Get 10,0000 Southwest Points and a Companion Pass

The Southwest Credit Cards are back! This is exciting because they make it super easy for you to get a Southwest companion pass.

Actual screenshot from when I qualified back in 2013

Actual screenshot from when I qualified back in 2013

What is a Southwest companion pass and why is it awesome?

A companion pass allows you to bring someone along with you for free any time you fly on a Southwest flight.

How do you qualify for a companion pass?

You must take 100 one way flights or obtain 110,000 points within one calendar year.

How long does the companion pass last for?

It lasts for the remainder of the calendar year in which you received it, and the entire following calendar year.

Can you change your companion?

Yes, you can change it up to three times a year.
Continue reading Get 10,0000 Southwest Points and a Companion Pass

2015: Your Year of Austerity

When-You-Refuse-to-Check-Your-Bank-AccountDamn, is it February already? That can pretty much only mean one thing. You’ve already given up on your new year’s resolutions didn’t you? I know I did. My resolution was to update this blog more, but as you can see, that hasn’t really been happening. Anyways, more likely than not, one of your resolutions this year was probably to become more financially responsible and save more money. If that’s the case, I think I can be of some help.
Continue reading 2015: Your Year of Austerity

Save On Your Six Pack

beer1This is my third week in SF. And considering I’ve lived in the ‘burbs my entire life, I think I am transitioning to city life fairly well. I even gave someone directions last week like I knew what I was talking about. Also, yesterday I witnessed a hobo breaking into a van that didn’t have its windows closed all the way. After one of the weirder conversations I’ve ever had, we agreed that he would put everything back if I gave him $2. I’m pretty sure he just went back and took everything again after I left but I’ve never had anyone ask me if I wanted to blow him that many times in a row before and I really didn’t want to find out what would happen if I pushed it.
Continue reading Save On Your Six Pack

Move/Trip

italian teabagHey what’s up? Long time no see. I’ve been making a couple somewhat big life changes over the last few months. First of all, I finally moved to SF. I spent a lot of time talking about it but we finally made the move. We wanted to move here for new experiences and I was really bored of living in the suburbs of Orange County. One of my top priorities for moving here is to make new friends and reconnect with old ones. I’m going to do my best to reach out to people I haven’t talked to for a while but also please don’t be shy and hit me up too. I am very excited. Also I would like to add, trying to move during Santa-con was a horrible, horrible idea. Continue reading Move/Trip

Happy Birthday Beatrice

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Alright, I’ll admit it.

I’m a hater. Or more correctly put, I think a lot of things are stupid. And worse, I find a strange enjoyment in pointing out why things are stupid to people who actually like those things. Don’t get me wrong though; I’m not admitting to this because I feel bad about it. I’m just acknowledging that it’s probably really annoying to talk to me about something that you like and that I think is stupid. And with my views on how diamond engagement rings are a scam, how Valentine’s Day is a tragedy, and how taking couple selfies is as embarrassing as taking real selfies, it’s probably really hard to date me. And yet, somehow my girlfriend manages to do it every day.

Today is Beatrice’s birthday.

Happy birthday, you beautiful girl. I know your one request for your birthday was for me to write you a card, but I figured I could probably do you one better. Instead, I want to publicly tell you why you are the greatest, and why I am the luckiest person in the world. Continue reading Happy Birthday Beatrice

Level

levelmoneySo, I think I was somewhat sexually harassed last weekend. I was peeing at a urinal at the airport when some old dude goes to the urinal next to me and starts chatting me up. I answered his questions about my flight and stuff and when I go to zip up, I look over at him and he’s straight up stone cold staring at my penis. He also had some weird smile going on. I’m pretty sure that was the first time some random guy went out of his way to stare at my private parts and the whole experience actually wasn’t too bad. It was kind of flattering even. I don’t know why girls complain about it so much. (jk)
Continue reading Level

Instagram

In my recent post, I briefly talked about how I do not have an Instagram. To be honest, I felt a little left out so I decided I would get an account of my own. Below are ten pictures that I think will accurately give you a glimpse into how awesome my life really is.

1.

gas
#gas #expensive #gasisexpensive #gas$ #thanksObama #77.37 #BP

Even though everyone is pretty much paying the same price for gas, it was very necessary for me to complain about gas prices by taking a picture of what I just paid for gas and uploading it to the internet.
Continue reading Instagram

Up your dating game

When it comes to dating, you probably have that one douchey friend who always gives you the same advice: “It’s just a numbers game bro”. But your friend doesn’t understand things from your point of view. You’re different from him. You can’t just go out there and hit on every girl willy nilly. You have standards. It’s too dark in the club to see her face.  It’s too creepy to ask out a complete stranger. Or maybe… just maybe… you’re kind of being a bitch right now. Having standards and hitting on more girls to increase your chances are not mutually exclusive. With 7 billion people in the world, I’m sure that there are more girls out there that meet your standards than you have time to talk to. So it’s quite possible that maybe your douchey friend is right and…
Continue reading Up your dating game

Albert

What’s up?

Yep, my name is Albert and the person in that picture is me. It is the first and hopefully last ‘selfie’ I’ve taken and subsequently uploaded to the internet. This is mainly because I think selfies are kind of really dumb.

