An advertiser's gimmick, designed to make expensive items or services seem cheap.
The beauty of this method is that it can make expensive items seem inexpensive while meeting Truth in Advertising Laws. "You can feed a child in DarkestAfrica for less than a can of soda a day!" And it's true. But the charity wants the payments a month at a time; and $1.50 per day just goes by so much more quietly than $46.50 all at once. (In the UK, the DarkestAfrica example is famously and memetically "just two pounds a month", and such appeals are often parodied).
Often used with items such as computers, charitable donations, or [[ViewersLikeYou PBS stations.]] Popular with the charities because, even if you do realize this'll add up, a few pennies a day isn't much, and you'll likely spend them anyway - why not on something that'll make the world a better place?
Also popular with objects that are supposed to save more in the long run than the extra initial cost.
Gym payment plans are often structured around this kind of thing, but in reverse. $365 a year sounds so much better as "a dollar a workout."
Often seen in similar contexts to FourEqualPaymentsOf. In some ways, this is crueler than advertising the installment plan.
Also compare and contrast CrackIsCheaper. [[IThoughtItMeant Despite the name, it's not actually]] [[PayingInCoins paying for it in pennies]].
* This is especially prevalent in charity advertising. For sixty cents a day (less than you pay for your coffee, you heartless bastard!) you could save the life of this child[=/=]puppy[=/=][[InspirationallyDisadvantaged mentally challenged panda]]. It sounds like a pittance until you realize that you're agreeing to have thirty dollars taken out of your account ''every month.''
** On this very site, an ad for Doctors Without Borders: "25 cents a day can help Doctors Without Borders give emergency care to those who need it most." Of course, you need to pay for at least a month at a time.
* Parodied in a letter to British comic Viz - "A donation of just £2 a month supplies an African village with water says my water company, yet they charge me £10 a week, the robbing sods"
* [=ThermoSpa=] hottubs say that you can own a hottub for about $1.50 a day. That may be true, but there's still the big upfront fee associated with buying the hottub (especially one with all the bells and whistles), no matter how low-maintenance it might be.
* The UK's television licensing authority likes to use this one as well.
* The flip side of "Save hundreds a year!" When the advertised product ''costs'' money, the sum is divided into the smallest possible units, even when it cannot be paid for that way. (Pennies a day, billed monthly.) When the product ''saves'' money, the sum is totaled for an entire year-- again, even when the payment cannot be annual. (Save hundreds a year on your monthly bill.)