“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”

That’s from Henry David Thoreau, a 19th century American journalist and philosopher. It’s quite a neat way to go about budgeting.

We tend to think about the things we want to buy in terms of price tags. Specifically, is the thing we want to buy cheaper than a similar product or service.

Thoreau advises us to think differently. He asks to think about the cost of the things we want to buy in terms of the hours we need to work.

For example, if you earn on average £10 an hour and you’re about to buy an £800 gadget, you need to ask yourself if it’s really worth 80 hours of your life or about 10 days’ worth of work.

Putting the cost of things in this perspective can curb impulse buying. It can help you to make better decisions about how you spend your hard earned money.