How to Save $240 Per Year on Haircuts

Things you’ll need:

Clippers

1 Imagine saving an hour of your time and a cool twenty dollars per month by cutting your own hair. It’s easier than you think and luckily “bald” is the new black. Go to your local drugstore and pick up a heavy duty pair of clippers. The average haircut costs $15 and there’s a tip so over the course of a year, you’ll save at least $240 in haircuts.

2 Select a guard for the hair length you desire – there should be several steps available. I personally like it trimmed as close to my head as possible.

3 Fire the clippers up and carefully run it through your head at a consistent angle. This will give you a uniform length. If you like it tapered, use a smaller guard and trim it closer at the neck, around the ears and wherever you’d like it closer. This is about your personal preference here. If you’re self confident and want to look rugged, just shave it all off. This will minimize the amount of time you spend dealing with your hair at all. I forgot to mention that you’ll save even more money by not having to buy shampoo.

4 Now that your head is shaved, clean up the mess and your clippers. There should be a little brush that came with them. Use a couple drops of oil on the blades to keep them sharp – as directed in the instructions that came with your clippers.

Tips & Warnings

If you have a close friend or spouse, ask them to clip your hair for you.

Put a towel around your shoulders to catch the clumps as they fall.

The hairs will get everywhere so plan to take a shower immediately after.

You can save even more money by not buying razor blades and trimming your head and beard the same length at the same time. Also saves time on shaving and not needing to buy shaving cream.

Don’t use clippers while intoxicated.

Be careful around eyebrows.

Resources

Change your financial outlook with this simple tip.

I have a friend that is second to none when it come to advise on almost any subject. He once offered me a tip that rocked my bottom line to its very core.

Going out to eat might be the single most expensive thing we do, the wife and I decided one day to not eat-out once in a calender year. To be honest when it was over, we had tons of money!

Where to find the best price?

Last week my wife bought our dog Haley a new pet bed. She went to Petco and picked one up for $20. It was too small, so we took it back and found a bigger one for the same price at Farm & Home. We were at Ross, dress for less, look like a mess and they have pet beds for half the price. In fact they had quite a few pet items that were much cheaper. Haley likes to chew pig’s hooves and they cost two bucks a piece at Petco. Susan found two attached to a rope (a fantastic dog toy) at Big Lots for a buck fifty.

When it comes to finding the best price for any consumer good – from apples to zinc – how could anyone possibly find the best bargain?

Dovetail this thought with the idea that was in the forefront of my consciousness this morning – the notion of community. Literally, a community is a group of people with a common interest and a common geographic location. Of course, the internet has changed the idea of community, removing geographic bonds in many instances. Relating to purchasing everyday consumer goods, community is still geographically bound. ie. the Big Lots on Appleway in Coeur d’Alene has pig’s hooves on a rope for a buck fifty and the Big Lots near you might not. Wouldn’t it be great if you could check with a community of shoppers who have taken the time to identify the best bargain on a particular item? Of course it would and I could create an online community but I fear I would be the only one uploading anything. There would be no shortage of people searching for the best price but I imagine very few people would be willing to take the time to upload their found bargains. I might be wrong about this. Facebook seems an example of community where people are willing to upload their information, rather than just search for others input. But even at that, people are really interested in navel gazing. It’s a community of ego stroking, time passing, game playing, Jesus is this day going to ever end, kind of activity. Facebook is perhaps one step above apathy.

Is anything meaningful being uploaded to the internet? Or is it all really just one giant advertisement?

Since I have this platform for random ranting, and since I already posted on Facebook this morning, I’ll continue. What I’d really like to see is a site that has a simple premise. Enter your city and search for an item that you want to buy. Everyone enters the location and price of items that they’ve purchased. I don’t have time to drive to every possible store to check out the price on any given item. I can check online prices but there’s discounts all over the place – moving sales, liquidations, or just plain stale merchandise a store wants to get rid of. Besides, I don’t want to wait 3 weeks for the dog’s chew toy and maybe that’s a bad example, perhaps it’s a television or a BBQ – whatever. I want to drive right to the store, know what the price is, know that it’s the best price in town and blamo, I buy it and feel good about it instead of finding out later that I overpaid like a sucker.

