What kind of jobs exist for people who think about numbers and money from a consumer perspective, in a weirdly logical and obsessive way?
Some "experiments" I've done lately:
* Took a colleague's kid-oriented, preservative-laden grocery receipt to four different stores, developed a spreadsheet that compared prices at each store so he'd know where to get the best deals. (There was a more than 20 percent difference in prices between the high and the low.)
* Did the same thing with my organic hippy vegetarian grocery receipt.
* On a 70 mph highway commute, drove different speeds for the duration of an entire tank -- 55 mph one week, 60 mph the next, etc. all the way up to 80 mph -- to see what kind of mileage I got at different speeds. (I get nearly 40 miles to the gallon at 55 mph, and less than 30 miles to the gallon at 80 mph.)
* Developed a shopping strategy
, by outlining the clothes I need, finding their retail prices, comparing them to online sales prices, and coming up with a meaningful-only-to-me formula that tells me when to buy on ebay and when to hold out for a more meaningful in-store sale.
* Less money oriented: At the gym, I am lifting weights using a very math-oriented periodization schedule I worked out, and I'm training for my first 5 k run using another methodical schedule.
On NPR a few weeks ago, I heard an interview with a woman who collects data for the Consumer Price Index, which we use as a measure of inflation in the US. It sounded awesome, but it's apparently a very part time job and not one that needs filling in my neck of the woods.
I'm generally happy with my career at the moment, but I can't help but wonder what else is out there that I might enjoy.
Are there people who think like I do for a living, and what is it that they're doing?