What If One Dollar Was Worth One Use?

I want you to imagine a world in which you seriously thought about every purchase you made in your life. A world where impulse buys didn’t exist, and no one ever regretted spending money on something they no longer use.

Okay, are you imagining it yet? Because that’s only just the start of this daydream.

A couple of weeks ago, I tweeted this:

We buy things and disregard them quickly, which is why I ask myself how often I will use something before I drop the cash.

And one of my amazing followers responded with this:

This is exactly how I shop! If I buy a $50 item, I have to wear it at least 50 times.

It’s brilliant. I mean, BRILLIANT! How did I not hear of this sooner?

As you know, when I hear of a new idea that can help myself or friends (AKA, you guys) to save money, I start to brainstorm nonstop.

If you buy a product or an item of clothing, you should make the value even out to $1.00 per usage.

After all, why would we spend $150 on a pair of jeans if we weren’t planning on wearing them at least 150 times? It doesn’t make sense, now does it?

This all got me thinking. Does this ideology span further than clothes and small products?

I mean, if you purchase something larger (such as a home or vehicle), what would you be spending per use?

*immediately pulls out over-sized calculator*

Let’s say you spent $400,000 on a new home, and you took out a 25-year mortgage. Over that 25 years, your daily cost of owning that home would end up being about $44 before interest.

Same thing goes for a vehicle. If you took out a 5-year car loan for a vehicle totaling $15,000, your average daily cost would be $8 before interest.

And what about little old me, who rents at a reasonable rate, and owns her vehicle full out?

Say whaaaa?! When you put into reality how much you spend each day on things you may or may not consider “essential”, things get put into perspective quite quickly.

From now on, before I make a purchase, I’m going to do some math. YES, the basic A+B=C math we learned in high school (you’re welcome for finally finding a use).

If I can guarantee myself and my bank account that I will get full potential from the purchase, I will buy it. If I can’t, I won’t. Pretty simple, right?

Well what about bigger purchases? Why don’t you hop right back on the imagination train again (because it’s free).

Imagine a world in which you could only make daily payments rather than monthly. Would you still be able to afford your dream home?

If you are going to be spending over 25 years in a home, or over 5 years buying a vehicle, can you justify the purchase by its usage? What about its return on investment?

Money is pretty amazing, because you can choose to simplify things as much as you deem necessary.

If you want to ensure you are making a worthwhile purchase, take some time and do the math. It’s not always as hard as it seems. Especially because it doesn’t include Lucy selling 30 watermelons, keeping 4, eating 3, and then travelling in a vehicle going what speed?

Take your time before buying something that is not essential. It’s not going to go anywhere… but your money could.

Do you consider everything you purchase getting its *full* use? Let me know in the comments!

7 Responses to “What If One Dollar Was Worth One Use?

  • Such a great post! I always try to think of getting my money’s worth out of something. Kinda hard for food and drink spending, but everything else, yes. But with food and drink, I think of it in hours worked…will not cooking/cleaning help me earn more, compared to what I spent?

    • Alyssa @ Mixed Up Money
      12 months ago

      I totally agree that food and drink is hard to justify the dollar per use idea! But I love the idea of comparing it to margins haha, anything is possible in the personal finance world!

  • Good post! I find myself trying to extract worth of every euro and I think twice before spending any money, except for groceries. I look at my money as warriors going to work. Sometimes they die but I love to go to war with them and bring a few more home 😉

  • I’ve actually heard the $1/use thing and I’ve used it a few times but I need to use that more often before buying things. Thanks for a good reminder!

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