Tuar Kidal, I think that the justification is fairly easy. With as limited a budget as you have, you must seek to minimize your expenditure for value received.
Alternative: a month’s worth of eating out (not every day, of course)
Value: Assuming that said one month’s worth of eating out consists of very affordable meals (perhaps a $2.99 breakfast of eggs and some meat-like substance or $4.00 for some fast-food value meal - not incl. GST), you will eat out five or six times. At a very generous allowance of an hour per meal for food that can be made at home as good as if not better than what you’d buy, your cost is a whopping $3.33 per hour.
Alternative: two concerts at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Value: A concert likely runs from 1.5 to 2 hours, not including the intermission. Having gone to two such events, your cost is upwards of $5 per hour.
Alternative: three new cell phone games
Value: While such games may provide diversionary pleasure for many hours, given the complexity and overall attractiveness of the games, boredom is unavoidable. After all, you wouldn’t want new games if you were still enthralled with those already on your cell. Cost: At 50 hours per game / 3 games - a substantial improvements over the past two…$0.13 per hour.
Alternative: a 50-pack of CD-Rs
Value: I’m assuming that you are using the discs to save music. If you’re anything like me, many of them go into the CD case and never come out again, except on a rare occasion when you ask yourself, “what was on this again?” Some will go into regular rotation, but their use will be tempered considering that there are already many other favorites in rotation. You may well get 300 hours of total listening pleasure out of those new discs. Cost is $0.07 per hour.
Alternative: upto three actual, legal audio CDs
Value: Well, depends upon the CD of course. Frankly, if you’re one to already obtain music by dubious means (recalling that downloading music, while arguably unethical, is not illegal here in Canada), this is an outright waste of your $20. You may in fact, however, have a preference for factory stamped CDs, but total listening pleasure may not exceed 90 hours in the next year (less than one hour of music per CD, 30 spins per). Your cost is $0.22 per hour.
Alternative: a second DDR pad for about two dollars more
Value: I haven’t a clue what a DDR pad, so I will blindly assess its cost at $0.10 per hour.
Alternative: three to four offbeat movies at small, downtown theatres
Value: Easy calculation of 2 hours per, thus cost of $2.50 per hour. Of course, some of those may be duds, and you won’t know until you’ve actually spent the money.
Alternative: SDMB subscription
Value: Difficult to calculate. First, I must offer my never-to-be-humble opinion that the perceived value of SDMB is greatly enhanced by my ability to participate in threads, even if I choose not to do so for days or weeks at a time. Of course, it must be noted that reading the board is available free of charge, so the cost per hour when calculating time spent on the board is skewed when calculating the cost for participation, considering that so much of the time is reading, an activity inherenty free of cost. With that said, you may be a one a week poster, or a poster with a 7.73 message per day standard. I would guess that many here, given their post counts, must necessarily spend a couple hours a day reading and posting. Over the course of a year, this is over 700 hours of pleasure. In my opinion, given the limited number of choices because of budget constraints (a guns and butter argument, if you will), the perceived value is necessarily higher than any of the alternatives you offered. You will find more wisdom, stupidity, humour, intelligence, curiousities, opinions, theories, lambastings, rants, diatribes and gibberish than you will ever find in a Big Mac, an overture, a digital diversion, an MP3, a .cda, a DDR (whatever the hell that is), or a B-movie. Hell, this post alone took me over 20 minutes to craft!
To make my short story even less short, based simply on economic realities, your cost per hour of enjoyment is less than $0.03 per hour of consumption.
Beat that with one of your DDR thing-ma-bobbies!