The Pros and Cons of Online Dating: What If She’s A Man, Baby?

Santorini DonkeyMy buddy, Craig has disappeared.  We used to keep in touch a couple times a week and play some tennis, but not anymore.  After a match at the club yesterday, I saw him walk by with some girl to the hot tub.  Interesting, I thought to myself.  So he’s got a new flame!

After my match, I curiously hopped on back like any good nosy friend would to see what was up.  Unfortunately, she was already gone.  Drats!  But there he was, with a big smile on his face, sipping some sangria he brought from home.  “Wassssssup?” I asked Craig.

“Yo, Sam!  Good seeing you man.  Not much.  I was just on a 3 hour date with a girl I met online!  We chilled in the back, watched the Blue Angels, and enjoyed the bubbles.”, Craig explained.

“Oh really?  Tell me more about this online dating stuff!” I inquired curiously.

Craig proceeded to tell me how he had recently signed up for this free online dating site called OKCupid, and how he was getting all these dates.  “Two a week, at least!”, he mentioned.  “There are so many women online, it’s ridiculous!  I feel like a rockstar!”

After an hour of conversation and some further research on my own (6 months undercover), I’ve come up with Sam’s guide to understanding online dating.


How To Help Japan

On Friday afternoon, March 11th, the largest earthquake in Japan’s history hit with a magnitude of 8.9.  The devastation of the tsunami is unbelievable and my heart goes out to the victims and family members of this tragedy, which is still ongoing.

I’m sure many of us would love to do something, anything to help our brothers and sisters out in Japan.  The best and quickest way is to donate money to organizations who have the infrastructure and processes set up to help.

To donate money to the Japanese earthquake relief efforts, please visit the Red Cross’s site here.  You can also donate money by mobile phone to the American Red Cross Relief by texting REDCROSS to 90999.  Every time you text REDCROSS, $10 will be debited to your phone bill and a donation will be made.  The death toll has breached 10,000.

I encourage those of us with blogs, Twitter accounts and any online presence to help spread the word.  Japan needs all of our support right now!

Highlight Posts From Around The Web

Would You Return A Lost 12 Carat, $200,000+ Diamond Ring?

You might have heard recently that an unemployed architect by the name of Mark Epple found a whopping 12 carat, yellow diamond ring when he and his family was skiing in Vail.  The first thing that came to mind was who wears a 12 carat diamond ring?  That must be so gaudy!  My second thought was what is an unemployed guy doing spending thousands of dollars flying his family to Vail to go skiing?  Each lift ticket costs $100, not to mention lodging and food for the family.  Finally, I wondered whether I would return the 12 carat diamond ring if I was unemployed.

It’s easy to argue not to return the ring.  Anybody who can afford a 12 carat diamond ring probably isn’t hurting for money.  It turns out the original owners have a vacation home near Vail, so that sort of proves the point.  Based on the new rule of engagement ring buying, a husband can get away with spending up to the value of his car for his bride to be.  Cheap car, cheap ring!

And based on my 1/10th rule of car buying, one doesn’t spend no more than 1/10th their annual gross income on a car.  In other words, this couple is earning at least $2,000,000 a year.  Furthermore, they probably have personal property insurance coverage like so many do with expensive jewelry.

It’s also easy to argue for why one should return the ring.  If you lose something of value, you certainly hope someone will have the decency to return what doesn’t belong to them.  I’ve lost everything under the sun before and am so grateful when someone returns my lost item.  Furthermore, it’s not like you can easily sell a 12 carat diamond ring without bringing any attention to yourself.  The largest engagement ring I’ve ever seen is 6 carats, and that was just ridiculous.  Finally, if you do happen to return something of great value, more often than not the person will likely reward you for your good deeds.

What would you do?

