On the heels of my confession that we bring our own treats into the movie theater instead of buying them at the snackbar, I thought I’d throw out another one… I cut my own hair. And I’ve been doing it for at least ten years (I’ve lost track). It’s not like I have special skills in this area, either. Rather, I simply give myself periodic ‘buzz cuts’ with an inexpensive set of clippers. My current weapon of choice is a set of Remington Precision clippers that I picked up at Wal-Mart for under $20 a couple years ago.
I probably have to buy new clippers every 3-4 years, so it costs me a grand total of about $7/year (at the absolute most). In return for this minor investment, I save myself the expense of 12-15 haircuts per year. Splitting the difference, and assuming $12/haircut (including tax/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 another 16 or so haircuts per year. So that works out to additional savings of $192/year.
While the savings can be substantial, I have to admit that the biggest reason that I do this is to save time, as opposed to money.
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 (or some similar timeframe). So let’s have a little fun with compounding interest…
(1) I continue cutting my own hair for the next thirty years (at which point I’ll be 65 years old), and
(2) I keep giving my kids four summer haircuts per year until they each turn 18, and
(3) The cost of a haircut goes up 3% per year, and
(4) I can invest this money with an 8% return, then…
These haircuts will compound to more the $43, 000 by the time I retire. Of course, it’s unlikely that my kids will subject themselves to haircuts from dear old dad through high school, but I’m guessing that you can still see the point…