Homeblog$10,000 and a trip to Korea.

$10,000 and a trip to Korea.

What does $10,000 and a trip to Korea have in common? Absolutely nothing, but if you follow me on twitter you’d have a pretty good idea why I bring these two topics up.

On September 30th, 2010 I wrote a post titled “I make money blogging.” According to that post I had made $2,100 in the first 9 months of 2010. I was totally stoked on the extra income seeing that my blogging expenses each year only run around $100. Towards the end of the post I made an ambitious goal to earn $10,000 in 2011.

Well, according to my calendar there are only a few weeks left in the year, which means it’s time I check in on my progress. Here’s a screenshot of my blogging income taken straight from Quicken…

So it’s not quite $10,000, what gives? Well, I have an Adsense balance of $145 ready to be paid to me before year’s end. That means I’ll gross at least $10,086 for the year! And hey, if I can swing another deal or two before we scream “Happy New Year” I can bump that up a couple hundred more.

Even though I turned a decent profit this go around, I make dirt compared to what other bloggers bring home. In fact, I could probably double my blog income if I took more time engaging with other bloggers, signed up for some affiliate programs, had someone manage my ads for me, and started SEOing the bajeezus out of my post.

Screw that!

This blog was never about, and will never be about, making money. You wont see me writing about credit card offers, you wont read lame posts titled “Live the dream and get rich blogging”, nor will you suddenly get spammed with sponsored posts and product reviews (bloggers who do that make me want to stab my eyeballs out).

J. Money from Budgets are Sexy is literally the only blogger I know that makes a full-time living off his blog, without sacrificing his voice or content. I’m not kidding, every other full-time PF blogger out there is pushing credit cards, polluting their page with advertisements, selling you crappy products and e-books you don’t really need, and publishing content they didn’t write (they pay people to write for them). Go to Wisebread’s top 100 personal finance bloggers list and look at the first 20 or so blogs on the chart. How many of them are you subscribed too? Probably not too many, wanna know why? They suck (yeah I said it).

Oh man, I didn’t mean for this to turn in to a rant about full-time bloggers, but I just couldn’t help myself. My apologies.

Okay, now let’s talk Korea.

I got an email from my agency the other day saying I was selected to go to Korea for eight weeks (Jan to March) for work. Exciting, right? But freakin’ scary too! Being the typical overthinker I am, I’ve made a list of the pros and cons about accepting the offer…


I’d take home an additional $5,400 on top of my base salary for going.

I would probably never travel to Korea on my own dollar.

I’d hopefully go sightseeing to some pretty cool cities/places.

I’ve never been to an Asian country.

It makes me look good at work for being willing to go abroad.

Did I mention I’d make a bunch more money while I was there?


My wife is hot and I’d miss the heck out of her.

I’m a pretty simple eater and Asian food scares me (is that kind of racist to say?).

Holy crap, I googled how to say “hi” in Korean and this is what came up “안녕하세요”, which apparently translates to “annyong haseyo”, which is obviously much more difficult to say than “hi”. I thought German was rough, I couldn’t imagine trying to decipher a bunch of squiggly lines.

Korea was definitely not in MY top 50 countries I’d like to visit in my life.

Working alone, living in a hotel room, and eating out by yourself for eight weeks gets old, lonely, and quasi-depressing.

Girl Ninja wouldn’t be able to come visit. Stupid teachers actually having to go to work and teach kids stuff.

Ahhh, making decisions sucks. I haven’t had a chance to talk things over much with Girl Ninja, but we have to make a decision here in the next few days. Just when things seem to be getting a little normal, life gets interesting.



  1. Go to Korea. Do it. I have several friends who are either going to Korea or are already there to teach English. It’s a popular place to go right now. Then there is that whole being married thing… well do some video chats and such.

  2. Besides missing your wife, your cons borderline being whiny 🙂 It would be a fantastic experience for you, especially broadening yourself to a very foreign culture. Take GN to some local korean restaurants, you might be surprised how tasty it can be. Korean food was pretty intimidating for me at first but once I ate some kalbi ribs, I was hooked. Don’t be racist! 😛

      • Oooh, finally! For a while there I thought it was too sinful for you guys to go to Vegas. What did you have planned? If you have any questions about my hometown just ask!

  3. Do it! I live in Japan, not quite Korea, but I can honestly say Asian countries are NOT that bad! Even the squiggly lines lol. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity! I have been separated from my husband for much longer than 8 weeks (he’s military) and trust me 8 weeks will go by super fast! And the food over here is awesome too! Do SKYPE, emails, phone calls and it will fly by…plus it’s extra money!

    • I hope this doesn’t come across as weird, but here goes anyway. I’m curious about living in Japan. I’m beginning to network and manuever my way abroad in my company and Japan is an option. Mind if I pick your brain a little Jessica?