Unfortunately, it seems like nobody else agrees with this view. I’ve noticed a very steep upward trend in the popularity of posting ‘selfies’ over the past few years and still think it’s incredibly weird. All of your friends already fucking know what you look like. They don’t need a daily reminder. It’s also super funny to me when people go places and take an up close picture of their face and then in the description they need to tell you where they’re at because their face is blocking the background. So in the end they just have a collection of identical pictures of their big dumb face taken at different places they’ve been. Seems a little counterproductive, but I digress. Continue reading Albert

How to Never Worry About Saving Money Ever Again

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Saving money is boring. It’s unsexy, uncool and the alternative is way more fun. It also provides zero instant gratification, which is probably why our generation is so shitty at it. The thing with saving money though, is that it’s kind of like losing weight. You can’t just go on a crash diet and expect to see long term results. You need to make permanent lifestyle changes that are easy to keep up with. Luckily, unlike with losing weight, we have the ability to automate our savings. We can set up our finances in a way to automatically put away a healthy amount of money each month without having to think about it. Below are a few tips on how you can automate your savings today.

DIRECT DEPOSIT YOUR PAYCHECK INTO TWO ACCOUNTS.

By two accounts, I mean two accounts at two different banks. One will be your regular checking account that you use to withdraw money or pay bills, the other will be a checking account that you literally never touch. The reason you want these at two different banks is because it’s too easy to transfer money between your savings and checking account when they’re at the same bank. The point here is to make it as hard as possible for you to touch that money. Try to set at least 10% of your salary into the account that is dedicated for saving. The rule is, unless it’s a life or death emergency, never take any money out of this account. This is not a ‘weekend Vegas trip or summer vacation fund.’  Think about this as a tax you are paying to yourself. Get accustomed to living off of the remaining bulk of your salary.

MAXIMIZE YOUR PARTICIPATION IN 401K, ESPP, ETC.

Basically participate in any program your company offers that takes money out of your paycheck and gives it back to you at a later date with interest. The contribution limit for a 401k and ESPP (Employee Stock Purchasing Program) is $17,500 and $25,000 a year, respectively. Realistically, you probably won’t contribute the maximum, but try to get as close to it as possible (I’m talking at least 10%-15% of your salary on each). Your smug co-worker might tell you not to invest in your 401k because you can probably get higher returns doing some other investment, but you just go ahead and tell him to fuck off. Because even though this may be true, realistically, when you get the extra money in your paycheck, you’re just going to want spend it. Eliminate this urge by not giving yourself the option of touching it. Also, investing that money, tax free, will build your net-worth a lot faster and you’ll feel good about yourself.

AUTOMATICALLY DEPOSIT INTO YOUR RETIREMENT INVESTMENTS.

If you make less than $114,000 a year, you can and should put up to $5,500 a year in your Roth IRA. Set up your accounts so that your Roth IRA automatically deducts money from your checking account (the spending one, not saving one) a couple times a month, preferably once after each payday. Setting up automatic deposits into your retirement account is crucial because it is very easy to “forget” to make a deposit or “need” an extra couple hundred dollars this month so you’ll make it up next month. We both know you won’t be making it up. So find a number you can afford to put into retirement every month and stick with it. Think of it like a car payment. No matter how tight money gets, your retirement account still needs to get paid. Except in this case you’re paying into yourself instead of into a depreciating asset. If you haven’t reached $5,500 by the end of the year, deposit the remaining amount in one lump sum (by April of the following year).

KEEP A MONTHLY SPREADSHEET OF YOUR NET WORTH.

People tend to enjoy doing things more when they’re good at them. People also tend to not like to do things that they suck at it. This is probably why you see so many buff dudes at the gym with no leg muscles. If you’ve never really practiced saving in your life it can get very discouraging when first starting out. Building up that nest egg takes time so it’s important to track your progress. Take a snapshot of your total net worth each month so you can measure how quickly you’re improving. Additionally, it’s a good idea to keep a monthly snapshot of your expenses as well. This will help you figure out which spending habits to curb and it will also allow you to budget realistically. If you spent $600 on eating out last month, it’s probably not ideal to budget only $200 this month. You’d just be setting yourself up for failure.

ADJUST YOUR EXPECTATIONS.

If you’ve been spending every dollar you make, converting to the auto-save lifestyle won’t be easy in the beginning, but I can promise that after a few months you will feel a lot more secure and a lot less stress. Prepare for your lifestyle change by expecting to live below your means because that’s pretty much what’s going to happen. And the closer your reality is to your expectations, the happier you will be. Additionally, once you get accustomed to living below your means, try not to raise it whenever you come into some extra money. For example, if you get a pay bump at work, try to allocate more into your “account for saving” or increase the percentage in your 401k. This is the safer bet, because once you raise your expectations, it’s really hard to bring them down.

Well, there you have it. Those are the tricks and mentality behind automating your savings.  The real beauty of it though, is that now you can spend the rest of your money entirely guilt free. Meanwhile, you can’t get all your financial advice from reading lists on the internet. Go above and beyond by doing your own research and asking questions for anything you’re unsure of. Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know how something works; you’d be surprised on what most people don’t know.  How do credit card interest/bonuses work? How do taxes work? What’s an ESPP? What’s an index fund? The more you know now, the better financial decisions you can make for your future.