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fatbill said: worst sticky ever. See FWF about how to create/maintain a sticky.I've also wondered why this was a sticky.

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The idea is good. I got a laborer and a maid. I pay them $10 per hour to do the work I don't want to do. On average I spend $200 per month, but I get to work 20 hours on other things or make more money. It is well worth it, but very hard to get good reliable people, it can take years to build this relationship. Otherwise you can pay more $ and not have to worry too much about that.

Otherwise I'd say first get organized as much as possible and try to do things as much as you can yourself, and then outsource the work you don't like to do.

Does anyone use iGoogle or Netvibes? I use iGoogle to sort all my links so they are all a click away. Does anyone know of a better online solution?

One thing I was trying to find is online grocery site that will compare local food prices. Couldn't find anything. Suggestions?

One of the things I use is hostmonster.com for saving on web hosting and doing online script work. Anything you can think of that is web based service they have it included in their basic package. Their services are awesome for like $5 per month. You have like a free web disk so you can store your data securely. It is similar office live add-in.

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Edited OP to add:

This OP will not be updated with all the good strategies as those are being collected in the quick summary just below. Please add to the quick summary only really good ideas that save time, minimize hassle etc.

This thread, and especially the quick summary is not a place to share general household tips, or money-saving tips etc. It is for time-saving tips, especially ones that cost money but are well worth the cost.



If you don't like the thread, just click on "toggle not interested in this thread" and then you never have to see it again. Obviously others who have limited time find the strategies discussed here useful. If others prefer to spend their hours chasing .05% better yield or clipping coupons to save $0.50. They are welcome to do so.

Meanwhile, the "toggle not interested in this thread" is a great feature. I prefer to save time by toggling off the threads of people discussing the strategies and tactics of hours spent chasing 2 basis points and fifty cent mail in rebates.

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LittleB407 said: Use a corporate maid service. Not an individual. (Sorry folks) But most individuals are less expensive but don't care the liability insurance. I bet some do but I prefer to stay the protected route.

I don't leave out things that they can steal. Just like the above poster, remove the risk and minimize the possibilities.
(I guess it's easier to do when single).

Word of mouth referrals for individual maids goes a long way however.


A corporate maid service might be preferable to a random person who has to advertise on craigslist, but a corporate service may have cleaners with a lot of turnover, and may include untrustworthy people.

Better than a corporate service would be an individual or small and steady team that is recommended by a friend or neighbor who has a long history with them. The really good and smart cleaners know that they can make more by not sharing their profits with a corporate service and usually have waiting lists of people for their service and don't have to drum up business through a corporate service or through craigslist.

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Another program I purchased about 8 months ago is RoboForm.

It's available for review/download/trial etc at www.roboform.com

It is time saver because I don't have to strain my wrists to type passwords for various online acocunts, forums, bank accounts etc.

I can't stress how much I love this program!

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guppy said: 9. Car trunk should always be empty, you never know what you might need to store in there in a pinch

You mean like a body?



My car trunk is full because I never know where I may need something.

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Psycho41 said: Banking

Get a checking account that lets you mail in checks in using pre-paid envelopes, such as Schwab Investor Checking or Fidelity Mysmart Cash. One less errand to run during the day.


That sounds good but for someone interested in establishing a relationship with a bank then I've learned that going with a relatively small stable bank and having a $20,000 average checking balance with them really helps you get loans from them for local real estate purchases. Somebody big like Schwab or Wells Fargo have so much hierarchy that if the rules say one thing you rarely can ever get them to change/bend the rules for you. I have been able to do that, get higher LTV's (95%), lower interest rates on loans (it was a HELOC, prime - 0.5, so 4%)...and this was November 2008 when the market had already tanked! And I've been able to mingle with the bank president who, though very conservative, can approve practically any loan and just keep it on their books if needed!

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Why is this a sticky? It is just diluting the importance of the stickies.

It is not as if newbies are going to come to the finance forums in droves to ask about how they would save time.

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PLay426662 said: These are note-worthy tips that I will have to try out. Here's my two-cents. They are more productivity tips than time-saving.

1. Don't do work w/ TV on. (except maybe sit-ups/crunches/push-ups)
2. Prioritize!
3. Develop good habits. (i.e. make your bed when you wake up)
4. If something is not worth your time, don't do it. (spending an hour trying to save a buck on an item.)
5. stop being lazy.
6. stock up on quarters and dollar bills. (for laundry & other purposes)
7. perform a productivity/time audit every week/month to see what you can improve on.
8. Always plan ahead!
9. Car trunk should always be empty, you never know what you might need to store in there in a pinch.
10. When you leave your car, find and throw out a piece of trash. (this habit keeps the car clean)
11. When you leave your apartment/house, look to see if you need to take out any trash.
12. EXPAND THIS THREAD!

