Posted by Tim Stobbs on May 27, 2008
In my on going effort to reduce my lifestyle costs I’ve recently taken to examining my grooming habits to determine where I could save money on things I don’t care all that much about. For example, I switched to a generic version of a shampoo rather that just using what ever my wife bought. So for $2.00 I got 800 mL of shampoo that smells great and cleans my hair just fine.
I also discovered a few other things such as:
- It pays to invest $25 for a clipper set so I can cut my son’s hair. It is a surprisingly easy thing to do with clippers and a guide and the best thing is if you missed a spot you just sit the kid down and fix it right then and there. Not to mention it’s saving me about $170 a year by doing it myself just for my one son.
- Stop buying shaving cream in a can. Spend the $6 on a shaving brush and drop some soap into an old mug that you are not using any more. Then you have a place to put those other wise useless bits of soap that are too small to use in the shower anymore. This will save me about $12 a year.
- Dry your razor after every use. It’s almost scary how much longer they last when you do this. I’ve yet to determine how much this is saving me a year, but I would guess it has dropped my costs for razors in half.
- Depending what you use for aftershave you can get away with just buying a large container of aloe vera gel. We keep some in the house for sun burns. I looked at what I was using for aftershave and realized the first ingredient was aloe vera gel. I gave it a try and it worked great. That should save me about $20 a year.
- Stop buying any toothpaste that is suppose to whiten your teeth. I asked my dentist about it last time I was in and she told me almost all of those products don’t do anything significant to whiten your teeth. Save your money and just buy the basic stuff which will clean your teeth just fine.
Then I decided to push the edge of my comfort zone and try a try something a bit daring. I pull out my clipper set and cut my own hair. I was very uncomfortable with this idea until I thought about it and realized a few things:
- My hair is really short to begin with and uses exactly two guards (one for the top and a shorter one on the sides) to get the hair looking right.
- I can always go for a professional haircut afterwards if I sort of mess it up and I already have the clippers so this is going to cost me nothing to try and could save me over $200/year on haircuts.
- It’s hair folks. It will grow back if I really mess up! It’s not like I have to go to work anytime soon!
So I pulled out my clipper set and went to work. Overall not to bad for my first try. I missed a few spots near the back of my head which I noticed in the shower and fixed afterwards. Also I noticed I should have made the sides a bit shorter. Then after a few days I realized my wife is going to have to help me clean up my neck and around my ears if I do this on a long term basis. She gave me a look of “You want me to do WHAT?”, but I pointed out it is just hair and it grows back.
I might still get the odd haircut during a year for a special event but on a day to day basis I think I’ll start to cut my own. After all I’ve yet to have a single negative comment on my haircut. So that tell me that I didn’t do that bad of a job at it.
So have I gone crazy being this frugal? I don’t think so, since I’m saving around $400 a year but feel free to comment.