Pricing rationalization

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.

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