A week with some high schoolers

I am incredibly excited. Tomorrow morning I will be waking up at 6:30 am to meet up with some of the most incredible people I have ever met. In previous blog posts, and twitter updates, I have mentioned I am a volunteer Young Life (YL) leader. Young Life is a non-profit christian high school outreach program. It is unlike any other youth group I have experienced. Young Life’s mission statement is simple: Every adolescent will have the opportunity to meet Jesus Christ and follow Him (I understand some Punch Debt readers may not share the same beliefs that I hold and that is fine, to each their own). This week, myself and five other young adults will be taking a bus of 50 rambunctious high school kids to Lost Canyon Young Life camp in Williams, AZ.

I have been heavily involved in YL for eight years now. I started as a participant my junior year of high school and have volunteer lead for both high school and middle school groups ever since. When outsiders think of San Diego, they often envision beaches, fast cars, and big houses. In reality, only a small percentage of San Diego residents live this life style. I lead YL at a high school in which over half the student body is bussed in from all across the county (basiclly meaning 50% of the student body should be attending a different high school). Why are they bussed in? Because the high school near these kids’ homes are too dangerous for them to attend. These kids literally wake up every morning at 5 am to take a one hour bus ride across the city so they can get a decent education. I have been leading at this school for two years now and have gotten to know the kids pretty well.

Spending time with high schoolers serves as a humble reminder how good we (meaning most people reading this) really have it. We may worry about our overwhelming debt, or how we are going to make the next mortgage payment, but few have dealt with the issues these high school kids face every day.

One of my favorite students, Yonis (pronounced Yo-niss), has one of the most incredible stories ever. He was born and raised in Africa. As most know, Africa is not the best place to be right now. Tribal warfare and child abduction is rampant. At 8 years old, Yonis witnessed the murder of his parents and siblings. I need not go in to further detail, but understand, Yonis has faced something none of us probably will. He now resides with his aunt, uncle and 8 cousins, in a small three bedroom house. Yonis is coming to camp with us. Yonis is going to have the best week of his life.

This week at camp 50 kids have the opportunity to take a vacation from their broken families and abusive parents. They will experience seven days of love, excitement, and good ole fashion crazy fun. I am excited to spend the next week of my life with some of the most inspiring individuals I will ever meet. Does this article have anything to do with personal finance? No, but I hope it reminds us to be thankful for what we have (no matter how crappy things may seem) as well as our responsibility to help those in need.

I encourage you to check out the clip below. It is a short video about the camp resort these high schoolers will be attending this week.

*p.s. What’s really cool is these kids would not be able to afford the camp costs, but we had someone donate $30,000 for camp this summer to fill up a bus of kids. It’s stories like this that make me want to be wealthy.*

What do dogs and I have in common?

We were both freakin’ adorable when we were young. The proof is in the pudding (whatever the heck that means). Check out that sexy baby picture of me above. What heterosexual female could resist those thunder-thighs? So why am I taking a little trip down memory lane? Today is a monumental moment in my life. Twenty four years ago I went on my first road trip. The trip started in my mother’s pelvis, I stopped for a quick swim in the birth canal, and finished my epic adventure like a champ by heading down (literally head first) Vajayjay lane (isn’t that what Oprah calls it?). In all it took about 8 hours for me to move 18 inches. Side note: It takes 8 hours to drive from San Diego to Sacramento, 550 miles.

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, it’s my birthday and I’ll cry blog if I want to. Well actually I’m not really going to write anything mentally stimulating, so I apologize for taking the next two minutes of your life from you.

Before I get on with the nonsense, I want to take a quick minute to thank you all for the early birthday gift. What did you get me? A freakin’ awesome response to my Personal Finance Mad Lib yesterday. It broke all kinds of Punch Debt In The Face records: Most visits in a single day, most comments, most references on other blogs, most sexiest blogger of 2009 award. I may have made that last one up 🙂 If you haven’t had the chance to check the post out I encourage you to do so, especially to read the comments and visit the other blogger’s sites that participated. I am gonna do some consolidating over the next week or so and I plan to include all the responses that I tracked down in to one Mega Finance Mad Lib post. If you did contribute, but didn’t notify me please do, so I can add you in the list. Thanks a bajillion to all who participated.

