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2010 Survey Results

After a long day in the sun at the 2010 Crossfit Games in LA, I've flopped into my Aeron in the RV, which is parked near my old stomping grounds in Hollywood. I found an amazing parking spot right near the Farmer's Market that has no street cleaning and is always empty at night. You'd be surprised how important things like street cleaning become when you live in an RV. Anyway, I don't have enough energy left to pull myself out of my chair, so it's time to tally up the survey results from a couple weeks ago and share what I learned.

Life Nomadic

This one was totally unexpected. Around a third of the people who responded said that they want more Life Nomadic. To be totally honest, I didn't know people were that interested in it. The site, when it was separate, never developed the same sort of following this site has.

The 80/20 of saving money

On Mental Models

Saving money is my hobby. I'm relatively good at it, but am not among the best. This is usually the case with things I enjoy. Never world class - but top 10% of comparable people. (This doesn't mean I'm in the top 10% of saving money, but probably among the top 10% of people who've spent a similar amount of time and effort saving money). Blame my scanner nature.

Score the big wins

As with any skill, I find it easy to save big on a few items, and basically ignore 80% of nominal "categories" or "items".

Think about your monthly budget, or enter it into a spreadsheet or tracking web app if you must (really?). For me, the biggest wins are extremely obvious. I spend 25% of my post-tax paycheck on rent. I spend 15% on my car. I save around 50%.

I could be saving 50% more if I spent absolutely nothing. Of those 50%, 80% are spent on rent and car. Meaning any optimization I do on any other bill is probably a waste of time. The difference of me not spending a dime on food versus just buying whatever I feel like (which I do currently) is less than a quarter of my rent. Moving to a slightly cheaper place would make up for huge splurging in any other category like phone, magazines, groceries, or restaurants.

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