Spend your money where you spend your time

5 years ago, I bought some new glasses. I found a cheap $60 frame and I was proud. I’ve worn those glasses every waking hour for the last 5 years, which adds up to about 30,000 hours. They’re slightly uncomfortable and I have to push them back up on my nose a few times an hour, but I make do because you can’t argue with that price!

Meanwhile, I recently bought a new minivan to lug the kids around. I could have made do with one for $10,000-ish less, but I wanted a nice shiny one with a DVD player and all that. I use it maybe 30 minutes a day.

I’m realizing lately how backwards that logic is. I saved a couple hundred bucks on glasses and cursed myself with 30,000 hours of discomfort and annoyance. And I spent an extra $10,000 on something that I barely even use compared to those dang glasses.

I think it makes sense to spend our money where we spend our time. What are the things we spend the most time with? Glasses, shoes, a computer and desk and chair, a bed, a belt, whatever it is. Even if one of those things is slightly worse than it could be, when you multiply that by a bajillion hours of usage, it explodes.

Say that I had spent $500 on a pair of glasses that felt great. That’s an increase of $440. Divide $440 by 30,000 hours, and it turns out that I’d be paying about 1 penny per hour for that added comfort. No brainer, right?

Now let’s look at the car. If I use that car for 7 years that’s about 1300 hours of driving time. That means that the extra $10,000 comes out to about $7.70 per hour. I’m paying minimum wage to no one in exchange for access to a DVD player we barely use and a van that looks a little nicer.

Never again. Never again will I skimp on glasses and splurge on a car. I don’t even have a commute!

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