Frugal Living Idea – Skip the Barber and Cut Your Own Hair

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For about the past year, I have been mulling over the idea of cutting my own hair, instead of going to the barber. However, today, I am proud to report that I gave myself my first ever self-conducted haircut! It was quite a fun experience.
What got me started thinking about this?
Since during the past two years, my hair has started thinning out, it has also become easier to cut. Whenever I go in to the hair cuttery, I tell them that they can either cut it using scissors or with the electric razor.
Usually, the hair stylist opts for using the electric razor 100%. He or she simply slaps on the #4 blade guard for the top and the #3 guard for the sides of my hair, and goes to work! And, viola! Five minutes later, he or she is finished!
How much could I save by cutting my own hair?
These are the kinds of analysis I love doing! 
Assumptions: 
  • Frequency that I need to get a haircut = Once every 5 weeks
    • 52 weeks = 1 year
    • Equates to 10.4 haircuts per year
  • Price I pay (including tip to get my haircut) = $17
    • $17 x 10.4 haircuts per year = $176.80 per year, increasing at the rate of inflation (3.2%)
  • Cost to purchase the Wahl automatic trimmer/haircut kit from Target I bought several weeks ago = ~$30
  • I start cutting my hair from now (age 24) until I am age 70 (at which time, I will probably have no hair)
Using these assumptions, I put together the spreadsheet which can be accessed at the Google Docs link below.

As you can see in the table below, the total cost savings that I could realize by cutting my own hair are truly incredible (over $18,000)!
Even  more incredible than that amount of savings is to consider the total value of money that we could have if I invested the money I saved from not having a barber cut my hair, and invested it in an index mutual fund, earning 10% per year.
The total that I could have access to at age 70 would be almost a QUARTER MILLION DOLLARS.
How to decide if cutting your own hair is right for you
As I was cutting my hair today, I realized that the exercise would definitely not be good for everyone. There is a certain level of comfort, good-feeling, and satisfaction that one gets from going to the hair stylist. 
In addition, after cutting your own hair, you have to deal with the clean up part, and getting hair off of you. These activities would of course be taken care of by the barber if you had gone to him/her.

Aside from the two points above, the biggest factor I think that should influence someone to cut their own hair is the length/ease of cutting for your hair. In other words, I think this probably works best for guys’ haircuts, since they are very hard to mess up.

How about you all? Have you ever tried cutting your own hair? Were you satisfied with the results?


How much money did it save you you think?

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Related articles about cutting your own hair at several of my favorite personal finance blogs:

FreeMoneyFinance – Places in Your Household Budget to Cut Expenses
Bargaineering.com – Tipping When Getting a Haircut
FiveCentNickel – Confession – I Cut My Own Hair

Comments

  1. Arnoldsemmons says:

    I bought a Flowbee about a year ago and I love it. I haven’t gone back to the barber since then. After 6 haircuts, the Flowbee pays for itself. I know people make jokes about them, but check out the reviews on Amazon and you will see that they actually work.

  2. Thanks for reading Arnold and for the tip! With the FlowBee have you ever messed up your haircut and had to go get it fixed at the hair salon? I’ve had a couple comments about that happening frequently.

    The link to the FlowBee on Amazon is shown below if anyone is curious.

    http://www.amazon.com/Flowbee-Hair-Cutter/dp/B000FFQ8DI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hpc&qid=1279570082&sr=8-1

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