I’m an idiot

 

I’m freakin’ stupid. Not only am I stupid, but I’m also $180 poorer. On Saturday I pulled my car in to my parking space. The car in the space next to mine was about half way in to my spot so I had to pull super close to a fence on the other side of my stall. I made a mental note to myself: “When you back up don’t forget how close you are to the fence.”

Guess what. This morning, when I was backing out of my spot, I forgot how close I was to the fence. Instead of listening to the sweet sounds of my radio. I was welcomed by crushing plastic as my passenger side mirror was being pulled off by one of the fence posts. As my attention turned to the mirror, I swear time stood still, and in an epic slow motion scene, I watched the plastic casing around my mirror explode in to the air and fall to the ground. Fence: 1, Debt Ninja’s driving: 0.

It pretty much ruined the rest of my day. I couldn’t stop thinking what an idiot I was. Who explodes their side mirror? Unfortunately I do. I called the Toyota dealership to get a quote and they told me it would be $350+ for parts and labor. Hell to the no, I said. I did a little google research and was able to find the entire side mirror for $180. Fortunately the install is extremely easy, takes about five minutes, so I should be able to save myself $200 bucks by doing it ghetto ninja style.

Let this be a lesson to all: Don’t run your car’s mirrors into a metal fence, chances are the fence is going to win. Thankfully, I can afford the repair and don’t have to put it on a credit card. If you got car issues, you should always google for installation instructions to see if it can be a do it yourself project. I might be $180 poorer, but it’s a whole heck of a lot better than being $400 poorer.

Help me feel a little better about my stupidity and share some sweet stories about costly things you have done. Have you had some stupid car issues? Ever sit on a really nice pair of glasses? Or maybe you threw your Nintendo Wii remote at your flat screen tv like this guy.

Net Worth: Nov ’09

October was a fabulous month for my Net Worth. That extra paycheck last month, was amazing and allowed my NW to continue moving on up. I’ll take you all out to dinner to celebrate. And by “take you out to dinner” I mean “Do absolutely nothing for you.” Let’s take a look at the growth, shall we?. (p.s. I have had a couple people ask about my NW graph….I use quicken to track my finances and it makes the NW graph for me.)

Note: My NW is pretty easy to calculate because I don’t own very many things. I have a savings/checking account and a couple retirement accounts . I chose not to include things like personal belongings (laptop, camera, etc) or my car (which would add probably $8K to my worth) because I figure those are things I will always need and wouldn’t really want to go with out.

Checking Account: $5,182 +$3,939. I usually try to keep $1,000 in my checking account at all times. It got a little stacked recently because I didn’t do any money transfers while I was abroad. The internet I used was all public wifi and I was hesitant to login to my bank accounts on the internet. Now that I’m home, I’ll initiate some transfers. 

Savings Account: $14,735, +$23. My savings account currently earns 1.3% interest, so that is the only reason it grew over the last month. I stopped contributing to my savings account for the time being and will focus all my discretionary income to my student loan.

Roth IRA: $11,192, -$469. Freakin’ stock market pissed me off last week. It better not keep up these shenanigans. Although, if it does I might have to do some more investing 🙂

401K: $9,849, +$448. 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 (mutual funds). I get 5% of my paycheck fully matched, so you know I’m not about to pass up free money.

Student Loan: -$17,867, +$127. Bleh. Worst decrease in student loan ever. It’s not my fault though, like I said I didn’t want to log in to my financial accounts on public wifi, so I didn’t make a huge payment in October. Don’t worry though, I’ll be diverting some of my checking account stash this way.

I’m rocking a solid  $22,420 net worth. I’m up $3,247 from last month. Usually I can grow by about $2K each month, so the over $3K gain for me was AWESOME. Mostly due to the extra paycheck and some overtime while abroad. Okay, I have to go pay down my student loan now.

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.

Take care ya’ll.

