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Do You Rationalize Purchases by Calculating Cost-Per-Use?

The other day GiggleSugar told me that when she's considering purchasing something that's on the pricey side, she thinks about how much wear or use she'll get out of it versus a cheaper version. If a more expensive item is significantly better in quality, the cost-per-use can be more economical in the long term.

I definitely use that rationale when I'm deciding whether or not an item will make it up to the register with me. I'm sure those calculations are sometimes inaccurately skewed if my heart is set on an item, but in general I think keeping this in mind can be helpful and especially when selecting classic or trendy items.


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Spectra Spectra 8 years
I'm like lawchick...if I'm going to buy something, I look for quality and determine if the lifespan of the object is worth spending more on it. Like, I could buy a pair of crappy $30 running shoes that will be shot way before their time or invest $60-70 in a pair that provide better wear and last more than twice as long.
Dr-No Dr-No 8 years
I did this when I was deciding whether to shell out a load of money for a new pair of eyeglasses. Just before I bought my latest pair, I had a pair that cost me about $250 and I think I wore them for just about year before I got sick of them. Then I shelled out closer to $500 for the pair I wear now--and that was 6 years ago! I still love them! So OK, it isn't a question of quality, but I think it's the same concept! It's funny, a friend of mine had to convince me to go with these--he said, "it's your face! You wear them every day, and its only a couple of cents a day if you keep them for a long time!" Whereas the last pair cost me close to a dollar a day. And a few weeks ago I used cost-per-use to justify my purchase of cole haan shoes! So comfy with that Nike Air! Comfy == tons more uses!
rabidmoon rabidmoon 8 years
I have a couple of very stubborn rules about purchases now, and I wish I had employed it much earlier on in life: 1) Splash out on QUALITY classics, scrimp on "trends": That means I can and do justify a classic black leather Prada purse, top-quality cashmere or a Kitchen Aid appliance.. but would never buy something offbeat or bound to go out of style quickly in that same price range, I save the "fun" for cheaper items. 2) Quality, quality, quality. Its worth knowing what it is, how it feels, and why it matters. Try on clothes by designers, and understand what good fit, stitching and fabric feels like, even if you cannot afford it, because it helps you make more discerning choices even in less-expensive stores. I have only ONE Armani item..a really killer jacket, bought on sale, but that classic, stretchy, sexy jacket (looks like Vivienne Westwood in some ways) set the bar for all jackets, from that day forward. If it doesn't fit right, if it is not well-made, then don't waste money. It will either wear out, or just let you down. 3)Take care of what you have. Take time to handwash your best things, never, ever let your bras get washed without some sort of bag or protective container (or do them by hand), keep expensive purses, shoes and shades in protective containers, out of sunlight and they will reward you for years and years. 4)Take time to find a good shoe repairman, so that your best designer and/or high-quality boots and heels can be repaired and not replaced. They will serve you for far longer this way.
itsme3683 itsme3683 8 years
Yeah... That's why I refuse to pay over $15 for any item of clothing at Forever 21... it just won't last long enough to make it worth it lol.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
Ohh yeah LC it makes since - I just never heard of anyone using this system. It seems rather good especially when I wonder sometimes if I should buy something cheap or invest in a good piece of whatever.
lawchick lawchick 8 years
bellaressa, like if I buy the target stools for $50 each and they fall apart after one year, that's $50/year. If I buy the pottery barn stools for $125 each and they last 5 years, that's $25/year. So I end up saving money b/c I don't have to buy new stools after a year. Does that make sense?
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
Thanks-I never heard of this.
carhornsinapril carhornsinapril 8 years
^ you basically divide the cost by the estimated number of times you'll use the item.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
Can someone tell me how you calculate this. Thanks.
lawchick lawchick 8 years
(I'm getting them from Pottery Barn. I have some other furniture from there and was pleasantly surprised by the quality)
lawchick lawchick 8 years
Yes. Like I need two counterstools for my kitchen. I am going to pay about $125 apiece for them. I found something similar for MUCH cheaper at target, but the reviews said they were falling apart after a year. With funiture I have really found that you get what you pay for!
lizs lizs 8 years
I'm a total fan of this - it also helps me avoid things that are too "of the moment"...especially with clothes. If my calculations tell me that I have to wear something 200 times, I have to make sure I won't look ridiculous a few years down the road.
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 8 years
I'm other on this. I don't usually unless one of my friends is there. She's a big cost per use person so she calculates it for me.
imLissy imLissy 8 years
I don't really try and break it down and figure it out, but usually I do ask myself, is this worth it? Will I use it often? How much do I love it? Is it worth the money? I do the same with food. Is this piece of cake worth the calories? How yummy is it? How full will it make me? lol
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 8 years
I do sometimes, but not with every purchase.
TheMissus TheMissus 8 years
YES... I do this in order to justify my Balenciaga and Chloe purchases.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i do ALL the time. i think that it's because i tend to like things that are a bit more costly and that makes it easier to justify if i'm able to figure out what the 'cost per use' is. :)
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