Ask me anything you freaking want.

(J. Money and I causing a ruckus at Fincon 2012)

If you’ve been following me for a while, it’s safe to assume you probably know a pretty good chunk about me.Β  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 a few times before, and it seems to be pretty fun (for me at least :)). I’ll be home most of the day, catching up on administrative tasks after my business trip, so I should be able to respond 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 marriage? Or about my investing strategy? Or why I love Jesus? Now is the time to ask those questions. Don’t be shy!

Let the askin’ begin….

p.s. This could end up making me look really awkward and pathetic if no one asks me anything, so YES, I do accept pity questions πŸ˜‰

67 thoughts on “Ask me anything you freaking want.

  1. If an investor contacted you tomorrow with an interest in buying Manteresting… how much would it take to sell the lot? Don’t say that you wouldn’t sell it, or that you would sell a stake. The condition is that they have to take the lot and you would no longer have anything to do with it…. What’s your price?

    • Hmmm. Jesse and I talk about this all the time. It’s tough to not be emotionally invested. We know for certain we wouldn’t sell it for $100,000. My guess is at about the $250k mark I’d be willing to explore. $500,000 would really make us sit down and think. And $1,00,000 would probably be a no-brainer.

      But even then, it’s still hard for me to say I’d sell it for $1MM because if someone wants to pay us that for it, there must be some pretty damn good potential in the site.

      • Ninja,

        Did you last say that you have no earned a single penny from the site? Not asking to be a debby downer, but just wondering why an offer greater than $100K wouldn’t appeal to someone who has a goal to get a house and that would pretty much seal the deal…

  2. If you had a magic wand – what would you change in the world/USA?
    If you had a Genie lamp and one wish for you and your family – what would it be?
    If there was a zombie apocalypse – who would you trip (so they can eat them) and save yourself (too much The Walking Dead this weekend)

    • 1) Well the easy answer is evil. Would love for people to stop being so darn messed up. A more realistic possibility, tolerance. We shout more than we talk. Would love for people to be able to understand people that have different opinions more.

      2) I would wish for more wishes, or more genies πŸ™‚ My mom had a Kidney transplant 7 years ago. Transplants have a lifespan, so my wish would be that my mom’s Kidney outlasts her.

      3) My brother. He’s 6’7 so I imagine it would take the Zombies a good while to eat him up before they came after me again.

      GREAT QUESTIONS!

    • If money wasn’t a consideration we would actually move right back where we came from, San Diego. We loved the specific community we lived in, but since it was really affluent, we never would have been able to afford a home there. If I made $150,000 or more a year, we’d move back there tomorrow.

      An exotic location would probably be Heidelberg, Germany. Girl Ninja came and visited me when I was on business there and it was ridiculously charming. We talked about trying to work/move there for a year or two.

  3. Do you think you and GN could live off the grid?
    What is your favorite food?
    Do you have any irrational fears?
    How much money do you hope to have saved by the time you retire?

    • 1) No. haha

      2) I love Chicken Burgers.

      3) Irrational fear…hmmm… nothing too crazy. Every time I get on a plane I think “What if this thing crashes”, but I don’t do that with any other form of transportation. Pretty irrational since flying is the safest form of travel.

      4) I want enough in retirement to not care. Haha. Whether that’s $10M or $2M. I don’t need to be excessive and travel the world for a decade. Just want to know that I can pull from my retirement, without having to worry about what the markets are doing.

  4. What do you and GN fight about/disagree/discuss (whatever you want to call it) most often? Is your relationship really as good as you make it sound, or do you have your fair share of disagreements?

    • Good as I make it sound? Haha, I’ve been flamed many times by PDITF readers for sharing some of the disagreements GN and I have. We are far from perfect and I hope that I don’t manipulate our relationship to appear as though it doesn’t take real work.

      Our most recent fights have been about MANteresting actually. It consumes a lot of my time and she feels neglected, rightfully so. We are still figuring out how to juggle this side venture and how I can make sure she is getting the attention she deserves.

  5. What cause or charity would you direct a million dollars toward, in the hypothetical situation where someone said, “Ninja, I have a million dollars to give to charity and you must select where it will go”?

  6. How do you look at and analyze personal finance without it becoming an idol?

    How do we, as wealth increases or decreases, continue to give glory to God?

    • 1) Realize that nothing that I “own” is mine, including my income. It’s when we take these things for granted that we start to forget the blessings we have. Money is great, but it doesn’t define me.

      2) See point 1. Our household income has tripled over the last four years. Our lifestyle hasn’t. We know what the Bible says about stewardship and it’s important for us to live that out. We could lose both of our jobs tomorrow, and we’d still love the big man upstairs just the same.

    • Long story short. Two years before I ever met Girl Ninja one of my best friends called me and said “I just met the girl you are going to marry.” I lived in San Diego. She lived in Seattle. Two years later, we met for the first time. We dated for four years. And then I married the crap out of her. How crazy is that.

