As I was reading advice that dad's gave their kids about money, I came upon the quote:

Andrew: We went to a carnival, and afterwards my dad said, "That was the cost of mowing the lawn. Was that worth mowing the lawn?" Now I always think of purchases in terms of hours of work. Is it worth it?Later, I noticed my wife (who has a blog of her own that I am psuedo-competing with--but don't tell her!) was kind enough to read and comment on one of my posts and said:

So you'd need to make $10 working in GR to make the trip break even. That's why I didn't like summers working at FCS where I'd be scheduled for 2-3 hours and make $20. Half of my paycheck would be going toward gas!They got me thinking about figuring out how many hours of work does it cost to earn the right to do certain things.

So, here's a handful of calculations, based on an hourly rate of $10. Do I really make $10 per hour? I suppose that depends on how many hours you divide my salary into, but I'm not going to reveal that all, and $10 is easy to divide, so I'll stick with it.

How much work do I need to do to take my wife out to the movies? Assuming the new $10 price per ticket, $9 for popcorn, $15 for babysitting, and the gas out there and back ($9.60) we're looking at basically 55 dollars:

To fill up the gas tank?

To come into work?

To buy that iPad you've always wanted?

How much work for that Starbucks Mocha Frappucino:

A different way to think about it is to figure out how long it takes to earn a dollar, and than start referring to dollar bills in those terms instead. For me that is:

So now I think: wow! Gas costs almost 24 minutes of work a gallon!

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