Monday, December 30, 2013

The Furnace Filter Perspective

I'm not fond of comparing costs between things that have nothing to do with each other, but sometimes the perspective is useful.

I was at Target today and considering whether to pick up air filters for my furnace to avoid also having to stop at Home Depot on the way back home.  Target wanted $18 for two filters and was willing to throw in a $5 gift card for buying four of them (i.e. $31 for 4 if you consider the gift card same-as-cash).  This seemed slightly high, so I used Target's free wifi (oops for them?) to check the price at Home Depot.  Turned out that I could pay team orange less money AND get more filters out of the deal ($12 for 6).

I don't like these comparisons because my budget for changing the air filter so the furnace in my house doesn't break does not directly compete with my budget for online games.  However, it's worth noting that I could have taken the $20 I saved with a 30 second price check and turned it into any number of online gaming products - a month of game time with some change left over, hero-specific storage tabs for six Marvel Heroes characters, a variety of well reviewed older games, etc. 

Coming to terms with this perspective was probably the single biggest thing that changed for me as an MMO player/blogger in 2013.  Paying attention to money matters, if for no other reason than so you don't have to worry too much about money.  The trick is to know when it's worth driving to another store or slogging through a character without whatever perks, and when to pony up the cash. 

1 comment:

Bhagpuss said...

There's another way of looking at it, which is the one I currently employ, although it's by no means the one I've always employed. When I get to the end of the month I consider whether my savings have increased or decreased. If the number's gone down then it's time to start checking prices and making choices. If it's gone up then I don't need to think about that to much - I can just do whatever seems easiest at the time.

When it comes to money everything is always relative to how much you have and how much you expect to get. It makes all these discussions we have about "value" very difficult.