Over at On a Wing and a Whim, I read a post about one pilot harassing another about smoking. Least you think this was a self-righteous, moral high ground, don’t do that, you’ll die, harrassment, here’s the heart of the argument:
“I mean, they’re what, like, a gallon of avgas a pack?”
I am not a pilot, but I fully understand this measuring system. Money is paper. It’s value exists only in what it can buy. If you buy one thing, you can’t use that money to buy any other. It started as a joke, but my measuring system is based on ammunition and guns. Specifically .45ACP and 1911s. In my financial analysis system, there is a basic unit of measurement. When the pile of ammo I am using gets large enough, I transition to larger units. Prices continually creep upward, but more or less, forty dollars will get you 100 rounds of .45acp. and six hundred dollars will get you a no frills 1911. Its a great way to decide things. Plenty of the things we have to pay for in life are beyond our control, but when deciding is an option, this system helps me think through the real cost.
Of course, there are other ways to do this kind of math. A good friend of mine had to have a tooth crowned recently, and his share after insurance was neatly summed up by saying, “I could have bought a correct grade Garand for what that cost.”
I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something.