Buyer’s remorse is real and painful, even more so if you’re trying to be frugal. P/hop or Pennies per Hour of Pleasure is a principle we use to prevent buyer’s remorse by determining if a purchase is worth the investment for us.
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The origin of the p/hop principle
Several years ago I came across a principle that completely changed how I budgeted for my hobbies. I don’t think I’ve made a purchase I’ve regretted since.
The principle was created, as far as I know, by p/hop, which is a community run site, that sells knitting patterns to benefit Medicins sans Frontieres (Doctors without borders). You basically guestimate how many hours of pleasure you will get out of the pattern and pay accordingly in pennies per hour.
I started out using the principle to decide if other knitting patterns were worth buying as well and from there it trickled down to pretty much any financial decision I make.
How to (almost) never experience buyer’s remorse again
Have you ever found yourself looking at that thing you bought for your hobby or that dress you never wear filled with regret that you spend so much money on it? I have and it sucks. However, since I started implementing the p/hop principle that hasn’t happened. You see, simply by asking myself how many hours of pleasure will I get from this purchase I’m able to weed out most offenders.
It also helped me view my husbands spending differently. Frankly, EVERYONE gets the importance of spending top dollar on great yarn, right?! But video games? We would have a $0 budget for those if it was only up to me. It used to pain me when my husband would spend a good deal of money on those noisy, violent timewasters. I know, it was petty of me, but it’s the truth.
When I looked at the games through the lens of the p/hop principle it started to make sense to me though. My husband often had a good idea of how long the ‘gameplay’ was for a particular game. I would listen and nod and try to look like I understood all the words like gameplay and then he would get to the piece of information I was really waiting on – 40 hours – I’d do the math quickly, less than 10 DKK per hour and I would be okay with the purchase.
My husband has since become much more frugal in his game choices and recently bought a game that was less than 0.50 DKK per hour. Can you imagine how proud I was?! It also goes to show how we rub off on each other over time.
Our latest p/hop purchase
The latest p/hop purchase we made was our wonderful caravan, which is anything but tiny. It’s our home away from home and we love it – but it was a big investment. We spent a good chunk of our savings on that thing.
To decide if it would be worth it for us, I mentally added up the days we would roughly spend in it each year. I figured 40 at a minimum. 40 days is equal to 960 hours. Then there are all the hours our friends and family will enjoy it, especially my parents – I totalled that to another 40 days roughly.
Then I divided the price of the caravan with 1920 hours and got my price per hour. It was a number I was completely comfortable with and that’s for a one-year amortization. After that, the price will decrease immensely as well only have the yearly expenses to factor in.
The benefit of the p/hop principle
The principle reveals what the true value of things is. Your monetary investment and the hours of pleasure you get from that investment reveals your personal tipping points. This means the principle makes it much easier to stay clear of items that would give you buyer’s remorse.
What’s the p/hop of your latest purchase?