To start this post off, let me drop some quick knowledge on you. There’s a verse in the Bible (Matthew 6:19-21 to be exact) that tells some truth about all of us as human beings and especially about us as human beings who live in the United States. The verse goes a little something like this:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
I won’t go too deep into this verse, but basically it’s trying to get across two very simple points about money and other tangible stuff that we tend to focus on in our day-to-day lives:
1. We shouldn’t be focusing too much on accumulating stuff, such as money, houses, every version of the iPhone and other earthly possessions. These are all very temporary things and will stay here on earth after you’re long gone. I’m sorry, but you can’t take any carry-ons with you to heaven.
2. Where you spend your money and focus your time says a lot about where your heart is. Your bank account transactions can tell an eye-opening story about who you are and what you’re focused on most in life.
Stephanie and I both totally agree on the truth in these two points, but unfortunately we’re also usually horrible about setting budgets and seeing where we’re spending our money each month. To get a better insight into our spending and now that this month is nearly over I thought that it would be a fun and insightful exercise for me to dig into our bank accounts for the past 30 days and see what stories it tells about us.
With all of the super-easy ways to spend our money these days I think that it’s always good to have a good handle on where it’s all going and what it’s being spent on. Who knows, you might be surprised about some of the things you find. I know I was.
Check out the graphs below to see some interesting information about where Stephanie and I spend our money on any given month, what percentage goes where and what our spending habits are like while we’re living in San Francisco.
This first graph shows an overall split of where Stephanie and I are spending our money each month while living in San Francisco. Keep in mind that these graphs only include data from October of 2010, but overall I feel like October was a fairly average month as far as our spending goes. In other words, we didn’t end up spending any significant amount of extra money on multiple plane tickets for Wheel of Fortune auditions or something like that.
We split up this graph into a few main sections:
Shelter: Any living costs such as rent and utilities.
Self Care: Gym memberships, health/hygiene products, prescriptions.
Food: Any type of purchased food from grocerie stores and restaurants.
Entertainment: Movies, events, Starbucks, video games, bars and cabs.
Clothing: Clothes and shoes.
Transportation: Gas, auto insurance, car lease payments and parking tickets.
Charitable Giving: Giving to our church and other non-profits.
Phone: Cell phone bills.
This graph represents all of the money that both Stephanie and I spent in the month of October 2010. The most obvious thing that I noticed right off the bat was that we spend the most money on rent each month by a pretty hefty margin, which shouldn’t surprise anyone else who lives in the Bay Area.
Another thing that I noticed was that there are four other sections that we spend about the same amount of money on each month. Food, entrainment, transportation and charitable giving are all hovering right around 10-15%.
You can also see that we don’t spend much on clothing each month. I hate shopping and Stephanie doesn’t have a ton of time to hit up the malls around here, which I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing. If you asked her I’m sure she would have a different opinion.
This graph shows the ratio between the things that we are guaranteed to spend our money on each month (car, rent, giving, cable, etc.) and how much disposable income we have left over to spend on other stuff. Due to the variation of how we spend our money on food, entertainment and other miscellaneous things, I lumped them all into the disposable income amount. Of course, if we want to save any money month to month that would come out of the disposable piece of the pie as well.
As you all know, the way you budget your meals each month can have a huge impact on anyone’s monthly bottom line. I thought that this was an interesting way to view how much we spent last month on eating in (buying groceries) vs. eating out (buying from a restaurant). With how much we run around during the week it didn’t surprise me that we spend two-thirds of our food budget on eating out, although I also think that this is a place where we can save a ton of money by making more dinners at home. We’re going to experiment with this one this month and see how it goes.
Also, I thought that it was good to point out that on average we spend $30 per day on food as a couple (so $15 each, every day). We’re going to see if we can take that down a notch or two this month.
Where we spend our entertainment dollars each month varies quite a bit and I think that this graph tells that story clearly. The big Las Vegas trip chunk is from when I went out there for a conference and thought that I could win some money gambling (which I obviously didn’t).
The SF Giants bar tab was a pretty big piece of the pie last month, too. Apparently we were a little too loose with the credit card.
