Latest news after a long absence

April 14, 2009 at 2:07 pm (emergency fund, paying bills, selling art)

Haven’t had much time to blog inthe past month. I hope to change that, but it may not be possible for a few more weeks. A few things to note:

Regardless of my previous post, I am *not* considering bankruptcy. I agree, paying off $42K is doable, and I don’t want the irreparable damage to my credit. Plus, I owe it.

I landed yet another art show for June – at a very large, very public, and very busy location. I’m a bit overwhelmed – it will take every single framed work I have, and then some. It’s a VERY big space. I think I’ll be showing easily 30-40 works. Hopefully something will sell. It will also take me hours to hang – they  have an art rail at 10′ high, so I’m in for some major stress getting up in time! But way to go me!

My previous art show in March did not sell anything. Oh well. A lot of people saw it, but I wonder if my prices are too high for this economy. I’ll be trying some non-editioned work (ie, cheaper) in the next few shows.

I have about $150 in fees to get ready for my next show in May at my company’s other location. I have to get a bunch of mats cut for my photos. Luckily I have a bunch of mating free frames I can use, and I can assemble them myself, so expensive framing costs will be avoided. I think I have to increase my photo budget to $100 a month and I think I’ll be taking it off of my goal mini-funds. I don’t think I’ll be able to save up for it for many months, so it’s a waste of time to save extra. In fact, I’m expecting to go over my budget for a while in it.

This month will see me meeting my emergency fund goal of $1,000!!!! Psych! After this month, an extra hundred will be available for debt payment.

I will be getting $550 back from the IRS. Not much. But when it does, I think I’m going to break down and buy some needed software for my computer (Photoshop). I can use my bf’s educational discount to get a good rate. The rest will go towards debt, I hope. I may use part of it as a birthday sushi present next month ($50 max).

I found out bad news about my debt payment plans. My SBA loan will mature in mid-2011. That means I will have to come up with a plan to move about $20-25K into other funds. My personal line of credit will be at $0 at that time, so I can move $15K into that, as long as Wells Fargo doesn’t lower my credit limit. I’ll have to find another place for the remaining $5-10K. UGH.  This has made me reevaluate my payments – I need to really rein in my food/restaurant spending habits. They  have been atrocious.

That’s all the news for now. My debt/savings tally is correct on the sidebar. I also think I may be able to move up my goal payoff by a year if I apply myself.

Until later!

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Excited to get bills

February 16, 2009 at 12:02 pm (paying bills) (, , )

I was looking forward to and definitely very excited to receive my new credit card statement from my new Discover card on Friday. Bonus? I got my citibank statement on the same day!

Maybe it’s the list checker or the successful budgetter in me, but there’s something so satisfying about having a bill you’re expecting and being able to write that check, immediately, and send it off. So that’s what I did. I paid both bills up front, in full, immediately. Well, only the minimum payment on the Discover, since it has a 0% interest and I got it for the balance transfer.

With the changes I made in my bill paying and my budgetting cycle, as I wrote about here, I finally have enough money to pay all bills when I receive them, without having to wait for my second paycheck of the month, which I get on the 20th. My citibank card bill is due sometime between the 24th and the 31st, depending on when they feel like sending it, and that has caused some late fees and missed payments in the past, as I get it before I get paid, put it aside until I do finally get paid and have the check clear, then promptly forget to send in payment, since it has been sitting unattended for days to weeks. Expensive!!! So my latest strategy is to pay all bills when they are due, as soon as I can.

This doesn’t apply to rent – I don’t yet have enough extra saved up to pay on the 1st. Instead, I get my paycheck on the 5th, and then pay rent on the evening of the 5th or on the 6th (just in case so there’s no overdraft happening and my check gets deposited). Luckily the property manager doesn’t pick it up very quickly and often doesn’t cash it until the middle of the month.

And I know, I know, I should build up enough extra to be able to pay everything immediately, INCLUDING rent, but I haven’t gotten there yet. So technically I’m still living paycheck-to-paycheck, but with an awful lot of breathing room. So maybe I’m just excited that I can actually pay early and not have it be difficult. Either way, I feel like I’ve taken a big step in the right direction.

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