Listen To The Story

Whether we're at the mall, talking to a real estate agent, or standing in line to get a loan,we are constantly thinking about whether we’re spending our money in the right way. As part of our week-long series, Consumed, we've created a tool to help figure out the relative worth of an item to you -- any item.

"Worth It or Not?" is a simple game that calculates the value of almost anything based on its cost per use, and then allows others to weigh in on whether they think it's worth it or not.

We wanted to see how much it costs to own a Rolex watch, per day, as compared with a less-expensive Swatch watch. A Rolex you wear every day, compared with one that comes out of the drawer for special occasions. A vacation you take once. A child you have for the rest of your life. You can see how much those different life choices cost, with the entries already in our database.

But we also invite you to create your own polls by providing a photo, and some basic information about the item, including the price, a description and photo, how long it will last, and how often you use it.

Here’s how to play:

Step One: Create Your Own Poll

It's simple to create a new poll. First, you'll need to create a free, registered account on Marketplace.org. When you click the link to "create a new poll," you will be directed to a sign-up screen; choose a user name and password. You can also upload a profile image that will appear next to your poll and any comments you post.

Step Two: Fill Out the Form

Pick an image of the item you want rated (the higher-quality image, the better), add a title and two-or-three sentence description. Remember, if the picture doesn’t explain its whole value, the description is where you can make your case to voters!

Next, enter the retail price or "cost" of an item.

Finally, tell us how long it lasts and how often you’ll use it. If you only get one use out of it, pick “Just once.” Remember, an item cannot be used for longer than it lasts. If it does, the game will return an error message asking you to correct the issue.

Once you have all of your info in, click save to be presented with a draft version of your poll with the cost-per-use calculated. Your item will not be published until it is reviewed by our editors.

Step Three: Let the voting begin!

Once your item has been published by one of our editors, it's ready to be voted on. You can also share it with your friends on Facebook or Twitter to get their votes counted, and you can log in to post your own comments.

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Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Mary Dooe at @@Dooezer