Who likes feeling duped when it comes to consumer goods?

I know what I’d like to see and I’m sure there are others who would like the same. Maybe this already exists and I just don’t know it. If you know, would you throw me a bone? I’m done for now. Must get some work done, post on Facebook, check some emails and figure out how the hell to get through this day.

How to deal with the real problems

Debt is caused by spending more money than one has, taking out a loan and building interest, or exceeding one’s credit line. Debt is also caused by job loss: getting fired, quitting or being laid off. Sometimes debt is much more than a problem with saving money or keeping track of finances. Debt can result from a gambling problem, substance abuse, or compulsive shopping. Spending money feels powerful for the buyer when the person feels powerless in other areas of one’s life. Constant phone calls and visits from bill collectors make the ordeal even worse. This problem can cause secrecy in the home, such as refusing to answer the phone, or making the family hide when someone is at the door. Children become confused and wonder what is wrong, and the spouse can get angry or depressed because of this problem.

Who is In Debt?
There are two groups of people that are in debt.

  • Group 1 – are the reckless people that don’t care or have spending problems.
  • Group 2 – are the people that make a lot of money, or they are in the middle class, but they all have one common thread – they made a few mistakes and got in over their heads. There are many ways to get in debt, but it’s so hard to get out.

Consumer counseling agencies are just as much to blame. The last thing you need when you have debt or credit problems is someone that is looking to get more out of your pocket. So where do you turn if you don’t have anyone on you side? See our Hardship Programs area for more guidance.

Debt causes an insurmountable amount of stress. Physical symptoms may develop over time: headaches, migraines, digestive problems, nausea, insomnia, chest pain, skin breakouts, body aches, and being more vulnerable to sickness. Stress also has a long list of behavioral symptoms: moodiness, restlessness, irritability, inability to relax, feeling overwhelmed, feeling hopeless or depressed, inability to concentrate, poor judgment, being pessimistic, anxious thoughts, constant worrying, and memory problems. The long-term affects of stress on the body can result high blood pressure and high cholesterol, obesity, ulcers, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, infertility, autoimmune disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and more. All of these symptoms affect the lifestyle of the entire family. Often what happens is a snowball affect: when one area of one’s life falls, the problems become larger and more varied and often exacerbates the first problem.
Fights are more likely to occur in a family struggling with debt. Money is a constant topic in arguments and every other problem seems to stem off from this one issue. Being in the home may feel like walking on eggshells. Everyone is filled with tension and the tiniest thing may set the family off and cause another outburst. Abuse may even occur or get worse when money is the central issue. Paying attention to the children may be lowered on the priority list, especially when one or both of the parents will have to get a second job. This will damage the relationship between parent and child, and they will have to grow up fast in order to become independent at a young age.

Money problems will also cause other problems, such as being behind in bills and getting the heat, water, or electricity shut off. It may also be difficult for the family to afford groceries and necessities for the family. Children may become confused when the television no longer works or when the family may have to sell their possessions. Holidays will become stressful when the family can barely afford to buy gifts or create a nice dinner. Instead of spending time buying healthy food, the family may turn to the quick, stress-free fast food restaurants, further damaging their health and causing other problems.
Debt also creates problems for the family in the future. With bad credit, banks and car dealers will not want to hand out loans. This makes it difficult to buy a new car, a new home, or take out a loan for other purposes. If taking out a loan is possible, the interest rates will skyrocket due to the bad credit. Employers sometimes do credit checks, which will hurt one’s chance of being hired, even if the person is the most qualified for the job. Even if the person is responsible and loyal, the world will now see them as high risk.

Congratulations, you have chosen to take the first step to make you future better. You will feel better about receiving a credit rating that you desire. First, you can make a difference in your credit. You should not need to use any services to make the changes that will help you. These changes are going to take time, and it can be frustrating. It is important to realize that there are no quick fixes. Any legitimate plan to improve your credit will take 6-24 months before you will start to see real results. One of the most frequently ask questions is: Will my credit be so good that I will be able to buy anything? The answer is simple – you get out what you put into it. The extra steps you take for your credit will improve it no matter how insignificant you feel it is. The minimal amount of reading you do on the subject will only benefit you. If you use the information provided from the book and research the info on the quality websites I provided for you, you will find yourself with the information you need to have the credit you always wanted.

