Ask me anything!!

September 17, 2010 · 57 comments

If you’ve been following me for a while, it’s safe to assume you probably know a pretty good chunk about me.  It’s actually kinda creepy now that I think about it. Creepy, but kinda sexy too. Meow. In an attempt to turn the “creepy” factor up another notch, I figured I’d give you all a chance to get to know me even better.

That’s right, today I’m turning the mic over to you and giving you an opportunity to ask me anything you want. I’ve done this “Ask a Ninja” thing once before, and it seemed to go over pretty well. Today should be especially righteous since I have the day off and can respond to each comment pretty quickly.

I try to do my best to “lay it all out there” as I go through significant life changes, but I’m sure some of you may have questions about things I have only briefly touched on. Maybe you have questions about my newlywed status? Or about my investing strategy? Or why I tithe? Now is the time to ask those questions. Don’t be shy!

Be sure to check back as the day progresses to see what funny, disturbing, and downright interesting questions you all have come up with.

Let the askin’ begin….

p.s. This could end up making me look really awkward and pathetic if no one asks me anything. Oh well, wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been called awkward.

{ 57 comments }

1 Skrizel

Hey Ninja,

you said this one before but what website(s) do you use for blogging and website creation, advertising? anything else? i was thinking of starting a blog
thanks

Skrizel

2 PunchDebt

I use BlueHost as my hosting provider (I’m not thrilled with them), Wordpress for my blogging software, Google Adsense and private selling for advertising. I make my cartoons in photoshop, and bought my domain through GoDaddy. That’s about it. If you start a blog, do it ’cause you actually want to write, not because you want to make money. I could do a lot of other things with my time than blog, and make more money doing it. If you do start one up, let me know so I can check it out!

3 Meghan

Ninja, is there anything more awesome than Chuck Norris?

But seriously, how do you keep yourself motivated to reach your financial goals? What is your strategy for supporting Wife Ninja and keeping her motivated, as well?

4 PunchDebt

Anything more awesome than Chuck Norris….JACK BAUER!!!! Jack Bauer doesn’t get haircuts, he just simply tells his hair not to grow.

As for motivation, it comes from a strong desire to be self sufficient and independent. If I work hard now, I know I will be better of later because of it. I just try to save 15%/yr for retirement and other than that it is all just arbitrary. My strategy involves trying not to suck.

As for supporting Wife Ninja, my goal is to make enough that we can comfortably live off my income alone, that way she doesn’t have to work. Don’t get me wrong, if she still wants to work than I am all for it, but I’d like to be able to give her the option. The way I motivate her best is by letting her be actively involved. Even though she wants me to handle the finances, I can tell she appreciates me bouncing ideas off of her. This PF game is a two way street.

5 Jenna

I know you’ve talked a lot about your wedding up to the day, but any stories about anything good/bad that happened on your wedding day? (Congrats to you and the Mrs. Ninja!) Anything you saved on that you wished you wouldn’t have or splurged on something and it didn’t really matter? My fiance and I are in the middle of planning our wedding for next April and love to get feedback from other people about their wedding.

Thanks Ninja!

6 PunchDebt

Good things that happened: No major issues. The Mrs. didn’t turn in to Bridezilla. She looked incredibly sexy. The ceremony was amazing. The food was amazing. The dancing was amazing. The day was incredible.

The Bad: Our wedding cake didn’t really turn out as planned. I blogged about this here… http://www.punchdebtintheface.com/2010/08/wedding-epic-epicness.html

I am really glad we splurged on photographer and venue. We loved the place we got married and we paid a crapload for a photographer, but those two things are worth it. Everyone loved our venue and our pictures are INCREDIBLE!!!!! Definitely don’t cheap out when it comes to pictures.

Some areas to cut corners: We did a lot of stuff on our own. We hand made all of our invitations, which saved a ton and gave us a custom look. We got all of the flowers from a farmers market the morning of the ceremony, instead of getting them from a florist. Our cake was fake, and the guests got Costco sheet cake, but didn’t even realize.

You can make a wedding as expensive or cheap as you want, but I’d say it’s definitely best to splurge on the things that are most important…especially photography, cause once it’s over, all you have left is pictures :)

7 Jessie

how much was your photographer….it’s looking like ours will be upwards of $3,000

8 Kevin @ Thousand-aire.com

Which Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle character do you resemble most: in appearance, personality, and ninja skills?

For my other question, I’ve just started a blog-ish website about a month ago and I’m trying to get readers, but I really haven’t gotten many readers/viewers outside of my personal social networks. Any tips on how a new blogger can increase readership?

9 Ninja Fan

Duh — STICK FIGURE DRAWINGS!