    • It totally does. Sometimes that means when I’m walking down the street and a homeless person asks for money, I offer to buy them lunch instead (GN and I did this during our Chicago trip). But more often that means giving to organizations that help people (church, Young Life, Charity Water, Invisible Children, Krochet Kids, Campus Crusades). We also like to give our time. That’s why we work with high school youth and have them over to our house multiple times a week. Serving is paramount to loving Jesus since that is what he did πŸ™‚

  7. What, if any, is a daily or frequent purchase that you could eliiminate to save some money (i.e. coffee, redbull, cigarettes, etc)? I just cut out cigarettes woohoo!

    • I’m so cheap I rarely make frequent purchases. GN likes Starbucks so she would fore sure say that. I guess about once a week I like to go get ice cream, so that would be the first luxury recurring expense I’d cut out. Oh and way to go cutting out cigarettes, that’s HUGE for your health and your wallet!

  8. Hello Ninja,
    I like your net worth calculator. How exactly did you create it? I’d like to have one of my own that I can keep track of. Thanks for your help!

    • Google “how to make net worth meter” and there should be some blogs that come up detailing how to do it. I honestly don’t even remember how I did, but I know I Goolged it to find out πŸ™‚

  9. How do you manage giving money to relatives such as little siblings who are still dependent college students? My parents need help financing my little brother’s college tuition. How would you balance staying the course of your financial goals vs. a cry for help from immediate family members?

    • I haven’t really given money to siblings ever and don’t suspect I would any time soon. They are grown, however.

      You have to put yourself first. While you brother’s education is important, it is not your obligation (or your parents’) to make that happen. If cost is an issue, then perhaps he should explore a cheaper school or Junior college. Giving your brother money for tuition doesn’t really teach him a life lesson. Hiring him to do work for you, then paying him for that work, does. No free lunch.

  10. Favorite commenter? (I’m totally kidding)

    When is the next time you’re going to turn the blog over to GN?

    And, did your tv segment ever show up online?

  11. Who’s your hero?
    What was your favorite Halloween costume and why?
    If your life was turned into a movie, what actor would play you?
    Who is your favorite actor/actress?
    Which cartoon did you like the most?
    Do you have brothers or sisters?

    • 1) Modern day inspiration? Bob Goff. He wrote a book, Love Does, and has done some pretty incredible things with his life. Worth the read for sure.

      2) Last year I was a “Ceiling Fan”. I painted my face, had a big #1 foam hand. Made a shirt that said “Go Ceilings!!!!” all night long I cheered for Ceilings. I was definitely a Ceiling Fan.

      3) I’ve been told I have similar features to Paul Walker. He’s a good looking dude so I take that as a compliment, but he sucks at acting.

      4) I love 90% of movies Brad Pitt is in.

      5) Loved me some Rugrats growing up.

      6) Older sister and a younger brother. All of us are in our 20’s.

  12. What are your thoughts on sponsoring a child (via WorldVision specifically)?
    With the holidays around the corner, what are your plans for gift giving for family and friends, do you have money earmarked for this already?
    I just ran my first marathon yesterday<—not a question, I just wanted everyone to know;)

      • Thanks Fig! I think I’ve got the bug now…I’ve got the Rock and Roll half in Vegas next and I can’t wait to find another full!!

    • 1) Honestly not familiar enough. I know the name, but have never looked in to their specific programs. Use Charity Navigator to get an idea of how the company spends it’s money, what the CEO gets paid, etc. They provide a rating on how awesome the Charity is.

      2) We’ll just pull money out of checking/savings as needed. Goal is always to keep gifts to about $50/person. With a total spending cap at about $1,000.

      3) MARATHON!? That is insane! Farther I’ve raced is a 10k. haha. How do you feel today?

      • 1.Thanks, that site gave it a 64 out of 70. We just got the paper work for two kids in the Philippines. I am pretty stoked about it and my big kids are excited too!
        2. Sounds good. I’d love to have a separate account…but that didn’t happen this year.
        3. Great! Now the real work begins…I’m flying solo with all 3 kids to SeaTac in the morning. So much for a recovery period;) They clocked our time at each 5k and seeing 30k, 35k, 40k is a bit insane! 4:12 baby, not too shabby for my first time out and in the hills of SF!

    • Meh, people know who I am now at the bloggers conference. And on the rare occasions that readers want to meet me in person, they always know who I am before I know who they are. Other than that, it feels liberating I guess πŸ™‚

    • While I do love the Bible, and treat it as my moral/personal compass. I don’t know if I’d say it’s my favorite book. It can be tough to read, and really confusing at times.

      Love Does, however, is an awesome book that I devoured in about 2 days. Bob Goff, the author, has had a really interesting life journey and is DEFINITELY worth the read.

  13. Well seeing that everybody already asked most of the less important questions I guess I’ll just ask probably the most important question there is. Are the Tigers going to win the World Series?

  14. I am pretty frugal, follow my budget closely, have a room mate helping out with my mortgage, and I still feel mortgage-poor. I love my job and don’t want to change careers to ‘make more money’. I’ve thought about renting out my place and living in a cheaper apartment to keep my equity (in my home) and have more on-hand-cash to invest and do things I love.
    What would you do in my situation?

    Also…if you tripped your 6′ 7″ brother so the zombies got him first, how would you make sure he was actually beside/behind you to do so?