Tolerance

Everyone needs to be a personal finance blogger. Not so much because I think personal finance blogging is the greatest thing in the world (even though it is pretty awesome), but more so because personal finance bloggers may quite possibly be the coolest thing in the world (except for the snuggie).
The motivation for this post comes from the response I received from yesterdays article. I’ve been watching a lot of cable news while on my business trip, and have become depressed by the intolerance many of these shows portray.  On MSNBC you have Keith Olberman spending one hour bashing republicans/conservatives and everything they believe. I click over two channels only to hear Glen Beck yelling about fascism and socialist Obama. Neither host is tolerant of any view but their own. I’m not gonna lie and say I wasn’t a little hesitant to talk about a personal belief out of fear of people ripping me to shreds.
If you read yesterday’s comments, you’ll notice something magical. Tolerance. No one claimed their opinion more righteous than their counterparts. We all had our thoughts and preferences, but we all were clear that they were OUR individual beliefs. Pretty freakin’ awesome if you ask me.
Everyone should be a personal finance blogger because personal finance requires tolerance. We all have different budgeting, spending, and saving priorities. We value different things. We come from different walks of life, yet we all have the same common goal: Manage our money at least quasi-responsibly, and possibly get ridonkulously rich in the process.
Did today’s post have anything to do with personal finance? No. But I felt it was more important to thank everyone that stopped by for his or her intelligent and thoughtful contribution to yesterday’s article.  So is it just me, or does anyone else feel like their is a bit of hostility in society today?

Whoa, I just realized this post ended up being much more serious than my others. Don’t worry though, I’m still gonna kick Sallie Mae in the nutz when I see her.

Leave me alone, I don’t want to live with my girlfriend.

I think it’s quite funny how puzzled people become when I tell them I don’t want to live with my girlfriend. I’ve been with Girl Ninja for three and a half years now, and apparently I didn’t get the memo that I was required to move in with her after the first year. People look at me like I’m crazy, or making a big mistake. Everyone, it will be okay, our relationship transcends continual proximity. Here are some of the comments made during these arguments…

“Dude, you’ll save money by living with your girlfriend.”

Really? I beg to differ. If anything it will probably cost me more to live with her. I already have a roommate so my living expenses are split right down the middle. If I lived with Girl Ninja, I gurantee my expenses would go up. Why? Because I’m a guy, and I live with a guy. We don’t care about decorations, good smells, or if our carpet matches our drapes (I know what some of you perverts are thinking right now). I have a feeling my bachelor pad would suddenly become page 43 of the newest Ikea magazine if I moved in with the GF.

“Dude, you’re crazy, I would never marry someone unless I lived with them first.”

Dude, you’re crazy for needing to live with someone first. I would hope anyone that moved in with their significant other, did so because they are absolutely sure that is the best thing for their relationship. If you’re committed enough to move in together, I say you’re committed enough to get married. After all, what’s the difference? So I wait till marriage and move in with the girlfriend, she’ll discover I fart (very rarely of course) and I’ll get frustrated because she folds our towels in a different way then I prefer. I’m sure we will learn a great deal about each other that we didn’t know before, but why do I have to spoil the excitement of marriage by moving in with her early. To require that you must first live with your partner, to me, essentially means “If this doesn’t work out, I’m outta here.” My mentality is “Hey this isn’t working, but I love you and you love me, let’s figure out how to make it work better.”

“Dude, you’ll get to be around your best friend all the time.”

I don’t really argue with people when they bring this up. I get all giddy inside when I think about sharing ALL of my life with Girl Ninja. How fun would it be to wake up next to your best friend each morning or have someone rub your back after a long day of work? Pretty freakin’ awesome if you ask me. But guess what. I can be patient. Just like I’m throwing money in to a Roth IRA that I wont see again for 40 years, I can invest four years with the GF without getting all the perks. We are fortunate that we both love each other a great deal, but are not dependent on one another. A little patience will go a long way.

Those are just a few of the reasons people provide when trying to convince me to move in with Girl Ninja. I’m old school, okay? I’m a big boy and I can make my own decisions. It’s a decision I’ve made and I don’t understand why my decision is “crazy”.

Before all the cohabiters start foaming at the mouth, let me be clear, I don’t have anything against people that move in with their boyfriends or girlfriends. To each their own. If you’re sold on the idea of living with your partner, then by all means go for it. This article isn’t about whether living with your girlfriend is right or wrong, it’s about people criticizing me for choosing not to. Let’s open the floor for a little dialogue. Do you, or would you, live with your significant other before marriage? Why or why not?

Punch Debt In The Face (Inside edition)

Seeing that I have absolutely no financial insight to provide today, I figured we can examine some random facts about Punch Debt In The Face. If you have no desire to be educated on my site then you better get out now. Let the learning begin…

April 1st 2009: First post ever on PDIF.

160: Total Number of blog posts; Eight of which contained some kind of financial advice (The remaining 152 involved me referring to punching someone in the face or calling someone a douche bag).

15,642: Number of visitors since the conception of my blog.

3,541: Number of visitors in August

3,328: Number of visitors in September, clearly indicating people like me less as time goes on.

202: Most visitors in one day, referred from this interview found on Fabulously Broke.

$0.12: Average daily earning from Adsense.

$0.0000039: My hourly wage from blogging.

