Cutting your own hair to save money

cut your own hair
dapper dan probably pays for this ‘do

Man, I am impressed with the middle gentleman’s good-looking beard/mustache/hair combo. But that is beside the point.

Today’s post is about saving money by cutting your own hair (I apologize for the short hiatus, but I was celebrating the end of my third decade with family).  I’ll cut to the chase and say it can be done, but it probably isn’t your best bet for putting a little extra cash in the bank.

This post will focus mostly on men because my wife assures me that very few women would be willing to cut their own hair and that I would be ridiculed for suggesting as much (but I will still drop a financial summary for the curious).

Financial Summary Stats (for the guys):

  • 10-Year NPV: $3,454
  • 10-Year ROI: 512%
  • 10-Year Payback: 0.3 years

Looking at ROI and payback period alone, you might think this is a really good idea.  But $3,500 over 10 years isn’t crazy money.  That averages to about $350 per year or $29 per haircut.

If you work with people regularly, especially in a business setting, and especially if those people are high-value customers, compare the $3,500 dollars per decade you might save to the possible loss in income (raises, bonuses, commissions) you might suffer by wearing a home-brew haircut to work everyday.  Maybe you don’t miss out on any income because of your buzz-cut, but my guess is that you might miss out on a little bit, at a minimum.

Let’s face it, as unfair as it is, appearances matter.  Maybe they don’t matter to the tune of $3,500 per decade, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibilities to think that they do, especially when you hear things like each additional inch of height is worth $800 per year in earnings.

Personally, I like having a clean beard and close buzz-cut.  But the point is, cutting your own hair probably won’t propel you into the millionaire ranks that much quicker than getting a monthly professional trim at the barber shop.

And a quick note for the ladies, if I run the numbers with the same assumptions except for a $50 dollar haircut every 6 weeks, here is what I get:

  • 10-Year NPV: $6,078
  • 10-Year ROI: 1,326%
  • 10-Year Payback: 0.1 years

Assumptions (for the guys):

  1. One haircut per month (self)
  2. One hair cutting kit per decade = $25.00 (amazon, self)
  3. 5 miles round trip to barber at $0.50 per mile (aaa, self)
  4. One hour at the barber vs. 1/2 hour doing it yourself
  5. Savings grow at inflation-adjusted 4% per year

*Update: Two things occurred to me after I wrote this post.

Number 1, some people look really good with a buzz cut / shaved head and/or just homestyle haircut.  So do it up if that is you.

But more importantly, number 2, you can still harvest the $4,000 gains AND look good while doing it… just have someone you live with learn how to cut hair.  My Mom had four boys and cut all of our hair plus my Dad’s, which by my calculations would have saved at least $17,000 over 10 years.  So you can do that too (moms, dads, wives, husbands, etc.).

Buy a washing machine or go to the laundromat?

Retire in 18 years by matching your annual spending with investments

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