  15. I would probably do what you mentioned. If there isn’t room to cut out more from your budget, and you don’t have the desire to take on a part time job, then it sounds like downsizing in house is the right solution. Have someone else pay your mortgage, and you pocket a little extra cashflow. Win, win right? Just make sure you think about the negative aspects of becoming a landlord.

    And my brother is not the athletically inclined 6’7 type. He’d probably trip on his own feet, sparing me from having to do so πŸ™‚

    • 1) I miss your face significantly more than you miss mine. Be sure of that.

      2) Always use prayer for these high school kids. That we can be a source of light in their life πŸ™‚

  16. Thanks for the wish you rock.

    while baby bro is 6’7″ he is far more Zombie literate than any of us and we would need him to survive so………..

  17. OK, let’s try again. Answer as concisely as possible:
    1. Abortion.
    2. Gay marriage.
    3. Gun control.
    4. Evolution (and the teaching of creationism).
    5. Global warming.
    6. The flat tax.
    7. US citizenship for children born in this country to illegal aliens.
    8. Favorite Shakespearean play.
    9. Those little red shoes the Pope wears.
    10. Classical music.
    11. Coke or Pepsi.
    12. PC or Mac.
    13. Favorite thing eaten for dinner this past Thursday.
    14. Rush Limbaugh.
    15. Foreign language you’d most want to speak.
    16. US state you’d least like to visit.
    17. Rachel Maddow.
    18. Sarah Palin.
    19. Abolishing the electoral college.
    20. Boxers or briefs?

    • Really Larry? Come on man. We had a two hour dinner together a week ago and you didn’t touch on any of these things.

      I’m thinking your just looking for a debate since it’s known I’m typically conservative, and you typically aren’t. My assumption is you could answer most of these questions yourself πŸ™‚

        • Seriously, though, Ninja, two hours isn’t enough to touch on every possible topic, and 50% of my questions above were for fun. And no, I wasn’t looking for a debate (I asked you to answer as concisely as possible), and I don’t assume that just because you identify yourself as “typically conservative” that you inevitably will have the “typically conservative” answer to each question. (I myself may be considered “typically liberal,” but I do not advocate abortion other than in extreme cases, and I – however reluctantly – accept gun ownership rights because they are guaranteed by the Constitution. Then there is my dear friend RJW, who thinks he knows more about science than the scientists, and staunchly opposes global warming while with equal staunchness opposing creationism.)

          And no, I have no idea what state you’d least like to visit. Except that I doubt it’s New York.

  18. What are your favorite music artists/bands? What car audio equipment do you have in your Scion? do you still enjoy car audio electronics? I think I’ve asked before but don’t think you answered πŸ™

    • Sublime, Ben Harper, Tyrone Wells.

      I have two 10″ Infinity subs in the trunk with an Alpine amp. Everything else in my Scion is stock. I think 160 watts total out of the factory speakers. My car bumps pretty hard so I’m a happy camper.

      I call my subs the best “dumb” money I’ve ever spent. Probably wont ever do it again, but I’m sure glad I did πŸ˜‰

      • When it comes to car audio, I’m a fanatic. Not that you would care as much but I’m running 800 watts rms in my car. MB Quart PCE216 components up front get 150×2 and my JL audio 8w7 subwoofer in a high output box gets 500. I’ve had my system for 6 years now and I regret not going bigger with my sub and will be upgrading as soon as I can convince myself it’s “worth” it. Which it is πŸ™‚ but still my frugal self prevents me :/

  19. I remember reading awhile back that you believed in no premarital sex. And you practiced it while dating GN. Later on in life when you & GN have kids, would you be encouraging them to not have sex until marriage? And how would you feel if they decided against it? Would you feel differently if it was your son that decided to hook up with his GF vs. your daughter with her BF? Be honest πŸ™‚

    • Girl Ninja and I are both Christians so yeah, we adhere to the biblical standard of no sex outside of marriage. I honestly haven’t thought about what I’m going to tell my kids yet about our hopes/expectations for them in regards to their sexuality. Our goal is to live a life that models our beliefs and have our kids be drawn to that. But of course we hope our children choose to follow our lead.

  20. Ok so that got a little personal up there!

    Here is one that might seem odd but I could use the advice!

    Any financial advice for a newly single mom of 3 kids (1 in school, 2 in daycare)? I have no financial support from my Ex but I know by the Grace of God and His Mercy we will be ok. Just not sure how to adjust financially.

    • I wish I had good advice for you since I haven’t been in your shoes. It sounds like you have a healthy perspective and a tenacity to succeed. Live within your means as best you can. Keep your kids first. Hustle Hard. Prosper.

  21. You offer financial advice for a living. When people seek you advice, how many actually follow it? Does it drive you a bit batty when they ignore your advice.

    • I don’t work in finance/money in my day job. This blog is the extent of my pf platform. And I don’t really give too much advice out here. More just communicate what I am doing. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

  22. I’m planning to come to Seattle on the way to visit friends in Vancouver, B.C. next year. What are some recommendations of stuff that I should not miss if I spend 3 days in town? (I tend to avoid “Touristy” stuff like the Space Needle)

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