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Cost in hours of purchase

Spend Less Strategy

This is a strategy to help with controlling spending. Think of expenses in terms of hours worked not dollars

When you’re evaluating a purchase, consider think of the cost in terms of how many hours of work it costs not just the cost in dollars.

Example of Thinking of Expenses in Terms of Hours Worked

You want to go to a concert with a date in Phoenix with tickets that cost $100. First think of the total cost of the event and try not to leave anything out:

ExpenseCostTotal Cost
Two concert tickets$200$200
Cost to purchase on-line with taxes$20$220
Dinner for two (with tip and taxes)$70$290
Travel to and from the concert (gas, tolls)$30$320
Concert t-shirt$35$365
Ware and tear on your car  
Baby sitter  
Music download  
Total cost $365

Then think about how much you really make each hour. Maybe your make a gross of $10/hour.

How much do you really take home and make per hour?  If we look at the actual number of hours you work and the taxes and other expenses you have. How much do you make each hour?

Hourly Earnings ReductionDecreaseEarnings per hour
Gross income (40 hours/week)0%$10.00
Commute (1 hour/day)11%$8.00
Getting Ready for Work (1 hour/day)10%$7.20
Unwinding after work (1/2 hour/day)5%$6.84
Shopping for work (1 hour/month)0.5%$6.81
Extra work hours (1 hour/week)2%$6.67
Commuting costs (parking, gas, depreciation)  
Clothing and other work expenses  
Cost of Daycare  
Total earnings per hour $6.67

For the total time you are dedicating to working, your actual earnings per hour (in this example) is about $6.67 per hour.

To go to the Phoenix concert (that costs a total of $365). It will cost you about 55 hours of work.

Is it worth it? Maybe it is worth it to you but this is just another way to look at expenses.

Especially if you are working hard to become financially independent, all of your unnecessary expenses slow you from getting there.

You should also consider that there are many other necessary expenses, such as rent, utilities, health care, and food. Remaining dollars/work hours are all that is left for anything additional including savings. Be very careful with the remaining money/work hours. They are what will help you become financially independent.

To reach financial independence, spend less than you earn and invest the rest.

– Bill & Ivan

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