I have been investing/placing trades in the stock market for over 5 years now. I was just a youngin' at 18 when I became hooked on the markets. For me, it was initially about the possibility of amassing amazing wealth from anywhere in the world. So long as I had internet access and a broker to connect to, my office could be anywhere.
I have made some fairly lucrative investments, including in Coca-Cola, AT&T, and the tech titan Apple. But my percentage returns on these equities are nowhere near the return on my most lucrative investment: My handheld barber clippers.
That is right. You read that correctly. My handheld barber clippers have been my most amazing investment of all-time. (For women, a nice pair of scissors can be had for about the same price.) Now let me explain: I am an ultimate DIYer, I like to do things myself if I can. I love that once you learn a skill, it can be leveraged throughout the rest of your life. So this past January (2018) I thought to myself: If someone else can cut my hair, I bet I can figure out how to do it too.
There was an obvious learning curve (my haircut was the talk of the family Easter Sunday dinner......), but after doing it a few times I really got the hang of it. Now I can cut my hair at near barbershop level quality, without having to pay a barbershop level fee, in less than 30 minutes.
The cost of it all, about $25 and 25 minutes of my time per haircut, has churned out the most ridiculous return I have ever seen in such a short period of time. A haircut goes for around $20-$30, so I'll use $25 as my total cost of haircut. (but this does not include gas going to/from the barbershop or the hour of total time spent driving and receiving the cut.)
I used to get my hair cut about once a month, so doing it myself has provided a cost savings of ~$275 during the 11 months from January 2018 to November 2018. This does not include special occasions where I would run in for a quick shape-up, etc. My percent return on the investment, calculated as ((current value - initial investment)/initial investment), has been over 1000% so far.
But the BEST PART is that this will continue on for the rest of my life. I now have the ability to save the cost of a haircut FOREVER. All because I took the time to learn the skill and made the initial investment.
The most popular argument against this way of thinking is: Well MDAS, you are now spending your time, so the cost savings isn't as amazing as you think...
And to that counter with this: In my view, I am actually saving my time AND the planet. Here's how:
I do not have to drive TO/FROM the barbershop (approx a 10 minute, 5 mile drive)- According to the EPA, one mile of driving in an average vehicle emits about 404 grams of CO2. This 5 mile trip would equate to approximately 2,020 grams of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere. By not driving anywhere to get a haircut, I am cutting my personal CO2 emissions by 4,040 grams EVERY time I cut my hair from home. In addition, that 20 minute drive round-trip is about the time it takes me to cut my own hair. I am actually saving some time by not driving to the barber shop, waiting in the lobby for five minutes, sitting in the chair for 30 minutes, and then driving back home.
If I was to figure all of these external factors into my calculation, my total return would be ridiculous. Not just in monetary terms, but also in regard to our environment. We won't be able to live on this planet for long if we keep treating it like garbage, so I try to do my small part.
I have tried to learn some other cool and applicable skills, like minor home/car repairs, tech maintenance, and obviously how to manage my own finances. By doing these things myself, or by understanding them thoroughly enough to be able to bargain with someone else that can do them, it saves time and money. It also generally feels good to know what you're talking about.
Is there anything you do yourself to save money, time, or the planet? I would love to hear about it! Send me your DIY lifehacks to the MakeDollarsAndSense instagram HERE.
If you thought this was helpful, terrible, or somewhere in the middle, please leave me feedback in the form of a Direct Message on instagram @MakeDollarsAndSense, or feel free to send me an e-mail/text to the information on my Home Page. I truly appreciate constructive criticism and opposing views, so bring em on!
P.S. New blog posts coming your way every Monday!
I love books, so it is probably a natural progression that I have come to LOVE AUDIOBOOKS! Here is a link to a 30-day free trial to Audible, along with TWO free audiobooks of your choice. Don't like the service? No problem, they will let you cancel and you'll even get to keep the books you chose to try. Enjoy!