I want to cover all the aspects of credit in this book. I will give you valuable information about credit cards, fixing credit, and using credit responsibly. Being in debt affects more than just your financial life. It creates stress and can be a time bomb in a house full of your loving family. It is important to take care of your debt for the betterment of your family and your self.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act:
This Act regulates the collection and use of your credit information. This law protects the information of credit card holders. Consumer Reporting Agencies have to abide by several rules, entitling you to certain rights, including one free credit report each year, and defining how long negative statements must be displayed on your report. This law also forces companies and employers to notify you if they have read your credit report and act negatively from this information.

Fees:
Have we become so reliant on credit and cards that we are a victim of our own convenience? The banks are taking a full press on our money. The return check fee once was only 12.00 dollars. I can see what has changed. Everything is more automated and should be cheaper. But is the bank passing the cost of doing business and the risk on to its customers? The banks bait you with convenience and charge you later. The best example is the Automatic Teller Machine (ATM). This use to be a free service to all banking customers, but now it has become big business. If you make $40,000 a year, your bank is making $3600 a year. This may be a low number for many. But now your local businesses have jumped on board and started to charge fees anywhere from .25 cents to a whopping .99 cents to process your debit card for your favorite meal. You need to ask yourself when is the last time you cancelled a transaction for a fee? We as hard-working customers need to draw the line and take our money back.

Inflated Cost Of Living:

  • Restocking fees
  • Money transfer fees
  • Growing gas prices
  • movie tickets
  • Energy cost

Hardship Programs:
If you don’t have any money to pay or get into a spot that you can’t get out of, the best way to look at your situation is to realize this is not going to get fixed over night. And when you are starting to accumulate debt the best thing to do is to call the companies that you owe money and start working on all the details. This is best done if you got all the bills together and get a number that you can pay and work with the creditors. Most companies will appreciate you trying to settle your debt even in a difficult situation.

Negotiation:
A good rule of thumb here is 50% of your total debt. Most collectors will settle the debt at this rate, and some will go lower. The best time to contact them is at the end of the month. Do not settle for more than you have.. Cutting your self short is the worst thing you can do. Start low and take your time. Do not feel rushed even when you are being rushed by the collector. Do not be intimidated.

Opt. Out:
Going underground is not a fool proof idea, but it is effective. There is some other stuff you can do to make this a better plan. Once you quit paying, you must save your money. Your creditors might not give up on you as you give up on them.

Paying Bad Debt:
Here are some helpful hints and things you need to think about before making up your mind to pay.

  1. What is the statue of limitations for your state?
  2. Depending on the time frame, how much is the debt going to settle for?
  3. Many experts suggest to never settle a debt that can not be removed. This might be the only chance you have to settle for deletion. The collection agency has little power to change your credit history as far as the credit.

Paying old debt:
Many people pay old debt out of guilt, but this is the worst reason to pay the debt. If you are looking to make amends for your old debt make sure you call the place you made the debt at the first place. Two things they

are likely to tell you:

  1. The debt was sent to collections and you need to contact them
  2. We are happy to help you!

The first is the most likely to happen, and now you will have to pay a collection agency instead of the company. You will have to pay the debt in a time frame of 3-6 months. The figure is likely 30% to 60% of the total debt. This number decreases after the debt ages a year. After 24-60 months you are being sold for pennies on the dollar. So, when you paying, you are paying to the highest bidder.

Stop Getting Calls:
The law allows you to make those annoying phone calls stop. Your phone will stop ringing off the hook! If a collection agency is over stepping its boundaries and calling you night and day, then send a “Cease and Desist Letter.” You can find a pre-written one online. Send this to the collection agency, and it will truly stop them in their tracks. Only send the letter if the collectors are being unruly and abusive.

