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Frugal confession: I cut my own hair

Blogger has saved thousands with his basic buzz cut.

By Karen Datko Oct 26, 2009 12:20AM

This post comes from partner blog Five Cent Nickel.

On the heels of my confession that we take our own treats to the movie theater instead of buying them at the snack bar, I thought I’d throw out another one: I cut my own hair.

I’ve been doing it for at least 10 years. I don't have special skills in this area. I simply give myself periodic "buzz cuts" with inexpensive clippers. My current weapon of choice is a  Remington Precision haircut kit I picked up at Wal-Mart for less than $20 a couple years ago.

I buy new clippers every three or four years, so it costs me a grand total of about $7 a year. In return for this minor investment, I save myself the expense of 12 to 15 haircuts per year. Splitting the difference, and assuming $12 a haircut, including tax and tip, that works out to $162 per year, or $155 after factoring in the cost of the clippers.

Extrapolating over a decade, this turns into a nice little chunk of change.

On top of this, we buzz our kids’ hair in the summer. With four kids getting summer cuts, we’re saving the cost of another 16 or so haircuts per year. That works out to additional savings of $192 a year.

While the savings are substantial, I have to admit that the biggest reason I do this is to save time.

That being said, I'd be doing you a disservice if I didn’t do the usual personal-finance thing and extrapolate these savings out through retirement. So let's have a little fun with compounding interest.

Let's assume that:

  • I continue cutting my own hair for the next 30 years (at which point I’ll be 65 years old).

  • I keep giving my kids four summer haircuts per year until they each turn 18.

  • The cost of a haircut goes up 3% per year.

  • I can invest this money with an 8% return.

The haircuts will compound to more than $43,000 by the time I retire.

Of course, it's unlikely my kids will subject themselves to haircuts from dear old dad through high school, but you can still see the point.

Other articles of interest at Five Cent Nickel:

Published Oct. 17, 2007



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