The majority of referred traffic finds my site by four means….
1) Google
2) Fabulously Broke
3) Well Heeled Blog
4) Jessies Money

Some funny phrases people typed in to Google and somehow made there way to my blog…

“Exactly how much is six figures?” (I feel embarrassed for this person)

“What happens if I don’t wipe my butt?”, Back to front wiping”, and “How to know if you’ve wiped your butt too much. (Write one innocent article and forever be tagged as a butt wiping professional).

“I don’t know why I’m with my girlfriend” (Ladies, is this your man?)

“Am I going to hell?” (Probably)

Random other headers I have considered using for my blog…

and…

So there it is. Just a little bit about my journey over the last six months. It’s been a great ride and I’m totally excited for what lies ahead. Thanks to all who stop by daily, especially to my loyal commenters. I am committed to making personal finance less boring.

p.s the google link is not a link to google at all…click it for a fun treat 🙂

Hugs and kisses,

We’re all screwed!

Have you heard about all the crazy new fees the big banks are tacking on to credit cards? I hadn’t until I watched The Today Show. Usually I don’t pay much attention to credit card fees. Why? Because I have never gotten one. I have ALWAYS paid my balance in full each month. Paying your balance guarantees no fees….right? WRONG!

We are all pretty much screwed. Those who can’t afford to pay their balance in full have been getting screwed for a while, but now everyone’s gonna be hurting. Here’s just a few of the sneaky fees…

Initiating or increasing annual fees (aka: We hate you fee)…

Bank of America is testing out new annual fees of $29 to $99 on certain customers. How’d BoA decide who they were gonna hit with the new fees? They aren’t telling. Hear this Bank of America, you increase my annual fee and I will punch you in the face and cancel my credit card faster than you can say “I smell like pantyhose”

Inactivity fees (aka: We really hate you fee)….

WTF? This one honestly dropped my jaw. I have a few credit cards that are really old, but that I never use. I keep the accounts open because my history with them gives my credit score a healthy bump. Ya really have three options here: Pay the inactivity fee, use the card (assuming you haven’t cut it up…oops), or cancel it and damage your credit score.

Not Enough Activity Fees (aka: The bend over fee)…

I said it once before, but WTF!? I feel like the banks must have had a giant how-to-piss-off-our-customers board, with about 50 different ridiculous fees included. The CEO’s then blindfold themselves and throw a dart at the board, thus creating the “not enough activity fee”. Essentially if you don’t charge at least “X” dollars on your card each month, or year (depending on the terms), you are gonna get penalized with a fee. Again a problem for me, considering I really only use one credit card, even though I have three in my name. Do I really want to be carrying balances on multiple cards, to avoid a stupid fee?

This is absolute insanity. I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. I can either fork up the cash and pay these crazy new fees, or I can say “Funk You, Bank of America I’m out like a fat kid playing dodge ball” thus hurting my credit score. Even though I’m at the peak of my financial game, this could end up being a lose-lose situation. It’s time for this ninja to start shopping around with local credit unions. I’m done with the big bank drama.

You can see the Today Show clip here to get the quick scoop on what I just ranted about.

Dear Sallie Mae

I’m sorry. I have called you some pretty mean names during the last 8 months of my blogging career. Whore bag, ho bag, douche bag, and just about any other kind of “bag” are some of the insults that come to mind. I have been rather harsh and feel that an apology is in order.

As you know, I currently owe you $17,500 in student loan debt. I’ve held a grudge against you, when in fact I am mad at myself. You didn’t force me to take out student loans and you didn’t force me to consolidate the loans I did take out. That was a choice I made on my own. In fact, if it student loans didn’t exist I would not have been able to attend the wonderful college I did.

Am I happy that I have debt? No. Am I grateful for four years of awesomeness. Hell yea. I would pay $17,500 today, if it meant I could go back and relive my college experience. I pretend to be mad at you for three reasons. First, I hate debt, and since you are the owner of my current debt, I am obligated to hate you as well. Secondly, you never informed me about the negatives associated with consolidating a student loan. Lastly, it’s fun. Who else can I call a douche bag that wont punch me in the face for doing so?

I have learned an expensive, but valuable lesson: You are more than happy to take my money. I regret to inform you, that I will be minimizing the the profit you can make from my debt. With the giant payments I have been making each month, our relationship will not last much longer. Consider this official notice, of my intent to break up with you.

While your death grip may currently be wrapped around my neck, I will survive. I’m sorry for all the terrible names I have called you, but please do not expect me to stop. You’re my number one whore girl 🙂

Respectfully,