I used to frequent the barber every 4 weeks. Barbers have gotten quite modern nowadays; you check in on your iPad and walk in 10 minutes later. If you did not however check in electronically in advance things apparently get complicated.
If you’re not in the computer you can’t be real. “Don’t care if you’re standing in front of me, the computer says you’re not, what is your phone number again?”. “Why do you need my phone number I’m right here….” Oops, did I just digress.
I normally would check in in advance and because I did, they could say “Number One again, mr van Lier, the usual?” Number one stands for the little doohicky they attach to their clipper to keep it at 5mm. “Yes, please, the usual”. Out comes the buzzer and after 4 minutes its done and that will be $16.00. I tend to tip another $4 and thus the final tab is an even $20. Every four weeks, every month of the year. Total cost 12×20=$240 to get my hair cut every year. At least that is how it used to be, up till about 6 years ago.
One day, my father-in-law hands me this 1960’s box from sears “The Sears Hair Shaper Set”. I kid you not, yes that is a bottle of genuine clipper oil in the picture. The thing looks like and weighs like a brick and when you turn it on it either make a loud clunk followed by silence, telling to you turn it off before it catches fire, or it starts making this familiar loud yet soothing buzz reminding you of days long gone.
Well, if it still runs after 50 years it’s good enough for me. I realize that I can do exactly what the barber did in maybe 3 minutes more than what it took her. From that day on I clipped my own hair.
Then, while browsing Deals2buy.com I find the Philips DIY clippers for only $11.99. Figure I can’t go wrong on that. And I didn’t. It is lighter, more advanced (no more need for 16 pieces) and I don’t get the feeling it will set my head on fire every time I use it. It’s been my trusty companion taking care of my receding hairdo for the last 4 years now.
Every three weeks, my 12 dollar wonder with its rotating head and adjustable lock-in length setting comes from under the sink and within 10 minutes I’m back to the 3mm I like it at.
I hate to take away business from our local merchants but really, it doesn’t take much skill to buzz cut your own head. Sure it gets a little iffy around the ears but it’s not rocket science. It certainly isn’t worth spending $20 a month having it done by someone else. Someone else, who I have to believe, would like to apply their talents differently than handling a buzz cutter.
At the risk of alienating a lot of wives and girlfriends: Men, if you’re no longer on the dating scene, if your hair is making its way back further and further away from your eye-brows, if you already have the island of shininess on the back of your head; Don’t fight it. Just give in and stop wasting your money on a professional hairdresser. There’s little value add they can provide for you.
You can stick to your believe that Rogaine™ will fix it for you and that it’s worth the investment or you can do as I did; buy yourself a hair clipper and cut cost and hair one head at a time. It took me a $12 investment six years ago and since then I’ve saved close to $1440.
Oh and another word of wisdom, if you think you can apply the same strategy to your son’s hair, check with his mom first. I did this once last spring and his hair hasn’t been cut since.
In my book I talk about how we cut over $20,000 from our expenses annually, this was just one of them.
Good luck reaching your financial goals.