The Hup’s Web Stuff is me buying up domain names for new ideas and for other random expenses that have to do with me experimenting with things online.
The rest of the 40% other section was made up of things like cab rides, wine nights and other more typical one-off types of purchases.
Well, that’s about all that I have for you to check out right now. If you have any questions about what I’ve posted up or if you would like more details on why or how I did this, feel free to let me know in the comments. Also, if you’d like to give this a shot with your October spending it would be awesome to hear some of the more interesting things you noticed while going through your monthly transactions. If nothing else, it will give you a better handle on your personal finances, which is one of the most important things you can stay on top of.
As many of you probably know by now (especially those of you in Indiana), my brother Kyle Hupfer is running for a public office in Indiana. More specifically, he’s running for a spot in the Indiana House District 37, which covers the area you see below in Madison County. You can also check out what District 37 covers in Indiana over here on this Google Map.
Up until now I haven’t really been involved in my brother’s campaign due to a few reasons such as:
1. I don’t live in Indiana anymore (I’ve been living in California for nearly 3 years now).
2. I don’t have a political bone in my body. Really, I don’t.
3. I didn’t want to screw up his campaign like Chris Farley’s character almost did for his brother in that movie Black Sheep (vote for Al Donnelly + KILL WHITEY!).
4. I don’t really like to wear the color red (it makes me look even more pale than I already am).
But, even though I haven’t been that involved Stephanie and I did get the chance to help my brother out and represent team Hupfer in one of the gajillion small town parades that he walked in this past Summer. The pic below shows me, Stephanie, my sister Angie, my bro and other friends and family who came out to help the cause. Yeah, I know — we’re a good looking crew (and yes, I do look really pale in the red t-shirt).
With the election coming up soon I wanted to give some of my thoughts on Kyle and why, even though I’m not very politically minded, I would still give him my vote if I lived in the District 37 area. Here are a few reasons why I think that Kyle is the right guy for the job that mostly have nothing to do with the fact that he’s my brother. These reasons are more based on his character and what I’ve grown to respect about him outside of being part of my family and an awesome brother (most of the time).
He loves District 37 and the people who live there
I know that his competition has made a lot of noise about the fact that Kyle and his family moved a whopping 20 or so miles back to Pendleton so that he could run for the District 37 spot, but the fact of the matter is that the Hupfer’s are as Pendleton, Madison County and District 37 as any family could possibly be. My grandma still lives there, my mom grew up there (and still lives there with my dad) and I was raised there and listed it as my home address up until college.
Me and the rest of my family have deep, deep roots not only in Pendleton, but all over Madison County and if any other family wants to go head-to-head with how many miles we’ve driven in and around Madison Country while going to every gym and field you could rattle off I’d love to hear it. Bottom line: saying that my brother is out of touch with the area is ridiculous — just ask the regulars at Donnie’s, they’ll tell ya.
He has the state’s best interests at heart
I’m not sure if anyone’s noticed this or not, but my brother does not have to run for this seat in the house. In fact, he’s out knocking on doors, walking in parades, throwing fundraisers, speaking at various events and who knows what else all during his free time (which he doesn’t have a lot of to begin with). Oh, and he’s doing this all while raising a family with his wife and helping run a multi-million dollar business as a senior level executive.
I’m not exactly sure how much my brother’s time is worth, but it’s A LOT and to be spending so much of it doing all of the little things that it takes to win a local election like this not only shows the high level of his character, but also his dedication and willingness to doing things the right way.
He’s going to stand up for his beliefs
I’ve met a lot of hard-headed people in my life, but none of them compare to what Kyle brings to the table (which is why he’s a ridiculously good lawyer) and even though he always thinks he’s right, he recognizes when he’s not and is willing to hear others out on their opinions. Whether what you have to say will actually change his mind is a crap shoot, but he’ll listen to you and tell you why he thinks what he thinks and will then make the best possible decision given the information he has been exposed to.
I mean, that’s what government officials are for, right? We all think we’re right all the time, but there’s got to be someone who can weigh all sides of an issue and be able to put their personal interests and emotions aside in order to make the best decision possible. If Kyle isn’t that guy, then I don’t know who is.
