The following is from one of those helpful hints columns: CURB THE URGE: We have finally discovered a way to get our spending in order. When we see something we want, like a meal out, a new vehicle or clothes, we immediately calculate how many hours we would have to work to pay for that item. For example: A car payment of $400 per month divided by $25 per hour (net take-home pay) equals 16 hours. That means we'd have to work two days to make one car payment. Not too bad for a vehicle. Dinner out: $40 divided by $25 per hour equals 1.6 hours. This means we'd have to work longer than it takes us to actually eat the meal. Not a good investment. This has been the only way we have found to calculate the true cost of goods and to control our spending. Keep up the great work! Libra M., Texas This helpful hint reminds me of a board of directors group that I once served on. The chairman began every meeting asking each of us to estimate how much each board member made per hour in his/her professional job, then add all these figures together, and we would know how much the meeting was costing per hour. So we owed it to the organization to get serious and obtain results instead of wasting costly time. Put the meeting in entirely a different perspective.