I’ve found myself choosing more expensive options on a bunch of things lately. Are these tradeoffs correct? What goes into your tradeoff calculations?

Tradeoffs where I choose the more expensive option: (In these examples, the more expensive option is first.)

  • Guacamole on your burrito or no? (+$1/meal) - High deliciousness.
  • Manhattan or Brooklyn? (+$300/mo) - Regular payoff (convenience, excitement, awesomeness). Not sure about this one.
  • Get takeout or make dinner? (+$2/meal) - High value of my time (going to the store & cooking) outweighs cost.
  • Organic butter or regular? (+$3/lb) - Ostensible health benefits, minor taste benefits, and cost is low.
  • 27” or 21” iMac? (+$500) - Regular payoff in productivity.
  • Solid-state drive or platter? (+$150) - Regular payoff in productivity.
  • Amazon Prime or no? (+$80/yr) - Regular payoff in not having to think about how to obtain something.
  • Buy smoothie or make it? (+$4/day) - Prefer flavor; I don’t like going to the grocery store. Not sure about this one.
  • Nice or cheap tea? (+$.50/cup) - High deliciousness. Low cost.
  • Withings scale (automatically uploads your weight) or cheap scale? (+$100) - Lowers barrier to tracking my weight daily, possibly resulting in health benefits.

Tradeoffs where I choose the cheaper option:

  • Men’s dress shoes: Johnston & Murphy, or Rockport? (+$100) - Benefits (comfort) significant when used, but I only use them a couple times a year.
  • Gaming mouse or cheapo mouse? (+$40) - Benefits (accuracy, comfort) are not significant, despite daily use.
  • Frame that poster for my wall, or don’t bother? (+$100) - Do not expect long-term benefits.
  • Business class or coach? (+$500 or more) - Benefits (comfort for a few hours) are not significant enough.
  • Designer jeans or cheap jeans? (+$100) - Benefits (comfort, style) are not significant enough, despite daily use. Not sure about this one since I’ve never worn designer jeans.