When I was a teenager with her first job, I developed a financial coping skill that I will share with you, though I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this. I think of buying, selling, earning, and saving in terms of an object I care about whose price I know.
At age sixteen, I used a $40 wool sweater as a reference. I earned about a sweater a day as a lifeguard during the summer.
As a college student, my reference was pizza. The $4.99 Corleone’s large cheese special (with two 32 ounce Cokes) was usually out of my budget, but it made a fine comparison tool.
After we bought a house, my reference became our mortgage payment. The apartment the company rented for us when we first arrived in Japan was eight mortgage payments. Yikes!
My latest reference is a lovely Abssynian kitten for sale at “Dog and Cat Nana.” He is priced at 120,000 yen—about a thousand dollars. So now I think of things in terms of kittens. “That job just earned me 1.5 kittens.”
Economics via Kittens
1 kitten = 1000 vending machine drinks
1 kitten = 136 Zoupi
1 kitten = 120 rides on the LaQua rollercoaster
1 kitten = 50 CDs
1 kitten = 42 Zousan
1 kitten = 30 dinners at Ampresso
1 kitten = 10 pairs of jeans
1 kitten = 10 kg of Japanese beef
2.5 kittens = 1 month’s rent
5.2 kittens = 1 G5 + cinema display
7.3 kittens = 1 1996 VW Beetle 1600i
350 kittens = 2LDK apartment at Lions Square
6,662,369,081 kittens = 1 US national debt
Money seems so much cuter and accessible now.Posted by kuri at July 11, 2003 09:59 AM