Five bucks? Yep. Five bucks. Here is what I’m proposing that has worked well for me in the past when it comes to deciding what entertainment to buy:

1. When purchasing entertainment, determine how many hours of fun you’ll get out of that particular entertainment.
2. Multiply that number of hours by five bucks.
3. Determine if the cost of the entertainment is below that amount. If so, purchase it. If not, consider it more carefully or just walk away.

For instance, when I want to purchase a video game, I decide about how many hours will be played. I don’t mean how many hours the game says it has. I mean how many hours will definitely be played1. An example would be the more recent Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. Over the years, I’ve loved open-world games and have played many hours in each. So I figured, at the least, I’d spend 20 hours in the game. 20 times five bucks is \$100. Was the price of \$60.00 worth it? Yes, although I got it for free as a gift.

Another example would be a board game. Let’s consider Cranium. It costs around \$30. I figure my family and I will play at least three hours of it2. Now here is where it gets a little different. My family consists of four people who regularly game together. Four times three hours is 12 hours. Five bucks an hour would be \$60. Is \$30 worth it? Yes. I count the total hours of fun had by each person.

I even used this method for considering my Xbox 360 purchase a couple of years ago. My daughter and I would definitely play it. We would get at least 50 hours a piece with all the future game purchases, video watching, etc. That is 100 hours times five bucks. I paid much less than \$500, so it was definitely worth it. If you have deeper pockets, feel free to up the amount.

What do you think of this idea? Do you have your own method of determining entertainment purchases? Feel free to share in the comments.

1. It’s common for me to quit a game before ever finishing it. []
2. possibly much more []