Monday, October 19, 2009


I just wanted to post something of interest to the people following this for financial reasons, I am getting questions on where I am as far as my 10 grand goal goes. Well I have almost reached it in my account. It would more than likely be 30 grand if it was a college level job or my own business, but I am not going to play what if games. In case if anyone is wondering, I just turned 26. I might not have a lot of money compared to someone who is using my same methods with a higher net income, but it really only counts when you invest properly. Well I started to invest in WMT (as some of you might know) starting at $41 now I have around 40 shares at $52 dollars. While the return on that is modest, it is well is fairly moderate 2K so contributing that I am around the 11-12K range. Meaning I exceeded my goal! Plus I invested in gold on top of that.

I did not use the paychecks as a method of getting by. I broke the chain enslaving me to my job and honestly I could change professions anytime I want so as long as I have the know how and connections. Which brings me to my next point. I do not plan on staying in Reno forever so the food reviews will disappear once I go back to Japan. That's right! I am going to try to go back to Japan. I want to take learning foreign languages to a higher level. But that does not mean I cannot become fluent in Japanese by staying in the United States. I choose not to for personal reasons. For those of you outside of Reno, this place is not really that diverse in culture. The only thing this place has going for it is factories and retail gigs. Yup, that's it! Unless you know someone, no one goes anywhere in this town on their own merit unless they own a business. Since I will be moving to another country, I will probably start talking about stuff on a more international level and maybe start getting more involved with foreign exchange trading.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Why Add Food to Finance and Frugality?

This topic for me is a little bit interesting for me to write about. When some of my friends visit the site, they are like "Why do you add food"? Well I add "food" for many reasons. Like I have mentioned before I like studying languages and one of the cheapest ways to practice speaking a language is to eat at international cuisine places. Today I ate at a Chinese food place (which I already reviewed) to practice my Chinese (which is rusty). However since this is a bit of a tangent, I will say I mainly like going to places that specialize in international cuisine for the people. At the end of the day, I will probably forget the taste I just acquired, but the service and atmosphere is something I will remember. Another thing I like doing is try to eat out for cheap.

Why spend $12 for Ma Pang Tofu when you really do not have to? Sure it will not taste high class, but it will still taste good if you read the food reviews and decide for yourself. I mainly do the food reviews so I can point out places in Reno which are cheap to eat at with good service and to mingle with people. A lot of the ideas I got from learning about frugality I learned partially from my stay in Okinawa, Japan and from my final year in college. When I lived in Japan, I woke up one day to find that I had a $700 phone bill from calling home. I was irate that I let my bills pile up. I was borrowing money from my teachers and paying them back from the money I was getting (meaning less money for the next month to live on). I had a bad habit of buying textbooks. And when I say bad, there would be days where I chose the highly detailed textbook over food. Literally. When I came back to America, I saved a little money, but that was all put towards paying tuition for my final year. Seriously, I was in financial straits.

Afterwards I started to get influenced by my room mate. He was saving all this money from doing content writing online. Sure some of his habits were out there, but he knew how to pinch a penny. I got a job with the city of Reno working for the Recreation Department and I was making terrible money due to the fact I could only work part time. But seeing my roommate living on half of what I make (which was $850/month!) I got to thinking about how I was going to save a bunch of money. When I moved I had the same job, but more bills, yet I managed to figure out a way to save $300/month. I basically split the rent of the house 4 ways and paid utilities which took most of the money. I had changed, I was not spending money like it was water. I became more cautious, less careless. To me it was not about how much I could make because I was beyond that. I was about how much I could save. When I finally moved on to Sam's club I was mainly focused with budgeting.

Now how does all this relate to food? When I was struggling there was one luxury I was determined not to live without ever again. That was food. It is food that keeps us going and trying a different country's food or native cuisine was one of the things that motivated me to save more. I wanted to be able to buy food at any given point without stress. So what did I do? I budgeted the money and cut the fat from my life. (i.e. video games, wastefulness, and textbooks) And this is when I came out with the golden frugality rule. Pick one luxury and budget accordingly. My need for language books will never be satisfied. I realize that. However, I will restrict my self to where I pick that as a luxury for that month and eat out less. So when I called my blog, Food, Finance, Frugality I meant "food" is 9 times out of 10, my luxury in life and even though I am frugal, I will not bend on eating out because it indirectly helps me in my other goals which is meeting people and communication. There are things in life that should be enjoyed, so if you enjoy food, by all means eat good food. If you enjoy video games, budget for video games. If you enjoy other things budget for it. You will be psychologically more well rounded.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Playing Video or App.Games Free

I am not going to be on my Ivory tower and say I do not like video games. I might not play them as much as I used to play them, but it is perhaps one of the things that got me interested in electronics and Japan. If it was not for video games, I would probably know less about computers and electronics than I do now.

Video games to me are like a double edged sword: if you want to save money they can help you do so, but if you want to buy the "latest and greatest" then be prepared to pay. I own a Playstation 2 with over 100 PS1 and PS2 games (which I am slowly selling off). When I was growing up, playing games for me was one of my passions which kept me off the streets and it kept me from getting into trouble. The problem is playing them too much is what keeps people from obtaining their goals in life. So you need a since of balance in order to save money. Obviously as games hit the market and stay there they will devalue over a period of time. But people tend to get impatient with waiting for a their next Final Fantasy, Metal Gear or God of War.

Kratos can wait and quite frankly so can Snake. For those of you that lived in a bunker since information fallout (not to be associated with the game), there are games out there which are free to play. At there are a bunch of online multi player games such as Gunz the Duel and Soldier Front which is a first person shooter. On Facebook, there are many new applications that get released every day which promote a healthier sporatic style of game play. On there, I play Dungeons and Dragons: Tiny Adventures and Mob Wars. There are also a few puzzle games like Bejeweled Blitz which is insanely hard to get a high score. Another site, which as a little bit of spam and adware is It has Flash made video games which are free to play.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Stocks Are Down But Should You Invest?

I am noticing that compared to last year, this years stocks are down. Should you be doing a "bank run" ? If you ask the banking sector of course you will get a "no", they do not want that.

"But what does this mean for my bottom line"

Well for one the dollar is a fiat and there is no simple way to answer why the dollar is losing value other than playing the fiat card. Simply put, fiats are based upon trust. They are like units of "trust". When countries go to war with other countries. That puts a bad taste in a countries trust, so the opposing countries with either embargo or traffic goods as a result of bad trade practices. Meaning that if your dollar is being funded for "war" for example, other countries consider that "blood money" and reset their base on which they value that currency. Also the other mitigating factor is how much debt did a country assume during trade over the years.
All the U.S. government experts have varying numbers, but they all agree that the debt is a couple trillion and growing.

So to keep this on point, what does this mean for stocks? Will we totally bottom out? My answer to that is a flat no. The reason why is because stocks represent units of ownership within a company, so that company holds an intrinsic value that is put out on the international market known as a "share" this share thus has a fluctuating value depending on how well the company does. Like the 1930s stocks are falling hard, but unlike the 30s companies are more international, meaning that they still hold an intrinsic value in another currency. Simply put, there will be no "crash" of a market, per se. Rather the dollar will continue to drop in value until we a) have a government with low debt and b) we improve our image in the public relations sector.

If your one of the wise ants that invested in gold in say 2005, you definitely will be handsomely rewarded for your foresight. It is an internationally accepted currency and international resource. Silver, will become the next big thing as gold will become more and more out of reach for the average consumer.