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タバコをやめてからは、毎日300円ずつ貯金箱に入れている。タバコを買ったつもりで、お金を入れるわけだ。お金がたまったら自分へのプレゼントとして何か買うことに している。

  1. My own understanding was:
    {although the intention to buy cigarettes, (it was concluded that) i insert money in (the saving jar)} .

  2. Or with a rare meaning of 入れる=to pay(one's rent, etc.), i translate it as:
    {with the intention of buying cigarettes, no wonder that one would pay/waste money}

  3. Why would 1) and 2) be wrong and {Basically it's the money I planned on spending on cigarettes.} be CORRECT??

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This requires some "feeling into the language". I will walk you through the paragraph and indicating the underlying feelings.

タバコをやめてからは、毎日300円ずつ貯金箱に入れている。(→嬉しいこと) タバコを買ったつもりで、お金を入れるわけだ。(→タバコは好きだけれど、やめたらお金はたまる。だからその300円の貯金はタバコを吸った喜びだと思い込む) お金がたまったら自分へのプレゼントとして何か買うことに している。(→プレゼントが買えるから、タバコが吸えなくなった慰めにはなる)

Overall, this person is really trying to stay positive about not smoking anymore. Money is the perspective he took so he feels more comfortable with his actions.

I would translate that sentence as "I am putting in the money as if I have bought cigarettes already."

In order to interpret this sentence with accuracy, I need to know the actual story. So far, this is what I understood from the paragraph.

Hope it helps!

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  • "I am putting in the money as if I have bought cigarettes already." is exactly what i discovered to be a very probable/accurate translation of the sentence.
    – raruna
    Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 18:13

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