10 PunchDebt

Shhhh!!!! I can’t have him creepin’ in on my stick figure monopoly :)

11 PunchDebt

I resemble Donatello. Because he is definitely the sexiest Ninja turtle, and I bet he has a million dollars in his Roth IRA ;)

Welcome to the blogging club. Don’t worry about your readership. Worry about your content. Good content will attract loyal readers. It took me six months to attract any type of readership. As more content gets out there, more people start linking back, and Google starts indexing your blog, your traffic will begin to increase. Submit to PF carnivals for a while and read a bajillion other PF blogs and comment on them.

Those are the only “tricks” I know, but really it just comes down to hard work and separating yourself from the thousands of other bloggers just like us :) Hook me up with a guest post and I’ll put it up here, which will then link back to your blog to get you some traffic.

12 Kevin @ Thousand-aire.com

I would really appreciate you allowing me to write a guest post. I’ll let you know when I write something super awesome and ninja-ey. :)

13 Only curious

What’s your full name, address, Social Security #, bank account #, credit card #, and all passwords????

14 PunchDebt

John Doe. 1234 Idiot Street. 867-53-0909. 222-4464656-45. Passwords for every site I go to is…. Hello Kitty

15 Still curious

You didn’t indicate your credit card #. Why so secretive?

16 PunchDebt

Sorry Credit Card info: 1234-4567-7894, but I’m not gonna tell you the three digit code on the back is 156…oh wait!

17 Sophie

Does Wife Ninja have any useful tips on how to snag a financially aware/responsible man?

18 PunchDebt

Don’t settle for anything less. If you are with someone that is not financially responsible, it’s because you settled. Would you settle for someone that was kinda ugly, or kinda smelly? No! So why settle for someone that’s irresponsible? If you are on the hunt for a “good guy” my recommendation is to start volunteering. People that are generous with their time, generally have a good head on their shoulders :)

19 Jared

Aha! I challenge you with the following three questions:

1) Favorite food?

2) Something you (not so) secretly desire to spend money on that you have to regularly resist?

3) Something you’d like people to buy for you as a birthday/holiday/etc. present but are uncomfortable asking for?

You have been challenged! ;-)

20 PunchDebt

I accept your challenge:

1) Whiskey River BBQ Chicken Burger from Red Robin

2) Electronics. I love gadgets. I’d totally buy an iPad, Kindle, iPod touch, Netbook, GPS, and new Macbook if I had no self control. I’m still rocking the 1st Generation iPod. Yeah that’s right. The white brick with no color display.

3) Anything I listed above. They are all too expensive for a present ($300 and up), but I sure wouldn’t mind getting them. I have a really hard time telling Wife Ninja or my parents what I want around holidays. It’s probably my pride or something getting in the way.

21 Jared

I am thwarted! You have met the challenge and been rewarded with a… um…

*looks under the couch*

…somewhat dingy Penny of Perseverance™. Huzzah!

But hold a moment, good Ninja, for you have the opportunity to risk your newfound Penny for the chance to earn yourself the coveted Nickel of Novelty™! Do you accept this further challenge?

1) Favorite vegetable?

2) Something you’d like to collect if you didn’t think that collecting it would cost too much money?

3) Somewhere you’d like to spend in a five-star hotel if it weren’t too expensive?

You have been rechallenged!

22 PunchDebt

1) Tomato. But if I am misinformed and the Tomato is actually a fruit. Then I pick Celery….dipped in peanut butter.

2) No clue. I don’t really have a desire to collect anything. Maybe license plates from each state/country I’ve been to?

3) I’ve always thought Australia would be a cool place to visit so maybe there. Or perhaps, Bora Bora in one of those huts that are built over the water. They look pretty sick!

23 Jared

Foiled again! You have earned your Nickel, Ninja.

But the Dime of Dominion™ has yet to be claimed! Can you tame the tri-question-hurdles in your race to pocket this rare coin?

1) Favorite video/computer game of all time?

2) Least favorite recurring expense?

3) Least favorite method of payment?

You have been rerechallenged!

24 momninja

Nicely played Debt Ninja, Christmas list received! But now what to do………

25 PunchDebt

1) Either Goldeneye, orignial Mario Kart, or Excitebike

2) I hate paying car insurance. I don’t know why, because rent, gas, food etc are all higher, but car insurance just pisses me off. Probably because I don’t actually use it unless I go decide to play real life Mario Kart with oncoming traffic.

3) I hate cash. So much so I wrote an entire article about it…
http://www.punchdebtintheface.com/2009/12/i-hate-cash.html

Lookin forward to the Quarter of Kick-assy-ness.

26 Jared

Ah, you think you are so clever, do you, as to predict the name of the next coin for your collection? You are mistaken! The Quarter of Kick-assy-ness™ is not yours for the taking. However, the Quarter of Quite-a-lot-of-coolness™ is within your grasp…

1) Favorite clothing item?

2) Something that people often get for free that you think people should be charged for?

3) Something that people often get charged for that you think should be free?

