Sweat the small (and big) stuff
But many places charge $40 or
more for these same exact services, and it's doubtful that the quality is any
better. My friend Sylvia used a gift certificate that she received at a posh spa
where the haircuts cost $75. For that amount of money, you expect to walk out
looking like a masterpiece. But she was not happy with the haircut at all, and
said as much to the hair artist, who took revenge with his scissors. No, he didn't
murder her, but she liked the revised haircut even less.
You don't get what you pay for with haircuts. I have
great respect for people with a knack for cutting hair, but the best ones don't
necessarily work at swanky salons. It's easy enough to find a good hairdresser
at an inexpensive joint and stick with him or her.
payoff: Let's say you get 10 haircuts a year at $24 including tip versus
$48 at a salon. Savings: $240 a year. Invest that amount in a tax-deferred retirement
account earning 8 percent annually and in 30 years you will have $27,188.
you use nail clippers and a file to manicure your nails, instead of going to the
nail salon every two weeks at $17 a pop, you could have over $50,000 saved up
in 30 years.
2. Major appliances
The choices: I watched the
"Babel" DVD recently and was struck by the austere living conditions
of the people who reside in a village near Tazarine, Morocco. Major appliances
are not a part of their lifestyle.
Here in America we don't
have to launder clothing by hand or thrash them against rocks. We have myriad
options. The latest flyer from Sears displays standard washers and dryers ranging
from $600 to $900 a pair.
Alternatively, you could buy a burgundy Kenmore Elite
king size front load washer on sale for $1,425 plus matching burgundy
dryer for an additional $1,092. The sale price for a Pacific blue
Elite Oasis Canyon washer is $1,140; add another $1,045 for the
Now, remember, the goal is to get your
clothes clean. But if you want to project your status by purchasing colorful,
trendy appliances, you're taking yourself to the cleaners, as they say. I'm not
sure that visitors will be impressed if you parade them through your laundry room.