Get inside my brain.

I like to think of myself as one of the more transparent personal finance bloggers out there. You all know how much we spend on groceries, how much I make on this blog, and how I proposed to Girl Ninja. I guess this makes you stalkers, right?

Well today, I wanted to give you an opportunity to step up the creepiness factor to a whole new level and get inside my brain. I have the day off work, and since the only thing on my calendar at this point is “Sleep in” and “Listen to MMMmmm Bop on repeat all day” I thought it would be cool to dedicate a day to conversing with you all.

Typically I’m not the best responder to comments. I try and limit my time on PDITF to writing posts. That way I can give Girl Ninja all the attention she deserves when she gets home from work. But since I will be home all day, and she will be working all day (this is how life was meant to be) I will respond to EVERY question left for me. Pinky promise.

So reader, do you want to know more about my thoughts on marriage? Do you want to know how much I made blogging last month? Do you want to know what scares me (besides clowns)? You ask, I answer. It’s that simple.

Let the games begin.

p.s. If you have no interest in asking me a question or getting to know me better, perhaps you would rather read this interview I did for MSN Money (You have to scroll through because I’m the 8th “Financial Expert” interviewed).

p.p.s. If you have no desire to ask me questions AND no desire to read that article then this should be up your alley.

p.p.p.s. I grew my facial hair out for a week so I could rock a monkey-tail-beard for a day. How do you think it turned out?

68 thoughts on “Get inside my brain.

  1. What’s the worst mistake you’ve ever made? Would you do something differently or was the experience valuable?

    What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

    • Worst Mistake: I use to be mean to my parents and would yell a lot at them (when I was in HS). Wish I wasn’t such a douche. I also wish I didn’t major in Psychology. Loved the courses, but the degree is virtually worthless. Should of gotten an engineering or accounting degree.

      Best Advice: When I learned you didn’t have to be rich to retire a millionaire my life changed. Good savings habits, and solid investing can make middle class folks wealthy.

  2. I have a question that I wanted to ask you in person at FinCon but forgot. It involves three letters of the alphabet.

    Now, I fully expect you to figure that one out and email me. Don’t you have a psychology degree or something? *checks the About page to refresh his memory* Oh yeah, you DO. Get crackin.

  3. Remark on your p..p.p.s no facial hair!!!!!! scares me more than clowns!

    Question: Do you and GN sit down every month to talk about your finances and budget? Or do you just do it and then TELL her what you decided? I am having the hardest time getting my husband to actually sit down and talk about ours. He just wants me to do it and then tell him. I think it would be better if we did it together. Thoughts?

    Question 2: If you could buy any car in EVER made what would it be?

    Question 3: Are you seriously considering living with another couple, just to have more space??? I told my husband about that and he thought that was ca-razy! No privacy, you might as well just have a baby!

    • 1. No we don’t have a planned meeting. I usually update her about our net worth each month. If I want to throw more money in to our Roth IRA, I will clear it with her first. I make most of the decisions, but if I think it’s something that needs to be discussed first then I definitely run things by her.

      2. Any Car? Realistically a brand new Honda Pilot. In a dream world? Dodge Viper.

      3. Yes, we would absolutely live with another couple. We have a specific one in mind. Privacy isn’t that important to us πŸ™‚

    • 1. Yes. I’m currently in talks with some Microsoft folks.

      2. Yes, I will become more stressed probably because we will only have my income as Girl Ninja will be a stay at home mom. That’s why I’m looking in to more lucrative career paths.

      3. Seahawks!!!! haha, yea right. Bengals have a shot for sure.

  4. Would you be willing to quit your job and travel the world/volunteer for a year?

    Your house downpayment fund is currently liquid, how do you think your attitude towards saving/risk will change once you have that committed towards a house? I currently have money to pay cash for a new car but have held out since the old car is still awesome and only having extra liquidity in an emergency fund worries me.

    When is Girl Ninja going to blog again?

    • 1. Funny you ask. I told Girl Ninja last week if I was to ever get fired, we would take a 3 month vacation and just travel the world before I looked for employment again. I’m serious about that too. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, I probably wont be fired.

      2. The goal is to have enough cash in the bank when I buy a house that we still have a bunch of liquidity. If we have $100K banked, we could end up only spending $50K on a house down payment and still be left with $50K in the bank. That’s plenty of liquidity for me.

