HomedisciplineLovin' 2010

Lovin’ 2010

Seeing that 2011 is rapidly approaching, it’s time to see how the last 12 months treated the Ninja household. If you’re too lazy to read through, I’ll just tell you. Spoiler Alert: It kicked major butt!!!! Here were my original goals…

I love looking at that thing. It’s funny how much can change in one year. According to that chart I should still have about $12K owed to Sallie Mae. Praise baby Jesus, that’s not the case! Here’s a look at where we currently stand.

Checking: $9,374

Savings: $13,616

Roth IRA: $21,087

TSP (401K): $19,765

Sallie Mae: $0

Total: $61,000

As you can see, things turned out quite a bit better for us than originally anticipated. This is either the result of setting the bar too low, or having a freakin’ fantastic (emergency free) year. I like to think it’s a little bit of both. Since I like to be as transparent as possible, here’s a little more about the income we made in 2010…

Blog Income: $4,592

Gift Income: $4,429 (yes I’ll admit some of this was gifts from Mom Ninja, but most was wedding gifts)

Interest Income: $170

Net Income: $46,400

Tutoring Income: $2,552

In the words of Jay-Z, “I’m a hustler baby, and I just want you to know.” Haha, my two side hustles (tutoring/blogging) brought home a cool $7,144. I’m hoping next year to up that to about $10,000. Who knows if I’ll actually make it, but it’s worth a shot.

How ’bout ending with some random statistics you probably care nothing about, sound good?

Total Spent on Groceries: $2,095

Total Spent Dining Out: $1,431

Blog Operating Cost: $190 (which means a 2,316% return on investment)

Rent Paid: $13,532

Twenty-ten was pretty darn good to me and Girl Ninja. I would be totally stoked if 2011 turns out to be an even better year (those goals to follow in a future post). Here’s to hoping! How did 2010 treat you? Do you set goals each year? Do you “hustle” (if so, how much did it bring you)?



  1. I hustle down at the pool hall, but lose every time. I suck at pool. Apparently you’re supposed to only *pretend* to suck when you’re hustling.

    Other than that, I can’t answer other than to say that 2010 has been pretty good to me as well. It’s far too early in the month for me to start coming up with year-end numbers.

    • Remember, I didn’t get married until August, so the first 8 months of the year I was only paying groceries for myself. And yes, I ate really cheap (usually like $120/mo at the grocery store). Since married life, we are averaging about $350/mo at the grocery store (eating a lot healthier nowadays).

  2. You ROCKDED it in 2010, Ninja! WAY TO GO!! I, too, am amazed at how little you spend on food; Hubby and I spend twice what you and GN do! 2010 treated us pretty good… got off to a slow start with Hubby only able to gaining FT employment in Feb. while working a PT job, but it’s ending on a much higher note with Hubby’s new way-better-paying FT job w/LOTS of OT available, which enabled him to quit the PT weekend job.

    2011 looks even more promising…. CC debt will be aggressively paid down and we’re really hoping put a few K’s against the principle of our mortgage. We’re also hoping to replace some of our older furniture, but only when we’ve saved up the cash to pay for it.

  3. Nice work Ninja (and girl Ninja)! We hustled a little for the last couple of months and made a few extra hundred. Our skills included: giving music lessons (me) – $280 , random music gigs (wife) – $250, selling books – > $100. It definitely helped offset Christmas gifts!

  4. I agree with the you subsit on PBJ and ramen!?

    It’s too early to tell exactly how well 2010 turned out for me, but I’m on track to have paid off about 90-95% of the debt I started the year with. I’ll consider that a massive success, largely due to the fact that I hustled at a second job for about three months of the year, during the summer/fall tourist season.

  5. That’s awesome, Ninja! But I’m a relatively new follower of yours and I always wonder why you keep such a high balance in your checking account? Do you have some crazy intrest building account? Or do you just not want to worry about transfers from savings when you need money?

  6. Dude, you had a stellar year! Congratulations! I’m a side hustla too, but not yet as successful as you. My blog is more of a hobby, and I don’t have any real expectations of income from there. I also tutor 🙂 I have an MA in econ and started tutoring some guys from the Executive MBA program at a local school. I think I’ve under-priced myself ($20/hr) and will move to doing video-conferencing sessions at more like $30/hr next semester. Still, I just started in October and made $1,100 before taxes w00t!

    Your grocery budget rocks, and you are a Roth BEAST. I wanna be a Roth-maximizing beast too. 2011 baby, it’s ON.

