Building wealth requires making enough income to put a bit away each month. It’s usually a very long-term proposition that can literally take decades. As I’ve already stated in another post, a dollar a day can really add up over time to be a substantial sum when compound interest and dividends come into play. I’ve pointed out that sites like SwagBucks and CashCrate can help you earn money on a regular basis. I’ve earned well above a dollar per day, much of it passive, from these two sources over the past three years.
Another source of building wealth is spending less than just about everyone else. A good way for men to save money is through haircuts. This advice might not work as well for women, as a standard set of clippers will not help them look all that great. Most guys have no problems cutting their hair really short. Of course, never cutting hair at all can also save money on haircuts.
I read an article on the Mr. Money Mustache site late last year about cutting your own hair and saving some serious bank. When I walked by a set of clippers with a number of different guards that allow you to manage different lengths for your hair and beard in WalMart while visiting family over Christmas break, I decided to pick it up. I’ve gone with a very short hair style in recent years (after going for over a year without a haircut back in 2010), so I figured I didn’t have much to lose. The cost for this clipper set from Wahl (which plasters that it’s made in the USA on its packaging) was a whopping $37. With tax, it came up to about $40.
I figured that I spend about $16 per haircut when a tip is figured in, and I only got one about every 3 months or so. Having my own set of clippers and a mirror could help me get my hair cut more frequently at a fraction of the cost. I would be ahead after just three haircuts, and I’m already at that point. Every time I cut my hair from this point on is just simply gravy, as the clippers amortize to a very small amount. For example, if I get 100 uses out of the clippers, I will pay about $0.40 per hair cut plus a few pennies for electricity. That’s way cheaper than $16 a pop that I would currently pay someone else to cut my hair, and that cost will probably go up with inflation in the next 10 years. I remember paying about $6 25 years ago. Those 100 hair cuts would have cost about $1,600 and many hours in a barbershop. Now, I’ve already spent the $40, and it only takes me around 10 to 15 minutes to crop my top.
Those $1,600 will probably add up to much more than that over time if invested in a mutual fund. Furthermore, I won’t have to sit in a barber shop or salon for many hours waiting around to get called to the chair. While I can’t really recommend this for women, most men could save quite a bit of money in this manner. A few smart moves like this to cut expenses can go a long way toward financial freedom. You could even use your earnings from CashCrate or Swagbucks to pay for your clippers, and that would compound the power of earning money in pajamas.