-cheers


good stuff bud! I do most of it already but I've never heard of a productivity/time audit, that's a nice new concept which I am going to try. And although I know I should be developing good habits and prioritizing, I don't do much of that well (GTD doesn't emphasize prioritizing as much).

the best one: EXPAND THIS THREAD

and by the way on the guy who got red because of the joke...I wouldn't give red, but I would've called it out. That way he/she would have an opportunity to improve his joking skills without the hard of a "red." I'm surprised somebody would do that in a forum like this.

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use Alt + Tab to quickly hide FW when you hear your boss' steps. a split second saved here might help saving your job

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caycarem said: use Alt + Tab to quickly hide FW when you hear your boss' steps. a split second saved here might help saving your job Your boss won't respect you unless you show at least a little bit of contempt for her or him and the company in general.

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Keep an extra postage stamp or two in your wallet.

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princessida said: skadoo323 said: Xnarg said: VanceWade said: For men: Choose one to three styles of socks and buy 6-10 identical pairs of each style all at one time. Throw all your other socks away or donate usable pairs to charity. Then, when it's time to do laundry, no need to pair up socks. Just grab any two of the same style, and they will match. Also, if you get a hole in one sock or lose one sock, it's no big deal. Eventually the number will even back out. When the socks begin looking worn, replace all of the same style simultaneously.

In my case, I have tan Gold Toe socks to wear with khakis and white crew socks to wear with jeans. I do keep a couple of pairs of other socks for wear with certain suits. But in a perfect world...
Great idea - I do that!


Good idea. Also another option for those who tend to have a hard time finding their socks after they have been in the washing machine or dryer may want to consider one of those netted laundry bags that you can throw in either machine. Bed Bath Beyond sells something like this and I am sure other stores do too. I think the one they sell is meant for lingerie, but I use it to keep all my socks together.


I have four children. Each child has their own one brand/style of sock. The alternative would be unthinkable chaos.


Alternatively you could make or "pay" your children to do their own laundry. That has quite a few benefits but we'll just stick with the time it saves you. Also, use hot water and don't bother with detergent unless your clothes are legitimately soiled.

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Great Thread! I have been reflecting on it all week.And now, I think our entire culture is going to be doing this big time (it's about time).

I am always thinking of ways to be resourceful and conserve time and money. It can be a fun game/challenge.

Some other time/money savers...(sorry if I am repeating any from other posts)

*Insulate! No better return on investment than this one. In the attic go with as much as you can (cellulose is the best way to go).

*When shopping for a home (and especially if building one)find one that has a proper orientation to the sun (southern if in a climate with cold weather). This way you can optimize sun in the Winter and minimize it in the Summer. We moved into a home with great southern exposure and it changed our lives. We rarely have heat on in the Winter if the sun is out and our mental health is greatly boosted by the abundant light.

*I rarely eat more than one meal a day. A little grazing at other times, but that is usually plenty. Science is showing that health and energy in leaner people is significantly better.

*Get a watt meter that let's you see how much energy an appliance uses, even when not operating.

*Keep hot water tank at 120 degrees or so (many keep it at 140).

*Get some inexpensive home automation units to control lights and some appliances. These little remotes are something I am grateful for every day. They save me much time and energy (both mine and electrical). The convenience is a true luxury as well. I use X-10 (which I learned about in the crazy early days of FW) which I picked up dirt cheap, but I'd buy them all over again at full price if I had to.

*Rechargable batteries with a reliable charging system. Lacrosse and Maha (search FW for a lot of educational threads)make great chargers for about $40. Expensive but the best technology. ON the batteries, go with nothing but the slow discharge technology (Eneloops or the Ray-o-vac hybrid). These keep their charge for a long time on the shelf (or in the camera etc.)unlike normal NIMH which lose all power within a month usually- used or not.

*Buy at least one LED headlamp. One of the best tools ever. We use these all the time. They are a simple, yet brilliant answer to most of one's lighting needs. Our best headlamp is an older (couple years) Ray-o-vac (I don't like the newer ones as well)that has both white and red LEDs. You can choose either depending on the kind of light you need. We live in the country and I like to walk using the red lights which don't effect night vision. Because they are LED the three AAA batteries (rechargable hybrids of course) last for a very long time.

