Square Foot Placebo

Quite often the impetus of a blog post for me is the result of a resounding insight that either I just can’t wait to share, or one that I heard elsewhere and morphed into my own relevance. Such was the case last week when I was listening to NPR.

There was a report on recent studies which indicated people believe they feel better from taking the most expensive medicine, even if it is a placebo (a fake). The point to the study is that we tend to use financial value as a end all for evaluating worth. This into itself is pretty fascinating, but one comment made during the interview fueled this thought path.

The guest on the show said “people will try harder to save $10 then they will to earn $10.”

This is a bit extreme but lets say your house cost $225.00 per square foot to build. One square foot in a 30 year mortgage at 6.25% equates to $227.46 in interest. For a 6×10 foot storage area it’s more than $16,000 dollars in interest over the life of the term. (Note: I did this math myself with Quicken loan planner, so take if for what it’s worth!)


(utilize that space…)

Ironically the people in the medicine test felt better after having taken the fake pricey drugs… but they might feel even better if they re-think how they organize their home and utilize their space as best they can.


(Cherry Republic, Glen Arbor Michigan… some spaces are worth the cost per square)


3 thoughts on “Square Foot Placebo

  1. Very interesting ideas. And the home storage room that costs $16,000 over the life of a mortgage will probably be used to store a $200 artificial Christmas tree and three boxes of junk we never use anymore!

  2. I don’t earn, so the effort has to be saving. I love thrift shops, too. I remember, and continue to observe in younger people’s lives, that one often seems to earn in order to spend in order to make earning possible. Buying, running and maintaining a car is a net loss. Still, it adds value to quality of life because one can drive to the country or the beach.

    I have very little space, but I enjoy my Christmas stuff so much I don’t grudge the storage. I could make better use of the outside, commercial storage space I rent. Strange to think that renting that space is more cost-effective than having similar space in a home…

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