Keep Spending In Check With The $1 Per Use Rule

Keep Spending In Check With The $1 Per Use Rule
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Spending money on things we don’t use that often or that aren’t important to us is a huge waste. One way to evaluate purchases to make sure we’re putting our hard-earned money to good use: The $1 per use rule.

Picture: Richard Elzey

Refinery29 explains:

Assess everything on a “$1 per use” basis.

I have my mother to thank for this one. Everything I buy — clothes, shoes, household items — is assessed on the basis of, “Will I wear/use this enough to only cost me $1 per wear/use?” Now, obviously, things like wedding dresses, for example, don’t fall into this category. But, next time you go to buy that trendy, ephemeral “must have” item, break its cost down into realistic uses. Often, you’ll find that what seemed like a deal is actually a waste of money, and, it will find its way to the back of your closet after a few brief wears.

This is similar the concept of spending your money where you spend your time, but it focuses more on avoiding frivolous purchases, like that fancy kitchen gadget you’ll only use once in a blue moon.

10 Truths About Money That Changed My Life [Refinery29]


  • A similar system which also works is the ‘$ per week’ assessment.
    You assign a dollar value (generally based on your income) for each week that you’ll use or remember the purchase for.
    For example, I set myself $50 a week. That means that for each $50 the purchase cost, will I remember or use the item for a week? A $100, use for two weeks. A $500 item, 10 weeks, etc.

    • I like this a bit better. Spent $1800 on a great laptop but that means I need 5 years of daily use but your system is 36 weeks which is way less than what I will actually use it for.

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