Finally, remember the importance of buying locally (saving time and money)and supporting businesses closer to home (non chains keep a significantly higher number of dollars in a community than the chains). While buying from a local business may be higher than a Wal-Mart, remember there are many ways to calculate real costs and benefits of your buying choices.

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I just recently began wearing diapers. I gained an extra 3.5 hours a week I used to spend in the toilet. According to my time-money math model I programmed in vba excel, I am gaining an extra $225.39 per week less the cost of the diapers and laundering, cloth of course. You do have to get used to the aweful stink and humiliation, though.

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Buy a postage scale off eBay for $20-30 and save lots of time over waiting in line at the post office.

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0AfterRebates said: guppy said: 9. Car trunk should always be empty, you never know what you might need to store in there in a pinch

You mean like a body?



My car trunk is full because I never know where I may need something.


My trunk is empty because less weight = less food. On my 40 mile commute there is not one place where I'm further then a stones throw away from a house. Plus I have a cell phone. The days off carrying crap in my car are over!

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okeedokee said: Finally, remember the importance of buying locally (saving time and money)and supporting businesses closer to home (non chains keep a significantly higher number of dollars in a community than the chains). While buying from a local business may be higher than a Wal-Mart, remember there are many ways to calculate real costs and benefits of your buying choices.

Finally someone else that realizes this! Paying an extra 20 cents for a gallon of milk or extra $1 for a pack of socks at a local store won't kill you and will help your community more than you realize! Plus the time value saved is definitely worth it for me! No driving to the chains and waiting in line.

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Use major appliances (washers, dryers, dishwashers) at night. Electric rates get much cheaper during the night time. Find out what your rates are for what time periods and go from there.

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timothy86 said: Use major appliances (washers, dryers, dishwashers) at night. Electric rates get much cheaper during the night time. Find out what your rates are for what time periods and go from there.This depends on your utility, in many places the cost of electricity is still the same regardless of when you use it.

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timothy86 said: Use major appliances (washers, dryers, dishwashers) at night. Electric rates get much cheaper during the night time. Find out what your rates are for what time periods and go from there.

It's cheaper for the utility companies that actively trade for power and fuel on the market, but whether they pass that savings on to you varies by company.

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mttatkns said: timothy86 said: Use major appliances (washers, dryers, dishwashers) at night. Electric rates get much cheaper during the night time. Find out what your rates are for what time periods and go from there.This depends on your utility, in many places the cost of electricity is still the same regardless of when you use it.

I will give you an example of rates from my electric company for small residential:

June 1st - Sept 30

Peak: 27.35 per kWh
Off Peak: 5.78 per kWh (10PM - 8AM)

Oct 1st - May 31st

Peak: 8.88 per kWh
Off Peak: 4.37 per kWh (10PM - 8AM)

Rates for 2008 at my power company

As you can see, there is a very large summer differences in kWh. In the winter there is very little difference but in the summer you can have quite a large savings. This is why it is important to read your power companies rates and hours those rates are applicable.

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maybe i missed something, but somehow this thread seems to have completely turned around-- it started as ways to save TIME that might not save money but are worth it to avoid the hassle and make for a better life. now it's becoming more like your average "top ways to save around the house" tips.

don't get me wrong, i like tips like those as well, but i think it would be more useful to have a thread of "easy ways to save" where things like "insulate" and "do laundry at night" would be valuable contributions, since neither of those save time, just money, and therefore are a bit OT here.

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timothy86 said: mttatkns said: timothy86 said: Use major appliances (washers, dryers, dishwashers) at night. Electric rates get much cheaper during the night time. Find out what your rates are for what time periods and go from there.This depends on your utility, in many places the cost of electricity is still the same regardless of when you use it.

I will give you an example of rates from my electric company for small residential:

June 1st - Sept 30

Peak: 27.35 per kWh
Off Peak: 5.78 per kWh (10PM - 8AM)

Oct 1st - May 31st

Peak: 8.88 per kWh
Off Peak: 4.37 per kWh (10PM - 8AM)

Rates for 2008 at my power company

As you can see, there is a very large summer differences in kWh. In the winter there is very little difference but in the summer you can have quite a large savings. This is why it is important to read your power companies rates and hours those rates are applicable.
It's definitely important to be familiar with your power company's charges, but again your situation is not the case for many people. For example here are my electric rates. It doesn't matter when the power is used, but each month you have a baseline quantity and the charge per kwh increases as you use more, so it would be advisable to operate large appliances before the end of one billing statement if you are under your average usage and wait until the beginning of the next billing statement if you are over.

