Yet Another Reason Why I Love The Library

library

Not My Local Library

Before I get into why I love the library, let me start by welcoming you to 2016!

I hope you had a great 2015 and an awesome time on New Year’s Eve.  Kate and I were planning on just staying home and having a relaxing night, but our friends Chris and Kris told us they were going to Queens to their friend’s place and have a very low key new year’s eve reunion, then we decided to join them.

Our night was low key, but it was pretty awesome.  We had some drinks, ordered some food, played board games, and spent some time with good friends.  It was a great night overall.

We stayed over in Queens and had to wake up early on New Year’s Day so we can go to my mom’s house and have brunch with the family.  After brunch, my brother, his wife, my brother in law, and I went to the 1:00pm show of Star Wars.  My favorite part of Star Wars was when… just kidding – no spoilers.

I hope you also had a great New Year’s.  Now it’s time to set the alarm clock because it’s back to work time… sad face. Read more

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Happy 2015-S!!!

Happy 2015-S

Happy 2015-S

Wait, what is this?  My fingers actually work and are typing words and stuff?!

I haven’t written anything for this blog since August, now that’s a long time.  You might be wondering if it was because I had broken fingers or went to live in a place where there’s no internet or computer for me to write a post.  Or maybe it was because I was so busy that I just didn’t have time to write something.

And you would be right.  I woke up one day in a desolate island with no computer, phone, or internet, and where I was too busy building a shelter, hunting, and learning how to make fire.  Learning how to make fire took so much effort that my fingers bled and broke off, thus not allowing me to write a post.

No? But they won’t know that I’m lying… okay, fine.

Kate said I shouldn’t lie.  Here’s what really happened… nothing, I was just lazy.  There, I said it.  I would much rather binge on Netflix than write a post.  There’s just so much good stuff to watch on Netflix.  Did you see “Making a Murderer” yet?  It’s good.  It’s about Steven Avery, who spent 18 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit and then when DNA testing exonerated him he sued his county’s Sheriff’s department.  That’s when all hell broke loose.  Anyways, you should watch it.

Back to why I didn’t write since August.

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Comcast Is The Worst!!!

comcast

No internet?!!

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.

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Profits Triple for No-Tipping Restaurant

no-tipping

No-Tipping Necessary

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.

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I “Won” a “Free” Vacation!

free vacation

“Free Vacation!!!”

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.

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Johnson & Johnson’s New Parental Leave Policy Should Be The Norm

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.

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One Year with Ting and Special Offer

ting

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.

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How I Saved $320 On a New Phone

new phone

Hipster Phone

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.

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Why I Got Financially Real

financially real

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.

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Happy One Year Blogiversary To Me!!!

blogiversary

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.

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