One of the considerations for many of the things in our homes is the price or total cost. There is the initial price, and also on-going maintenance, repair or replacement costs. Depending on your finances, different cost structures will be more budget friendly for you.

For example, a more energy efficient furnace will usually be more expensive to purchase. However, over time it will save you money each time you pay your monthly energy bill. Another example is paper plates. Using paper or disposable plates is cheaper for a single use. That is, a paper plate usually costs much less than another type of plate. But over time, if you keep buying paper plates for each meal, that becomes much more expensive than buying reusable plates, even when you take the water and dish soap costs into account.


Income 20 shillings, expenditure 20 shillings and sixpence, result misery. But income 20 shillings, expenditure 19 shillings and sixpence, result happiness.
-- the character Mr. Macawber in Charles Dickens' David Copperfield, chapter 12.

And as the character Mr Macawber in David Copperfield pointed out, the difference between a budget where one consistently spends more than one's income (even by a small amount, in his case a sixpence, and one where the spending is consistently within the amount of income, can be a large difference in the happiness of the household. What's within budget, easy or "budget friendly" for one household, may be completely unsustainable for another household.

Do you have some good examples of budget trade-offs in running a household? Edit this page and add them.


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