He understands business, education and many other important issues
You want someone who knows a lot about business and managing a budget? Check out what my brother did at the Department of Natural Resources for the two years that he was there and how much money he saved Indiana taxpayers in the process. Not to mention how he’s helping manage and make decisions for Proliance, which is part of Vectren, which just happens to be one of Indiana’s largest businesses and employers. Speaking of business, you need to look no further than our dad Clarence if you want to hear the voice of a business owner, entrepreneur and someone who knows how money should be managed. Yep, Kyle pretty much has the business thing covered.
Maybe you want to talk about education? Well, the Hupfer family is packed full of teachers and if you visit the Pendleton Elementary school you should definitely check out the library. It’s named after my grandma, Ruth Honnold who taught there for more years than I can count. So yeah, Kyle also knows all about education and with his kids now making their way into the Pendleton schools he’s going to make sure that it gets the attention it deserves.
There are many other reasons why I would vote for my brother if I still lived in Pendleton, but I guess that this gives you a good look into some of the reasoning behind my choice. If you want to find out more about what Kyle stands for I suggest that you go check out his website KyleHupfer.com and his Facebook page (which he surprisingly uses quite well and often). He also has a lot of commercials running on TV (which I think are a little cheesy, but are needed) and has a few other videos on the interwebs which you can watch below or over here on YouTube.
Kyle talks about why he thinks he’s the man for the job
Kyle takes some Q&A from the people of Pendleton (my hometown)
Kyle’s closing thoughts during his first debate
Kyle’s first commercial (I like this one because he does the voice over)
Kyle’s second commercial (can you say cheesy?)
With that I’ll step off of my virtual soapbox (which I don’t step up on very often) and will let you make your own judgments about who’s best for Indiana. You know who I’m rooting for.
Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m an internet stalker. I’m not ashamed if it and to be quite honest I’ve met a lot of amazing people and have been able to do some amazing things because of it. I mean, I usually don’t stalk for no reason (I stalk with focus!) and I feel like the stalkee to my stalker should probably take it as a compliment that I care enough to hunt them down.
I promise I’m practically harmless and most likey the worst thing that will ever come out of me stalking you is you having to meet up with me for a beer, which is just what happened last week when I hung out with Casi who runs the sweet blog SanFranciscoNoobs.com. Although she initially seemed a little hesitant to meet me in the real world we ended up having an awesome time chatting and getting to know each other beyond our Twitter account and About pages. It was kinda the bomb.
So when I meet someone who’s doing super-cool stuff I like to share it with as many other people as possible, so I thought that I would ask her a few questions so we all could get to know Casi just a little bit better. If you read these and feel like I should have asked her something else, feel free to send over a tweet to her at @SFNoobs and I’m sure she’ll be more than happy to answer it. She’s cool like that.
HUP: Hey Casi — thanks for answering some questions for me and for not freaking out when I randomly emailed you a couple weeks ago. I really like what you’re doing with your blog SanFranciscoNoobs.com, can you explain where it came from and what you’re currently using it for? Also, for all of those who don’t know — what’s a ‘noob’?
CASI: No problem-o Ryan. I’ve been known to have stalker-ish tendencies myself at times. Hence the noob part of my blog name a.k.a. someone who doesn’t know what the heck they are doing and is making every mistake and wrong turn possible. Including being a bit over zealous when it comes to making friends.
Which brings me to one of the several reasons why I started SanFranciscoNoobs.com, to make some friends in my new city. Surprisingly it has worked out great, even though I have scared a few people away. I may or may not have showed up somewhere I knew another fellow blogger was hanging out so I could “accidentally” run into them and become BFF’s. Can you say s-t-a-l-k-e-r! Anyway, another reason I started this blog was to force myself to go out and explore my new City, San Francisco, and squeeze every last drop of knowledge and fun I could out of it. I share my experiences so others can learn from my mistakes, help me through my adventures, and make fun of me (which I highly encourage). This city has so many different nooks and crannies to learn about I feel like I will always be a noob here, even if I’m here until the day I die.
