My Buzz Cut Saved Me Over $1,000 in College

buzz cutYup, you heard that one right.  I cut my own hair during college and saved over $1,000 during my four years there.  This is a tip that helped me graduate college debt free!

Now, I know this won’t apply to the female readers, but it definitely does to the guys out there.  As a male in college, you have a huge money saving opportunity.  Cutting your own hair can save you a significant amount of coin.  You won’t be able to have the “cool haircut” but it will be cost effective.  That’s me on the right.  And yes, that’s a 4 wheeler that my buddy owned.  Man I miss that thing!

OK, so back on topic.  I’m going to give you an in-depth analysis of the cost break down and how these savings came to be.  I’m going to assume a couple things and make this straight forward and simple.  There is no doubt in my mind that if you follow this guideline you too can save over a grand during college by simply cutting your own hair.

So, I was a freshman, brand new to the University of Washington.  I didn’t come from a family with money, so I was always looking for ways to cut expenses and save more of my money.  What better way to cut expenses than to cut expenses that you can control?  It was like a light bulb went off and buzzing my own hair became second nature to me.

I think it was my birthday and I had a buzzer on my list.  My Grandma ended up buying the hair clipper kit for me and I was well on my way.  Looking back, I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about a present before.  Maybe it had something to do with all the money I was going to save the next few years haha.

I was off and away.  During college, I ended up buzzing my hair once a month, not only to keep it short and looking sharp but for some odd reason, my hair grows really fast. I would typically get a professional haircut once a month, so this type of schedule came naturally to me.

Let’s dive into the typical haircut costs for me.  I’ll also touch on hair products and the associated costs for them.  Let’s assume one haircut a month and one shower a day for four years.  Here is the breakdown:

Professional barber cut= $15

Tip= $5

Bottle of shampoo/conditioner (mid range)= $7.50

Hair gel= $5.00

TOTAL= $32.50/month

$32.50 x 12 months x 4 years= $1,560


Cost of cutting my own hair?  FREE!

Yes, you’re seeing that right.  I saved a grand total of $1,560 during college by avoiding these costs!

Now that you know what I saved, you might be asking about the costs associated with cutting your own hair?  Well, for my situation, my only cost was time (usually would take me 20 minutes to buzz cut my hair) and maintenance of the hair clippers I received as a present.  Even if you had to pay for the clippers, I think the nicest ones in the store will run you $40.  You’d still be saving $1,520 if you had to buy your own clippers.  That cost is  negligible  since you’re saving that much over a long period of time.

Now that you know the cost savings associated with buzzing your own hair, let me give you some tips!

  1. Having a friend around to help is always nice.  Hitting certain angles can be hairy (no pun intended).
  2. Move slow with the clipper for a finer cut.  Moving too fast will grab at chunks of your hair.
  3. Always  perform a final pass through.  This will take care of stubborn hairs and hair at awkward angles.
  4. Use a hair guard that comes with the kit and try to shower right after.  This is your best bet for keeping your bathroom looking clean!
  5. Oil the hair clippers after each use.  This keeps the motor running smoothly and keeps the blades running sharp.
  6. For your convenience, don;t worry about blending in hair.  If you’re going to do a buzz cut, simply use a single number blade and it it on your entire head.

There you have it guys.  A real life, tried and tested method for saving money during college.  I’ll give you a warning though.  If you do this, the most  random  people will come up to you and ask if you’re a Marine.  Trust me, it’ll happen a lot.  At the end of the day, if you’re like me and want to save money during college, this was a strategy that saved me a significant amount of moolah’.  I totally understand if this won’t work for you or if you don’t want to buzz cut your hair.  There are plenty of other ways to save money during college.  Everyone has their own story and things they like to do.  For me, this came natural and I personally loved my buzz cut!

READERS: Would you ever consider this money saving strategy?  What other strategies have you used to help ease the burden of college expenses?