Beeminder Forum

Is there a beeminder term for … “pay per unit”?

Say I have a goal of 40 push-ups per week and I do that, on average, for 6 months, then one week fall off, pay my pledge of $5 …
So in those six months I managed 960 push-ups. And these are probably things I would not have done on my own without beeminder’s minding me (my usage of beeminder to remind me)
sure, now I pay five dollars, but these could be seen as the price I paid to make the 960 happen, half a cent per push-up
I was pondering some way to thing of the sting across the time (and units) between stings.

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ooh, i love this way of thinking! i don’t have a good term for it though.

oh, there’s a standard finance term: amortization

it had never occurred to me to apply that term to beeminder goals before but i immediately love the idea :smiley:

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At first the term amortization brought to mind thoughts of debt and I would not want to think of those push-ups as debt.
At the same time, the service was in place and being used during those six months. Then came the sting and instead of just “oh darn, my $5”, I can view it as having paid for the last six months of service, and in this case, my per-push-up cost.

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Exactly. Amortizing a debt means paying it off gradually. But also you can amortize any expense by treating it as spread out over some duration. With your pushups goal you can amortize the lump-sum derailment cost and treat it as paying half a penny per pushup that Beeminder caused you to do. :blush: :muscle:

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Wow, this could be pretty cool as an actual feature… add it to the trackers!!
Definitely going to cobble something up with the API to see how much stuff I am doing per dollar.

Pretty incredible that this was the first time this idea has been brought up! Great thought, @ubdhtvqeakj9.

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Is charge data available through the API? I only see creating new charges, not getting charge history, in the API docs.

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As far as I know, the public API does not provide an endpoint for querying payment history.
Furthermore, the current endpoints also do not provide data about derailments as part of the goal object. (One can look for the beeminder generated datapoints with the comment about a recommit.)

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@narthur @krugerk you’re both correct - seems like (for now? cc @dreev) the only reliable(ish) way to do this is to scrape your billing page.

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I love this idea. I keep a Google Sheets with bits of different information about my goals and I’m going to add the total paid in pledges to it and the total number of units (which I’ll update occasionally, when I’m curious) to reframe this. It might also help me to have a “what I would pay to be doing this” column to it because I find that I sometimes think “Oh gods! I’ve paid $X in derailments on this goal!” but when I step back and ask “What would I pay if I could just make myself able to follow through on this for 3 years from the start date?” the number is often much, much, much higher. (And I think that lends itself really nicely to being converted to a per-unit perspective.)

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Dang, now you’re making me think this should be built in to the stats tab on the goal page!

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Just saw this thread. I WANT THIS FEATURE NOW! :slight_smile:

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Wouldn’t the answer to the original question be something like “unit cost” or “unit value”? There might be some related knowledge on this type of thing in economics or game theory, and it seems similar in some ways to opportunity cost. One is attempting to compare the value of a beeminder goal to what one might have otherwise paid to achieve the same result through different means, such as paying a life coach, therapist, etc.

Certainly, this idea is core to the value proposition of beeminder.

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