HUP: Just like Steph and I did a couple of years back, you decided to head out to San Francisco as a couple with your boyfriend. Why did you both think that it was a good idea to make the trip?
CASI: My boyfriend (Greg) and I are high school sweethearts, together since we were 16. We have experienced a lot with each other. Learning to drive. Graduating high school. Graduating college. Good jobs. BAD jobs (I don’t want to talk about my stint at a tanning salon). Family celebrations. Family mourning’s. Living with each other. And a million other fun (and not so fun) times. We realized if we could make it through all this always by each other’s side through the good and the bad, why not make a major life changing decision we both wanted so bad. We had visited San Francisco a few times and loved every second of it. The day we graduated college the decision was made.
HUP: I know that it took Stephanie and I a while to adjust to life in San Francisco after moving out here from the Midwest. What has been the biggest adjustment for you since making the move and do you feel like you belong in the city?
CASI: I think Greg and I have suffered the most with missing our friends and family. Everyone we have ever known is someone we grew up with. Having to start completely from scratch was really tough on us. We tried going out as often as possible to meetups, bars, festivals, and other events; but we found it to be tough to work up the courage to put ourselves out there. It was just so much easier to stay home with each other and make plans to visit LA or invite old friends to come visit us. Once I got a job I was finding myself out a lot on my own at events and parties which surprisingly made it easier for me to make friends. I have made a few friends recently that have made this experience a whole lot easier. I think this missing link is what finally made me really fit in to this city.
The first day I realized I belonged here was the first time I gave directions to someone on the street. I told all of my new friends about it and they all called me a noob for being so excited over something like that. Bring it on! Noob fo life! Ooooo tattoo idea!
HUP: Anyone who lives in San Francisco has seen their fair share of crazy things. Can you name a couple of things that have stuck out to you more than others since you’ve called San Francisco your home?
CASI: Every day I see something crazy or different or out of the ordinary in this city. At first I met these experiences with wide eyes, but now they have become the norm. Then there was that one day a few weeks ago I decided to attend the Folsom Street Fair (NSFW). This street fair DEFINITELY stuck out to me. NOT in a good way. There are images engrained in my brain I can never unsee. *shutter*
HUP: You have written a lot of posts over on SanFranciscoNoobs. This might be asking too much, but can you link me to your favorite 3 posts that you can think of off the top of your head? Give it your best shot, I won’t judge.
CASI: Lucky me, I have already done this for ya! On our one year anniversary in San Francisco I wrote a post summing up everything I have done in San Francisco. My favorite things are listed in order from 1-10 and the rest is somewhat a free for all. So, instead I’ll just give you the top 3 things I have done since the one year anniversary post.
Take note that the Folsom Street Fair is not in my top 3…
HUP: I know that one of the things that Stephanie and I love most about San Francisco are the amazing events that always seem to be going on. I’m sure that like us, you’ve gone to your fair share of events, too. Which ones have been your favorites?
CASI: As you may have noticed on my blog I talk a lot about beer. When we moved to San Francisco I found a new love for this tasty beverage and its wide variety and culture. So one of my favorite events in San Francisco of course surrounds the greatness of beer, specifically one brand of beer that has a good variety of brews: The Tour de Fat sponsored by Fat Tire. The festival celebrates two great things in this city, beer and bicycle riding.
I would send you a link to a post I have written, but as you may have noticed from my lack of posts the last few weeks wifi has been scarce since I’m in between houses at the moment. I will update you with a big roundup up post I have been writing during this lull, including pics/vids from this awesome festival.
HUP: Well, that’s all I have for you, Casi -thanks for taking the time to chat with me and please feel free to leave us with some randomness to close out this interview. I know you’re good at that.
CASI: The following question was asked of me recently by two close friends, “How many times do you think you use the word balls in a day?” This was brought on because I have a tendency to throw the words “balls” and “sauce” (that’s what she said) to the end of most words. In case you would like to learn a few of these gems I leave you with this: Thanks Ryan for this awesome-sauce of an interview. Your questions were amaze-balls! And, I didn’t know how to fit this one in, but … sweet-balls.
