Frugal Confession: I Cut My Own Hair

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…

Assuming that:

(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…

12 Responses to “Frugal Confession: I Cut My Own Hair”

  1. Anonymous

    How young is too young to cut a kid’s hair? My baby boy is 9 months old and I want to cut his hair but don’t know how and am scared!! Any tips? We do have scissors and clippers.

  2. Anonymous

    I can’t believe you would need 12-15 haircuts a year. Maybe I push the limit a little, but I only get my hair cut about every 3 months minimally. I just can’t see the merit of being in there every 3-4 weeks.

    That said, I look really bad with short hair and my hair doesn’t grow too fast. The only reason I cut it when I do is because it starts curling really badly in the back and on the sides.

  3. Anonymous

    Great question : {
    I’ve cut my own hair for 2 years and yep it looks great!
    Have you heard of Robocut Vacuum Clippers?
    I just dial in the length I want and vacuum my head.
    No mess, no clippings, yes a foolproof haircut : )
    take care all,

  4. Anonymous

    Good for you. I LOVE cutting my own hair and would recommend it to anybody, it ain’t all that hard. There are plenty of nifty books you can find at the library if you doubt it, and the more you practice the better you get. I’ve had a good pair of shears for a long time but for the heck of it tried a pair I picked up at one of the dollar stores this last time and was amazed how sharp they were (don’t know for how long but for a buck who cares). Even a slight trim you give yourself can work wonders. I get more compliments now than I ever did when I paid for haircuts.

    Oh, and I also smuggle in my own movie treats (peanut butter cups) and my own coffee (I’ll be durned if I’ll pay what they want for their coffee). Truth is, forget the movie house, I reserve movies at the library most of the time, just watched two recent ones and didn’t have to wait all that long to see them.

  5. Anonymous

    I used to get my haircut every 2 weeks to maintain a look that didn’t look like I got a haircut (ironic isn’t it). Now I’ve decided to just let my hair grow long as it seems to be the trend with these younger kids these days. Hey maybe all of these kids are actually trying to save money…haha j/k And yes, I will eventually need to get it cut, but I think I might “cut back” to getting my haircut once a month now, it’s probably less noticeable when you keep your hair longer than if you keep it shorter. hehe

  6. Anonymous

    My girlfriend cuts my hair. It has saved me tons of money and also makes her happy. It is also a cheap date.. Sometimes when she wants to go out I will ask her to stay in and cut my hair instead – She loves to do it and I love the attention – Win, win!

  7. Anonymous

    I’ve never cut my own hair. I’ve thought about it a few times, though.

    My last haircut was free, though…my fiancee’s aunt is a retired hairdresser, and she all but insisted on doing it when we were visiting over the 4th of July.

  8. Anonymous

    I cut my own hair as well. Buzzing your head with a set of clippers is much cheaper, and (as you so aptly point out) quicker than going to the barber. When we have children, our boys will definitely get the parental buzz cut. Although, like Blaine pointed out, when they start working, they can pay for whatever cut they want.

  9. Anonymous

    They may not subject themselves to haircuts from dear old dad, but once they start working you can tell them its a cut from dad or they pay for their own hair cuts. Either way, you save the money towards your retirement.

  10. Anonymous

    I cut my own hair too.

    I’m young and I guess you could say a little vain. Trips to a good hairdresser would cost me 35 bones not including a tip.

    I have 5 weddings to go to in 4 months, and don’t like showing up as a slob. That would require quite a few haircuts.

    Instead I bought a set of clippers for $39 and have used them ever since. 2 weddings to go and 0 haircuts to worry about and a little more pocket money.

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