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mental accounting

mental accounting
 n.— «Experts say, for example, that such people don’t fall prey to something called “mental accounting,” in which an individual creates imaginary boundaries between different “types” of money.…People who treat money originating from varying sources differently do so at their peril: “If you won £100 at the horses, you’re likely to blow it on champagne, but if you found £100 in a savings account, you might just leave it there.”» —“Think about it: you can sort out your debts” by Helen Monks Observer (United Kingdom) Dec. 30, 2007. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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