  7. What a fantastic year you had!! Congratulations! Having looked at your Grocery and eating out budget, those are great numbers for 2010!! I can understand how you spend only $174 a month on food – because you add another $119.42 per month with restaurants to that!

    I met a few of my goals in 2010, and will be meeting the rest in 2011. I’m looking forward to moving my networth into a very positive place. Also – I’m not a great hustler, but I’ve done ok for myself this year. I have a goal of increasing that as well. Can’t wait to see what Ninja Stylin’ you bring to 2011!

  8. My net worth made it into the black this year for the first time since I took out my first student loan, and now I’m sitting on about $15k of net worth. Ba da ba ba ba I’m lovin it.

  9. Wow. I spend in a month and a half what you spend in a whole year on groceries and eating out combined. Then again, I’m feeding a family of seven. Yes, I’m jealous.

  10. We spent about the same total amount on food this year…about $1700 per person (for a family of 3 adults), and we also live in southern California. The trick is to buy raw ingredients, and not a lot of pre-packaged stuff. By preparing nearly all of our meals from scratch, we save a fortune and eat pretty well too. I guess it also helps that we all love to cook, even though sometimes we have pretty crazy schedules.

    • We make virtually everything from scratch and don’t do pre-packaged AT ALL. Very little meat as well. Our costs are still double Ninja’s. Then again, stuff here has to be trucked up from California, whereas I would guess that’s not an issue for you guys.

      • I live in San Diego also and we too don’t buy pre-packaged, but we spend about $300-400/month on groceries just for *2* people! So I was confused about the low cost also.

  11. 2010 was pretty good, I made more money than I ever did before. Of course, I also spent more than I ever have!

  12. Stuff like this is infectious! 2010 was a pretty good year compared to last year! Those are some pretty neat numbers and my best wishes to both of you for 2011!

  13. Woo! Let’s hear it for financial goodiness! For 2010, I made a plan (for the first time in my life) to pay off my debt in under two years – my credit cards (boo) and student loans (not so boo). I’m also in the middle of a refi on my house. I successfully lowered my APR on one credit card just by calling and asking – a first for it working successfully! I switched to a credit union from my bank, opened a savings account, and actually HAVE SAVINGS for the first time in over a decade. It’s definitely been a good year for starting the ball rolling. Here’s hoping 2011 will knock out the CC debt for good!

  14. Excellent 2010! We didn’t set any solid financial goal for 2010. That’ll change for 2011 though. Overall, we did pretty well in 2010 also since the stock market recovered so much.

  15. How in the world did you all only spend $2,095 on groceries?! Did you basically not eat at all before Girl Ninja moved in?! haha.

    Nice job in general, however!! 🙂

  16. Good stuff, Ninja. Especially impressed by A) Blog Income and B) Grocery/Dining Out spending. The more I think about it, I’m really impressed by how little you spend on food. That’s worthy of another post in itself:)

  17. Congrats on an awesome year! I hope 2011 works out to be even better for you! All your hard work is paying off.

  18. Happy Early New Year to you! Glad to hear 2010 was so successful for you and here’s to 2011 being even more successful!

  19. Congratulations on a great 2010. The best part was probably marrying your life partner, right?

    Wishing you two a fantastic 2011!

  20. New to the site, I’m impressed with the depth of the information that you are willing to share and as I’m new to the debt blogging community, I just want to express my enjoyment of the site. Also, way to budget your way out of debt. personal discipline is the only way to win these battles.

  21. […] Debt in the Face with Lovin’ 2010. Ninja has made excellent progress this year on his savings and debt goals. I’ll be using […]

  22. Nice work paying off those loans! My wife and I are getting close. Only 5 more months to go (according to our projections)! I will be so excited when I don’t have money slipping through my fingers!

  23. Man, I gotta start monetizing my blog. After I start writing regularly.

    Congrats on your financial success! We’re finally going to start using a budget starting 2011, so hopefully our numbers will look like yours one day.

  24. Great job mate! That’s awesome you got rid of your student debt! I still have mine since it’s only at 2.6%, but now that savings are under 1%, I think I should pay it off! Cheers, Sam

  25. […] Ninja at Punch Debt in the Face comes completely clean and tells you everything including his income and expenses.  He rocked out in 2010 and with the new Wide Ninja I know that he’ll do even better in […]

  26. Cool! Wow you tracked your grocery expenses down to the last penny!

    That’s great to hear you have been so successful with your blog and side income of tutoring. Hustling with a side job is awesome income because it’s extra income! 🙂 And anything extra is good.. except for weight gained…:)

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