27 momninja

from our friend WIKI
Donatello — The brilliant scientist, inventor, engineer, and technological genius, Donatello wears a purple mask and wields the bō staff. “Donny” is perhaps the least violent Turtle, preferring to use his intellect to solve conflicts.
Yep that’s my boy!

28 Heidi

Donatello is my favorite turtle. Maybe that is why I like the blog so much. Though we own a real turtle named Mikey after Michaelangelo, but my husband was the one who named him, so I guess I know who his favorite turtle is. :P

29 PunchDebt

Mom you’re embarrassing me in front of my blog friends again ;)

30 Kathy

I’m fairly new here, so I’m not sure if you’ve touched on this topic. (Still slogging my way thru your past posts…..)

What’s your take on the rewards/points credit cards? Which ones, if any, do you use?

oooh! and a bonus question — Sharpie or no-name pen for your most excellent stick figure drawings? ;)

31 PunchDebt

Love rewards points. Here’s my post about ‘em…

http://www.punchdebtintheface.com/2009/04/credit-card-incentives-should-you-sign.html

It should answer all of your questions about them.

Photoshop for my cartoon, but if I was drawing them on a piece of paper I’d go with option C, a Pilot G2 ballpoint. They have the perfect amount of bleed to glide ratio.

32 Techbud

Ever think of giving the governator some advice on debt?

Did your parent teach you about budgets, credit cards, etc.? How did you get you start on this path?

Will you guess post on my blog? Please, pretty please. :)

33 PunchDebt

I would consider it, but he could beat me up so I keep my mouth shut. Although I’ve definitely voiced my opinion in this post…

http://www.punchdebtintheface.com/2009/07/california-heres-acronym-for-ya-wtf.html

and this one…

http://www.punchdebtintheface.com/2009/05/freakin-california.html

My PF journey began when I leanred about Roth IRA’s from a friend of mine. I was interested enough in them I decided to sign up. He then gave me a book called Smart Couples finish rich. It is like the Total Money Makeover in that is talks about not using credit card, paying down debt, saving etc. It all seemed pretty logical so I figured I’d give it a shot. Never looked back since.

I’d be happy to post on your blog. On one condition, you hook me up with one :) Deal?

34 Techbud

Deal!

35 Jessie

I would love to hear more about the tithing… the why/when/how – is it an expectation?

36 PunchDebt

Being that I love Jesus, I have a strong desire to provide to the church. Since I am at Church every Sunday and am gaining something by going (friends, education, entertainment, etc) I absolutely need to financially support them so they can continue educating and entertaining me. If no one gives to the church, there is no church. And that thought makes me sad.

While I haven’t been the best at being a consistent tither, Wife Ninja has really encouraged me to be a cheerful giver. We made a commitment to tithe 10% of our Gross income. We write a check once a month on the first Sunday of each month. She has always tithed this way her whole life and I’m really excited about being able to do it.

Is there an expectation to tithe? If you are Christian than I believe there is. Maybe you can’t afford to tithe with money, but you can tithe your time by volunteering, or your house by hosting a Bible study. I NEVER, however, feel like I am being FORCED to give. You shouldn’t tithe because you feel like you HAVE to, but because you WANT to.

37 OnceARunner

I’m not super religious but I find it very cool that someone who is so stringent with their money is willing to part with 10% (if you think about it that’s 2/3 what your contribution goal for retirement is/yr). It tells a lot about a person’s character and how much they care about something (i.e. your religion), especially when you are giving away something you place significant value in.

38 Nick

I wanna know more about your job. I know you’re a “secret” agent, but what cool secret agent stuff do you get to do? Stalk bad guys? Infiltrate stuff? Do you get clearance for classified documents? Do you carry a gun? or a badge even? Do you do international stuff? Travel? Assumed identities? Drugs? Stings? Stakeouts? Interrogations WMDs!?

Hm, by now I’m expecting an answer that “It’s all paperwork.” That’s how I’ll know I’m onto you and the answer to all my questions is “Yes”

39 PunchDebt

Secret Agent? Who? I work for a local paper company as a delivery man ;)

I can answer yes to five of the questions you asked, but I’m not saying which ones. You can figure out the answer to at least two of them in previous blog posts :)

40 Jessica

Do you look like Bradley Cooper?

41 PunchDebt

Being that I had to Google him because I didn’t know who he was, I am going to go with… Maybe.

42 tom

If my name was Debt… would you really punch me in the face? What if my lady’s name was Debt and we came over to hang out… would you punch her in the face? Cause then we shall have to engage in fisticufs.

Seriously though… do you ever think your tithed monies are not used as efficiently as other charities?

43 PunchDebt

If both you and your lady’s names were Debt, I’m afraid I would definitely punch you both in the face. Sorry, but I have to be true to my blog name.

