Hook a Ninja up

So this blogging thing takes quite a bit of work. I usually spend about an hour or so each night writing the content for the next mornings post. Sometimes I can pump stuff out in 30min, and other times, writers block kicks in and two hours later, I’m left with a bunch of blah.

I don’t mind writing one article a night, but if I was doing any more than that, I’d have quit this blogging thing a long time ago.

Seeing that my wedding is just three weeks away, I’m in desperate need of your help. I will be taking a total of 12 weekdays off for wedding stuff and the honeymoon. This means between now and August 4th, I have to come up with 12 articles to fill those days.

I’ll just be honest. There is no way I have the time, nor the desire, to sit in front of my computer and pump out an extra twelve posts before I fly to Seattle. I’m hoping some of you can hook a Ninja up and maybe provide me with a guest post for while I’m gone.

It’s pretty common amongst the blogging community, to help another out when they need it. I wrote this guest post for PFfirewall about the cost of a fetus, and this article about Debt Douchisms for Mr. Credit Card. Just last week, Girl Ninja lost her blogging virginity and shared her side of the wedding planning process.

Maybe you can help me out as well and shoot me over a sweet article? I do have a few requirements, however. Your post has to be original (not published anywhere else), it can’t be super lame (because I don’t want lame people reading my blog), and it DOESN’T have to be about personal finance (although I’d love it if it was).

Mom Ninja has already stepped up to the plate, and wrote an INCREDIBLE article about financial infidelity that will be published Monday August 9th (keep your eyes peeled for this one), so I really only need 11 more people to help out.

If you have another blog, I’d obviously make sure to link back to your website and hopefully get some traffic your way. But even if you don’t have a blog, and are just a loyal PDITF reader, I’d  still love to see what you can come up with. I’d need any submissions (via email) by August 1st, to ensure I have enough time to format/edit/stick-figurize your post.

If you are interested in submitting, drop a line in the comments below and let me know! Oh, and if more than 11 people are interested, that is GREAT as I can always keep some guest posts in my arsenal for all those late nights when Girl Ninja and I will be…ya know…playing Monopoly 😉

If I don’t get enough volunteers, you will be forced to stare at this picture everyday until I return back from Operation Honeymoon…

If you need a little personal finance fix this morning, check out my special Saturday blog I did. It included my first Radio interview and I’d love to get your feedback on what you thought!

Don’t forget the toilet paper…

So I realized I never gave ya’ll an update on the apartment situation. As you know, Girl Ninja and I applied to be tenants in an awesome condo unit earlier this month. It was the first place we saw that we both loved. Unfortunately, we got rejected. We were heart broken. Apparently another applicant was not only interested in signing a 1 year lease, but was looking in to buying the place. Last time I checked, I didn’t have $400,000 sitting in my bank account to counter his offer. Thankfully, we ended up finding another unit in the same condo complex, with an INCREDIBLE view, and a bigger kitchen for the same price. We submitted applications, and are super excited to say WE GOT THE PLACE!!!!

I move in a week from Thursday and will live there, alone, until after the wedding when Girl Ninja moves in. That means for a little over a month I will be flying solo. Living the bachelors dream. Walking around my place butt naked. Drinking orange juice, Listening to “Born to be wild” on repeat. Ahh yes, I can’t wait.

While I am super excited about 34 days (not that I’m keeping track) of me time, I’m starting to realize just how big of a process this moving gig is going to be. I currently live with an old college roommate in a two bedroom apartment. Needless to say,  I don’t really own any great furniture. Nothing GN and I would want to use in our new place that is. I decided to make moving out really easy on both me and my roomie. I sold him ALL of my stuff for $100. When I say “ALL”, I mean it. The only thing I will be bringing with me is my twin size bed (which I’ll get rid of once GN moves in obviously) and my clothes.

I’ve spent the better part of the last week browsing craigslist and Ikea to get a feel for how much GN and I can expect to spend when furnishing our place. Fortunately, it’s pretty tiny only 630sq/ft so we don’t need much. We are pretty confident we can make the place look like the inside of a “West Elm” catalog for about $1,500 (maybe less, maybe more depending on what wedding gifts we get).

Figuring out the furniture should be pretty straightforward. The tricky part, however, is trying to figure out what to do about all the “odds and ends”. GN and I need to sit down and make a list of all the crap we have to buy on, or before, I move in. Ya know, the things you never think about, i.e. toilet paper, paper towels, paper towel holder, trash cans, trash bags, granite counter top spray, stainless steel spray, sponges, dishwasher detergent, duct tape, plunger, blah, blah, blah.

This is the part where you all can help a ninja out. I’ve never had to accumulate all of these things in a one-stop shopping spree. I plan to head to Target, Big Lots, and Ross on July 1 and drop about $400 on all these tiny little purchases, only problem is… I don’t really know what all I need. Any of you know of a resource (or have a spreadsheet) of all the random knickknacks and household items one needs for day  to day living? I’m even talking things like vaccum bags, and bathroom spray. I’d love to get my hands on a SUPER thorough list that will help make this shopping extravaganza a little smoother. I would hate to be sitting on the toilet, ya know…doing my business, only to find out that I forgot to buy toilet paper. Talk about a crappy situation (pun intended)

What are some super obscure items that you can’t do without in your house? Anyone know of any great “household hacks” that can save me some moolah? Hit me with ANY and EVERYTHING you think I need!!!!

