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Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy

Home Financial Literacy Home Economics How About That Mattress?

How About That Mattress?

You've had an achy back ever since you decided to get that waterbed (but it looked so cool in the ad!), and now you need a firmer mattress.

There’s a really awesome one that has these little air pocket things that cushion you 24x7. It comes with a decade-long guarantee and a “free” set of sheets. Built-in sound machine. Fire-retardant, water-resistant and bug-repelling. And it’s a Queen. Big bed. Certainly when compared to that “quarter-twin” or whatever it is you’ve been sleeping on that only comfortably fits one butt cheek.

But when you go to MattressMania, dad does that brow-furrowing thing when he sees the price. The mattress costs a GRAND. A THOUSAND bucks. It is the most expensive mattress in the store. No wonder, with all those bells and whistles. Dad’s gaze quickly begins to drift to other mattresses; there’s a pink super-puff on sale for $320, but you have to haul it away yourself.

You feel heartbroken and need to quickly figure out a way to make this work. Because you’ve hung with us at Shmoop Global HQ here, you have at your disposal a tool even Batman covets – accounting!

The quick math for dad:

You’ll have the bed 10 years – it’s even guaranteed (and by a company you think likely will still be around in 10 years). You’ll sleep on it 300 nights a year – yeah, you stay at gramma’s now and again, and there’s one month you’re going to spend crashing in your family’s summer beach house, and some random travel and the occasional sleepover. But after a decade of 300 nights a year, you get 3,000 peaceful, somnambulist-free nights with an average of 10 hours per night of life-on-bed. (You sleep 8 hours but there’s an hour before of staring at your ceiling trying to fall asleep, and then an hour of hitting the snooze button in the morning.)

On the 3,000 nights thing, for a grand, that’s only 33 cents a night – and at 10 hours, it’s just 3.3 cents an hour. Seems way cheap, no? You wouldn’t even be able to feel that many pennies if they were under your mattress.

And oh, by the way, what if you’d bought that cheap pink mattress puff thing – and it only lasted 2 years? Yeah – way more expensive relative to time spent in your built-to-last beast.

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