What’s your indulgence? Readers tell us what they can’t live without »

As sisters across the country are trying to find ways to pinch every penny, a recent study by Design Essentials claims that Black women in particular aren’t willing to cut back on certain luxuries in lieu of fatter wallets. We are inevitably dedicated to the art of looking good. The study, which looked at how 500 women of various ethnicities spend their beauty dollars in the new economy, found that most of us aren’t all that willing to go for the cheap. Black women spend on average $55 per salon visit and are even willing to spend nearly double that on other services like color and cuts.

A recent ESSENCE.com street poll found that the most people haven’t let the slumping economy stop them from enjoying life. We’re still getting our hair done, our nails painted, going out with friends, and indulging in those particular practices that make us feel good about ourselves. Unfortunately, we’re also partaking in those things that aren’t so good for us. Statistics show that fast food, alcohol, candy and cigarette sales are on the rise. Starbucks may have downsized its staff and closed many of its locations but that hasn’t stopped the number of at-home coffee brewers from flying off the shelves. Ever notice how really bad movies continue to make blockbuster results? Movie attendance has been up 15 percent since last year even though the prices of gas and food have equally amplified.

So what’s the lesson here? Recession or not, life is too short for regrets. Find simple ways to make the most of it now.