Record phone calls:
*There are many laws to follow here. First, you need to look up the laws for your state on recording phone calls. Then, tell them you are recording the phone call. This often will lift the quality control and your experience. People do not like threatening people when they are being recorded. This will move the control back into your hands, and they will be more careful when talking to you. If they have a problem being recorded, tell them to hang up.

Credit Repair Facts:

  • Your score is not going to change over night.
  • You are having good success if you change your Score and have 3-5 removals.
  • Will everything come off you credit that is bad? Unfortunately, this is not likely to happen, but with some time (12- 36 Mo.) and work you can have some good results. Beware!

Since we can not list the credit issuers here we are just going to have to give you the warning signs. We know that most of you out there want credit, but in the long run it just is not worth it. If you have to pay something up front (even if they are going to help you out and put it on your balance) Any interest rate over 12% -24.9% this is too high to practice responsible borrowing

The #1 reason your broke

Have you ever thought why in the hell am I so broke?

Your car payment!  Cars are totally overrated in our society.  You need to get from A to B but do you really need a $32,000 Sienna to get you there?

If you have a normal car with an average loan payment, I would say you pay about $300.00 a month.

If you pay car insurance (and you do because it’s legally required in all 50 states), most likely you pay $125.00 a month.  ( I have 0 tickets and 0 accidents, an I pay $101.00 a month.)

If you pay car registration(again, of course you do unless you’re living in the country illegally), you most likely pay about $150.00 a year.

For maintenance and up keep of the motor vehicle (breaks, oil, fan belts, smog, tires, cleaning blood out of the trunk, wiper blades) I would say you spend at the very-least $500.00 a year.

I think most people pay about $60.00 bucks a week in gas.

Do those figures look about right to you?
It cost you about $8950.00 a year to drive this car. I think most of you would agree, these figures are low.

It was shocking even for me to see.

Now why in the world do people spend so much on their cars??  We’ve been programmed from a really early age to view our self worth by the car we drive.  Sounds ridiculous?  Perhaps–particularly when you consider that a car is a depreciating asset.  That just means, and you know it when you’re upside down, that from the moment the car is driven off the lot, it decreases in value, although your payment stays the same.  And many people, to afford the high sticker prices on new cars will take a 7 year loan.  Do you know what that car is worth at the end of 7 years?  Most likely, it’s very close to inhabiting a junk yard which if you haven’t seen one of these auto graveyards lately, it’s an eye opener.  As a society we treat cars as disposable items.

You want to stop being broke?  Seriously, get a reliable used car that somebody’s already taken the hit on its depreciation and keep it maintained until it can no longer drive.  I read in the book the Millionaire Next Door, that a majority of millionaires polled said that they NEVER buy a brand new car, they look for a two year old car in great shape.  They don’t care what other people think of them about the car they drive, why should you?

Ten biggest mistakes broke people make

There are some obvious reasons people stay broke; unemployment, underemployment, sick, disabled, lazy or unemployable.  If you’re working, living paycheck to paycheck, and feel broke all the time, check out this list of the top ten reasons people find themselves poor.

1.  Borrowing money to get out of debt.
There’s an old saying, “robbing Peter to pay Paul,” which basically means borrowing money to repay debt–and it’s a bad thing.  Here’s why:  When you’re in debt, your first priority should be getting out of debt.  Many people made the mistake of taking home equity loans to pay off school loans, credit cards and consumer loans.  When the housing market fell out and they found themselves upside in their house, they already had a new batch of credit card and consumer loans –and they lost their home.  When you’re broke, the rate of interest you get on these loans is higher than when you’re flush with cash.  Don’t ask me why this is, it just is.  Also, people that are broke often borrow from payday loans or pawn their stuff and the interest rate is astronomical.  If you’re broke you need to be “all cash, all the time.”  If you don’t have the cash for it, you can’t afford it.  And don’t borrow from family and friends because when you can’t repay it and you won’t, it causes break-ups of these relationships.

