Cost per use

Second, and maybe more practically, I now think about what I buy on a cost-per-use basis, which lets me account for the replacement cost and lifespan of a product when comparing between products.

~ Chris Bailey from,

Bailey presents some interesting way of thinking about purchases. One idea he presents is that you can think about anything as a subscription service— if you imagine it will be recurring. Toothpaste? …that makes sense; it’s silly to consider the cost of my “subscription” to toothpaste, (but it makes intuitive sense since we know we’re going to buy it over and over.) I’ve often heard about lifestyle creep, where the money we spend expands to meet our paycheck. And one way that happens is by habit development.

I get a pay raise—HA, yeah right… sorry. And I try this new Thai restaurant. It’s a little pricey, but I start going there occasionally, then more often, then… I’m suddenly the largest-by-purchasing-total customer of that business. doh. If instead, I had considered: This $30 meal is a subscription… wait wat. I don’t even get to the part where I try to wonder-out how often I want to eat there. I’m on the maybe-don’t-purchase-it brakes as soon as I combine “$30” and “subscription.”

Bailey also mentions the good old “cost per use” idea, which I use all the time. But just in case that’s new to you, you really need to click through.