There are times in my life when I stop and think: “why didn’t I do this years ago?”
A few years ago, I thought this after I passed my motorcycle test. I subsequently bought a cheap, 125cc machine for a runaround vehicle when I need to go somewhere that is too far to walk.
I got swept up in how fun motorcycling is. Every time the engine started, I got a thrill. Driving into town gave me a buzz and a jolt of adrenaline. Mundane trips suddenly became exciting. I could even skirt around the outside of traffic and miss the jams.
There was an added bonus: it was much more economical to run the machine compared to my car.
Why didn’t I do this years ago?
I had another one of these moments when I was starting to learn Spanish. Learning the structure of a sentence was a challenge, and trying to memorise words was really tough. Listening to people speak to language was difficult enough. But speaking it brought another hurdle: the fear of looking stupid. If only I started when I was much, much younger, this surely would’ve been easier.
Why didn’t I do this years ago?
As you can see, this is a bit of a common theme in my life (Note to self: ‘Why didn’t I do this years ago?’ could be a potential autobiography title?)
I had one of these sudden moments of realisation during the current coronavirus lockdown.
The best return on investment I’ve ever got
In the UK, almost everything has shut down. Bars, restaurants, libraries, shops and barbers.
For those of us who are saving for financial independence, this could be a great thing. After all, there is less things to spend your hard-earned money on, and an opportunity to glimpse into what retired life might be like.
I did, however, manage to spend £25 recently, on an essential item.
I desperately needed a hair-cut. My hair was wild and untamed (and not in a good way).
Although I wasn’t seeing anyone, I knew I needed to look smart to feel happy. I didn’t want to let myself go.
Plus, this could be a chance to learn something new. I can never turn down this sort of opportunity. So I did it.
I invested in hair-clippers.
How to cut your hair using clippers
We’re going to have a quick intermission during this blog post on how I cut my hair, and some tips I learnt along the way. This is for a basic men’s hair-cut, but I was surprised with the results. My wife was too. If you’re not interested, please feel free to skip onto the next section. If not, read on.
- Oil the blades before use.
- Pick your blade guards. I normally go for a umber four on the sides, so I picked that.
- Go one size bigger (i.e. a five for me), make sure the guard is fitted properly and shave the sides and back of your head. Note: I went about 4/5’s of the way up, to allow the hair on the top of my head to taper down.
- Go down to your desired guard size that you usually ask for at the barbers (in my case, a number four) and shave the same patch. Note: I went about 3/5’s of the way up, to allow for tapering and tilted the blade up as I got near the top.
- Go down one size more (in my case, number three) and do the edges. Note: about 1/5.
- On the top, go for a guard size one bigger than the edges (for me, a number five) and do the top, allowing for the front to be a bit longer.
- Ask your wife or partner to shave your neck using the bare blade, or set up two mirrors so you can see. Note: this is extremely tricky!
- Clean the blades with the brush afterwards.
- You should have a decent hair-cut. Good job!
If you’ve ever read this blog, you’ll know that this is an extravagant purchase for me to make. I’m normally very frugal, although not to the point where I feel it’s limiting my pleasure in life.
Any frivolous spending, I try to cut. No takeaway coffees, no takeaway foods, no expensive clothes and only the occasional meal out.
But I have a confession, my hair-cuts have long been a source of financial lacklustre on my part.
To save time, I’ve been getting my barnet chopped in a barbers in London close to where I work. This allows me to spend more time with my wife and baby at the weekends, rather than queuing in a crowed shop waiting for my turn.
For this privilege, my hair-cuts cost….you’ve guessed it, £25!
This felt good. As my new clippers cost £25, every subsequent cut would be making me money. Think of all the cash I could save into my index fund.
Home hair-cuts are often a source of hilarity, but I’m pleased with how mine turned out.
But what I’m more pleased about is the return on investment.
Return on investment calculation
I get my hair chopped each month.
£25 x 12 = £300 a year
My child’s hair-cut costs £10
£10 x 12 = £120 a year
Total annual hair-cut cost per annum for the Money Doesn’t Talk household is £420.
Over six years, this will work out to £2,520.
Or a 10,000% return on my initial £25 investment*.
The added bonus is that it saves time and inconvenience. And I’m learning something new. Each hair-cut is a source of achievement and a small win, and also £25 I’ve saved.
Good news all around, then!
Have you tried cutting your own hair? If you have any tips, please comment below!
*note: this doesn’t even include the investment returns I’ll be getting once I’ve invested the money. According to this wonderful site, with an 8% return on investment, over six years, £35 will return £693.03 in interest, bringing the total saved over six years to £3,213.03. What a win!
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***The information contained herein does not constitute financial or other professional advice and is general in nature.