Cost per Use

One way to use your money wisely and avoid clutter in life is to minimize the cost per use of your things.


Your goal should not only be to surround yourself with things that have a very low cost per use, but to drive down the average cost per use of all of your stuff (this doesn’t apply to assets like investments or real estate which typically gain value overtime).


Cost per use is the cost of something divided by the number of times you use it. For example, if you see a jacket you want to buy that costs $100 and you think you will wear it five times, your cost per use would be $20 ($100 / 5 = $20). The more you use it, the lower your cost per use will be.  If for some reason you only end up wearing it once, your cost per use will $100 ($100 / 1 = $100). If you keep that item of clothing it will increase the average cost per use of the rest of your things if your average cost per use is $30. (Your average cost per use is the cost per use of each personal item you own averaged together into one number.)


Lowering your average cost per use will save you money and eliminate clutter in your life because there are two ways to do it.  The first is use the stuff you have more often.  If you do this you won’t need more stuff.  The second is to get rid of things you don’t use (like the jacket you bought for $100 but only wore once). A good way to see if you should get rid of an item or buy it is by checking to see how much it costs to rent it. (You can rent almost anything today, including clothes.) You might save yourself some money and you will save yourself the trouble of getting rid of that item later when your life becomes cluttered.


Things cost time; the time we spend to make the money to buy them, the time we spend maintaining them, and the time we spend getting rid of them.  And time is the only thing we can’t get back once it’s gone.  So maximize your time and money by simplifying your life. “I’m glad I spent my life accumulating, maintaining, and getting rid of stuff,” said no one ever.