      3. I’ll tell her she is being requested.

  5. Keep growing out the facial hair – it’s NO SHAVE NOVEMBER!!!

    Question – have you ever read Vince Flynn’s books? They are about a kick-a** CIA operative….reminds me of you – ha ha!

    Seriously, what kind of books do you read?

    • Have not read said book. I shall.

      The only books I read are self help books. Things about money, marriage, spirituality etc. Personally not in to non-fiction type things.

  6. One more question – when are you going to put together a book of all your stick figures? I think there’s a market for that!

    • I’ve honestly thought about it. Trying to figure out how to make it marketable and how much to charge. I want to do a $10, 10 page, Stick Figure personal finance book. Similar to my post last week about spending less than you make. Have each paid have a very short PF principle, accompanied by a Stick Figure drawing. Just gotta figure out a way to make it worth $10 πŸ™‚

  7. Thanks for getting mmmBop stuck in my head again. Are you trying to drive your readers insane? Don’t you know that just the mention of that song causes it to get stuck in a person’s mind for days on end?

  8. I have a hardcore PF question, actually it’s Vanguard’s question to me, but I choose to be lazy* and just ask you what you would do.

    For long term (5-10 yrs), non-retirement (ie taxable) mutual funds what method of cost basis determination would you pick?
    A) Average cost – Calculates the average cost per share for each share you own.
    B) First in, first out – The first shares you acquired will be the first ones we sell.
    C) Specific identification – At the time of sale, you choose the shares (or lots) to sell, which will determine your capital gain or loss.

    I was thinking just keep option A because it seems simple and I don’t quite understand the pros/cons of B & C (and C seems like a whole lot of work for someone without a fiancial advisor, which goes back to my problem of being very lazy today)
    -Enjoy

    * Usually very much not lazy, I think the time change is messing with me…

  9. Whats your opinion on this situation: i know a guy with 62K in debt mixed between a car loan (16K), Student loans (34K) and credit card debt at 12K. He wants to buy a used truck for 11.5K. His living expenses are low – $400 rent plus food – and he makes a good salary – $60K. He wants the truck because they are fun and it would bring him great joy. This purchase would have the added bonus of helping out his folks because they would “borrow” his car and pay for all related expenses – payment, maintenance, and insurance. Should he buy the truck or not? Also of note, he could resell the truck for 14K pretty easily as it is a highly sought after model.
    Thanks,

    also anyone can chime in if they have an opinion

    • This sounds like one of those rare instances where spending a bunch of $ on video games would make more sense πŸ˜‰

    • Homeboy doesn’t need the truck. If it really can sell for $14K that easily, maybe he should buy it and immediately sell it so he can use the $3K profit to pay down debts. I say until the CC is paid off, he should be focused on reducing his debt load. Once the CC is knocked out, if he wants to have a little fun and buy a truck, then so be it.

  10. I hope I’m not the only one that checked out the dullest blog – it was really funny!!

    Question = Best piece of career advice you like to pass on? I love asking this question to everyone!

    • Apply. Everyone asks me how I got my job, like there is some big secret. In reality, I applied for the job I wanted, and got it. Just think if all you ever did was apply to jobs you literally wanted, it only takes one offer to change your life.

    • He’s 100%. Has a gnarly scar on the side of his neck. Last we heard, his stabber is still in Jail awaiting trial for 1st degree assault with a deadly weapon.

  11. How often do you get questions on the blog from folks who are asking pf questions that you just want to shake them for having been so financially stupid? Ignorance is one thing, but I think most people are at least aware to some extent that these are bad choices, but choose to ignore the facts and proceed. Do you ever write really harsh answers and then have to chuck it and start over?

    • Sometimes I get frustrated, but for the most part, if someone reaches out to me, I’m so stoked to help I don’t care how silly the question is. I love when readers email me.

  12. Well I learned something today… didn’t realize those were called monkey tail beards.
    As for questions, 10 years ago, did you figure you would be where you are today? Did your plan deviate far? Did some things stay the same?
    I’m only asking because I wound up in a field I didn’t expect to be in. Not that it’s bad and I still accomplished my primary goals (stay in Western WA, buy a house) but if you had asked me 10 years ago I would have never guessed I’d end up where I am.