I isn’t perfect

I’m praying to 8lb 6oz baby jesus that I am not your primary source of financial wisdom. I should be ranking somewhere between MSN Money and People Of Walmart. Over the last year, a few of you have began to confuse me with serious PF blogs. I regret to inform you, I ain’t one of ’em.

That said, I do love me some personal finance. I probably read between 5 and 10 PF related articles and news stories a day. I follow other PF blogs. And have been known to read a PF book or two. I know more about money than the average citizen, but probably WAAAY less than you.

I’ve received a hand full of comments and emails over the last couple months indicating some of you are concerned with the direction of my blog. (As if I ever had a clear direction in the first place?) I assume this is a result of my tendency to blog about my engagement.

Every person that has recommended I “get back to my roots” has been a dude. Dudes don’t like wedding talk. I can’t really blame them for not wanting to read about it once or twice a week. Lord knows I don’t follow any wedding blogs. While I understand where they are coming from, I have no plans to redirect this ship.

This whole marriage thing is a pretty big deal. It is not only the most significant life change I’ve ever made, but also the biggest financial change. I blog about things that are directly relevant to me. That means sometimes my posts will tickle your fancy, and other times you’ll think “Oh no, not another post about apartment shopping!” They are looking for the meat and potatoes of personal finance, when I am more like the soggy left over broccoli that no one wants to eat.

So let’s clear the air. I really only have a few goals when it comes to this here bloggy. 1) Be personal 2) Hopefully make you laugh from time to time 3) Tie in the majority of my posts with some element of PF and 4) Make a little money (hey I’m being honest). I’m not trying to change the world. I’m not trying to inspire you to change your financial perspective (although that would be pretty awesome if I did). Nor am I promising to be the most cutting edge and relevant PF blog out there. If you haven’t been feeling my blog as of late, you may or may not be able to unsubscribe by clicking here ;).

In an attempt to satisfy all PDITF readers, I’d like to ask a few simple questions.

Where do you get your financial counsel? I’m talking specifics; i.e. what blogs, books, websites, or shows. Feel free to link to them below so we can all have access to the cream of the crop.

What are some of your favorite topics I write about? What are your least favorite?

If you had to kiss me or Tom Cruise, who would it be?

Only you, and baby jesus, can help make PDITF a little less miserable, so please give me your two cents.

If you have enjoyed your time here, would you consider subscribing to my blog? If you don’t want to subscribe, I’ll just assume you’re a racist (only kidding). Oh, and if you’d prefer to receive updates via email you can do so by clicking here. Nothing beats a little shameless self promotion.

p.s if you click the link where I said “you can unsubscribe by clicking here, you’ll get a special treat 🙂

Talking finance with Girl Ninja

I have some great news to share with you. Girl Ninja was able to survive a grueling 45 min conversation (with me) about finances last night. I think I’ve mentioned it here before, but Girl Ninja is not the biggest fan of talking about money (I know she’s a freak). She knows that these conversations are important, but it doesn’t necessarily mean she is excited to have them.

I can’t really blame her though. If she wanted to chat my ear off about what happened on the most recent episode of The Bachelor, I probably wouldn’t be that excited either. In fact, I would be quite miserable. So now I sit here trying to think of ways to make finances more appealing to Girl Ninja.

Here’s what I got so far…

1) Sneak Dave Ramsey podcasts in to her iTunes playlist for when she goes running

2) Send her text messages every hour with the latest report on the S&P 500’s performance

3) Crawl underneath her bed, wait for her to fall asleep, and then begin blabbing all of my profound financial knowledge in hopes that she subconsciously retains some of the information.

4) Start telling her that I have a crush on all you female PF bloggers (in hopes that she will become super jealous and start a PF blog of her own).

All pretty good ideas right?

Seriously though, Girl Ninja and I both suck at disusing finances. She is guilty of not really wanting to talk about it (even though she knows it’s important), and I am equally guilty of being a huge PF dork and wanting to overwhelm her with a wealth of information all at one time.

I need to do better. I need to speak “finance” in a way that is appealing, or at least less miserable, for Girl Ninja. I don’t want PF to be something she has to suffer through. It would be unfair of me to demand that she shares my enthusiasm for personal finance, that’s not the way she was wired and I can’t be mad at her for it.

So now I would like to pick your brain and ask you some questions…

  • In your current, or past, relationship did you have a healthy level of communication when it came to money or was one person responsible for the finances?
  • How do/did you go about initiating financial discussions?
  • When you do talk money, what are some areas that you focus on?
  • How do you know how deep to go, so you don’t lose the other persons interest?
  • Anyone out there been on the Girl Ninja side of the relationship, where you really had no desire to talk money?

