How I’m saving money in a down economy

I was speaking at a WITI conference this weekend on professional development. One of my fellow panelists make remark about how NPR had said that estimates for unemployed people in this country was around 1.4 million and then cracked “that’s a lot of new blogs.” I nervously laughed. Ummm. I DID get laid off in July. And I DID just start this blog. I know I’m a little behind the times but am I really that predictable? Well, I’m not trying to do anything innovative. I’m just enjoying a creative outlet.
Speaking of creative outlets, I’ve found a new way to reduce my spending and embrace my inner stylist. That’s right. I do my own hair. Men – don’t stop reading now. You just might appreciate your wife a little more after this.
After 3 1/2 years with my stylist, affectionately known as the Hair Nazi, I’ve decided to make a break for it. You see, we call him the Hair Nazi because he likes to have his way with your hair. You wouldn’t tell a doctor how to care for you, would you? Why would you tell a hair professional what to do with your hair? That’s HIS job. He picks the color. He picks the length. He picks the cut. You have a little say-so but he still holds veto power. So what would make me subject myself to this sort of abuse? He’s good. Very good. My favorite story of his is how a woman came in after the holidays and desperately needed help fixing her daughter’s pink hair. It was supposed to be temporary but 4 salons later she found out otherwise. So the Hair Nazi spent hours and ultimately restored her lush blond locks. His response to the mother’s shock and awe? “Only two people can do this. Me and Jesus.”
He’s got all the confidence in the world. The color makes my hair so soft and the haircuts are always flattering. But I don’t really want short, blondish type hair anymore. (See “before” photo at left). And I was paying $180 a visit. (Men, if your wife/girlfriend spends less than that, you cannot ever give them grief again). Granted, that included cut and color and a large tip. But when unemployment comes knocking on your door, you just might need to make some changes.
So 2 weeks after I was laid off, I went to the store and bought my first box of hair color in a long, long time. I even had to call the L’Oreal help line for assistance (they were great). I soon turned my hair into a rich chocolate brown. What a feeling of freedom! Not only could I start saving money but the hair oppression was gone! (See “the new me” at right).
In fact, I got so confident that I thought I could cut my own hair too! (See my inspiration below. Hmmm, come to think of it, maybe now I understand the problem.)

Ladies, if you aren’t married, don’t try this at home. You still have to hang onto your good looks. As for me? It’s not horrible and probably unnoticeable to the untrained eye. But  the lesson learned is that hair grows back and some things are worth paying for, even when you’re unemployed.