If you are reading this, I’m 95% confident you are probably at work. Do you know what that means? It means you aren’t actually “working”, unless your boss pays you to read my blog (which would probably have to be the coolest job in the world right?).
I’ve been talking with a bunch of friends recently about how productive they are during their work day. Some of them work solid 10 hour days, every day, even though they only get paid for 8, but the LARGE majority of them confessed to only being productive 2-4 hours a day.
I had a job in college as a ‘building manager’. It essentially meant I got paid to sit behind a desk in a large campus building and answer questions that students had. My shifts usually lasted 4 to 6 hours and I maybe put in a solid 30 minutes of work each time. It got really bad when I worked the late shift (6pm to 11pm). No one would go to the building I worked in at night, so after 5pm it was a ghost town. Sometimes, I would just leave a note that said “If you need help please call…”. I’d leave my cell phone number and then go visit friends in the dorms or go back to my place and watch TV. It was either get paid to sit behind a desk in solitude, or get paid to watch TV in my apartment. The choice wasn’t a difficult one.
Was this unethical? Perhaps, but let’s be real, not even YOU work 100% of the hours you are paid for. Heck, I’m sure your bosses frequently fall short of their obligation too. I realize some jobs (physician) really don’t allow slacking off, but for everyone else, a good chunk of time is probably spent surfing the web, reading the news, chatting with coworkers, taking a little longer lunch than allowed, etc.
So I’m asking a huge favor of you all today, Be bold, be honest, be real, and share how many hours you think you will legitimately work today. You already have to deduct the amount of time you’ve spent reading this post 🙂 If you don’t want to “out” yourself, you can always comment anonymously to keep your identity hidden. I’m guessing the majority are gonna fall between 5-7 hours.
I had a friend send me a text message while they were at a frozen yogurt shop last night asking if I wanted anything. Are you freakin’ kidding me? I will never, repeat NEVER, pass up an opportunity to chow down some FroYo. I thought to myself “That is really nice of my friend to front the cost of yogurt.” Of course I will be paying her back, but there is always the possibility I turn flaky and never make that payment.
This brings up the topic of today’s post: you should always pay people back, and you probably shouldn’t borrow money in the first place. I hate debt, but I especially hate owing money to people I know. That is why I refuse to borrow money from friends and family. And more importantly, this is the reason I refuse to loan money to those close to me.
Have ya heard the phrase “Never mix business with pleasure”? Well lending money to friends is a total violation of that rule. If your friends need to borrow money from you, there is probably a reason for that… they are broke. If they had the means to make the payments, they wouldn’t have to borrow in the first place.
If your friend is desperately in need of money, then you have two options…
1) Loan them the money, probably never get paid back, be pissed off, lose a friend.
2) Give them the money as a gift, with no strings attached and no expectation of repayment.
I personally don’t believe in loaning money out to those close to me. Maybe you disagree, and if you do, you’re a dumb head (just kidding). Have you ever been asked to loan money to a friend? Did you do it? Did they pay you back on time and as expected? If you’ve been asked, but didn’t do it, how did you let them down? It’s definitely an awkward situation so I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.
Wanna know one of my favorite things about the Christmas season? No, it’s not the cheesy Hallmark movies (although they are pretty awesome). I’m totally a sucker for the Christmas spirit. I’m not talking about the decorations, eggnog (vomit), or Christmas trees. I’m talking about nice people, happiness, and unicorns generosity.
For the entire month of December, people tend to be nicer. Why? Shouldn’t we try and be nice more than just one out of 12 months? I sure as heck think so. It’s for that reason I have decided to commit to ‘Pay it forward’ at least one time between now and Jan 31st.
For those that don’t know, paying it forward basically means you do something really nice for someone else, without expecting anything in return. The idea is that if you do something nice for someone, hopefully they will do something nice for someone else, etc, etc, etc. One action can snowball in to a world of generosity.
It’s time for this Ninja to do a good deed and I’m starting to explore my options. Perhaps I will help an old lady cross the street, rescue a baby from a burning building, or donate my body to science. The possibilities are truly endless.
Seriously though, I am on a mission to Pay it forward and complete a Random Act of Kindness, so if any of you have any suggestions, or things you have done in the past, please share so I can completely weigh all options. Perhaps you will even consider joining me on this excursion? I’m convinced PF bloggers are some of the coolest people in the world so I’m excited to hear what ya’ll got for me 🙂
p.s. I’m looking for an Act of Kindness that is substantial, I would hope we all do nice things on a regular basis, but I’m thinking I want to do something out of the norm.
