“Let’s say I get paid twice a month. The first salary for that month pays for all my expenses. And then for the next payout, that automatically goes to savings,” she estimates. 

She gave up shopping, reduced her social obligations and didn’t travel. During this period, she admits to turning into a homebody. 

“I ended up staying at home more just so I stop spending,” Martha says. “I only go out if I really have to; if you compute how much you spend for gas, for dining out, etc., that becomes part of the savings.” 


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Taking a loan was not an option

Despite her nose job being a lifelong dream and the available option of borrowing money from the bank, Martha didn’t want to do that and pay interest.  

“I paid for everything in cash. I didn’t even look into financing options simply because I didn’t want to. So my rationale for it is if I had to get a loan to get this, I would rather not do it because I would not put myself in a financially compromised position just for something cosmetic,” she says. 

“As it’s not necessarily needed medically, you shouldn’t borrow money just for it. Instead, save up for it if you really want it. Remember to double the amount of whatever it is you think you need, just to make sure that you’re covered for emergencies.” 

When asked if there are any regrets about her rhinoplasty journey, Martha has this to say, “I think if there was something I could have done differently, I would have done it earlier. But there are really no regrets because I think I planned it well enough that I didn’t put myself into debt to do it. I didn’t compromise my health and I didn’t compromise anything in my life. I was able to do it at the time when I was able to so no regrets at all.”