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,

Monthly Expenses: September (bonus edition)

Okay before I get on with my Sept expenses, I came across this HILARIOUS article about one mans attempt to pay his debt with a drawing of a spider. The first email is above, but to laugh even harder go here and check out the full email dialogue. If you’ve already seen this, then I’m pissed at you for not sharing it with me.

Now on to the expenses. As always, here’s the quick breakdown of where all my money went…

Explanation of Income:

Salary: My take home pay from the day job. I get paid every two weeks, so this usually doesn’t fluctuate too much. It was a little higher than standard pay this month because I am on a business trip and have earned some overtime while here. Keep your eyes peeled for October because my monthly income is going to be even higher!

Gift: As I confessed before, I accept gifts from Momma Ninja when she is feeling generous. I use this money exclusively to pay down my student loan. I know some refuse to accept cash from the bank of mom and dad….I’m not one of those people 🙂

Explanation of Expenses:

Auto: Any maintenance and fuel costs associated with my car, excluding car insurance. Boo! This is the highest fuel cost I’ve had in a while. Usually I’m around $40 a month in gas. Don’t worry though my gas bill in Oct will be $0.

Dining: I like to keep my dining bill under $100 each month, so I was pretty much right on the money. Yes I spent $7 more than my goal, sue me.

Groceries: My goal is to keep my dining and grocery total under $250 each month. I was over a $100 under budget this month. Confession: I’m on a business trip and they paid all my food costs from Sept 18th to the 30th.

Interest expense: Ah, stupid evil Sallie Mae….we meet again . I have a monthly obligation of $220 on my $17K debt. But I say “Screw the minimum monthly payment!” I’m trying to rid myself of this evil ho-bag as quick as I possibly can. 

Travel: I still haven’t really figured out a good method to track my expenses while I am on business. I pretty much include all expenses (dining, hotel, hookers) in the travel category ’cause I don’t really see a point in itemizing these expenses. I get reimbursed for all travel related costs so I got nothing to worry about

The other categories were too unimportant or self explanatory so that is why I didn’t cover them. The overall total at the bottom is the cash I had leftover after all my expenses. I had $346 left over which is sitting in my checking account right now. I have way too much money in my checking account, $3K, so once I get back home I’ll be throwing another pretty penny at the student loan.

* Are you wondering why I post the previous month’s expenses a couple weeks late? I use quicken to track my spending and I have to wait until the end of the billing cycle before I can download these transactions. I know I could manually add each expense as it comes, but I am entirely too lazy for that. Thanks for checking in and if you got any comments, tips, or advice I’d be more than happy to hear it. *


Who invented babies

Seriously who invented babies, or better yet, who invented the desire to have babies? A while back I wrote an article about the cost of having a kid. Recently, Budgets are Sexy posted up a little article, discussing children becoming a part of his future. The article reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend who is currently pregnant. The conversation went a little like this…

Me: Have you ever wondered why we want to have kids? I mean it’s pretty weird when you think about it. They cost a lot of money, take up a lot of our time, can be quite frustrating, and they poop themselves. I’m really perplexed why we desire to have children.

Friend: I use to think the same thing. They definitely cost a lot of money, but the joys of owning having a kid, must outweigh any of the perceived negatives.

Me: That’s true. I definitely agree there must be a benefit to having kids, but I feel like if I had no concept of children, and then read about them, I would never want one.

Friend: Yeah, on paper having a kid probably isn’t the most fun sounding thing. I guess we all have an innate desire to provide for and nurture someone else.

Me: I guess that makes sense.

Friend: Sure having a kid is going to be a lot of work, but being responsible for someone’s well being is kind of cool when you think about it. Being able to help someone that can’t help themselves is a pretty rewarding experience. I think that’s really what it comes down to.

Me: Plus once they are like twelve years old, you can make them take out the garbage and stuff.

So what is it bloggers? I know the majority of my readers are younger and probably don’t have children, but I’m sure there are some parents out there reading this. What is it about children that are so darn compelling? I know they can make me smile and feel warm fuzzies inside, but so can apple pie. There has to be some deeper underlying desire… right?

Fly finances (pun intended)

If I could be any animal I would be a house fly. Okay, not really, I’d probably be a fire breathing squirrel, but house fly would be second on my list. Yeah I know flies are pretty gross looking and only have an average life span of about a month, but they do have one thing going for them: persistency. Sure they are rather annoying, but ya can’t really say they lack commitment or dedication.

I was at the beach this weekend, trying to get my tan on, but a handful of flies were doing everything they could to prevent me from reaching ultimate relaxation. They’d buzz around me and land on my legs and stomach. I would try and swat at them, but they are just too darn quick and seemed to narrowly escape my hand each time. I think the flies got some sick pleasure out of taunting me, as they continued “touch and go” landings on my body. As annoyed as I was, I had to acknowledge the fact that these flies were persistent.  Even when facing certain death as I swatted at them, they never gave up on their mission: Annoy the crap out of Debt Ninja.

This may be a stretch, but hear me out… Our financial attitude should mimic that of a fly. When declaring war on debt, like so many of us have, we have to keep consistent and remain committed to our battle. Paying down my student loan is not exactly my idea of a good time, but committing to being aggressive and throwing all my extra money at it will surely benefit me in the long run.

I have a stated goal of getting out of debt and becoming a bagillionaire. A fly has a goal of bugging the crap out of me while I chill out on the beach. Sure our goals are different, but the only way to achieve them is remaining persistent. Just as I tried to stop the fly from reaching it’s goal (primarily by attempting to murder it), it’s important to be aware that our lenders are going to try and prevent us from becoming debt free. They’ll try and add late fees, increase our interest rates, and penalize the bajeezes out of us for sneezing. But we can not… I repeat, CAN NOT, let our creditors “swat” us to death. We will fight, persevere, and ultimately end up victorious. Let this be a lesson to you all, although flies may be gross, they can teach us a thing or two about managing our money.