CYBER MONDAY SALE! Save 25% on the latest styles of rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, diamond jewelry and more at! Use Coupon Code: CM25 (valid 11/26 12:00am EST – 11:59pm EST)



The Best Of Financial Samurai 2010

You guys have really rocked the discussions with multiple 100+ comment posts this year!  You’d think this was a big blog or something.  I can’t begin to thank you enough for your contributions and what I’ve learned from you.  A post recap of 2010 is a good exercise to not only discover what worked best for some guidance in the new year, but to also give new readers a chance to catch up via one easy page.

There are literally 36 posts in the queue for 2011, with some of them just screaming to get out.  Why has the queue gotten so large?  Two things mainly:

1) Using a wine terminology, it’s good to give each post a chance to breathe.  Often times there’s so much discussion that to post a new post the very next day feels off.  This is the main reason why I don’t post everyday.  A topic needs to be sussed out thoroughly before we move on.  I like to respond individually to all comments who require a response.  Also, I love reading all the other great blogs out there every other day.

2) I guess I just like to write a lot.  There is always something ridiculous going on in the world that needs addressing.  If you are a blogger who is afraid of running out of ideas, don’t be.  Just read the newspaper, turn on the TV, or go out and socialize with friends.  Remember, if you can speak forever, you can blog forever!

For 2011, I probably should only have a queue 10 deep because I’ve found multiple times that I forget what I wrote just a month ago, and sometimes the topic gets stale or irrelevant.  Let’s add that to the blogging new year goal!  Happy reviewing.


Kids and Growing Old: Musings Of A Newly Thirty Year Old Woman

 The following is a guest post by a regular reader who just turned 30.  Hope you guys enjoy and help her share in her thoughts!

So often we let society overly influence how we feel and act. I could go on for hours about topics like body image, nutrition, and politics but for now let’s just touch on age and children.

Maybe I’m on my own in this, but it annoys me that society teaches us that couples should raise a family once they’re married. While I have no ill feelings towards you wonderful parents out there, it frustrates me that I still find myself doubting my lack of interest in having kids because it’s abnormal, against the grain.


Instead Of Twitter Love What About A Twitter War?

Twitter is a truly amazing platform.  I’m impressed with how some can literally Twitter all day and not get tired.  There is definitely an addictive element to Twitter which makes the program so alluring.  There are a ton of announcements of self greatness which I am very fond of reading for some reason.

Twitter Love Examples:

* “I rock because I created an awesome commercial about my product!”

* “My stock picks are up huge and outperforming the markets!”

* “Check out my net worth, killing it up 10%!”

* “Take a look at my new Gravatar picture!  What do you think?  Ain’t I cute?”

* “Happy birthday to me!  Come celebrate with me over on my site!”

* “Thanks!” -> What?  “Sweet!” -> What? “Cool!” -> What?

Small Business Owners Encouraged To Fire Employees Before Tax Hikes

The Bay Area is full of entrepreneurs.  There’s something in the air that creates an almost godly electric spirit that causes people to work hard and innovate.  As 2011 nears, more and more I hear about how small business owners are clamping down in preparation for next year’s tax hikes.  Clamping down is generally not a good term to use if you are a politician who wants to create job growth.

Let’s say you make roughly $3 million in annual gross revenue from your internet business like my friend Zach does.  Not bad, but not exactly big money if you take into account his cost structure.  If his pre-tax operating profit margin is 25% after he pays the salaries of all his employees, the rent, and so on, Zach is left with roughly $750,000 subject to taxes.  If his tax rate goes up from 36% to 39.6%, for every dollar he makes over $375,000, he will pay roughly $25,000 more in taxes a year in 2011.

Well guess what?  My friend is letting go of one of his junior programmers who makes roughly $85,000 to pay for next year’s $25,000-$35,000 tax increase!  My friend feels bad letting his 2006 college graduate employee go, but he has no choice since revenue has declined since 2007, and the government is tightening the screws.  Zach believes that 2011 revenue will be worse next year than this year, and is budgeting a decline.  Thank goodness for 99 weeks of unemployment insurance!  And no, it’s not reasonable for the junior programmer to just go work in fast food after only several weeks of looking.