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.
Beers are overpriced
I remember those college days when going out was a bit of a ritual. I didn’t even start getting ready until 9-9:30 pm because “nobody goes out before 10 pm.” I never really tried to look too sharp because that wasn’t really my style, but I always tried to look good thinking that maybe that day was the day when I was going to meet someone… or “hook up” with somebody like the youngsters say. I got a few numbers but that day was never THE day.
Either way, I always had fun when I went out to bars, but I have come to a point in my life where going out to bars is really not my thing.
Boys Night Out
Because all of us are either married with kids, are engaged or in a committed relationship, finding time where all the guys can get together is sometimes difficult without prior planning. So about a month ago, we decided to plan a boys night out because he hadn’t hung out together in a while.
We settled on this past Friday, which happened to be the day before my brother’s birthday. It was a great opportunity to hang out and also celebrate my brother’s birthday by going out to dinner in New York and then having some drinks at a bar in Hoboken, NJ.
Tags: Going Out
We all love receiving things, be it gifts, money, affection, food – you name it, we like it. You might not believe it, but you know what else feels good? Giving.
When most people think of giving, they think of giving gifts or giving money in the form of donations, but what if you don’t have money to give? Well, you can give your time.
You can not only give your time to your friends and family but you can also volunteer somewhere and donate your time to your community.
I try to volunteer at the animal shelter every year, and this year Kate told me about a program at work in which volunteers go to middle schools and high school and teach a class about bullying (middle school) or career exploration (high school).
I decided to do the career exploration class because I felt I knew more about the topic and I could help the kids better.
Just type, type, type.
October is setting out to be the month of setting goals.
I’m usually good at sticking to my goals if they can be completed in about two weeks. If these goals require me to make a longer commitment, I have a hard time completing them. But that’s only because I wasn’t sharing my goals with others, so when I stopped there was no one to hold me accountable.
This month, however, I decided to set a few goals for myself and tell the world so you can hold me accountable – Kate certainly will on one of them. I’ll explain below. The goals are not financial per se, but if I do them right they could both save me money and also make me money in the long run.
Yo, Adrian. I did it!
As I mentioned in Part Two of our trip to Philly, we ended the night eating delicious food while watching a free showing of an opera in front of Independence Hall. I’m sure we weren’t allowed to sleep on the lawn so we headed over to our hotel.
Usually we use AirBnB for our accommodations, but we couldn’t really find anything that would suit our needs. We were three heads so we needed two beds and I wasn’t going to pay $200 for one of us to sleep on a sofa bed. This forced us to go to a hotel and the cheapest room we found – with good reviews – was $124 for two double beds and breakfast. Not bad, since that came to about $41 a person.
The room was nice, but nothing fancy. You know, it was a hotel room. The breakfast? The same hotel breakfast you get everywhere.
We checked out after breakfast and made our way to Ultimo Coffee Bar because we heard it was the best coffee in town. Kate and I didn’t drink coffee because that’s not my thing and Kate was full from breakfast, but our friend KJM had a soy vanilla latte and she said it was delicious.
People are Fancy in Philly
Monday, I started telling you about our trip to Philadelphia and about how much fun we had there. We were only there for two days, but there’s so much to see and do that I couldn’t fit it all in one post. I guess I could have, but nobody likes to read long posts… I sure don’t.
If you haven’t yet, please read Part One of our trip and then come back here, or you could go check it out after you read this. You do what you want, I’m not the boss of you.
Anyhow, let me give you a quick recap on Part One.
- Got free tickets to Independence Hall.
- Saw the Liberty Bell (through a window).
- Went to the Second Bank of The United States.
- Went to the Benjamin Franklin Museum.
- Ate a Cheesesteak… yum!
As I mentioned Friday, this weekend we went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The City of Brotherly Love also known as Philly. I was very excited to go because I had never been there and let me tell you, I was not disappointed.
Since we were there for only a couple of days, we were forced to do the touristy things and didn’t really have time to just hang out and feel like a local. That was okay though because the tourist attractions are pretty cool.
There’s so much American history in Philly that you’ll leave with a better understanding of how America was founded – I know I did.
NYC’s High Line
We’re all trying to save money and cut down on expenses to pay down debt, save up for a house, or reach early retirement. But that doesn’t mean that we should cut all the fun from our lives and stay home all day like hermits. We should go outside and enjoy the weather before it gets too cold and at least walk around to get some fresh air.
We try to go outside every weekend even if it just for a little while. Sometimes we go to the park, or hiking, or even just take a walk around town. Other times we like to go to New York City.
Many people automatically assume that New York City is one of the most expensive cities in the world, and that’s true in many aspects, but there are a lot of things you can do in New York without having to spend too much money. One of these things is walk the New York City High Line.
Not our actual class.
Happy Monday everyone… or not. If you’re anything like me, Mondays is by far the worst day of the week because it is when we have to go back to work. Yoohoo! (There should be a sarcastic font). But I’m not here to tell you how crappy Mondays are – you already know that – I’m here to tell you about what I consider to be a very busy, fun weekend in which I only spent $6.50 total.
Okay I admit that I was probably lucky by knowing the right people and being at the right place at the right time, but that’s not the point. The point is that the following situations/activities presented themselves and I took full advantage of them.
All work and no play is never a good thing and that’s why we should always try to find fun activities to help us stay sane. But just because we should have fun, doesn’t mean we need to spend a lot of money to achieve it.
Kate doesn’t want to be inside the house all weekend so we always have to find free or inexpensive activities to do – or risk going broke. Disclaimer: I don’t mind staying inside watching TV all day, but I have to put my wants aside if I want to keep this good woman by my side.