I pinky promise I wont turn PDITF in to a wedding/marriage/love blog, but you are gonna have to bear with me, for a bit longer as this engagement thing is uncharted territories for me. Getting married is going to completely change the way I have been managing my money. Apparently wives don’t just cook and clean (dear feminists, that was a joke), but they also do things like make money and spend money.
In years past, I have made my budget on January 1st and made assumptions of what the next 12 months is going to look like. It has been pretty easy for me to do, seeing that all I had to account for was myself. I knew what my income would be, I knew how much food I bought each month, and I knew how frequently I was putting gas in my car. It was really easy to make a budget once every 12 months, because few things in my life varied.
Well Girl Ninja, I hate to break it to ya, but you’re throwin’ a little wrench in my tires. I think I’m going to be forced in to budgeting twice this year. One for now through wedding day, and again wedding day through the rest of the year. That means I have to do twice as much work, ugh.
Even more unfortunate… I have no idea how to budget for our life post wedding. I have no clue how much women cost. To further complicate things, Girl Ninja is a substitute teacher so her income can range from $200-$2,000 monthly (depending on how many days she works). My guess is our wedding will take place in August, which leaves me with four months of assumptions (Aug through Dec).
It really seems pointless to make a budget for the last half of the year at this point, since I really have no clue what things will be looking like. We could be spending $900 to $1,500 on rent, $300-$500 on grocery/dining, $100-$400 on gas, blah, blah, blah. Nearly every category has a couple hundred dollar variance. It kind of defeats the purpose of budgeting, when you have no clue what you will be spending on virtually all aspects of your life.
Right now my game plan is to establish my budget from January to August and call it good. Once married life begins, I will closely monitor our spending habits and be totally prepared to make my 2011 budget on January 1st next year. I guess it’s not a huge deal though, because I treat my budget like a spending guideline. Do any of you all recall how much your overall expenses increased post marriage? Do you make a budget each month, once a quarter, or like me, once a year?
p.s. a few of you bloggers (mostly women) have mentioned you would like to hear a little more about my thoughts on weddings/marriage/love, so I plan to begin touching on those topics at least once a month. consider me your official Love Ninja 🙂
I popped a cap in 2009’s a$$. It was an incredible year, increasing my net worth over $30K. December, however, was a not so exciting. Oh wait, YES IT WAS. I got engaged, but with engagement comes expenses, and with expenses come a less than ridiculous net worth growth. Let’s take a look…
Checking Account(s): $4,361,+$1,301. Got the checking account slightly stacked as my $2,500 credit card bill is coming due. I’m being a good Ninja, and paying that bill in full. I try to keep $1,000 in this account, but have come to realize that is almost never the case as I am constantly moving money around. Also, I now have two checking accounts, after opening up my online savings with ING, I decided to open a checking account with them also.
Savings Account: $17,725,-$1,800. Ahh the savings account decrease…tear. It’s for a good reason though. I finished off my last bit of contribution to my Roth IRA. You’ll see the increase in the next section…
401K:$11,641, +$869. Eight percent of each paycheck makes its way in to this account. I invest in very similar funds in both my Roth IRA and 401K. I get 5% of my paycheck fully matched, so you know I’m not about to pass up free money.
Student Loan: -$16,193,+$108. Whoops. Got a little side tracked with purchasing an engagement setting and contributing to my Roth IRA. I promise to get back to paying this biotch down in 2010. Pink promise!!!
I’m rocking a solid $28,793 net worth. I’m up $1,404 from last month. Not quite as cool as the $5,000 I went up last month, but I guess I’ll be okay. If I had to choose between getting engaged, or having a larger Net Worth growth, I would pick…. well don’t make me answer that 🙂
Anyone care to make any PDITF 2010 predictions. Think I’ll be President by the end of the year? Maybe I will fizzle out and give blogging up? Think I’ll have a kid (I sure hope not). Humor me with some new year predictions.
If you have wondered why the blue bar (debt) in the graph sometimes increases, it’s because my credit card balance gets taken in to account each month. Even though I pay the balance in full it still appears as a “liability” in Quicken. I just deduct this from my checking account balance to give myself an accurate net worth reading. I choose not to include my car in my NW calculations, which would probably increase my worth by about $8K.