  4. 2 months, you can do that standing on your head. Also Girl Ninja will look super hot when you get home after 2 months of no see, no do…

    Seriously, go and enjoy your time and immerse your self in a new culture. I am jealous! I want to go and yes, my girl ninja is hot too….

  5. Wow, congrats on being chosen for such an awesome opportunity. You have to do it-you don’t want to look back on the opportunity thinking what could have been. Now’s the time before you have kids and are tied to a house which would make it a lot harder!

  6. you should find the episode of arrested development where they name the korean adopted kid annyong because it was what he said when they asked what his name was. I think life is for the living, so go live!!! Especially as a Dink

  7. Go. It will help you avoid the goons that the top 20 bloggers will hire to knock the self-righteousness out of you.

  8. Do it!!!
    I have two friends who teach English in Korea and they love it!!!! You will not regret it. I know 8 weeks apart from Girl Ninja is the worst part, but you have the rest of your lives together! 8 weeks is a minor part of that, but the experience will be amazing.

    I strongly encourage you to take this opportunity!!

    Remember, you were nervous about Germany too, and that turned out to be pretty awesome.

  9. GO!!!!!!!!!!!

    My parents actually lived there for a little over a year in 1970-71 when my dad was deployed there. I’m sure it wasn’t on their bucket list at the time either, but they loved it and consider it one of their greatest experiences in life. If it wasn’t for their time there, I wouldn’t have eventually gone to live in Japan or met my husband in Japanese class.

    Like Jessica said, I’ve lived in Japan, not Korea, but the food is similar and quite tasty!! And I am a somewhat picky eater as well. Don’t worry too much about the language barrier. Most likely the Korean citizens will want to practice their english on you.

    And there are many ways to cope with the 8 weeks apart from GN. I managed to stay connected with my husband while I lived in Japan for 9 months, so 8 weeks should be pretty easy.

  10. Go to Korea, The Korean government has mandated that students in the country under the age of 13 be bilingual in both Korean and English. Most the the children age 13 and under can speak fluent English (they do have an accent though and are very shy). Also the capital of South Korea Seoul has English words written under almost every sign (similar to how Montreal has English words under every sign). The Metro is also written in both English and Korean. Also (this may be a bit racist) your tall, blonde and white, most people in Asian countries will gladly help you if you ask because they want to improve their Oral English skills.

  11. Do it….go to Korea. Once you have children, it will be so much harder to do these things. Do them now. And 2 months isn’t all that long…you can skype with her.

  12. ooooooooo … Flynn, Flexo and MvD are going to be mad at youuuuuuuuu!
    I do read Flexo but after that I don’t subscribe until Canadian Finance Blog, then FFB and the aforementioned Budgets Are Sexy. 3 of the top 50, 4 of the top 60, 5 of the top 70, 7 of the top 80, 12 of the top 100 (including YOU!). Interested exercise … how many of the top 100 Wisebread Blogs do you subscribe to.

    Enjoy Korea.

  13. Three things:

    1) I’m about to help you get over your $10,000 mark super easily — wait for an email 😉
    2) I USED TO LIVE IN KOREA!!! Without a doubt you have to go man… Were you pissed that you went to FINCON?? 😉 (Email/call if you wanna chat)
    3) You’re the first guy to make me blush this week. Congrats!

  14. A measly 2 months?! You’d never make it in the military – they go as long as 15 months. Seriously though, this is good travel. You could bring GN out for some travel at the end. For the pro list, wouldn’t this give you a career boost? Turning down something your boss selected you for means that you probably won’t be selected for something cool for a long long while.

  15. Not liking asian food doesn’t make you racist, it makes you sympathetic. really, I feel sorry for you. J/K Go make that money, get an experience, eat some of the best food of your life and get an opportunity to miss your wife. absence heart fonder, yadda yadda.

  16. If I were in your shoes, I’d jump at the chance for international travel on the boss’ dollar. I’m sure there are guidebooks that talk about how to eat in foreign countries for unadventurous types. Of course, the whole benefit of foreign travel is to experience someone else’s culture to broaden your own world outlook. I have proudly eaten my way through 8 different countries/islands. Some were great (anywhere in Italy) and some were awful (English are not known for culinary prowess).

  17. I’d take the trip, even though I’d miss my husband. The 8 weeks will go by surprisingly fast. Besides, doesn’t GN get February vacation?

    • Ha. Until I went to college, I thought every American kid got a February vacation. Apparently that’s not the case. Are you a New Englander too?

      Ninja, if I were you and I had GN’s blessing, I would go in a heartbeat UNLESS I had either a) babies or, b) a close relative on the verge of dying, or c) I would miss a major life event (wedding, sacrament, however you define this) of someone I was very close to.

  18. Hi Ninja, yes, do go to Korea! Are you gonna be in Seoul? I was born there, and worked for like 8 wks as well during a summer recently. It’s a fun place and the food is sooo good (of course I’m biased here). There’s alot of cheap food to be had and I can recommend some simpler things for you to try. 🙂

  19. You really should go. It’s a wonderful chance for personal/career growth in a lot of different ways. Look back at the strengths you identified way back when you were in college and took the StrenghtQuest evaluation – you’re bound to see ways you can match up your strongest qualities to the assignment.