    • 10 years ago I was a Junior in high school and wasn’t even sure if I was going to go to college, so yeah I never would have guessed my job title would be Special Agent. My friends and lifestyle is pretty similar to high school. Still enjoy playing tennis, going to church, not drinking beer, etc. Not surprised by where I am, but never would have predicted it.

  13. If we can ask ANYTHING, then I’m getting right to the juicy stuff.

    Out of Barack Obama and the 8 leading Republican primary candidates, who do you think would do the best job of getting America heading in the right direction economically?

    What religion are you, and if it’s not Catholic, why did you pick a wrong religion?

    • No one. I’ve lost faith in politics in general. It’s about saying what the other people don’t do, instead of saying what you DO do. Lame. That said, since I’m conservative, I’ll take a Paul or Romney over the other candidates.

      Christian, non-denominational.

      While I have no fundamental issues with Catholicism my concern is in that it is often a “dead” faith. The Catholics I have interacted with are more bound by routine/requirements then they are by a deep personal relationship with Jesus. They seem to be more concerned with saying their “Hail Marys” and “Our Fathers” then engaging in small group Bible studies and being involved in the church. As long as you are being proactive in your faith, then I got no issues with Catholicism.

      p.s. I was raised 7th day Adventist. There are few denominations more “traditional” than that.

      • I do agree that some Catholics just go through the motions, but some others feel their deep personal relationship with Jesus through that routine. I know a lot of good Catholics who have gone to non-denominational churches and have had a lot of fun, but don’t find it to be spiritual enough because there is no transubstantiation at communion (if there is communion at all). The Eucharist is the “meat and potatoes” of a Catholic mass. The prayers, music, and homily/sermon are all like appetizers to the main event.

        Non-denominational churchs have a heaping serving of all that appetizer stuff, but no main course for us Catholics.

  14. Ok now i’ve got a question that’s uniquely washington. Describe your thoughts on booth gardner and the death with dignity act – do you think it should be allowed?

    As for the handstands, I think one should be during a video interview.

  15. Is the ferry from Bremerton to Seattle still free to walk on? Is Dick’s still open? Is the Rocket still a newspaper? Is the kite store up the hill from the aquarium still there? Do Bremelo’s still exist? Can you tell I was uprooted from the Emerald City in the 90’s?

    Seeing Chris Cornell live next month has me in a flannel state of mind.

    • Doubt ferry is still free. Whitney island walk on isn’t.

      Dicks is still open, they just opened a new location in edmonds a few weeks ago. First non-Seattle location.

  16. Any advice you can offer on rate shopping for insurance, or do you know any good resources to use? I’m looking for both auto and homeowners. (I know the second one doesn’t affect you yet.)

    That monkey tail beard is kind of awesome, but what did GN think of it?

    • I actually used an insurance broker that is a friend of mine. He was able to get me better deals then I could find myself. Explore the option, but be weary many of them are sharks.

  17. 1. Is your hair getting darker?

    2. Are you getting less anonymous?

    3. Do you have strict limits on what you do/don’t blog about – or do you go with gut feelings?

    4. (Feel free not to answer this one, but I always ask this of people who marry young) You’ve said it wasn’t for you, but do you have strong feelings on couples living together before marriage?

    5. After today, will you ever do this again?

    • 1. Yes sadly my blonde locks are more brown πŸ™

      2. Flirting with ananymity. Won’t reveal name anytime soon, but maybe a full face shot.

      3. Gut feelings for sure. Although I avoid topics like politics because it is rarely helpful.

      4. 10 times out of 10 if someone asks me if I think living with your significant other prior to marriage is a good idea I will say no. That said, it doesn’t bother me if you do. It’s your life, live it how you want. But if you come ask for my opinion you better be open to hearing it.

      5. Definitely. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this either. I usually do this once or twice a year. Did you enjoy it?

  18. I’m not sure if you’ve run into this question personally, but how do you deal with family mooches? (Or how would you recommend dealing with them). My husbands sister is a super mooch, and bleeding his parents dry, and I fear I’ll be left taking care of them in their old age as at the rate things are going there won’t be any retirement left (and despite the reason why they’ll be broke, there is no way my husband would cut them off).

  19. Where did you get started when you began investing? I.e. were you comfortable with stocks right away? Did you go into bonds? Mutual funds, etc.

    /curious

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