While surveys are sometimes off, they can be helpful. Based on the data from 1380 (ninety percent men) FIRE participants, via Reddit, here are a few findings. Though all we can say for certain might be that men who follow FIRE fill out Reddit surveys.
- Average salary household salary is $143,500, median is $104,000.
- Average mortgage is $94,000, median is zero.
- Average investment portfolio (everything) is $380,000, median is $100,000.
- Average savings rate is 46%, median is 50%.
Part-of-the-reason that personal finance is difficult is the lack of experience making large purchases. A wise friend once told me how she counseled her her younger colleagues about bonuses: avoid the three-r’s, rims, rocks, and racks. Morgan Housel offers the same advice noting how homes, educations, and vehicles make up a huge chunk of a person’s budget.
The FIRE folks figured this out. Whereas the national average (and national suggestion) spend on homes is about about 29%, FIRE folks only spend about 10% on housing.
There are a lot of ways to be efficient. Make a left across traffic to buy cheaper gas. Stock up on groceries during a sale. But these are often regular and salient. However these “daily lattes” really don’t matter.
If someone spends less on the big (non-salient cost) things, they’ll probably be fine financially.
Source: Google Docs.
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