Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hair by Erin...


So, one of the things I do to save money is I provide the haircuts in the Nagle5 household. From trimming Buttercup's length to keeping Superman as close to his former military haircut as I'll let him be, I do it all. Why? Well, frankly, for the short hair these men like, it was darned silly to pay $15 a pop for them to get their hair cut every 4-5 weeks. Assuming each male gets his haircut every five weeks at $15/each, I am saving us $468. Even after subtracting the cost of the Wahl clippers at $40 or so (I've bought two packages in 6 years), it is clear to see that I am saving the family a ton of money. Were the very first hair cuts I did perfect? Nope...I started when the boys were little and, frankly, didn't care and I've gotten better over the years. Fortunately for me, Superman has curly hair and that hid a multitude of sins while I learned how to do what he liked. Now I can get all three of them done in less than an hour...no worries about scheduling or stopping at the barber, we just figure out a day in the upcoming week and tell the boys I'll be cutting hair this day if you want a haircut. An easy way to save roughly $2600 in 6 years, don't you think?

For Buttercup, she doesn't want her hair cut, so a trim to cut off dead ends every six months (or the oh-so-drastic 3 inches we did last fall) is pretty much all she wants...again, I can do this. No, I don't cut my own hair, but I do keep my bangs trimmed and color my own hair. For us, I invested in a expensive hair-cutting scissors ($30!) that do the trick beautifully. Again, I've had these scissor 5 years now and, because they're not used in a professional setting, they're still cutting perfectly. When you figured bang trims cost roughly $5 each time and must be done every 5 weeks or so, I'm saving $52 a year on trims, not to mention the convenience of being able to do it right when I need to. I think Buttercup's only had 3 -4 haircuts by someone other than me...I don't even have any idea how much I would be spending on "girl" haircuts.

Back in the day, I went so far as to go here to get my hair cut and colored. Even when I didn't go there, coloring my hair used to cost me at least $75-100 every time I had it done--I also had it cut every time, too, but I don't want to add that in here - just know it was another $40-50 for the haircut--before tip. Honestly, when I was working, I didn't mind paying that...the salon was right by my office and the appointment could be scheduled for a long lunch or right after work, so the boys (I didn't have Buttercup then), weren't inconvenienced. It worked out to do that every 3 or 4 months.

It doesn't work out now. Since my hair is getting grayer and grayer, I've got to do it every 8-10 weeks or so (I stretch it - I really should be doing it every 8 weeks), that would cost me $500 a year! Instead, I have Superman help me put highlights in my hair with a haircolor product I get at Target for $6.84 (or maybe it is $8.64 - let's use the bigger number for the sake of this example)...$56 in hair color if I do it every 8 weeks. Has everytime turned out beautifully? No, Superman's given me an odd splotch every now and then, but, I need to be fair...he gave me time to learn and didn't give me a hard time for my mess-ups, he deserves the same. Besides, it is much easier to take a not-perfect dye job when you paid less than $10 for it vs. $75, don't you think?

These are some of the things I do so we can afford to have me stay home. Honestly, I don't feel like I'm giving up anything by doing these things. I love being home and learning new things and I feel proud to know we did it ourselves.

What do you do? What tricks have you learned that help you keep up a certain quality of life, but help you save money at the same time.

13 comments:

Melissa Henning said...

We just shaved our son's hair the other day for the first time (before that I would trim the peach fuzz with scissors, since taking him to someone practically traumatized him lol). I also shave my hubby's head for him. I make all gifts for people, like you do, but you put me to shame lol. I do more artsy stuff (like frame Logan's artwork with a picture of him doing it) and give it as gifts, not practical things. For my SIL's 1st anny, I sketched their engagement picture and framed it for them. I do make cards though, but I draw roses and stuff--basic looking cards...again not like the pretty ones you posted for valentines day (Man you are talented!). We shop at thrift stores, and are frugal bargain hunters. I also do my own pedicures and manicures--my friends/family spend a fortune on this!

Melissa Henning said...

oh and the gym! I workout at home, to save costs on the gym and we have this thing called "magic jack" that gives us free home service (well $20 a year or $53 for 3 years) as long as we have internet service. Really helps us save there :).

Erin said...

Oooh, does the Magic Jack work for you? I've read mixed reviews on that...as for all the rest, you are doing a lot...you need to remember, I've been at this a little longer than you! (I'm crafty because I'm artistically challenged.)

Melissa Henning said...

the magic jack works great! I can make phone calls and get phone calls (as long as it's plugged into my computer and on). The only complaint is that when I use it with people, they say they hear my voice with an echo. I don't hear an echo at all, but several people have told me that so I'm assuming it's the Magic Jack. It works well for us though and you can't beat free long distance and local calling for $20/year. Getting a hold of customer service is a joke though lol.

