Jan 31, 2022
Personal Finance
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 min read

The Financial Importance of Making Your Own Candles

I refuse to accept that anyone in the world doesn’t like the smell of candles. If it’s not the smell, how about the soft flickering light of a candle in a dimly lit room? I mean, talk about Hygge. However, if you’re like me, you probably didn’t realize the cost of each one of the candles until your partner asked you to go grab one 20 minutes before a group of friends were supposed to come over for dinner.

While there are a wide variety of candle qualities available, I was shocked when I arrived at the store and saw the price on these candles. I immediately got a pit in my stomach when I realized a moderately-decent candle was going to cost me $35! Don’t even get me started with those crazy Diptyque candles that smell like heaven, but are more expensive than 75% of Spirit Airlines’ flights.

So what did I end up doing? I bought the damn candle because I love candles and I wasn’t quite willing to actually force our guests to smell our apartment sans candle. But, because I’m quasi obsessive about personal finances and saving, I started thinking about the lifetime cost of our candle ̶a̶d̶d̶i̶c̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ habit.

After two minutes in excel, I realized that if we kept going through one candle every 2 months until we were 70 years old, it would cost us a whopping $8,610. While over a single lifetime, this may not seem like much money to most people, I knew there was more to the story.

So what did I do, I ran even more simple math that would calculate how much we would end up with if we invested the money saved by not buying candles into the stock market. You know what’s crazy? We would end up with $36,739.61! (For those interested, I assumed a 6% return on the stock market and I purchased all six candles at the beginning of the year. I made assumptions, shoot me. You can see the calculations in the sheet attached at the end)

While this number was tantalizing, unfortunately, I can’t live without candles. I can give up a lot in the name of additional savings, but candles, ABSOLUTELY not.

The next step in the process led me down a deep rabbit hole of google, Wikipedia and candle websites that were clearly made by people over the age of 60. I found my answer. We could make my own candles quite easily. Screw you Diptyque, you have a new competitor in town!

The process is actually quite easy. All you need to do is melt wax on your stove, add scented oils after the wax melts and then pour it into whatever vessel you see fit. I’m slightly over-simplifying, but not by much. Before I purchased the supplies, I wanted to make sure the finances lined up and I would actually be saving enough money to justify the hassle. However, as I thought about it, I decided if I couldn’t find 10 minutes of time every two months to make a candle, I’d probably have bigger problems than candles.

The initial kit we bought which included everything we needed to make the candles cost us $19.99. Not bad. On top of that, we had to buy wax, which cost $36.99 and would make 12 candles, and the scented oil, which cost us $25.00 for enough lavender and vanilla for 12 candles. Candle wicks are shockingly cheap, but we splurged for some nice ones that would cost $1 per candle. After returning to excel, I realized this new homemade solution would cost us $1,434.29 over our expected lifetime. Not bad at all.

Just by making our own candles at home, We’ll have an extra $35,305.32 by the time we’re 70. With all that extra money, we’ll have no problem buying candles for our grandchildren!

It’s been about four months since we started making candles and it’s been a fun process. I have to admit, we’ve made more then I’ve expected since they end up being great gifts for friends and family. If anyone is interested in following my math, you can see the spreadsheet here.

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