That Frugal Look

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.Β  After all I’ve yet to have a single negative comment on my haircut.Β  So that tell me that I didn’t do that bad of a job at it.

So have I gone crazy being this frugal?Β  I don’t think so, since I’m saving around $400 a year but feel free to comment.

14 thoughts on “That Frugal Look”

  1. My mom has been cutting my dad’s hair forever, or so it seems. I’m only 28 so I don’t know what they did before πŸ˜‰ My dad has never had much hair though, so it’s easy!

    I don’t get my hair cut very often (blessed with naturally nice hair), and I’m really lazy about shaving my legs. I guess it does safe money, but that’s not my intent πŸ˜‰

  2. This is a great idea. My husband (a carpenter, admittedly, so under a hard hat is a different social milieu πŸ™‚ ) has been doing this for years. I do give him a hand with his neck–a position of great trust!

    To be honest, I’m jealous. My female curly hair is more complicated, but I would love to be free from stylists and costs as he now is… Good luck!

  3. I’ll admit I’ve cut my own hair a time or two when times were tight. Now that I’m in a more professional environment daily I probably wouldn’t have the nerve but when I was cocktail waitressing I figured if it was a little crooked or choppy, it was dark at work — and who cared?

  4. My wife has been cutting my hair for years, all though there’s not much left to cut.

    You’ve probably covered this, but there are many ways to cut costs. Pre paid cell phone, or no cell phone, basic cable, or rabbit ears, basic land line with no extras, turn down the heat, turn down the water heater, turn off the furnace fan, use public transit, walk to work, car pool, increase insurance deductibles, and so on…

    But the best way to cut expenses is too eliminate cash flow.


    Increase the monthly rsp contribution and the monthly money market savings contributions.

    Get the money out of your account and get it invested.

    Great blog, I will spend more time perusing.

  5. I save hair cut money by getting 2 haircuts per year. My wife does small touchups in between. I’m not working in an office environment, so I can get away with it. Plus, having long hair makes me feel like a badass ;).

    I use an electric razor, I haven’t calculated how many kWh it uses to charge it, but I’m not using hot water when I shave.

    Regular bars of soap? Wow, impressive. No wonder you need the aloe gel afterwards :).

  6. I’ve been shaving with just soap for years and no aftershave, seems to work fine for me.

    I haven’t had the guts to take the clippers to my hair, but I’ve been very tempted… spending $15 every 4 weeks adds up over a year!

    I’ll use you as my inspiration and get myself a pair of clippers and give it a shot, Tim! (and then convince my wife to do the back of my head and neck)

  7. Guinness- HA! Now that would only happen over my wife’s dead body. She has very nice long hair and would not let me get even close to it with clippers. Her exact words after reading your comment was “I guess now that we are saving so much on the boys haircuts I feel complete justified getting my done elsewhere.”

    Cash Canuck – Actually most of the soap in the house is body shop stuff (gifts for my wife) or Dove, so it’s a little nicer than just regular soap. Still regular soap could be possible, the trick is to shave frequently. Longer hair is harder to cut with just soap.

    Actually the aloe gel is just something my face needs after a shave. Must be my skin type or something. I can’t get away with nothing.

    Sarlock – It depends on your hair style if cutting it yourself is a good idea. My hair style was so basic as it suited a self cut. More complex hair costs more. Nothing is wrong with it, but you have to decide is it worth it.


  8. Easier said than done but my girlfriend and I are friends with a hair dresser. Two of them in fact. They are usually more than happy to give you a cut in their own home, for a nominal fee (or a bottle of wine). In return I’ll help them out with a computer problem when the need arises, help them setup a TV, or whatever.

    I could probably cut my own hair, but it turns my girlfriend’s $150 hair job into a $20 bottle of wine, or half an hour of computer help, etc.

  9. After I got married, I refused to go to a barber. My wife has been cutting my hair ever since and it always look great. The same, of not better, than the hair salon ever did. We got a cheap clipper set for about $10 and after it burnt out, we spent $30 on a second set that has lasted for 3 years. Don’t skimp on the clippers if you’re cutting often!

  10. Big Deal! I have been cutting my hair using the same method for years, only because the Barbers can never get it right! Cant believe I wasted time reading this junk!

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