2.  Recurring Bills and Auto Withdrawals
Recurring bills are those things you purchase and pay monthly for, ie.  insurance, cell phone, cable, broadband, movies, music, utilities, etc.  You know it’s recurring because you’re either in a contract or if you don’t pay for it, they shut it off.  If you’re broke, you should look at every single recurring bill, decide that you can or can’t live without it and get rid of it.  Because of online banking, many people take on new recurring bills and set them to auto pay.  While it may seem convenient to do this – if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, there will be a day when there’s not enough in the bank to cover that auto withdrawal and that will cost you $35-$55 per occurrence.  Shut off all auto pay and manually pay those recurring bills, a $5 late fee is better than a $50 overdraft charge.

3.  Dining Out/Fast Food
As a culture, we’ve gotten lazy about our food preparation.  Everyone has to eat and there is always an expense to it but eating out regularly is a recipe for being broke.  Taking your lunch to work will save you hundreds every month.  Eating in can save you thousands in a year.  And realize this – when you do go out to eat, the most expensive thing you can do is drink something other than water.  At fast food restaurants, they’ll sell you a double cheeseburger for $1 and a large Coke for $1.75.  Where do you suppose the profit is for them?  If you’re in a restaurant and order beer and wine, you’re likely to double your ticket.  If you want to stay broke, keep eating out, order the so-called value meals and pay retail for liquor.

4.  Not saving money.
The silliest thing you can do with your earnings is spend it all every check.  The old saying pay yourself first should be your rule.  Yes, this can seem hard at first, especially when you’re broke but it’s the only thing that can provide you a light through the broke down tunnel to financial freedom.  When you get paid, take ten percent of it and put it in savings.  Then when your car breaks down at least you can get it fixed without having to take a payday loan or borrow money from family or whatever.  You might even be able to take an opportunity that can make you more money if you just had a little you could invest.  Broke people consistently spend everything they make – don’t do it.

5.  Mishandling creditors
This is a huge area of being broke with many aspects.  Mishandling creditors includes not communicating with creditors when you have a problem.  Most creditors will work with you if you cannot pay one month.  You can call and negotiate settlements of old debts.  You can even call and get a lower interest rate on most loans.  Broke people stick their heads in the sand with regard to their problems with creditors.  The result, poor credit history, increased rates, collection calls, lawsuits and finally lack of any credit whatsoever.

6.  Not staying current
In addition to mishandling creditors, many broke people just cannot stay current with their bills.  When these are “optional” bills like cell phone, cable, movie rentals, and other luxury bills, this is just stupid.  Late charges, suspended accounts, bad credit reporting, are just a few of the problems that come from not keeping current.  Staying current is really just paying attention, particularly if you actually have the money to pay.  Maintaining your mail is a must and timely writing the check is essential.  Don’t be silly, pay those bills on time or get poorer.

7.  Sin Taxes
Ok, so you like to drink, smoke, take drugs, go to strip clubs, whatever.  Know that the one pack of day smoker pays at least $150 per month for tobacco.  Do these things if you want but know that they’re all heavily taxed, leave you nothing to show for your money and are a reason that you’re always broke.

8.  Making unrealistic promises.
Every broke person knows this situation:  your cable is due to shut off on Friday so you call the provider and tell them that you’re expecting a check on the following Monday if they could just wait.  They might but that check you’re expecting probably won’t arrive.  Unfortunately your best bet if you’re unsure is to just let the cable go – if you’re broke you shouldn’t be watching tv anyway.  This goes for all credit accounts and loan repayment obligations.  Don’t promise anything, just pay when you can and negotiate to get rid of it as fast as possible.

9.  Excessive Consumer Goods
We live in a consumer based economy and are constantly bombarded to buy new stuff.  What broke people tend to do is when they get paid, they buy new stuff.  If you’re broke you shouldn’t be buying stuff, you should be selling it.  You should try to recoup your losses on luxury items and non-necessities you’ve purchased over the years.

10.  Ridiculous Repayment Programs
Sometimes it’s helpful to consult with a professional about how to go about getting out of debt but under no circumstances should you sign up for a debt repayment program.  What happens to you in those is worse than filing for bankruptcy and they’re profiting at your expense.  If you really want to get out of debt and get some financial freedom, make sure you’re not guilty of numbers 1-9 of this list and do it yourself.