Relative Value.

It took me far too long in my life to do this, but a few years ago I did start thinking in terms of relative as opposed to absolute cost. For example:

If it costs $2 to take the bus to the train station, and $6.75 for the train (even though I am going one stop — ridiculous Caltrain) and $2 for the bus at the other end to get me to a stop a block from my home, and taking a bus the entire way would cost $7, then public transit costs anywhere from $7 to $10.75.

A Shared Lyft is $11, including tip to the driver.

Is my time worth $4 dollars? It’s certainly worth a quarter. And the $4 means I don’t have to wait outside in 90 degree heat.

The $8 at Starbucks, however, really isn’t offset by anything.

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