Sunday, January 7, 2007

Frugal and Generous: Not Incompatible!

Nomi was in town and needed a haircut. She debated which salon. Since she just wanted a trim, she didn't think it was necessary to go to an upscale stylist for the $40 type cut, though that salon was more conveniently located. She opted for The Haircuttery which specializes in $13 cuts. This seems to me like a perfect example of when to spend more money and when to spend less. You don't need a luxury atmosphere to cut 1/2" off of long straight hair. If you have a short hair style and need to look spiffy, the more upscale salon is well worth it.
We did, however, give a nice tip to her hair cutter - $3. 00, about 25%. Of course that's on a fairly low-priced cut. The equivalent tip for the $40 haircut would be $10. It's a lot harder to support yourself on $13 cuts.
I am starting to think about tipping as subsidizing low income working people, not necessarily just a reward (or tax) for service. I also like being frugal when there's no downside (like the $13 cut), but not skimping on the tip, and in fact trying to go up in that direction.
Bloggers spend a lot of time distinguishing being cheap from being frugal. It's definitely a balancing act.

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