I always thought monopolies were against the law, but everybody who has cable-phone-internet at home knows that’s not true. Well, technically we all have more than one option, but having only ONE option for cable internet is not my idea of having “options.”
Kate and I live in an area where our only options for internet are Comcast or Verizon DSL (if it was FiOS, I would probably be happier). I have never used DSL and I’m not sure if it’s better or worse than cable, but I only need internet and DSL requires you to get a phone line in order to work. Therefore I only have ONE monopolistic option… Comcast.
The Comcast deal for new costumers is not bad – $39.99 for 12 months – which is the plan that we had. The internet was choppy every now and then, but that’s what we have to deal with.
The 12-month period expired this week and our bill went up to around $67. That’s a big increase in price for a crappy service. We are not willing to pay that much for internet so our plan was to try to get the same $39.99 deal for another 12 months.
A few months ago, we learned about this Philadelphia restaurant that banned tipping and is paying its employees a decent livable wage. The good news is that it not the only one.
Bar Marco, a Pittsburgh restaurant, joined the small but growing group of restaurants who are doing the right thing by paying their employees a livable wage and not having them rely on tips. All employees at Bar Marco get a base salary of at least $35,000, health care, paid vacations, 500 shares of the company, and bonuses (based on profits).
Bobby Fry, the restaurant’s founder, says that this approach has made his employees work harder and waste less. Fry told Entrepreneur, “Our water bill was cut in half, our linen bill was cut in half, our liquor inventory was lean.” Since getting rid of tips and adjusting its employees compensation, profits at Bar Marco went from about $3,000 per week to $9,000 per week.
A portion of these profits go back to the employees in the form of bonuses, therefore annual salaries at Bar Marco are expected to reach $48,000 to $51,000 this year.
Last Saturday, a few of us went to MetLife Stadium for a Monster Jam event. I had never been to a monster truck event so I was looking forward to watching huge trucks do jumps and flips and a lot of awesome stuff.
After we scanned our tickets and went through the gates, there were a few people handing out forms for a raffle to win a pick-up truck or $50,000. The raffle was free, all I had to do was write down my name and phone number so of course I was in.
We then went into the show and had a great time. We saw a couple of back flips, and a first ever front flip! Overall, good times.
Last month, Johnson and Johnson announced its new parental leave policy that hopefully will be followed by all the other big companies in the United States. All J&J employees, who are new parents, will now have the opportunity to take eight additional weeks of paid leave during the first year of the family’s birth or adoption.
Under the old policy, which is the policy of most major companies, the non-birthing parent (fathers, adoptive parents, same sex couples who don’t give birth) could only take one week of paid leave to take care of the new born and the mother who gives birth. Moms who give birth could only take seven weeks (nine weeks if they had a C-section).
With the new policy parents who don’t give birth can take nine weeks of paid leave, and moms who give birth can take up to 17 weeks off… with pay!!!
And J&J’s employees don’t have to take the paid leave consecutively, providing even greater flexibility during that critical first year of a child’s life.
Ting is Awesome
If you are here for the $100 Ting credit and don’t feel like reading this whole post, just click here.
It has already been one year since I switched my cell phone service to Ting and I could not be happier about the move. I still can’t believe I was paying so much money for a service that I could have been getting for half the price.
As I mentioned in my Ting review, I used to pay $127 per month for two phones with Sprint. That’s including a corporate discount of 25%! Which means that I was paying $1,524 a year on my cell phone bill.
With Ting, I was only paying $42.23 per month for the same two phones and for the same service. Ting uses the Sprint network so everywhere I had service with Sprint, I also have it with Ting. The same service for $506.76 a year.
I saved $1,017.24 this year. One Thousand Dollars! Those, to me, are big savings!
If you have Sprint and don’t switch to Ting, you are just giving your money away.
I don’t know what it is about smart phones, but something happens to them around the two year mark after we buy them, and that makes me wonder. Brand new smart phones are awesome. They are fast and powerful, and everything works great.
It makes that 2-year contract that tends to come with new phones feel not so bad. I just know that I’m going to be happy with this new phone for at least two years. And then, like clock-work, around the 2-year mark smart phones start being not so smart. Everything starts slowing down, apps fail to open, or it takes forever to do a simple task.
Meanwhile, you see all your friends with their brand new phones being able to phone and do stuff. It makes you think that maybe your phone is just old and you need a new one to keep up with the powerful new operating systems and whatnot.
It’s Time To Get Real!
April is the official Financial Literacy Month and to celebrate, Shannon at The Heavy Purse has put together the 2015 Financial Literacy Awareness Carnival.
This is an amazing list of articles, including this post, about what inspired us to get financially real. I am truly honored to be invited to participate and share my story.
After you are done reading this post, please check out the carnival and read as many of those articles as possible. I am a regular reader of many of those blogs and I assure you that you’ll enjoy them as much as I do.
You can get to the Carnival by clicking the picture above.
I Love Cake!!!
I can’t believe that I started Million Dollar Ninja 365 days ago. Time does go by fast when you are having fun!
I started this blog as a way of keeping track of my progress towards reaching financial independence and as a reference for my friends and family to do the same. I knew it was going to be challenging coming up with topics to write about, but I had no idea it was going to be this much fun.
I also did not know that I was going to be virtually meeting so many cool, like-minded people in the personal finance blogosphere. But the thing that still surprises me is the thought that thousands of people – not friends of mine – have stopped by this website to check out what I have to say.
To everyone that have taken some time out of their busy schedule to pay Million Dollar Ninja a visit: Thank You.
Top of the Mountain!
The events portrayed in the following post occurred from March 27th to March 30th. The reason I’m only posting now is because I’ve been lazy to write any blog posts… Don’t judge, this is something I’m working on.
Spring is here and to me it means one thing… Spring Skiing!
I like to ski, but I don’t like skiing when it is -1,000 degrees outside. Having to wear 77 layers and having frozen toes – and frozen snot – is not an enjoyable time for me. That’s why we like to go skiing in March.
We live in New Jersey, which means we don’t really have any mountains worth skiing. Whenever we want to go skiing we go to Pennsylvania, but even there the skiing is just meh. Our best option in the East Coast is Vermont, and that’s why we decided to make an annual ski trip to Vermont.
I’m Sexy and I Know It!
Have you ever thought, “finances are so sexy”?
I have never been one to put finances and sexiness together, but Ally Bank conducted a survey that did just that.
Ally Bank’s Love & Money study asked 1,007 adults what was the most appealing financial habit in a significant other. The result might surprise some of you, it sure surprised me.
The responses were divided into four major groups: Attracted to those who have higher credit card limits and like finer goods; those who are bargain hunters and thrifty; those who pay-as-you-go to avoid any kind of debt; and those with strong budgeting and saving strategies.