Growing Beards and Saving Monies

Two weeks ago I decided that I was gonna start growing a beard for the first time in my life.  At first it was just cuz I was being lazy and enjoying the newly found freedom of having less projects on my plate, but after a few days of missing my “shave time,” I decided to just go for the gold.  I have no idea how long it’ll last, or how LONG I can even grow out the crazy thing, but I’ve always wanted to see what would happen so we’re giving it a shot :)  And who knows, maybe I’ll end up looking like Santa Claus! (Only hopefully not that white)

But the reason for me telling you all this, besides the fact I just wanted to share my new mission with you!, is that it reminded me a lot of growing our money.  Kinda like my mohawk post on the economy, here are a few ways producing a beard is like saving money.  Would you agree?

  1. Both are easy to start, but hard to continue.  Every day for 15+ years my beard “started” – only I shaved it back off every 4 or 5 days.  And almost every day during that same time I put away a couple dollars here, or a couple dollars there.  That was totally easy.  But continuing with it?  Reminding yourself every day to KEEP GOING cuz the end game is much bigger than all the days before it?  Super hard.  It’s sinking in more as time goes on *now*, of course, but it took a lot of hard work and patience.
  2. Both take patience.  Money doesn’t grow to a million dollars on day 1 – it takes thousands of days.  Same with this crazy mat of hair on my face.  It’s only been about 4 weeks, but it’s JUST now starting to resemble something other than a 5 o’clock shadow on there.  And I’m sure it’ll be doubly long in another 4 weeks!  But I gotta keep on being patient and working towards it for it to continue to grow.  Same with your money, or cutting out debt, etc. It all happens over time.
  3. Both take hard work!  Okay, well, maybe not the beard – that’s one thing in life that just “happens” without an ounce of work, but certainly w/ the money ;)  You have to consciously remind yourself to stay on top of it all or it’ll get trampled over like it always has in the past.  Working on it one week is great, but if you don’t push more and more and pay attention *every* week, odds are it won’t grow as fast as you had hoped.  It doesn’t mean you have to go all 24/7 or anything, but you do have to be more aware than in your non-caring days. And sometimes that means going without some *wants* here and there.  It never kills us to skip over some stuff every now and then.
  4. And lastly, both itch :)  My face, more literally, and my desire to save, more figuratively.  But with either you have to WANT IT BAD to make it happen.  There are pros and cons to each (The beard drives me crazy (it’s SO ITCHY!!) and makes me look like a vagabond, and the savings means I have to go without in other areas), but the end goal is more important to me in the long run.  At least for now – that beard might have to go if the Mrs. gets tired of being scratched all the time ;)

So the moral of the story is that if you want to become a millionaire one day, you have to start growing a beard.  Haha… or just work your ass off and remain true to your goal ;) I’d normally interject a question here relating to money, but instead I’d like to ask you your opinions on facial hair.

Happy Friday!

Guys:  What’s the longest you’ve ever grown your beard? Did you enjoy it in the end?
Gals:  What do you think about facial hair on men? Do you like it?  What do you prefer the most? (goatees, mustaches, beards, etc?) I know y’all love some Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling, both of whom rock some mighty fine stubble every now and then.

(Crazy beards by Ayleen Gaspar)

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  1. Jenn January 20, 2012 at 7:26 AM

    I like a nicely trimmed goatee. But like I tell people who give me opinions on my hair– when it’s your turn to take care of it, you can choose what it looks like. :)

  2. Stephanie January 20, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    I like a well-groomed beard. Never thought I would, but my husband grew one a few years back and now I can’t imagine him without it!

  3. jay January 20, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    I had a beard for a decade and a half. But for the most of that time, I kept it well groomed. I do miss it….

  4. Jennifer G. January 20, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    My husband is a redhead, and he’s one of those guys with astonishing beard-growing ability. He usually does a “winter beard” from November to St. Patrick’s Day (a well-groomed one) and people comment on it all the time! We went to a new church last week, and the greeter said “Hey, how’s it going? That’s a nice beard!”

    But I like him both ways :) As a general rule, I do like facial hair.

  5. Aubrey January 20, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    My boyfriend doe a short, well groomed beard, and I love it. – though in all honesty, if it weren’t for me, it probably would NOT be well groomed.