You all are gonna have to bear with me. I’m a guy and guys are not very good at telling stories. I’m gonna give my best attempt to appear romantic and fill ya’ll in on how the proposal went down two days ago. Here goes nothing…
Girl Ninja and I are both originally from the Seattle area. We also both currently live in San Diego (not together). I decided in August that I wanted to wait until Christmas time to propose because we would both be in Washington with family and friends. I bought the diamond in June, and for six months kept that sucker hidden in my desk. Needless to say, I was really excited for December 28th to come.
I picked Girl Ninja up at 12:00 on Monday, for what she thought was 12:30 lunch reservations at the Barking Frog. The restaurant is part of a really beautiful winery/lodge and was the perfect spot….
Now Girl Ninja, was under the impression that we were meeting friends for lunch (a double date), little did she know that was never the plan. As I pulled in to the lodge’s parking lot, I called my friend that we were suppose to meet up with and pretended like we were a half hour early. Girl Ninja and I decided it would be cool to walk around and check out the lodge, while we waited for our friends to arrive.
As we walked around, through the various gardens and fountains, I became increasingly more nervous as I knew we were nearing the proposal spot. As we approached the final courtyard, my hand began shaking uncontrollably from anxiety/excitement. I began to drag Girl Ninja to the table set up with the ring. As my hand was shaking, reality started sinking in, and Girl Ninja realized what was about to happen.
She looked at the table, then looked at me and said “No!” Still walking towards the table, I looked back at her and said “Yea!” We approached the table where I had the ring, some flowers, a Bible, and a scrapbook waiting for us….
We arrived at the table and it was time for me to put my game face on. I picked up the Bible and read this verse from Genesis…
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
I then got on my knee and said something like “I’ve been waiting a really long time to do this, Will you marry me?” I don’t really remember what happened after that because I was so freakin’ nervous/happy/excited/anxious that the next couple minutes were all a blur. I do remember one thing though…. SHE SAID YES!!!!!
After some celebrating and chatter my friend and brother, that had been snapping pictures from the distance, came up to congratulate us and continue taking some AWESOME pictures. We then flipped through the scrap book I made which had a list of my Top Ten Favorite Moments together. Here is a picture from the scrapbook (the bottom left corner is empty so we can include a picture from the proposal)….
We took some more pictures and then headed over to the restaurant for our actual lunch reservations. I told Girl Ninja, there was no double date and that it would just be her and I. I could tell she was a little sad she had not been able to share the big moment with her parents, but little did she know I had some tricks up my sleeve. About 10min into our lunch reservations her parents surprised her and had lunch with us. Girl Ninja began crying and we had some great conversations.
At 2:15, it was time to leave lunch and head over to the Willow’s Lodge Spa so she could her nails done (I had to make sure her hands were looking pretty when she showed off her ring!). From the Spa we headed to Downtown Seattle and went to Starbucks so she could begin calling friends and family and sharing the exciting news with them. After an hour or so at Starbucks we headed to Pike’s Market to buy some flowers to bring back to her parents.
At 5:30, we left Seattle so we could make it back to Girl Ninja’s house for dinner plans with her family. Little did she know, there was more suprises to come!!!! We arrived to her house at 6:00 sharp to be welcomed by 40 of our closest friends and family. Getting to share the most exciting day in our lives with those closest to us truly amazing. I could tell that Girl Ninja was a little sad that one of her best friends, who lives in New Mexico, was not at the party. We mingled with our friends for about 15 minutes, before I pulled out my last surprise…. I had secretly flown her friend up to Seattle to be there for our celebration. I called for Girl Ninja’s attention and at the site of her best friend, tears and screams rang out.
We partied hard for a couple hours and overall had an amazing day. Here were my favorite parts…
1) Surprising Girl Ninja with a ring
2) Surprising her with lunch with her parents
3) Throwing a suprise party for us, when she thought we were just having dinner with her family
4) Flying her best friend up to Seattle to share in our special day
If you can’t tell I am a big fan of surprises and wanted to do as much as I could to let Girl Ninja know I love her. I can not believe I get to spend the rest of my life with such an amazing woman. The Lord has truly blessed me and for that I am thankful.
Thank you to all who have sent congratulatory comments and tweets. I have shared each and every one of them with Girl Ninja. I may not know any of you, but they still mean a lot 🙂
p.s. About six months ago I blogged about how I sold my motorcycle…that was to subsidize part of the cost of the diamond 🙂