Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Value of Entertainment

I don't remember what book I read it from, but I remember learning how to measure the "value" of entertainment. The way it goes is:
  1. Look at the cost of the item you are considering.
  2. Compare it to the alternatives that are cheaper.
  3. Decide if the item you are considering is X times more enjoyable.
It works mainly for larger items, at the smaller items it's a little harder. For example, my wife and I went to Wendy's tonight, splitting a large fries & frostee, each getting a burger. Total bill = $9. At the same time, I'm bidding on some video games that I know would bring us hours of fun (Lego Star Wars & Mario Sunshine for the GameCube). One of the games I'll be able to get probably for $5. That game's entertainment "value" will be a whole lot more than the meal we ate. I wouldn't have done it normally, but my wife got a speeding ticket yesterday and sacrificed her fun money to pay for it. I wanted to do something to cheer her up, so the value for it today far outweighed the amount.

On the other hand, we were considering going to visit my in-laws over Thanksgiving, but due to my new job and no vacation time, we'd have to fly out there instead of drive. The cost if we bought the tickets now for the 3 of us would be $700. Now compare that to camping for 7 weekends this summer instead. I think 2 weeks of camping would be more enjoyable than 3 days with family.

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