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lettezilla said: maybe i missed something, but somehow this thread seems to have completely turned around-- it started as ways to save TIME that might not save money but are worth it to avoid the hassle and make for a better life. now it's becoming more like your average "top ways to save around the house" tips.

don't get me wrong, i like tips like those as well, but i think it would be more useful to have a thread of "easy ways to save" where things like "insulate" and "do laundry at night" would be valuable contributions, since neither of those save time, just money, and therefore are a bit OT here.
there are plenty of threads on ways to save, be cheap, etc.; they just aren't stickies.

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lettezilla said: maybe i missed something, but somehow this thread seems to have completely turned around-- it started as ways to save TIME that might not save money but are worth it to avoid the hassle and make for a better life. now it's becoming more like your average "top ways to save around the house" tips.

don't get me wrong, i like tips like those as well, but i think it would be more useful to have a thread of "easy ways to save" where things like "insulate" and "do laundry at night" would be valuable contributions, since neither of those save time, just money, and therefore are a bit OT here.
Do you have any ideas of your own to contribute? The more, the merrier.

Here's another suggestion: watch the movie Cheaper By The Dozen, the old 1950's one, not the new one (I personally can go to our public library's web site and find it, put it on hold, etc - great for time/hassle savings). Or read the original book, but watching the movie takes less time and is quite entertaining. It's about a real life efficiency expert who tries to run the household on efficient lines. Though it's meant to make fun of efficiency, there are some good ideas in it.

Also, there is a book called The 4 Hour Workweek, by Timothy Ferriss. He's big on hiring personal assistants and so on from India online for very little money. An interesting book about saving time etc.

The David Allen book Getting Things Done is popular, but it didn't do much for me.

I borrowed the previous two in audiobook from the library and listened to them in the car.

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lettezilla said: maybe i missed something, but somehow this thread seems to have completely turned around-- it started as ways to save TIME that might not save money but are worth it to avoid the hassle and make for a better life. now it's becoming more like your average "top ways to save around the house" tips.

don't get me wrong, i like tips like those as well, but i think it would be more useful to have a thread of "easy ways to save" where things like "insulate" and "do laundry at night" would be valuable contributions, since neither of those save time, just money, and therefore are a bit OT here.


Well said. I revised the OP title and the OP itself to bold and emphasize the language that was already there:

This thread collects strategies that **SAVE TIME**, even if the strategies cost money.

This is the opposite of strategies that take lots of time to save a few bucks. Instead, spend a few bucks, and save lots of time.

These strategies that may not be the absolute $cheapest$ in direct monetary cost/savings, but represent a good balance of money vs. time/hassle/aggravation for those who don't mind spending a little more money to save time, get good efficient service, minimize hassle, or free up time in your life for family/hobbies etc.

From the previous thread on this topic it is clear that some people have strong views re whether it is moral to hire a maid, do your own laundry, clean your own gutters etc. But please, lets keep this thread focused on sharing strategies that save time with an emphasis on strategies that at first may seem expensive, but because they save significant time, are in fact good efficient strategies for people who value their time to pursue other activities (whether that's making more money, exercising, reading to yr kids, having an affair, filling out AORs or whatever).

This OP will not be updated with all the good strategies as those are being collected in the quick summary just below. Please add to the quick summary only really good ideas that save time, minimize hassle etc.

This thread, and especially the quick summary is not a place to share general household tips, or general money-saving tips etc. It is for time-saving tips, especially ones that cost money but are well worth the cost.

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princessida said: Do you have any ideas of your own to contribute? The more, the merrier.


no, i don't especially, that's why i've been reading this thread. some ideas like the steamer (which does cost more than an iron, so is about spending money, rather than saving or deal-getting) were new to me and have already made a difference in saving time, and as it is a unique thread topic i was just disappointed to see it go OT when there's probably a lot of great ideas floating around out there.

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Okay, here's a spend money save time tip for you:

Get a FedEx account. It comes not only with their express services but with their ground service. You get a roll of "prepaid" barcode stickers for ground. They're not really prepaid. But you slap them on an addressed package like a stamp and then toss it in the general direction of your nearest Kinko's or other FedEx ground location. No standing in line while package is weighed or paying for each package shipped at retail. They scan the code to automatically bill your card on file for whatever the charge is for what you're sending. It's extremely convenient and not very expensive, since their rates are good.

