The $100 Exercise

I often find myself reacting uniquely to the same cost differences in separate categories. Saving $20 on headphones felt like a major victory, but I wouldn’t bother to examine my $80 wireless bill. To help align my perspective, I began noting how much I could buy of anything, at $100/year:

  • >400 Eggs
  • ~ 1 Year of Google Music
  • ~ 1 Year of Amazon Prime
  • 1 Year of Costco Membership and 4 bags of frozen sweet potato fries
  • 2 Tanks of Gas (Car)
  • 6 Cheap Polo Shirts
  • 2 Pairs of Pants
  • 1 Electric range>1 Month of Unlimited Cell Plan
    • 5 Months of Data-Only Cell Plan
  • ~4 Cheap Dates
  • 1 Expensive Date
  • 1 Pair of Boots Every 3 Years
  • 1 Tablet Every 6 Years
  • 3 Months at a Gym
  • 1 20kg (45lbs) Kettlebell that will outlast us all
  • 10 months of WordPress Premium
  • 1/5 Year Bus Eco Pass
  • $5 a Year for the Rest of my Life
    • At a reasonable 5% Net Annual Rate of Return
    • If allowed to compound, I would end up doubling both my principle and earnings after 14 Years

I found two main benefits from this exercise

  1. Seeing such a broad comparison kicked me into action
    • Changing my wireless plan
      • I buy unlocked phones, so this was an instant cost reduction
  2. I need constant reminders of the value differences for food
    • I still eat out, but spend around half as much when I do
    • I look for the least processed items, or items with better portion control
      • Large bags of frozen foods offer great value, with reliable flavour

I also found the same principle useful for tracking 30g of protein. 1 scoop of whey isolate, 5 eggs, a little less than a whole chicken breast, 200g of ground beef, etc.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.