  6. Emmy January 20, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    It all depends on the guy. But as a general rule (in my opinion anyway) just be sure it doesn’t get too out of hand. I’m not a fan of big burly out of control beards (and unless you are Clark Gable – NO MUSTACHE!) or the really long ones (unless you ARE Santa). Some stubble, or something well groomed, that works.

  7. Trinnie January 20, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    So funny that you’ve posted this…lately I’ve been asking the husband to grow out a goatee, which I like on him…but he’s refusing and here’s why…every time I ask him to grow out a goatee, once it’s at that “perfect length,” I get sick of it and ask him to shave it off…

    yeah, I know, bad wife. but yes, I’m a big fan of facial hair!

  8. Beating Broke January 20, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    I grew a full beard during my senior year of high school, mostly because I played football and the chinstrap stung like a SOB on a freshly shaved face. The day football was over, I shaved it off. I had some sort of goatee since then, once growing it long enough to have about a 4 inch braid in it. Shaved it all off about the time I got married, then regrew the full beard around the time my son was born. Now, all shaved off again. Most of the full beard sessions were more out of laziness than anything. I really don’t like shaving much.

  9. Jerret January 20, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Tried to grow one a few years back but, like you said, the itchiness drove me insane. I suppose you get used to it after a while. I’m surprised by all the female commenters who say they like facial hair. Mine just feels like an SOS pad. And a goatee just makes me look mean.

  10. Shannyn January 20, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    Unfair, I’ve been trying to grow a mustache for years to no avail. Good luck going for the gold…just be careful bout food. Yikes.

  11. retirebyforty January 20, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    I can’t grow a beard. It’ll just be a scraggly little soul patch(?). sad.

  12. Corey @ Passive Income to Retire January 20, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    I keep my beard at a certain length. It doesn’t even itch anymore. It’s much easier to maintain than trying to stay clean-shaven all the time.

  13. Tiffany January 20, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    Haha J, your posts never fail to entertain! I prefer a man to be clean cut, but now and then I think stubble/five o’clock shadows are sexy… I think it just depends on who the person is and how it fits them. However, I am not into beards or mustaches at all.

  14. Evan January 20, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    I like a goatee on myself but The Wife HATES it…and so after some gentle coercion I shave it off. This happens every year or so

  15. Bryan January 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    For the last 8-9 years, I have nearly always had some sort of beard. The longest I’ve grown it is when I’ve been in a couple productions of “Fiddler on the Roof.” I got about 6 months of growth on it at one point, which got me in the neighborhood of 1-2 inches long.

    Nowadays, I keep it trimmed pretty close to my face.

  16. Kathy January 20, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    I totally agree with Tiffany!

  17. Yana January 20, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    I have a friend I used to go out with who has always had a beard, and he says it’s to “cover up the ugly”. Haha. But he is still pretty cute even though he is an old guy ;) I think I like mustaches the best, but I like beards on some men. I don’t like the stubbly unshaven look. I like good grooming and cleanliness.

  18. WR January 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    I have a beard every day around 5 and a pretty good one at the end of a snowstorm/long weekend. Grows fast!

    Was part of a John Brown Beard Growing Contest a few years ago. I lasted a few weeks before I just could not stand it.

    I’ll do it again someday…

    Much easier to become a millionaire than to grow a beard.


  19. LB January 20, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Well Trimmed goatee. It has to be trimmed, and no stubble, because that stuff hurts when you kiss!

  20. Hunter - Financially Consumed January 20, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Best of luck growing the muttonchops J$. My beard is like a Scotch-Brite scouring pad, and my wife has a tough time kissing me with one so I stay clean. Problem is, it gows so fast! I shave in the a.m. and by 3 I need another.

  21. Nick January 20, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Nice! I grew a beard once. It came about because I had been lazy for a few days and went to work with scruff. I was walking around the office and saw one of the owners who I didn’t normally bump into. He looked at me and “half jokingly” asked if my razor was broken. The first thing I could think of as a response was “no, not broken – I grow out a beard during the winter and had no appointments this week, so it was just the most appropriate time.”

    His response was to compliment how it was coming in. So then I was stuck with a beard for a couple of months….

