My wife often accuses me of inflating or deflating the price of something based on whether or not I want it. Its probably a common occurrence, but I the more I thought about it, the more I noticed how much I do it.
It goes something like this: say I want a new bike, or a new pair of skis, or basically anything that I think is cool, or I "need".. I round down the price. For instance, I bought a new set of pedals for my cross bike recently and in my mind they cost $100. In reality, they cost $119 + tax. I even told several people how I got this screaming deal for only $100.. In fairness they were on a year-end sale at 60% off normal retail.
The opposite is true if I’m not particularly interested in whatever it is we’re buying. Case in point: we needed a new home phone last weekend after our ancient one died. I complained that the new one cost $50 – the actual retail price: $39.95.
It wasn’t necessarily too surprising that I round up or round down to rationalize a purchase… what was surprising is how I seem to do it subconsciously.