A week or so ago I had the pleasure of hanging out with Jason Shen and John Ramey in Las Vegas. No, it wasn’t some crazy weekend trip — it was actually for work as we were all attending BlogWorld for isocket (it was my third straight year going). The conference is always awesome and as with the other years I got to meet some really cool people who are doing really interesting things on the internets.
Although the trip is always exhausting it never fails that I walk away with a handful of new relationships with people who are doing way cooler things than I could ever do. For real.
For the last couple of years as BlogWorld comes to an end there is always a wrap-up party that’s put on by the awesome people at TechKaraoke (which is just what it sounds like — tech people+karaoke) and this year bash was at a sweet, Las Vegas concert venue called the Pearl Theater at the Palms and there was a live band to back up all of the singers.
Once Jason and I figured out what the dealio was we got signed up and after about 2 hours of waiting and $20 of bribing we eventually made our way up on stage to sing Brown Eyed Girl (how typical, huh?). What happened after that is a little difficult to put into words, which is why I have included a video and some pics of the epic performance below. Enjoy the show and if you can’t see the video you can check it out over here on Vimeo.
The biggest crowd pleaser of our karaoke awesomeness was definitely not our singing — it was when Jason started doing handstand push-ups on stage while still singing. Let me tell ya, there are definitely perks to going on stage with the ex-captain of a national champion gymnastics team. Just sayin’.
Yeah, this pic is good enough to be posted twice.
In case you don’t keep up with baseball, San Francisco has a pretty killer team this year. Stephanie and I have been to a few of their games, but I wouldn’t really consider either one of us fans. Coming from Indiana where we love the Colts, kind of like the Pacers and like the Indians only because they have an awesome field we don’t really have a whole lot of baseball blood flowing through our bodies.
But, that’s not going to stop us from jumping on the bandwagon, which we’re doing tonight for the second game of the playoffs where the San Francisco Giants are taking on the Atlanta Braves. The Giants won last night’s game and I actually listened to the last couple of innings of it on the radio, which was pretty sweet. There are some hard core Giants fans here in the bay area and they’re all going nuts for their home team.
Right now I’m riding up to the game on a Caltrain that’s full of orange and black Giants fans, incuding the 4-5 people who are sitting way too close to me. I asked a few questions about the Giants to an older guy accross the aisle and he said that he’s been a Giants fan for over 20 years. He also told me that the Giants were in the playoffs in 1989 where they got waxed by the Oakland A’s (and had an earthquake during one of the games) and went to the World Series in 2002, where they lost to the Anaheim Angels in 7 games.
A couple of other guys sitting by me who were also sporting Giants jerseys jumped into the conversation and started spatting off stats about different players, who would be pitching tonight and what the game plan should be. They knew a lot about baseball and they especially knew a lot about the Giants. At this point I pretty much got squeezed out of the conversation due to the fact that I don’t know anything about the Giants, baseball and pretty much any type of professional sports in general.
You would think that since I played sports all the way through college (basketball, believe it or not) that I would have more interest in sports than I do now. But, honestly I really don’t. At all.
Heck, I don’t even own a Colts jersey, which is practically a crime in Indianapolis.
Anyways, all of this to say that I don’t know anything about sports.
But, that doesn’t mean that I can’t pretend, so off to the bar I go! (don’t worry, I’ll drink a beer for you, too)
When you watch The Social Network (which I suggest you do), Sean Parker will be the crazy guy who’s played by Justin Timberlake. Of course, he’s also the co-founder of Napster and a 30 year-old billionaire, but outside of the tech geek scene he will mostly be known as the guy in the Facebook movie who was played by Justin Timberlake. I’m sure he doesn’t mind that too much.
Anyways, I just read this great interview over on Vanity Fair that lets us all take a sneak peek into what Sean Parker is all about. He actually sounds like he thinks a lot like I do as far as how he’s a super tech geek, but only as far as technology affects people and their social habits. It’s a great read and it gives a very rare look into the life of a guy who has probably affected you much more than you know.