To conclude today’s non-pf post I’ll leave you with some random facts about the number 24 and/or July 17th…

  • 24 is the largest number divisible by all whole numbers less than its square root.
  • The 24 years of my life,represent the 24 hours Jack Bauer has to save America. Random Jack Fact: Jack Bauer once won a game of Connect 4 in three moves.
  • The 24th most popular song on I-tunes right now is Halo by Beyonce.
  • July 17, 1955: Disneyland opened the gates to “The Happiest Place on Earth” in Anaheim, California. Happiest and most expensive place on earth.
  • Eva Mendez was voted the 24th hottest female of 2009 by Maxim Magazine.
  • July 17, 1861 Congress authorizes paper money. Every time you look at a dollar bill now, think of me.
  • I’m only one year away from being 25, which means I get cheaper car insurance!!!
  • July 17, 1952: The world is blessed by the birth of David Hasselhoff. If your reading this Hoff, I have a man crush on you…don’t tell my girlfriend. Below is a picture of me auditioning for Baywatch at the ripe age of 4.
No one was gonna drown on my watch.

Those are pretty much the only semi interesting things I could come up with. In reality, after the 21st there isn’t much to get excited about. I plan to spend the next six years of my life dreading 30 (no offense to any of you 30+). As far as today’s festivities, I’ll be whistlin’ while I work, followed by a sweet kayak tour through some caves in La Jolla, and then finish the night off with some pool/hot-tub action at the awesome place I’m house sitting. Have a GREAT weekend everyone and thanks for stopping by. Oh and thanks mom for giving birth to me, you’re the best 🙂

Let’s get crunk!

I’m throwing a party for all you PF’ers out there. But why, you ask? Today marks a monumental day in Punch Debt In The Face history. April 10th, 2009 is the first time this site has seen over 100 visitors in a single day, not bad considering this site is just over a week old. Thanks to everyone who stopped by. Go ahead and take a look around, stay awhile, drinks are on me 🙂

Heck Yeah, I’m in the press….kinda!

I just found out I had my first appearance in the press!!! I was checking out what web pages have referred people to this site and came across an article on MSN Money. I read through the article and found that Karen Datko, the author, had included a whole paragraph referencing one of my previous articles. The MSN article can be found here and my blog post about that topic can be found here . I feel like I just won an Oscar or something… I would like to thank my mom, my friends, all the fellow bloggers that believed in me, and McDonalds… haha. Thanks again MSN Money!


Maybe I should start a Music Label?

So as I mentioned on my Friday post, I made a Budgets are $exy rap for J. Money. I had so much fun making the rap for his site, I thought it was only appropriate that I made one for mine. So without further ado, I bring to you the Punch Debt In The Face official Rap…

If the player doesn’t work click here.

The lyrics…

Take a minute ya’ll just sit right there and listen
To the finance blog rap that you don’t want to be missin’
Via my spittin’ I shall be reminiscing
About my fight against debt, you know I wont be quittin”

It all began, just five short years ago
When I signed my life away to get a student loan
Two-Fifty benajmins is the amount that I owe
It’s time for this boy to start making cash flow

I got my first job, some call it a career
Doing all I can to make my debt disappear
Learning about money, this was a new frontier
With my love for PF, I’m sure to persevere

It started with contributions to my 401k
Just a couple months later my Roth IRA
Then paying down debt to get rid of Sallie Mae
I be bloggin’ about money every single weekday

Learning about finance is sure to make me grin
My dollar works hard it’s lookin’ for some friends
With Abraham Lincoln and his boy Benjamin
I be breakin’ down debt like that wall in Berlin

Money in the bank (I got stacks)
Bloggin’ everyday (I cut tracks)
Spend less than you make, Save more than you spend
And you’ll be a rich dude straight ballin’ in the end.

I never would have thought rapping could be so much fun. It’s been a blast producing three finance rap songs over the last two weeks, but I think it’s time I retire and stick to blogging.

*I’d like to give a special thanks to my roommate for helping me produce this little gem*

Festival of Frugality = New Best Friend

Holy Guacamole! I just made a new best friend yesterday. I recently wrote about my 9 month blogging hiatus . In my short lived blogging stint last year. I was averaging about 5 to 15 viewers each week. During the 9 months I fell off the face of “bloggers earth”, I was averaging a solid two visitors per day. Fast forward five months and it has been a little over a week since I got back in to it, and with the help from J. Money  at Budgets are $exy, and a finance rap, my veiwership skyrocketed from 2 visitors to about 10 visitors a day. After, submitting my article “a dilemma ” to the Festival of Frugality for this weeks carnival. I hit my record for unique visitors in a single day 97!!! That is like an 11,000% increase. That makes me very happy. So I just wanted to take time to say thank you to the Festival of Frugality and all who stopped by to read the article. I’m totally motivated to keep on truckin’

P.S. Im a huge dork cause when I saw the statistics I called my girlfriend to tell her that I almost had 100 visitors to my site…she pretended to care (isn’t she sweet).