Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The PITA tax

Before I get going on more blogs, it might be helpful to understand one of my own underlying theories about saving money, recycling, upcycling and the like.  

It's called "The PITA Tax"   Or...  "The Pain In The Ass Tax"

This is the difference in cost between what you could be saving  and  paying full retail price.   If you are paying the PITA Tax, it means you are paying more than you need to for something in order to avoid any real or perceived "Pain In The Ass Factor".   

The PITA Factor is simply how much of a pain in the ass you think something is or is going to be. 

This factor depends on many, many things.    Whether you can easily get what you need from alternate sources.  Does it go on sale often?  How long can you wait before getting said item or service?  Do you have time, style, colour, size, shape constraints which are unmoveable?  Do you have the time or energy to source everything you need?  Do you have your kids with you?   How tired are you?  How hacked off?  Have you just crushed your iPhone in the car door and really need a replacement this minute?? 

Let's say we have a 1-10 scale, although in reality it is much more complicated than this, but let's go with this, for simplicity's sake. 

IE:  I would like new curtains in my bedroom.   I could either;

A) go to a nice pricey design store, have them measure, cut and install a nice pair of curtains
PITA Factor = 0
PITA Tax = 10  (meaning the most expensive option)

B)  Go to John Lewis and pick out curtains off the shelf which are as close as possible to the right size and colour.
PITA Tax = 8 

C)  Buy the fabric I want, cut and sew the curtains myself
PITA Tax = 2

D)  Troll charity shops and discount websites for a few weeks until I find something I like.  Cut and sew curtains myself.

So you see,  the PITA tax generally goes down as the PITA Factor goes up.   Of course, this is assuming you would find making your own curtains a giant pain in the ass.  And even if you did, would the PITA Factor be high enough to make you pay the PITA Tax?

Does that make sense?   You will hear this term used a lot in future blog posts.


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