Let’s be real. There are definitely churches out there that inefficiently use/abuse tithe money. I have attended my church for 6 years and have never gotten that impression. They also hold financial update seminars where you can see where the church money goes and even the staff members incomes. Transparency is the key.

Your question is similar to that of “Should you give homeless people money, because they might use it for alcohol or drugs.” While I wont give every homeless person I encounter spare change, I still believe it’s important to give to the homeless. I don’t think Jesus would ever be like, “Hey Ninja, why did you help the needy out when they asked you for money?” Even if that person abuses that gift.

We could always find excuses why we shouldn’t tithe. I.e. Don’t know where the money goes, something better to donate to, don’t make enough, etc, but for me I’d just rather do it, than try and find a loophole why I shouldn’t :)

44 Struggling Student

Hey Ninja,

Do you have any tattoos? Any piercings of some sort? Can you hook me up with a “secret” agent job.

Do you have a sword? A ninja star?… Do you know how to use them?

:)

I’m super new to blogging but have been your reader for months now, and have to say you inspire me to write. Any tips/suggestions for future topics and posts?

45 PunchDebt

No tats or piercings. I’m afraid you’ll have to ask my boss, Barack, if he can hook you up with a secret agent job :)

No ninja sword or stars. I prefer nunchucks and bo staffs.

My readers seem to like my posts when I am deeply personal. I get a lot more feedback when I talk about my honeymoon expenses, compared to blogging about Roth IRAs. Keep your blogging about you and your journey. That way you never run out of material.

46 Sandy L

Why did you start blogging in the first place?

Does blogging fill any innate need of yours?

47 PunchDebt

Started blogging cause I wanted to make money. Quickly found out that was much harder than I thought, so I quit blogging. Picked it back up a year later cause I actually wanted to blog and see if I could gain some notoriety amongst the PF community.

It probably fulfills a need to feel like what I say matters, or at least that if I put a lot of work in to something, people will respond. It’s kind of like a business adventure (minus making big $$$) being that I’m hoping will like my product :)

48 Becca

I’m pretty sure you and Girl Ninja don’t have a pet, but if you did, what would it be?

Do you plan on paying for or helping to pay for your future kid’s college? (This may have been answered before, I’ve forgotten if it was.)

What is your favorite government holiday? (Mine, BTW, is Columbus Day, because it usually is on or near my birthday! Yay for work closing for my birthday!)

49 PunchDebt

We plan to own a dog one day. We both hate cats (sorry cat lovers). As to what kind of dog there is a bit of a disagreement. She likes cute little purse dogs, and I like big man dogs. Not too sure what we will end up with or when we will finally get one.

I would love to be able to pay for my kids college. It’s not the #1 priority of mine, but with some due diligence and hard work I should be able to make it happen. That said, if I had to pick between funding children’s college, or having an enjoyable retirement, I’m picking retirement :)

Fav Govt holiday is MLK day because it is just after Xmas. I take a week off for Xmas time so it is nice to only go to work for another two weeks before getting another holiday

50 Libra

Mine is Oct. 12th … when is yours, Becca?

51 Becca

Oct 11th!

52 Fun Nazi

Love reading your blog! Glad you and Mrs. Ninja has a wonderful wedding and honeymoon. Hope the teaching is going well for her.
Didn’t really have a question for you just wanted to say hello and that I found your blog! Okay now a question came to mind… How are you and the Mrs. saving up/what are you doing so that you will be able to buy a house in the future, so that it is a painless purchase/investment?

53 PunchDebt

Booya. Glad you like the blog

We don’t really have an active game plan for saving for a house. Since we have no debt, we will be able to put 15% in to retirement and then we can do whatever the heck we want with the rest. Most of that will go to saving for a house, but if we feel like taking a vacation we may do so, knowing that it will delay purchasing a home for a little bit longer. We definitely want to buy a home, but we also want to have fun during the process :)

54 Zade

What was your favourite thing about Aruba? Least favourite thing about Aruba?

55 PunchDebt

Favorite thing about Aruba: The water!!! It’s so good because it has the second largest desalinization plant in the world on it. You can drink straight from the tap without worrying about getting sick. Their water is WAAAAAAY better than San Diego’s water.

Least Favorite Thing: Not as many markets as I would have preferred. I like to shop at little flea market type things, but there was only one we ran in to in the downtown area. Tijuana has a bajillion of them, so I was hoping Aruba would too.

56 Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog

Oh man, I cant believe your gen1 ipod still works. I had a gen3 that worked for about 4 years, but that eventually broke.

as for a question: What is your favorite newspaper and news magazine?

57 PunchDebt

Hmmm. Don’t read the newspaper so I can’t answer that. I use Google news to get all the latest happenings in the world. It’s much less biased since you are reading articles from a broad spectrum of sources.

Magainze: Consumer reports. It’s satiates my inner geek.

Previous post:

Next post: