A while back I read a tip on sensible spending. I don’t even remember where I read it, but I think it was on a list of tips – most of them a bit same-old, same-old, but this one I thought was quite interesting.
One use equals one dollar
For every dollar that you spend on something (perhaps don’t include food!) you should expect to get one use out of the item.
For example, if you buy a pair of shoes for $40 you’d expect to wear them 40 times to get good value from them.
If you buy a $300 pair of shoes/boots then you would expect to get 300 wears out of them.
By using this rough rule of thumb, it can prevent you buying an item of clothing that you’re not sure you’re going to wear, or a pair of sparkly blue shoes that don’t go with anything else in your wardrobe.
On the other hand, this rule allows you to spend $250 on a pair of quality boots that are going to last you many years (and wears).
The premise of this is simply to buy quality classic items that provide you with good value. Thinking in terms of one dollar per use though helps you to work out if the item you are considering purchasing is a good buy, or an extravagant waste of money.
We all know people with 30 or more pairs of shoes that they hardly ever wear! Even if those extremely high heels are only $30, you have to commit to wearing them 30 times – and they have to last that long – or they are a bad purchase.
I find myself calculating how many times a week hubby and I use our cars, to see if we can justify buying him the Audi TT that he dreams of. A quick calculation shows that if you spend $10,000 on a car and use it for 12 trips a week, you’d have to keep that car for 16 years to have had your money’s worth. Although, you can subtract off the sale price if you sell it before 16 years.
I have calculated that my current car (a 1997 Toyota Corolla that I’ve had for 8 years) has given me in excess of 4,990 trips, so I’m on the winning side of the $4,700 I paid for it! And I’m hoping for a couple more years yet as it’s only just worn in at 210,000 kms.