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Archive for June, 2008

Reassessing the situation: the income

June 28th, 2008 at 03:31 am

I figured that one reason why the money details seem so overwhelming is that I didn't have a clear picture of my spending. Especially for the past few months, when things got crazy everywhere.

So this morning, I made a cup of strong coffee and crunched the numbers for the next 14 months. I tried to be realistic with my budget and it looks like my previous guesses were a little optimistic: it will be about 30 months to clear it all.

However, I think I've come to some compromise with working extra hours: I'm going to try to do some side-gigging in a field that's related to my job at the Forum (I don't think I can freelance directly in my own educational field.)

The Forum asked me to take some new responsibilities, and in lieu of a higher salary, they've offered to pay for the relevant training. This training will teach me some marketable skills that I can use at the lemonade stand.

I was occupied with some of their other projects, and haven't really used the opportunity. But if I do, and can pick up an additional couple hundred $/month, then I can make a solid dent in the debt. This is less than what I made Wenching, but it has the added bonus of being more of a long term option. Plus, it's much less conspicuous than the Souk (the Forum found that work slightly distasteful.)

I'll spend the next two months really throwing myself into this training, and try to get at least one gig by September. If I can't, I won't have wasted my time (it will make me more useful in the Forum) but I'll reassess my relationship with the Souk. One day a week there would definitely help, if I could balance it (and if they'd even take me, as I've been gone so long.)

Things get messy...

June 26th, 2008 at 02:35 am

I took down an earlier post as a result: too much information in too public a manner.

I'm having a Neo-in-the-Matrix moment, where I'm suddenly aware of problems that had previously flown under the radar. There are a few family responsibilities that are causing (have caused, will be causing) some major financial damage.

I recently did an assessment of some personal goals, and right now, my money commitments are at cross purposes: I want to be there for my family, but by being there for some, I can't easily be there for others. And by involving myself at all at this point, I'm jeopardizing not only my own situation, but my ability to be there for anyone in the future.

So it's been really confusing. Right now, I have 15k in debt, with 7k deferred for a little while. At my current income, I can definitely pay it off within 25 months. But at the same time, that's if I don't increase my spending from this point forward and leave myself with a tiny emergency fund.

However, there's a wedding this year, a recent family trip, and another relative who is swimming with alligators. I seem to be the person that's supposed to be taking care of this, and realistically, I don't think I can shirk these duties.

In addition, I don't think I can do any more moonlighting, not if I want to further my education. Rather, my moonlighting will be school-related training (unpaid in a non-negotiable manner.)

So I'm trying to balance my options with my responsibilities, and it's not helping me sleep at night, that's for sure.

I'm frustrated, because I can't talk to my family, and my friends aren't in a position to "get it" yet. Some friends have the money issues down, but don't have the same family situation. Others understand the family drama, but have their own leaky financial boats.