  22. Brian January 20, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    1.5 Months before the old lady threatens to shave it in my sleep. Frankly my facial hair looks exactly the same form week 3 and onward. I think it just annoys her. When I shave the beard I like to go with just the porn stache and ask her how my side burns look. She falls for it every time and refuses to talk to me until the stache is gone… it’s always worth it for the laugh

  23. Bergie Powers January 20, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Great comparison! The hubby recently grew a beard upon my begging (I have always had a thing for Paul Bunyan looking types) and looks super sexy. But it does prickle when we snuggle. Ouch. But totally worth it.

  24. Edward Antrobus January 20, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    I had a beard for most of my adult life. Over time it varied from a neatly trimmed Commander Riker style to a bushy mountain man beard and back. I shaved it off when it started to go gray after my 26th birthday. I miss it sometimes and start to let it grow back, but then I see the gray and shave it again.

  25. Melissa January 20, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    I prefer beards on almost any man. Doesn’t matter if it’s long, short, well-groomed or not. I just dig facial hair on men.

  26. Jessica @ Faith Permeating Life January 20, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    I am not a fan of facial hair, at all. I think some men can pull it off, but if I’m getting anywhere close to them (so, my husband), no way. My husband has trying growing it out before just to bug me, but he can’t really grow much so he will eventually shave. And he knows he needs to shave if he’s planning to get anywhere near me in bed… if you know what I’m saying…

  27. Brent Pittman January 20, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    I’ve had a beard for most the past 10 years. In the summer I shave it off for a few months, just cause it’s so dang hot! I’m pretty sure I save on razors and shaving cream. If budgets are sexy and beards are sexy, then men (or women) who have beards and budget are the sexiest.

  28. Briana @ 20 & Engaged January 20, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    I’m pro-beard. Rock it, love it, keep it. LOL Considered making a beard stalking tumblog but thought that may go too far.

  29. Donna Freedman January 20, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    I lived in Alaska for 17 years, where beards are the rule rather than the exception. During my first visit back to the East Coast after I’d been there a couple of years something seemed odd about the men I saw. Finally realized that (a) they were much better-dressed and (b) I saw zero beards.
    If your beard is scratchy, swipe a dab of your wife’s hair conditioner and rub it on the beard before you start your shower. After you rinse, your chin spinach should feel soft enough for you to kiss your wife. Of course, you should probably kiss her six or seven times — just to make sure it’s REALLY soft enough.

  30. J. Money January 20, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Thanks everyone! I’m glad no one is gonna be scared away from this blog knowing a scraggly beard lookin dude is behind it ;)

    @Jenn – I like it ;)
    @Stephanie – Some nice experimenting is good every now and then you’re saying, yeah? Never know what you like till you tried it? :)
    @jay – Wow that’s a long time. I’d be impressed if I can make it past 10 weeks.
    @Jennifer G. – Cool! Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day indeed :)
    @Aubrey – HAH! I actually got my wife to shave my mohawk sides too last night. Without her, I’d probably be pretty shaggy too ;)
    @Emmy – You’re gonna love me when I look like Santa – you wait ;)
    @Trinnie – At least you know that about yourself! Would be worse if you were in denial ;)
    @Beating Broke – HAH! I totally want to braid mine, haha, that would be awesome. (Though I’m sure the wife wouldn’t be too pleased)
    @SmartAssetTeam – Ooooooh… I TOTALLY want a Van Dyke beard! that is dope!
    @Jerret – I can totally see how goatees make people look mean – they are kinda intimidating on certain people! Though maybe the ladies like the toughness? ;)
    @Shannyn – Sometimes I get toothpaste stuck all over it ;) I’m learning…
    @retirebyforty – Awww, I’m sure it would be a killer scraggly soul patch though ;)
    @Corey @ Passive Income to Retire – That I most def. believe.
    @Tiffany – Glad you liked it – I aim to please! :)
    @Evan – Always gotta test the waters, right? Keeps the relationship interesting ;)
    @Bryan – Cool! At least it was for a good purpose!
    @Kathy – So keep to the stubble eh? It may come down to that later…
    @Yana – Haha… omg that’s good. I’m gonna use that this weekend if someone questions my motives ;)
    @WR – HAH! Let’s have a contest – who can hit $1Million or a 6 inch beard first :) Deal?
    @Michelle @ Making Sense of Cents – This Tiffany chick is pretty popular ;)
    @LB – Yeah, that’s the only problem with all this – it scratches the ladies more :(
    @Hunter – Financially Consumed – Wow, that’s a lot of shaving! Would come in handy for any beard-growing contests though :)
    @Nick – Hhahahaa… that is awesome. Well done, sir.
    @Brian – I DO THAT TOO!!! Esp when it’s time for this bad boy to go – I love making myself look like a creeper for the wifey ;) Only lasts a day or so until she threatens more seriously… or I have to go into a mall or school with little kids.
    @Bergie Powers – Awesome of him to give it a shot too! The things we do for our ladies ;)
    @Edward Antrobus – What? That should make you do it even more! haha… the “distinguished” look is awesome. Especially if it gets all silvery – I’d much rather have that than boring brown… at least I think?
    @Melissa – Haha, my type of woman ;)
    @Jessica @ Faith Permeating Life – HAH! That I do my friend, that I do… and if that happens around here it’ll be gone quicker than I started!
    @Brent Pittman – True that, brotha! Preach on!
    @Briana @ 20 & Engaged – HAH! You totally should ;)
    @Donna Freedman – “chin spinach” – haha, that’s a first! I’ve started that trick w/ the conditioner too, though right after I shampoo it. I *think* it may be helping, but def. not as much as I was hoping for… I’ll keep it up though! Gotta impress you before it goes away :) Alaska chick.

