I hear the phrase “Cost him/her two weeks pay” a lot when people are talking about someone buying something expensive. The implication is that the item bought was not only expensive in itself but also something that the person purchasing it really had to work to pay for (or perhaps the person is now in some pretty good debt).
I’ve never really thought about what that means in terms of my paycheck and my spending though. I wonder if that sort of thought process would change how I spend. Probably not in terms of small things, but perhaps in terms of big things. I’m looking at a new computer and if I think about it along the terms of “That would cost me X days of take-home pay,” maybe I will be more choosey about which computer I buy. Or at the very least, take better care of it.
Of course, if I’m making a big purchase like that, it’s something I will think about and will take care of. So maybe I should be thinking smaller scale. One day’s worth of take-home pay. Four hours of work. One hour of work. “I sufferered through that three hour meeting yesterday to earn the money to buy this. Is this really worth all the suffering I put in to earning it, or should I spend that money elsewhere?”
I’m not sure that this way of thinking will change how I spend, but if you struggle with spending, it might be an interesting experiment and might help you keep a bit more money in your pocket every week.