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Here's something not to do: If you're going to recycle at all, just put it in the recycle canister that your waste company gives you. Taking things to the recycling center takes way too much time and storage.

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i see a guy at my local 24 hr who comes daily and bags all the bottles in his own bag and takes them home for redemption. at 5-10c a bottle, that's a lot of change.


palswim said: Here's something not to do: If you're going to recycle at all, just put it in the recycle canister that your waste company gives you. Taking things to the recycling center takes way too much time and storage.

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I filled my closet with Sham Wow cloths, now I decided to save time by not re-using them! Thanks OP!

... but seriously now, this was a great post OP!

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Get a laser printer for all your non-photo printing. Everything will print way faster and the toner carts can last years depending on your level of use. Plus, you dont have to constantly be replacing the cartridges and dealing with ink clogs and alignment issues.

Use Gmail and add all your other email accounts to it. Gmail allows you to receive and send from several additional email accounts if you have their pop3/imap configuration info. If you need to use Outlook or another email client occasionally, switch to Gmail and then access your gmail account in Outlook or another client via IMAP. Since IMAP keeps the messages on the server, gmail and your client program will always be in sync.

Switch to a bank that is close to your house or workplace if you have moved. But stick with a bank that has good online access not a small bank or credit union.

If you somehow don't have a dishwasher, get one if you can.

If you want to listen to audiobooks while driving, doing errands, or to help you sleep, another alternative to Audible is called Overdrive. They partner with most city library systems and your library card number usually grants you free access. The only issue is most titles use windows drm formats so they will play on mostly everything except an ipod. They are great on windows mobile phones.

Get a pda phone or iphone and try to keep your calendar, all your contacts, your music, and mobile internet access on it. This makes it easier to get things done and relax on the go.

Buy things like cell phone accessories, custom batteries, and other small obscure electronics accessories using Buy It Now on eBay. The prices will always be way better than any local place, you will save a drive, the prices will also tend to beat individual retailer websites, and you will not have to google to price compare.

I agree strongly on DVR, Yodlee, living close to work, and buying in bulk where space allows. I would definitely say to avoid VW despite the 800 mile large diesel gas tanks. However, if you own a VW, save time by just refilling your gas at the dealer when you go in for major mechanical repairs. You may never need to visit an actual gas station. Also, dont buy toothpaste too much in bulk, it does not age well.

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TIME is not MONEY

They're different magazines.

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One thing I want to do but I don't:

Use a bank that allows for check scanning abilities, so you save trips to the bank completely.

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okeedokee said: Some other time/money savers...(sorry if I am repeating any from other posts)

*Insulate! No better return on investment than this one. In the attic go with as much as you can (cellulose is the best way to go).
Before adding insulation, seal all the leaks with weatherstripping (doors, windows), spray foam (around ducts, electrical switches and outlets), brush-on mastic (ductwork), or caulking (gap between floor and sill plate). With some homes, almost as much energy is lost through air leaks as through conduction. Also cellulose insulation can leak through the ductwork. Cellulose, unlike fiberglass, not only works as insulation but also as a radiant barrier because it blocks infrared, and that can improve comfort in the summer when the room air is cool but there's still a hot feeling.

okeedokee said: *Rechargable batteries with a reliable charging system. Lacrosse and Maha (search FW for a lot of educational threads)make great chargers for about $40. Expensive but the best technology.There's no need to pay a lot for a charger because even almost every cheapo now contains sophisticated electronics to both charge the cells quickly and shut off at full charge to prevent cell damage. All of the chargers from the major battery companies do.

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mavmariaman said: .."anything less than 25/hr I don't do".....that is actually against the spirit of fatwallet

sorry I missed that...was in the FAQ's?? or r u making up the rules as u go??

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one tip i've seen recently is to pay to get a decent haircut, that way you can only go 3 or 4 times a year, rather than every 6-8 weeks for a crappy cheaper cut. i think this mostly works for girls with longer hair, but the theory does work even if you have shorter hair-- you can stretch out time between appointments a lot longer if you start with something that will grow out gracefully. NB-- good is not necessarily expensive, but is rarely somewhere like supercuts.

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Getting a "nice" haircut versus a "crappy" haircut wouldn't do anything for me. The style doesn't matter one bit, within reason, it is simply the length of my hair. If my hair gets past a certain point it gets too oily and its just a pain in the rear, so thats a YMMV type thing.

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Is there a way to rate the tips? Obviously some are better than others.

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