One dollar for each utilisation

By Kate 

Recently, I came across an interesting article that was featured on Rockstar Finance, titled “What if one dollar was worth one use?

Basically, it explores the premise that you assign a dollar for each usage of your items. This is a brilliant way of assessing your potential purchases and if used in the right instance, could just be the trick to stop that impulse buy! 

This however, would not work on items like food or perishables. If you spend 5 bucks on a burger, you are not expected to assess whether you will get to eat that 5 times! It certainly doesn’t work that way. However, for items such as clothing, or perhaps even electronics, such as your phone and gadgets, that could be a game changer in defining your purchases!

This thought process makes a lot of sense. After all, if I have to pay $100 for a pair of  shoes, it is not unreasonable to assume if you will like to wear it a hundred times. And at $100 per pair, the quality would better be good enough to last through that corresponding number of utilisations. Furthermore, why would you want to spend $100 on a pair of shoes if you were going to wear it just a few times?

I applied this principle when I went shopping over the weekend. Saw a pair of Skechers shoes on sale in the the boutique. My inner minimalist told me that I probably don’t require it, although I tried to convince myself that I probably need another pair since the current pair that I have is rather worn out and that it’s just a matter of time that I need to get a new pair. Fortunately or unfortunately, the shoes were were on sale and it cost $69 (which was a steal from the original $99).

“Would I wear this 69 times”, I asked myself and considering that my current pair I must have worn it at least 200 times (yes another pair of Skechers and I must disclaim here that this is not a paid advertorial!), I easily convince myself that this new pair would easily last a hundred usages. With that in mind, I made the purchase.

What this action dawned on me was how it reduced the impulse buying streak that I have in me. Yes, to some, this is still considered an impulse purchase as I still have a functional pair of shoes and I didn’t really need it at this point in time. However, as I pondered over my previous purchases, I realised that I must have at least 10 other pairs of shoes back at home (yes I am still sorting out my possessions and working on minimising them). Among these include knee-length boots (I live in a country down the tropics and there’s only summer all year round! I probably wear them like 0 times this year), a pair of glitter heels (which I purchased to wear to a friend’s wedding), a pair of ankle boots (which I probably only wore twice because after that I realised that I probably got a size too small and it hurts whenever I wore them) as well as other shoes which I have probably wore less than 5 times, but paid more than 10 times the number of usage.

Would I have spent $80 on a pair of glitter heels to wear to a friend’s wedding? – These heels are obviously not for everyday use and for functions and events. I honestly don’t think that I would even wear it more than 10 times.

Would I have spent $120 for that pair of knee-length boots? – I probably only wore them when I went travelling to cooler climates but other than that, I seldom wore them.

If I had then apply this thought process, would I still have purchased them? The answer is a positive no.

Try it, and let me know if this works for you!




6 thoughts on “One dollar for each utilisation

  1. I’m glad you gave it a shot and it helped you make a decision! Whether impulse or not, you still took a lot of things into consideration before taking the shoes to the till. Which is much more than many others could say. Thanks for sharing 🙂


  2. Pingback: Why I bought more shoes | Minimalist in the city

  3. i am from singapore and is starting minimalism as well. its nice to see a fellow singaporean doing this as well.

    for me, i apply the one in one out rule for all my purchases (since i have already done the konmari method on all my stuff. hahaha) and i think with the one dollar concept in this post, it will definitely trim down all the unnecessary future expenses. 😉

    will be following your journey!


  4. Haha yes the replacement method is helpful as well. In fact, Dave tends to do that with his purchases. I think whatever works best for us is most important 🙂


  5. thanks for sharing this tip! I also read somewhere we should calculate how we earn per hour and ask ourselves before making a purchase if it’s worthwhile working X number of hours to afford it. This was a sobering exercise as I often make impulse purchases especially for makeup. Your blog is a real gem 🙂


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