  31. Jeff Crews January 21, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    Haha I love it. I once grew a beard (what I could grow) for my college soccer team. I did the whole “No-Shave November”, and we ended up winning nationals. I like how you relate this to money though. Who knew you could learn financial success from some hair.

  32. Edward Antrobus January 21, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    J, Maybe in a few years. In my 20’s, I just wasn’t ready for the Taylor Hicks references I was getting.

  33. J. Money January 21, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    @Jeff Crews – Nice! I meant to try out Movember this year but then forgot… so this is kinda me doing it now, only not for a cause ;)
    @Edward Antrobus – Haha, that was a great season actually… much better than the current American Idol, jeez…

  34. Renee January 22, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    I have seen some nice shorter ones that are more goatee like than beard-like. The long beards disgust me, though. Every time my husband is on vacation he refuses to shave. It’s cute for a change, but I prefer him clean shaven.

  35. Noob Traveler January 22, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    I have to say that the luckiest time in my life is when I had my college beard. It was half as long as the dudes featured. But I am with you on this thing!

  36. J. Money January 23, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    @Renee – Haha, I don’t think I could ever get a super long one (like those in that picture up there) but if I ever did I’d make sure it was pretty well maintained. Hopefully I can just make it past this itchy hump though!
    @Noob Traveler – The luckiest? Haha… like, in gambling or in getting women? ;)

  37. Rosie January 25, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    My husband will randomly grow a beard, and it’s all right as long as it’s groomed and doesn’t turn into a hobo beard.

    He said, no joke, if you put conditioner on the beard in the shower, it will soften the hair out and make it less itchy.

  38. J. Money January 25, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    I’ve tried!! It works for like an hour, but then it’s back to the itch :( Oh well, hopefully only a little while longer to go ’till it’s long enough to stop bugging me. I’m not gonna let it steer me off course though! I’m on a mission, baby! :)

  39. George April 16, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Imagine my surprise when i was catching up on one of my bookmarked blogs and what pops up but a picture of me! Thanks for using that pic at the top! I grew a beard for just under two years and I can tell you that unlike what you say above, it does take hard work! You’ll see as it gets longer how much work there actually is!
    (and the itching stops after a couple weeks as your face adjusts to its natural state of hairiness!)

  40. J. Money April 17, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    HAH! Really? Which one are you up there? That’s awesome :) And very very small odds indeed, wow. You were certainly right about that itching! I ended up shaving it all off in early April, but it got long enough where it stopped itching and I looked like a mountain man :) I really REALLY liked it but had to shave due to some weddings coming up, and have all intentions of growing it back right after. It’s fun!