Surely some people can better apply intuition to regular numbers? I actually just tried this graphing method and it didn’t do anything for me at all. I actually caught myself trying to divide the ratio of area back into numbers.
I’ve never needed more than a text document for working these things out… and only if there is more information than I can keep track of in my head. For example, if I’m considering purchasing a $100 pair of jeans I might weigh the value against, say, 13 ribeyes, or opportunity cost of 5 hours at work.
I also keep a loose running estimate of expenditures to ensure I have a surplus over any period longer than a few weeks.
I’ve got a friend that used to express value in terms of the equivalent cost in burritos; if he was considering spending $20 on a new album, for example, he’d try to estimate whether he’d get more or less enjoyment out of it than getting four meals out of the nearest taco truck.
It worked pretty well for small to middling values but ran into scaling issues with large ones: a new computer system, for example, was intuitively incommensurate with five hundred burritos. Differing rates of hedonic depreciation also turned out to be a problem: a T-shirt was in the same economic ballpark as a burrito, but its hedonic value was spread out over one or two years rather than twenty delicious minutes of beans and lard.
The obvious comparison is to spread out the burrito consumption over equivalent periods. Assuming ~2 years of the new computer system - ‘would I prefer on any given day either a burrito, or use of the new computer system (over the old)?’.
While we’re at it, I like the catpennies quote.
Oh. Well, I guess I was wrong. Having two methods is still a good idea, since some people can’t. In fact, I’d be almost certain that there’s still lots of people neither method will work for.