    Maybe while you’re gone and things are more quiet around the homeplace, GN can take a graduate course or additional certification course so she can work on the personal/career growth too. I’m guessing there are all sorts of online courses she could take in 8 weeks right from the comfort of home. Since you’re getting a tidy little sum on top of your regular pay, investing in GN’s education would be a smart move!

  20. Sounds amazing! I think you should go! Also I hate bloggers that put up crap content all for the money. I think it takes all the reality out of blogging, so thanks for being real.

  21. Get paid to work in Korea? I’d jump on it in a heart beat. Maybe that’s just me. I’d recommend picking up a copy of “Culture Shock! Korea”. Maybe a Lonely Planet guide. Girl Ninja should have an extended break in there that she wouldn’t be teaching during which she could probably vacation (president’s day? spring break?). Definitely visit McDonalds and ask for the sauces and/or Happy Meal Toy (France has Pomme-Frites sauce, Japan has Snoopy toys). Don’t be afraid to try the cuisine (a honey ham pizza at Pizza Hut in Taipei actually consists of ham chunks drizzled with honey). Send postcards home (buy 25, lay them out in a 5 x 5 grid, draw in a picture or message, mix them up and send them home one at a time). Find something that you know Girl Ninja would love and bring it home. Find something that screams Korea (silk?) and bring it home to decorate your home – you’ll be able to tell the Little Ninjas about Korea from a personal experience. The best part? You’ll get bonus points at work.

  22. Please go and blog about it! 🙂
    Also , please let GN know that we miss her posts, especially now with the Christmas season – maybe some fancy , cheap gift ideas ?!?

  23. I’m with everyone else. I think you should go. Yes, it will be hard. I’m without my husband for about three weeks every year, and even that much sucks, but it is SUCH a grand experience for him that I never tell him he can’t go.

  24. Ditto to the comments above: GO, NINJA, GO!

    For all you know this trip could open the doors to other places that ARE on your top 50 list. Perhaps some in the summer when GN can travel with you?!

  25. Go! I studied in China for only 8 weeks and miss it more than anything!

    Korea is awesome, the food is not that bad (re: nothing scary!) plus it’s the chance of a lifetime! You would get nothing but a positive experience from it!

  26. I agree Korea is not in my top 50 places to visit either, but I would go when someone is willing to pay for it. A long time ago, I almost took an assignment to Moskow, Russia for a year.

  27. Go!

    I’ve never heard of anyone regretting taking such an opportunity. It will be hard and not everyone would enjoy the trip but you can be proud of challenging yourself to try something new. Can’t NG take vacation for a week and join you? I thought teachers got awesome benefits?!

  28. You went to Kwajalein for a long time, right? Did you enjoy that experience? I’d imagine you’d feel similarly about a trip to Korea. Yeah LDRs suck, but it’s not a super-long period of time. And I’m sure GN will be amazing at holding down the fort if you go. I used to be a super-picky eater and didn’t even eat things like tacos until I went to Mexico in high school – and then I ate tons of burritos in college. You might find that you love all the cuisine and have a whole new world of foods become possibilities.

    Unrelated note – first paycheck of 3-payday month today! Those always make me think of you.

  29. $10,000 per year blogging is pretty good. I mean, sure you couldn’t live on it (at least not easily), but for extra income, I’d say that’s pretty good! I feel pretty successful with my roughly year old blog to have paid for my hosting costs (and a bit more)!

    Korea – yeah it’d be a good opportunity, but you’ll definitely miss the wife. I had a similar opportunity (domestic, but still too far to come home every weekend – and I’d just gotten married), but it’d be more like 3 months with no guarantee of coming home right then. I turned it down, and still think that was the right choice.

  30. I have no problem with people making money from their blogs. It’s effing hard work and who I am to begrudge them a couple hundred extra bucks a month because they want to sell ads.

    And go to Korea. Obvio po.

    That’s my two cents.

  31. A zillion votes yes … I’m waiting for the first person to vote “no” just so I can laugh at them. Get outta here, Ninja!

    1) Distance makes the heart grow fonder, yada yada

    2) I will make fun of you relentlessly if you pass up an opportunity like this

    3) You’ll discover Asian food that you like, really

    4) I’ve been to a bunch of countries that I had zero desire to go to, and I really enjoyed them. There’s ALWAYS something that you’ll find you like

  32. […] at Punch Debt in the Face is facing a choice.  Should he go to Korea for a few week for work… or not.  More money vs. time away from family.  It’s a struggle we all […]

  33. Don’t go, Ninja!

    J/k. Just wanted to see if Paula would really laugh at me. You should totally go.

    Think about all of the people you’re going to disappoint if you don’t go!

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