I just kept spending more and more on my hair. The upkeep was killing me. It started with $30 precision cuts in the 1970s. That was quite a bit of money back then, but it seemed worth it. But soon it was highlights ($50 minimum) along with the haircut which now cost $45. Then along came some grey hair, and that demanded a base color first, followed by highlights, followed by the haircut. Yikes! One day not too long ago (but while I was still working), I walked out of the salon with a lovely cut and color but $275 dollars added to my credit card bill.
Wait a minute! That’s too much. I had justified it for a long time because, believe me, I could spend a lot more. Shoot, there are eyebrow shapings, eyelash dyeings, make-up necessities, skin care and wrinkle requirements – and that’s only what I’m spending from the neck up. Something clearly had to give. Retirement funds don’t necessarily allow for all that stuff, and even if they did, I’d much rather spend it on something else – like ten days in Rome!
So what to do? It’s not as if my hairdresser and I were best friends, but I did depend on her; we’d been together a long time; and she knew what to do with my straight on the top – curly in the back hair. But I began to search for a new and better way.
I asked perfect strangers with good haircuts where they got them. Then I asked them what they paid. Most women don’t mind sharing this information. We’re all in search of the perfect head! I began to see that there were some good haircuts that didn’t set you back the cost of a mortgage payment.
That’s how I got to Great Clips – a national chain – where I now go every six to eight weeks for a total cost of (wait for it!) $18. Heck, once I had a coupon and got the cut for $13. I really like the woman who cuts my hair. She’s funny and she taught me how to color it myself at home, and to tell you the truth, it doesn’t look much different than it’s looked for the past 30 years.
I’d love to have all that money back, but this is no place for regret, so I’ll settle for putting the money I’m saving on my hair into my “Ten-Days-in-Rome” account. I figure I’ll have the funds within 10 years. In retirement, it’s important to come up with ways to reallocate our dollars and still feel ‘marvelous.’ Check back often for more great ways to”Live large on a Shoestring.”