DarcyLee said...

Erin,
I have been coloring my hair off and on since I was a teenager. I do it now because I am very gray now. I also cut my husband's hair which I never thought I would be doing but he insists on it, and I've gotten pretty good at it.

About the bag I made for my mom. I got the pattern from a tutorial from Debbie J. at Homemaking Dreams here: http://homemakingdreams.blogspot.com/2008/03/reusable-fabric-grocery-bag-tutorial.html
I made the straps longer so it could be worn over the shoulder and I would like to get more creative with them. Since I made that one, all my daughters are begging for one.

Dani Joy said...

my hubby cuts our boys hair. Boy, does that save us a lot.
I go every 4-6 mo. but with my hair short now I am feeling like I need to go again.
Great job on saving your family money! You sure are brave cuttin Superman´s hair! I am sure you do a great job! I am always afraid I will cut a hole in his head.
Gotta go study with the boys.
Hope ya have a great day!

momstheword said...

wow, you rock! I am afraid to cut my own bangs, lol!

However, we use the Flowbee to cut my husband's and our sons' hair and as you can see by their pictures on my blog they look great!

I totally agree with your comment. Sometimes we just overwhelm ourselves with to much gadgets and "stuff" that we really don't need!

For instance, I use a regular manual can opener instead of an electronic one and it works fine!

Erin said...

DarcyLee, I love that bag and that tutorial would have come in handy the first time I made my bag...it seems to be almost exactly the same. DaniJoy, the short hair cuts needs attention to stay cute, don't they? Moms, really? I've never known someone who actually uses one of those...saves a fortune, doesn't it? As for can openers, I use a manual too...I hate the electric ones.

generationsgoneby said...

Former professional hair dresser, so of course, I cut our hair. I also am in the process of giving the dog is first post winter grooming. His fur gets so long we have to cut it first, bathe him, then trim him with the clippers. RIght now the girls are bathing him. He looks horrible right now, but will look so pretty after I get the clippers to him. I love to take him to a professional, but with his allergies they won't take him. We try and keep him groomed in the summer, but I let it grow in winter. Can't wait to get him back to normal and looking pretty again.

sewducky said...

I am a Queen of cheap. I do my son's hair, unless he wants a man's cut and a little longer then the buzz he normally gets. I get my own cut because I have a cowlick in the front of my head AND the back (reason if it's not buzzed, the kid doesn't get it) and I embrace the platinum blonde highlights appearing in my head now. My hair also stays in the style and barring no one being able to layer it, I can get it done in cheap places, all they have to do is follow the cut I DO have and make it neat.

I haven't bought clothing for myself that cost over $10 in 10 years, except bras. And that saves a ton of money when you realize I buy 1-3 items a year, like jeans. Kid gets a lot of homemade play clothes, some of his uniforms I make (fave shirt costs me like 4.50 to make and 42 to buy), I buy shoes that I can wear for more then one season, I plan meals and shop within a budget, I use the local video store's unlimited movie deal instead of Netflix (and only during the summer and month where there's holidays and he will use it)..we do all sorts of things. I also use the local parks free fishing hole, where he can catch up to 2 14" catfish a day and since I'm the one on the pier in heels going "Ew! ew! you caught it, YOU gut it" he's greatly entertained.

I also throw all my change in a jar and once a month take it in to Coinstar and get it made into Amazon gift certs: I lose no money and come Xmas, kid is taken care of, and I do the majority of the shopping online. Last month I wound up with $47, this month I have 18.93 so far. It does add up, I don't feel the pinch and come the holidays I never have to worry about having the money for it.

loveaphid said...

I just don't cut my hair, well not more than 2 x a year. As for Fig, he gets his done about every 2 months for $10.00. He loves the little old ladies that do it so its a whatever. Hair is not our big expense.

Erin said...

I guess we've all figured out ways around this, haven't we? Thanks for sharing all your tips. Moms, you can do it. (I hate electric can openers, isn't that weird?) Gens, you were a professional hairdresser...I'll bet that comes in handy with two daughters! SewDucky, love the coinstar/Amazon tip. (I'd be the one squealing on the pier in my heels, too, so no worries!)

Andrea @ The Train To Crazy said...

I'm right there with you on this one. We bought clippers right after we got married because paying someone to shave a head sounded crazy to me. My girls have never had their hair professionally cut. I'm sure some day I'll take them in but at 4 and 2 years old who cares if it isn't perfect! And I trim my bangs a tiny bit every week ;) I like them a certain length and can't stand if they are shorter or longer so it works well for me!