I’m sure I’m not the only person that has been in this situation so I would love to hear from you all!

F.Y.I. girl ninja is completely debt free, has money in the bank , and a steady job so she’s already got the fundamentals down.

Vote for me or I’ll punch a baby

So I found out the other day that I had been nominated by my fellow bloggers for a 2009 Plutus Award in the category of “Most Humuours Personal Finance Blog”. That’s right suckers, at least a few of you think I am funny. You probably have a few questions like…

What are the Plutus Awards?

They are basically like the People’s Choice Awards for Personal Finance blogs. If I don’t win, that means you didn’t vote for me. And if you don’t vote for me, that means you are a dumb face.

Why Should I vote for you Ninja? There are way funnier PF blogs out there.

True, there are funnier blogs out there, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that when you go to vote for Budgets Are Sexy, you accidentally vote fore me 🙂

Who is responsible for the Plutus Awards?

My man Flexo over at Consumerism Commentary is the the mastermind. He put it all together, so if you think it’s stupid, blame him, not me.

How do I vote?

Head on over here… find the category  “Most Humorous PF Blog”… vote for me… DON’T VOTE FOR THE OTHER GUYS… give yourself a pat on the back for being not-stupid!

I voted for you Ninja, now what should I do?

You should laugh because this picture is funny…

THANKS FOR VOTING FOR ME!!!!!

Oh and I guess I have to provide some type of financial advice real quick….

Don’t have kids…ever…those things are expensive.

Okay bye. See you tomorrow 🙂

p.s. GO VOTE!

My job could be my own worst enemy

I graduated college at 21 without the slightest idea what I was going to do for a living. I took my psychology degree and landed myself a job with The Fed. I’m pretty vague about my specific position, but I have mentioned before it involves investigations. Over the last two years I have gotten really good at investigating things that I’m suppose to investigate. It’s a sweet job, but I knew going in to it, I had to make a decision… A decision that would impact the rest of my life.

I set a rule for myself when I accepted my job offer: Get out within five years, or do it for the rest of your life. Ya see, my job is such a narrow/specific field, that the skills I have learned over the last couple years do not really translate well in to most other career fields. I know that if I stay in my position for more than five years, I will have a freakin’ difficult time trying to find a job in a different field, because aside from investigating things, I wont have any other applicable skill sets.

I re-read that last paragraph and realize I’m not doing a very good job at communicating my thoughts (must be too much nacho cheese from the Superbowl party yesterday). The best way to enlighten you is by example. Think about a cop. Their job is pretty specific: Keep the city civil. Do you know many cops that only work for the department for a couple years and then transition to corporate America? I sure as heck don’t. Most cops are career cops. They work for their local P.D. until the day they retire. It’s not a bad gig if you love being a cop, but it’s not the greatest thing if you want to change careers.

Some positions are stepping stones, i.e. HR assistant, financial analyst, marketing intern. They are a means to an end. You take the financial analyst job so you can transition to a corporate relationship manager, then promote to vice president, and eventually become a partner in the company. You get to climb the corporate ladder and you have a billion different options if you decide you want to change companies or positions. But, what the heck are you suppose to do when you don’t have a stepping stone job? How do I keep from allowing my current job to limit my future potential?

I have some thoughts on this that I’ll be posting up tomorrow, but for now I want to hear from you. Has anyone out there found their job prospects severely hindered as a result of your current position? What do you do if you love your job, make good money, but don’t want to do it for the rest of your life? Has anyone had success changing from one field, to a DRASTICALLY different field? Gimme some insight, ’cause I need some help!

Freakin’ Frugal Fruitcake

Yo, yo, yo people. Hope your weekend was equally as unproductive as mine 🙂 I’ve got a fever and the only cure is more cowbell money. I’m a freakin frugal fruitcake (take that alliteration)! My first week back from my workcation and I’m stressed. I forgot how expensive it is to have friends, eat food, and drive a car.

Over the last seven days I had an unexpected vehicle incident, which ended up costing me $180. I dropped $224 on renewing my car’s registration. Spent about $50 dining out with friends. Paid my cable bill, blah blah blah….

Basically I made a bunch of insignificant purchases, but still feel overwhelmed. WTF? I have plenty of money in my savings account, most of these expenses were anticipated, and most were unavoidable. Why the heck am I having an internal financial panic attack?

I definitely don’t want to become so frugal I can’t enjoy spending my money, but I’m afraid I might already be there. I embrace frugality, but at some point it just becomes an inappropriate love affair that can ruin happiness.

Fortunately, I’m not quite to that point. I’m using today’s post as a reminder (to myself) that it is okay to spend my hard earned money. Do you other frugal dudes and dudettes suffer from a borderline OVERsavings problem? Ever felt guilty about going out to dinner, even though you deserve to go out and have the finances to do so? Slap some sense in to me and cure me of my disease.

p.s. check out this story about a woman who was so frugal she lived in a small condo even though she had a networth of $35.6MM