ROI Scoreboard

back in the day ROI machine

Welcome to the ROI Scoreboard, this is where I compile all the ROI scores from my blog posts.  Each scenario is evaluated over a 10-year horizon with the following summary statistics:

  • Present value – what is the total value of your investment and expected returns in today’s dollars?
  • Return on investment (ROI) – how much of your original investment will you make back? (see: how to use a ROI)
  • Payback period – how long will it take you to recoup your original investment?

The list below is organized descending by present value, meaning the items at the top of the list will save you the most money.

All ROI analyses are in REAL DOLLARS, which means that inflation has already been factored in using a 4% real growth rate (versus 7% nominal).  In other words, I have set these up so that $5.00 will buy you a loaf of bread today and would also buy you a loaf of bread in 10 years.

Finally, please remember that this isn’t an exact science!  I have to make assumptions about people’s preferences, situation, and the way the world works, but I try my best to make these examples as accurate as possible and to let you know what my assumptions are.  If you ever think I missed the mark on something, feel free to download the spreadsheet and recalculate for yourself.  Thanks for visiting… spend well! – FG ROI

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ROI Scores :: present value | ROI | payback period

  1. Sell car, buy bike (with exercise $$) :: $260,826| 743% | 0.1 years
  2. Live abroad for 10 years :: $224,754 | 125% | 0.5 years
  3. Keep car, use bike half of the time (with exercise $$) :: $116,241| 509% | 0.2 years
  4. Work from home, get rid of car :: $106,106 | 1,768% | 0.1 years
  5. Add some moderate exercise to life :: $88,444 | 88,444% | 0.0 years
  6. Send 1 kid to childcare (instead of staying home) :: $86,806 | 151% | 0.6 years
  7. Quit smoking :: $78,539 | 78,539% | 0.0 years
  8. Sell car, buy bike (no exercise $$) :: $71,546 | 144% | 0.5 years
  9. Buy a smaller house (new) :: $56,707 | 60% | 0.7 years
  10. Sell car, go public transit :: $51,617 | 74% | 0.6 years
  11. Work from home, keep car and other driving :: $49,917 | 832% | 0.2 years
  12. Buy an economy car instead of luxury car :: $47,961 | 61% | 0.6 years
  13. Buy a smaller house (existing) :: ~$39,955
  14. Live 10 miles closer to work :: $37,173 | 188% | 0.4 years
  15. Skip the wedding :: $36,266 | 7,253% | 0.0 years
  16. Send twins to childcare (instead of staying at home) :: $34,298 | 36% | 1.0 years
  17. Elope instead of normal wedding :: $31,825 | 909% | 0.1 years
  18. Keep car, use bike half of the time (no exercise $$) :: $28,881 | 126% | 0.6 years
  19. Be socially irresponsible investor :: $28,050 | 280,054% | 0.0 years
  20. Buy sedan instead of SUV :: $24,876 | 32% | 0.7 years
  21. Go to store for meat instead of hunting :: $20,621 | 129% | 0.4 years
  22. Don’t start a personal finance blog :: $18,446 | 1,677% | 0.0 years
  23. Buying existing vs building new home :: $17,565 | 22% | 0.8 years
  24. Make four extra meals at home per week :: $17,243 | 88% | 0.6 years
  25. Not getting a dog :: $16,887 | 278% | 0.2 years
  26. Buy used car instead of new :: $15,350 | 23% | 0.6 years
  27. Investing in low-cost ETFs :: | $15,284 | 1,243% | 0.1 years
  28. Investing in low-cost mutual funds :: $13,378 | 468% | 0.2 years
  29. Drinking at home instead of bars :: $12,986 | 624% | 0.2 years
  30. Buying eggs at the store instead of raising chickens :: $9,756 | 417% | 0.1 years
  31. Bring your lunch to work :: $9,584 | 77% | 0.4 years
  32. Skip rush hour :: $8,969 | 48% | 0.6 years
  33. Use wifi instead of cell phone data plan :: $8,853 | 265% | 0.4 years
  34. Make two extra meals at home per week :: $8,632 | 88% | 0.6 years
  35. Keep car, go public transit 50% of the time :: $8,328 | 20% | 0.9 years
  36. Buy washing machine with roommates (vs. laundry service) :: $8,318 | 209% | 0.9 years
  37. Get different kind of wedding ring :: $8,082 | 20,205% | 0.0 years
  38. Get rid of cable :: $7,403 | 12,338% | 0.1 years
  39. Switch to 3G cell phone plan :: $7,240 | 157% | 0.6 years
  40. Buy washing machine (live alone) (vs. laundry service) :: $6,542 | 126% | 2.9 years
  41. Cut your own hair (gals) :: $6,078 | 1,326% | 0.1 years
  42. Buy washing machine with roommates (vs. laundromat) :: $5,866 | 219% | 1.5 years
  43. Cowpooling 1/2 cow per year (vs. whole foods) :: $5,425 | 47% | 0.9 years
  44. Make your own coffee before work :: $5,230 | 647% | 0.2 years
  45. Live in Canada :: $5,095 | 22% | 0.9 years
  46. Switch cell phone plans :: $4,992 | 78% | 0.8 years
  47. Buy washing machine (live alone) (vs. laundromat) :: $4,090 | 105% | 3.9 years
  48. Make your own coffee (with milk) before work :: $4,004 | 224% | 0.4 years
  49. Cut your own hair (guys) :: $3,454 | 512% | 0.3 years
  50. Hire a bill haggler :: $3,022 | 3022% | 0.0 years
  51. Eating pot candy instead of drinking beer :: $2,208 | 265% | 0.3 years
  52. Buy Chromebook instead of Macbook :: $1,776 | 128% | 0.8 years
  53. Don’t use a tankless water heater :: $1,666 | 39% | 0.4 years
  54. Growing a 400 sq. ft. garden :: $1,633 | 37% | 0.9 years
  55. Eating pot candy instead of drinking wine :: $1,376 | 165 | 0.4 years
  56. Get a smart thermostat :: $1,181 | 454% | 2.6 years
  57. Not brewing your own beer (4 drinks per week) :: $1,071 | 31% | 0.6 years
  58. Eating pot candy instead of drinking liquor :: $1,039 | 125% | 0.5 years
  59. Using a push reel mower (vs. gas mower) :: $796 | 41% | 0.6 years
  60. Borrowing books from the library :: $773 | 94% | 0.6 years
  61. Not buying an electric toothbrush :: $589 | 982% | 0.1 years
  62. Carbonate your own soda :: $512 | 64% | 1.9 years
  63. Not air drying your laundry :: $480 | 41% | 0.5 years
  64. Water efficiency upgrades for the home ::$452 | 103% | 5.9 years
  65. Growing a 100 sq. ft. garden :: $435 | 37% | 0.9 years
  66. Cloth vs. paper towels :: $219 | 117% | 1.3 years
  67. LED instead of CFL bulbs at home :: $199 | 17% | 6.0 years
  68. Outsourcing car oil changes :: $37 | 6% | 0.6 years
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