When the goal is early retirement sometimes you have to get creative.
I cut my own hair and estimate that it will save me about $2,473.87 over a ten year period, and a whole lot more by the end of my life.
One of the remarkable things about modern western society is that we have become incredibly competitive about our consumption of stuff. It seems that it doesn’t really matter what it is, but it’s important that other people know that we’re buying it. It’s a phenomenon known as conspicuous consumption and was first explained by Thorstein Veblen in 1899. He noted that some of the rich were using their wealth to be ‘socially visible’ – rather than useful.
It’s a phrase that has more application than ever. You only have to look at the cars we drive, the clothes we wear and even the food we eat to know that it’s not just about function – large portions of the way we spend money as modern people is to show our station in life for all to see.
One of the ways we do this is to pay people lots of money (equivalent to the value of several hours of our life at work) to cut our hair a little bit shorter every now and again. But why? It’s an almost purely an aesthetic expense that we do to fit in and because other people do it.
It’s also something you can do yourself if you’re happy with short haircuts.
I decided to opt out of the system of paying for haircuts because the value and utility is almost zero given you can do it for free at home with scissors or hair clippers. Almost all short haircuts are easy to achieve with clippers and a few of the attachments they normally come with.
The beauty of doing this is that the result is normally extremely similar to that of a cut from an expensive salon. Only today, a few days after a recent cut using my trusty clippers, I received a compliment on my new haircut and was asked where I had my hair cut!
This is just another small step on the way to a life in which I aspire to be able to do more myself, reduce my reliance on others, simplify my life and worry less about what others think.
The best part is that is will save me a bucket-load of money that will allow me to retire just that little bit earlier.
How much do you pay for a haircut? Have you ever cut your own hair?