Free Stuff And The Pareto Principle  

Recently I came to the conclusion that quite possibly my most creative and ingenious accomplishments have been realized in the pursuit of free and cheap stuff. A ‘sweet deal’, as I’ve been told is my trademark catchphrase.

As I came to this epiphany, I did a broad tally of the worth of all the free and extremely cheap shit I’ve gotten, and the overall value is comfortably into the five figures.

That comes contrary to the popular belief even I myself have held that generally scrounging up good deals one little thing at a time isn’t really that much of a money-saver – it’s far more worthwhile just to keep a minimalistic profile and have good spending habits.

It seems to generally follow the Pareto principle, with the vast majority of the earnings/savings coming from a few particularly sweet deals.

I think this may, perhaps, be an exploration into why the 80% of effort that contributes only to the marginal 20% of value is in fact necessary to get that other 20%. For me, getting sweet deals is a bit of a lifestyle. I keep my eye out for ways to game the system in almost everything I do, and I’ve really done some pretty epic shit that I’m quite proud of.

I may not have gotten much value out of 80% of my effort, but if I hadn’t expended that effort and honed my skills on those little things, I might have missed the big ones entirely. Perhaps that’s why the 80-20 principle is so pervasive and in some situations there may be no particularly good – or even desirable – ‘fix’. The 80% of input does contribute to the 80% of output – just perhaps not directly.


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