The past couple weeks at our church has really been awesome. Every couple of months or so our pastor Gary fires up a new theme that he leads the entire church body through, little by little. Each theme is like a puzzle that has one focused idea that is made up of a number of pieces that are given to us through the message each week. It’s a fantastic way for the church to break apart and disect the Bible so that we can learn more about it.
I’ve actually talked to Gary about how he packages up these different themes and he told me all about the incredible amount of work that goes into each and every one. It’s a lot like how a teacher will break apart different subjects for his class so that it can be digested and learned as easily as possible.
The theme for the past few weeks has been all about being different and how there’s really no better way to show others what God has been doing in your life by being different than what’s culturally accepted. More specifically this week the focus was on how to be different by being what God would consider to be a “good person”.
Being a good person can mean a lot of things and even if you seem like you’re a good person on the outside (by your actions), it doesn’t mean that you’re truly being what God would consider to be one. This is because you also need to be a good person on the inside (in your thoughts and in your heart). This gets a little deep and is hard to sometimes deal with and understand, but I’ll give you an example of what this means to me in my life by providing some personal context.
Back in the day, say 4 or 5 years ago, I would have considered myself to be a really good person. I was nice to people (even strangers!), I helped out friends when they needed me (I would give money to the homeless!), I went to church every Sunday and I never did anything illegal (except for speeding, of course). On the outside I seemed to be a really, really good person, but I’m here to tell you that I wasn’t. I wasn’t even close and here’s why.
Even though most of my actions seemed to be good, there were things that I was thinking and doing that were anything but.
One example is that I was dating multiple girls and not telling them the full story about what was going on, which happened a lot. I made myself feel better about it by not committing myself to any of them as their “official boyfriend” (hey, I’m single — who cares, right?), but deep down my heart was totally in the wrong place. Although I was also friends with each of the girls involved, I had no real emotional ties to any of them (I wouldn’t let myself get attached) even though most of them had stong emotions about me. This made me feel like that I wasn’t doing anything wrong and that I was just doing what all single guys do. I was going along with the cultural norms and felt just fine about it. I was not being different and I definitely was not being a good person.
Being different would have been *not* doing what the rest of today’s culture thinks is ok for a guy to do, which is play games with women for the benefit of their own pleasure, social status and who knows what else. Even if the guys who are doing this are completely open with the women at the time, deep down they know (just like I knew) that it’s not right to treat them the way that they are.
Is it fun? Of course, for a while at least. Is it the right thing to do and is it what God would want you to do? Nope, definitely not.
Luckily for me I was blessed to have Stephanie enter into my life to help set me straight. Now that I look back on it I’m almost embarrassed how I used to treat some of the women I had in my life and how I used to string them along for my own selfish pleasure. I have actually apologized to several of them and I’m sure I still owe apologies to the others, which is never an easy thing to do.
Anyways, this is just one example from my own life that I wanted to share. There are many, many more but for some reason I felt like this was a good place to start. It feels weird telling you all about this, but I feel like I have nothing to hide. Everyone reading this needs to know that I’m far from perfect, but that I work and pray every single day to God that I can be different. You can be different, too.
If you’re interested in digging in to find out more about how to be different, check out Matthew 5 in the Bible. It’s some really good stuff.
Well, I never thought that I would ever be creating long length content on my phone, but I guess there’s a first time for everything, huh?
I had to wait on the cable guy this morning so I’m currently on a bus rolling down to a subway station (BART, which is our closest thing to a real subway in SF), which I will then take to a train (Caltrain, which goes from SF down to San Jose) and I will eventually end up at my office in Burlingame. Yeah, it’s a little bit of a trip.
In total it will take me about an hour to get to my office, which might sound like a long time but considering that it takes 45 minutes to get there by car I would say it’s not that big of a deal.
It will also cost me around $8 to complete the trip (one way), but if I did this every day I could get a monthly pass for BART and Caltrain which would probably cut my cost in half.
Moral of the story is that it’s nice having a good public transportation system, even if I don’t use it every day. Compare this to my Midwestern roots in Indiana and this type of trip would have never been possible.