Professional athletes are overpaid

I was riding in the car with a friend a while back when they said something along the lines of “Professional athletes are overpaid.” While I don’t necessarily disagree with that statement (Alex Rodriguez), I can’t share the same sentiment. Yes, they may make more money in one game, than some Americans will make in their entire lives, but can ya really blame ’em?

The odds for Joe Blow becoming a professional athelete are slim…. 22,000 to 1 to be exact. That works out to about a 0.0045% chance. Did you know you have better odds at getting two hole in ones and bowling a perfect 300? You also have a better chance at marrying a millionaire, being murdered (let’s hope that doesn’t happen), being audited by the IRS, or developing hemorrhoids. Basically, becoming  a professional athlete is tough.

I thought this conversation was about athletes salaries, not about how difficult it is to become one?

Oh don’t you worry, it is about salaries. Professional athletes are the best of the best. Can you think of a position where the “best in the business” don’t make a boat load of money? Look at the creators of the fortune 500 largest companies….guess what? All of them are millionaires. As a matter of fact, they make a whole bunch more than even the highest paid athletes. Should we say actors salaries should be capped? How about scientists, computer developers, and real estate developers too?

People get all pissy when they hear Kobe is making $17 million a year, but no one seemed to care when three 20-something guys created YouTube, to later sell it to Google for $1.65 billion. Does Kobe make a lot of money? Heck yea, he does, but what right to I have to restrict his pay?

Ya see, professional athletes get paid what they’re worth. If they make a big salary, they are probably drawing in a large fan base. In virtually all private sector positions, the higher your skill level the higher your pay will also be. Instead of being bitter that A-Rod signed a $250 million contract, go fine tune your skills and move yourself up the corporate ladder.

What do you think peeps? Are professional athletes overpaid? Should there be pay-caps? I totally think limiting players salary, would be anti-capitilism. Do you disagree?

Do the hustle…

Do the side-hustle that is. Who doesn’t like making a little extra “coin” each month? I’ve pretty much determined God created me to make money. I love being productive, but I love getting paid to be productive even more. There is something about “extra” income that allows me to spend a tad more care free than my typical frugal self would.

I budget for approximately $150/month in side-hustle money. In reality I average between $300 to $500 in extra income, but I like to be a little conservative and anticipate a lesser amount. Tutoring use to be my only means of additional income, but I have began expanding my horizons and bringing in the benjamins through other means.

For example, I never really anticipated, and still don’t really attempt to make money blogging. I knew people out there did it, but I never really was that in to it. Well, come to find out, there is a secret equation that leads to monetization. It goes a little something like this…
I blogged for 8 months in 2009 and walked away with $800 in blogging income. The blogging income paid for my cable/internet ($93/month) and an occasional guilt trip run to Jack in the Crack Box.

Not only has tutoring proven to be extremely lucrative ($40/hr), but it has also lead to additional sources of income. I have become pretty good friends with most of the families I work with and they have began asking me to housesit for them. Did you know people actually pay you to eat their food, swim in their pool, and watch their TV? Housesitting is quite possibly the most epic job of all time. I usually get about $100 for a weekend gig. Little do these families know, I would totally pay them a $100 for a weekend at their place… it’s like a mini vacation. I was asked to housesit this weekend and twice in February, so I’m stoked.

So bloggity blog bloggers, What are your 2010 side hustle goals? ? Are you obsessed with finding alternative means of income? Like I mentioned earlier, I make about $500 each month… what’s your number?

Operation Sexy Body

Every so often I like to stray from the typical financial mumbo jumbo and write about some stuff I’m sure none of you really care about. As the title alludes, I am currently on a mission of utmost importance… getting sexified for my wedding.

The wedding is tenatively scheduled for August 8th, which leaves me with approximately 8 months to get totally ripped. Just like I got my financial life in order (or at least am trying to) I need to set up a game plan for Operation Sexy Body.

Fortunately my roommate is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach/Personal Trainer so if I need any help or resources he can whip my butt in to shape. I originally planned on joining a gym to help get in shape, but I’m just too darn frugal to pay for the membership (How many of you actually use your gym memberships consistently?). Plus my roomie has a bunch of workout supplies like free weights, pull up bars, bands, and a big giant rubber ball thingy.

Here’s what I think I will be looking to accomplish…

1) Run three to five miles three times per week

2) Be able to do 20 pullups

3) Work on a 6-pack, currently have a 2.5-pack 😉

4) Run 2 miles in under 14 minutes

5) Reach goal of 50 consecutive push ups

6) Not look like this guy…

You’ll notice I did not include a weight loss goal in my list. I’m 6’1 and weigh 175lbs so I am not overweight, so I don’t really need to drop weight as much as I just want to make sure I am lookin hot as H-E-double-hockey sticks come wedding day.

It’s one thing to have a stated goal to get in shape, it’s a whole other thing to actually do it. So mark my words bloggers, I WILL BE SEXIFIED BY AUGUST 8TH. Are you a sporadic worker-outer like myself? How frequently do you break a sweat? Do you practice what you preach when it comes to your health?

Debt Unicorn

I’m convinced whoever decided to draw a horn on a horse, and call it a unicorn, is also responsible for fabricating the idea that debt is a reasonable way of life. Seriously, it takes a very creative mind, or at least a lot of drugs, to make unicorns and debt popular. It boggles my mind.

I think debt is rooted in complacency (whoa that sounded kinda deep). There is nothing wrong with being content, but complacency frustrates me. Credit card debt, flat screen TVs, new cars, an overpriced home, stainless steel appliances, are unfortunately where prestige is sought. Keepin’ up with the Joneses is the American Dream. People with $40K annual incomes are living a six-figure lifestyle.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no beef with nice homes, luxury vehicles, energy efficient appliances. Actually, I think they are all awesome, and one day, I hope to own these things, but guess what…. I don’t. I refuse to conform to the norms of society, when those “norms” are self destructive.

I drool at the sight of a plasma TV, but realize that the benefits of the TV (high definition/sexiness), don’t even come close to outweighing the negatives (decrease in net worth, more TV watching=less productivity, a desire to then increase sound equipment/dvd player/etc). So although the Joneses may have a plasma in every room of their house, I know that my life is actually better without.

Look at this picture of a Unicorn and tell me that’s not one crazy looking animal…

Now look at your credit card statement, and tell me your balance isn’t even more crazy! You can hang out with the Joneses all you’d like, but I think I’m gonna keep kickin’ it with my PF homies and increasing my quality of life.

Why do you think America has become complacent with debt? Where did we go wrong? Has it ALWAYS been this way? Do you think we learned anything from the recent recession?

How many hours are you really working today?

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.

Don’t be a douche

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.

Paying it forward

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.