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Two steps back or h3ll in a handbasket?

January 13th, 2008 at 03:13 am

I mentioned before that over the holiday, I really overextended myself. I didn't use credit, so I don't owe anything, but travel expenses and gifts took a healthy bite out of my savings.

I knew I'd need to buckle down: I've got Guild fees that are due, and I'll still need to purchase materials. And I have a going-away present that I promised to get . I had a little cushion for these things.

But I got a call recently, from a relative, and he'd blown the bank: a few checks overdrawn. He owed me a check for some work I'd done for him, and called to say he wouldn't have it. This isn't the first time he's been short on cash. And it's not the first time I've given a hand. I'm also not really ready to not help him.

I know I should be angry: he's mismanaged the money so much he's not able to pay for even the basics right now. And I'm looking at tapping out my funds (not to mention my time) with the Guild, so I can't easily pick up hours at the Souk to bring in more cash.

But I realize how sloppy I've been in the last few months, and how easy it is to get so far off kilter that you can barely right yourself again. And I'm worried, for myself, and for this person.

I mentioned in an earlier post about my friend Rufus, and his friend Chris: Chris was going through some chronic unemployment, and is really struggling. Part of the struggle is that there was nothing saved for a rainy day. It's a total train wreck, and it makes me ill just thinking about his situation...maybe because it's a possible conclusion of my own actions?

I will, by the end of next week, have zipped down to zero in my emergency stash. And while I'm working now, I have been warned by the Guild that I won't be able to work full-time if I want to become a Senior Apprentice, which will be mandatory for my career. They'd prefer I don't work at all, but may concede me working part time.

So I'm looking at taking a huge financial shortfall, probably within the next year. And, this relative is very likely also looking at a reduction in income within that same time frame.

I am uneasy. I know the right answer: tighten the belt, boost the capital and the earning power...but I feel very anxious right now.

4 Responses to “Two steps back or h3ll in a handbasket?”

  1. boomeyers Says:

    I think everyone is uneasy in this economy right now. Might not be a bad thing to have a part time job, just to step up the savings and provide that cushion you need.

  2. annab Says:

    There's always room for me at the Souk, but I'm already working full time (the Forum) and spending nights with the Guild.

    It's difficult to juggle the Forum and the Guild right now. There's a certain standard I need to maintain at the Guild if I want to advance with them, and the workload is getting more rigorous. If I'm successsful, it'll vastly improve my earning power over the long term, so it's important that I do well, and having the time to focus on the work is really necessary.

    I think I need to find out how to optimize my resources...part of this is time.

  3. merch Says:

    Have you thought of a budget for your time? I find a budget helps prioritize things and puts other things in presepective.

    It might be a good exercise.

  4. annab Says:

    That's an interesting comment: last session at the Guild, I started tracking my time (time alloted vs. time spent) and it was really interesting to see how productive I really was. The Guild has flatly stated (and they're right) that I should be spending as much time with them as I can possibly do. So I think my answer may be to voluntarily curb spending way ahead of the date when that might become mandatory.

    I don't know what the Souk will permit me to do, but between the two, the Guild takes precedence. (I only took the job at the Souk to raise cash for the apprentice's surety fees.)

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