This message is a public service for women who wonder why men are “unable” to properly “read” price tags. I do not admit to using any of these pricing schemes but here are some examples I’ve heard about:

Price tag: $4.99 = Men’s Price: $4.00
We always round-down to zero all digits following a decimal point and then we add a penny. We just saved you a dollar! Thank us!

Price tag: $39.00 = Men’s Price: $30.00
We always round-down to zero the last digit in front of a decimal point and then add a dollar. We just saved you ten bucks! Thank us!

Price tag: $599.00 = Men’s Price: $500.00
If there are three numbers to the left of a decimal point we always round-down to zero the two digits closest to the decimal point and then add a dollar. We just saved you $100.00! Thank us! (You can extrapolate the rest of the “Rounding-Down” rules on your own. Just remember the only number that counts is the first one. Everything else gets rounded down to zero.)

Price tag: $68.00 = Men’s Price: Less Than the Shoes You Bought Yesterday
This is a defensive tactic in case the decimal point scheme isn’t working. We use this guilt trip ploy to price protect something we covet and cannot live without and it usually has something to do with enhancing our computer or car. If it takes a little “bargaining guilt” to get what we will die without, okay then, we can live with that. Remember: Men Don’t Whine, We Negotiate!

Price tag: 50% Off = Men’s Price: Free!
The math on this one is simple: An item that is half-price means we are saving half of the price. By adding that half-price savings we put in our pocket to the 50% Off sale price we cancel out the remaining 50%. Total cost of item = Free! There’s no use in arguing with the New Math for Men because the effectiveness of our madness has been proven over time in the stuff we bought to clog up the garage.

If there’s a problem with our calculations, we always make it up on the back end because when we talk about money coming in we always add 50% to the expected amount. We are positive thinkers who know we deserve to earn more than we are owed and we thank you in advance for agreeing with us. Please also keep in mind we are always trying to save you money no matter what you say.

When we arrive at the register for check-out and the savings appear to have disappeared, that is only because we have the bad luck of always buying on a day when a sales tax increase goes into effect or something. Or the cash register added everything up wrong. Don’t worry. We’ll make it up on the back end. We, as Men, do our best to put a positive spin on something that needs to be purchased — unless, of course, you are the one who wants to buy something — then the price gets doubled and we can’t possibly afford it.


  1. My husband does the whole “rounding down” thing all the time.
    “It’s only $49.”
    “No, honey,” I tell him, “It’s $49.99, which is actually more just over $50 by the time you add tax.”
    Drives me bonkers! 🙂

  2. Man is that some warped logic or what? lol
    I wonder how many people actually think like that.

  3. Carla! — I’m not saying if I “round-down” or not, but I will say I love the logic of your husband! Can’t you see he’s saving you money and heartache?!! 🙂
    hterry — Yeah, people who “round-down” are warped. I’m not saying I’m one of them, but Carla’s hubby has been identified. 🙂

  4. And don’t get me started on “Buy one, get one free.” That always ends up with him saying, “Look at how much money I saved you.”
    Somehow, he’s not as amused to hear me use that line. 😉

  5. As I read this post, I kept seeing myself in the store taking it from him and calmly saying, “You’re right, Honey,” and putting it in the cart. Then wishing I really did have eyes in the back of my head so I could see his quizzical look as I walk away.

  6. Heya Paula —
    Harr! “Quizzical” is right as we try to figure out why that was so easy and what you plan to buy next that’s quadruple the price! 🙂

  7. Finally – a chap admitting to these! Thank you!
    But when I argue that by buying my cashmere in the sales has SAVED me money, do I get any credit for it? Do I heck.

  8. “unless, of course, you are the one who wants to buy something — then the price gets doubled and we can’t possibly afford it.”
    This is my husbands Motto. I have found many ways around it with Women’s new math. Honey! Looki, it’s on sale! 😉

  9. Don’t tell anybody, but we also round down our estimated time of arrival at home (“I’ll be home, oh, around 5:00,” which of course means anytime in the 5:00 hour).

  10. Ruby — We are uncertain if we should be happy for you or mourn for your husband because he’s not only been found out, but bested. 🙂
    Jeff — Absolutely correct! Time travel and no-map-looking and refusal-to-ask-for-directions are all prime examples of the New Math for Men and we thank you for helping with the continuing education! 🙂

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