This week is a little odd for me as I didn't go shopping at all! Well, except for Claire's at the mall. I really didn't mean to shop in there. It was a complete accident. I totally fell in and once you're in, as a mother of an almost four year old who has hair like this:
Well, I can't really be blamed for my actions now can I?
I knew you'd understand.
So I thought I'd discuss something that has come up in conversation in my real life: When does saving money end up costing you more in the end? Ever experienced this? Well, of course you have, you're normal. There are some things I've learned NOT to skimp on because I end up paying for my tight-waddedness (yes, that's a word. Look it up!) later down the road.
Case in point:
I pay $37.00 to get my hair cut. I know some of you just hit the floor because your heart stopped and all the blood ran out of your head. That's okay, I'll wait.
Good, you're back. Anyhoo, I've spent years - make that DECADES - getting my hair cut at those convenient, walk-right-in, low-end chop shops, never spending more than $10 or $12 on a cut. And it showed! Let me tell you a little something about my hair. See my daughter's hair up there? Well, double it and you've got mine. Add in the coarseness of a horse's tail and the frizz of a 70's Troll doll and you've got yourself the "before" picture of any "OMG! Who let you out of the house" troubled-hair product.
After explaining in great detail, the personality of my hair and how I wanted it cut, I would end up with a haircut that never really resembled what I was going for. Why didn't I just go back and have them fix it? Most places offer a free fix within seven days but I ask you - WHY would I go back to the person who messed it up to begin with? That never made any sense to me. Add to the fact that I almost always took the blame for "miscommunicating" what I wanted to begin with.
As a result, I ended up paying to have someone else fix it or waiting for it to grow out a little so I could go back and try again. This resulted in more haircuts during the year than needed. And, of course, more money spent.
I finally decided one day that I'd had enough and went to a "real" salon. Not one of those upscale, high-end "our perms don't stink" salons. No, really more of a middle of the road kind of place. It was there that I met Cyndi.
Cyndi just "knows" my hair. She has this sort of clairvoyance with follicles like I've never seen. The first time she did my hair (color & cut) I literally jumped up & down, let out a joyful noise and gave her a hug. NO ONE has done for my hair what Cyndi has done! As a result of staying loyal to Cyndi, I am no longer going back in, here & there, having my hair fixed. I get a cut maybe two to three times a year now. That's all it needs. Though I pay more per cut, in the long run, I am saving money paying more for these few cuts a year than I was paying for the several fix-its I was before.
Well, I spent more time on my hair than intended. That happens in front of the mirror as well. I didn't even touch on shampoos and conditioners. Don't even get me started on saving money on Suave and VO5. I've been that route before, too, and it's just not pretty. I'll spend a little more in that area as well.
But, now that I think about it, since I've been shopping at CVS - thanks to MoneySavingMom - I'm getting all my shampoo and conditioner for FREE anyway!
Other areas I won't skimp:
Carseats - Three years ago, we spent $300 on a Britax carseat for our daughter because Britax is rated #1 in carseat safety. To us, this is non-negotiable. We simply will not skimp on our children's safety. This carseat will take our son through the next two years. This comes out to .16 cents a day spent on this carseat. Well worth it.
Wood Toys - Specifically, Melissa and Doug wood toys. I'm not a toy purest or anything. There are plenty of plastic toys in this house but when I can buy a Melissa and Doug toy, I do. Yes, they are more expensive than other wood toy brands but the Melissa and Doug brand have shown me that they can weather the wear and tear of constant toddler play. I have found most of my Melissa and Doug playthings either on sale or I've been able to use a store coupon, making the purchase an even greater value. All of my daughter's Melissa and Doug toys are in excellent condition and ready to take on years of play with the boy.
Lysol Wipes - Would it be cheaper to just buy a generic brand of cleaner in a bottle and a rag? Sure, it would. But in a two-story house with three full baths plus a kitchen, I like to keep a tub of wipes in each. This makes quick clean-ups easier and faster (meaning, I'm more likely to do them) as opposed to setting aside a day/time to clean those areas (not as likely to do). My time is of value, too. Why Lysol and not the generic version? I've tried the cheaper brands but, in my opinion, having to use three or more wipes to do the job of one Lysol wipe is not saving money, so I go with the brand name. Plus, I'm likely to find them on sale somewhere and there's almost always a coupon in the paper for Lysol products.
I used to use cloth baby wipes on my daughter soaked in my own kid-friendly solution. I'm not opposed to using this technique with cleaning solutions. If anyone has a cleaning solution recipe they'd like to share, please do so. I'd love to hear it!
There are other areas I won't skimp on but I think I've gone on long enough. Now, I'd like to hear about the areas or items that you have found trying to save money on has actually cost you more in the end.
Bonus: Be sure to come back later in the week. I feel a Bloggy Giveaway coming on!