The abstraction that measures personal cash is the wealth score, which you can set at character creation or have changed when financial circumstances for your character have changed.
If your Wealth score is greater than an object's price, you can buy it. Ta da. It's yours. Your Wealth score doesn't change.
If your Wealth score is less than the object's price, you can't get it and are stuck looking at it longingly while the shopkeeper memorizes your features in case the item in question goes missing.
If your Wealth score is equal to the object's price, you can buy it, but your Wealth drops by 1.
This is all very straightforward for buying a single item, but astute players will quickly realize the vulnerability of this first option: if you have Wealth 5 and want to buy a gun that costs wealth 3, they can automatically do so. If there's no limit to the number of times they can do that, there's no reason that they can't buy a hundred swords, or a thousand, and outfit an army on the cheap. Right?
Well no. Purchasing multiple items is slightly different. Sometimes you get a bargain for buying in bulk. More often, you pay a premium because each purchase depletes the available supply, thereby making every unsold item more valuable in comparison.
The most obvious way is to buy really expensive stuff, but there are other ways.
Infrastructure expenses, taxes, and just plain theft are realities, and a lack of activity can slowly deplete your money. Another way is to share it - by voluntarily decreasing your wealth by 1, you can give one other person Wealth equal to your newly lowered Wealth rating.
In your character's career, they're likely to encounter all sorts of rewards, loot, bounties or paydays. These have Wealth levels (or ranges) attached to them.
The reason for ranges is (1) loot may have greater or lesser value depending on the buyer, and (2) it's value may also fluctuate depending on the seller. If you get a rewards with a fluctuating value, it's because there's a chance to get a bigger payoff by finding the right seller, or by roleplaying a good story about getting rid of it. Note that sometimes you may not know what the Wealth range of something is unless you have some knowledge or skill that lets you appraise its value.
Once the item's Wealth level is set, you can decide what to do with it.
If your current Wealth is higher than the level of of the loot, you don't change your character's Wealth by taking it. (You get the goodies as objects, but they have no effect on your character sheet because they're insignificant compared to your overall bankroll.)
If your current Wealth is lower than the level of the loot, you can take it and jump up to the Wealth level of the loot.
If your current Wealth is equal to the level of the loot, you can sell it and raise your current Wealth by 1.The abstraction that measures personal cash is the wealth score, which you can set at character creation or have changed when financial circumstances for your character have changed.
0: Flat broke. Literally nothing to your name, except perhaps a set of clothing.
1: Spare Change: 1-10 dollar net worth. You might be able to buy a candy bar, or use the laundromat.
2: Homelessness. 10-100 dollar net worth. Some clothes, basic tools, some spare change.
3: Poverty. 100-1000 dollars. Barely scraping by.
4: Working class. 1k to 10k. A Ward's baseline pay sits here.
5: Lower middle class. 10k to 50k.
6: 50k to 400k. Actually middle class, The American Dream! Protectorate members.
7: 400k to 2m. Skilled professional. Doctor, lawyer, senior Protectorate Heroes.
8: 2m to 10m. Cash money. Actually Rich. Money to burn.
9: 10m to 50m. Lower bounds of yacht rich.
10: Fuck you money. No theoretical upper bound.
Examples of purchases:
0: You’ll get nothing and like it!
1: Candy bar, bus fair, using a laundromat, simple hand tools, a hot meal.
2: You’re not immediately worried about your next meal, wrenches and baseball bats, stun-sticks. Your costume probably is ‘ski-mask’ level.
3: Food for a week, several Ubers, a very low quality handgun, a hotel, cheap homemade costumes, a taser.
4: A beater car, quality guns, renting a crappy apartment. A costume with a theme and a design becomes possible here, and at higher wealth levels will be more likely to contain armor, high-end design and other goodies.
5: A midrange apartment, reliable cars, your retirement fund is no longer theoretical.
6: Buying a new car in cash, down payment on your new house, a fancy apartment, military grade weapons. Hired help is a possibility.
7: Sports cars, your own wine cellar, your second summer home.
8: You might own your own local politician, a mansion. Having multiple squads of goons is very reasonable.
9: A yacht, a private plane, maybe your own Congress person who you throw fancy fundraising parties for.
10: Private Island. No theoretical upper limit. Dreams of becoming a James Bond villain are tantalizingly close to real.