“Light of Hope” by Welltaken Pictures
OK, I think the funk is lifting. Maybe it’s the fact I got more than three or four hours of sleep for the first time in a few days? Here’s a tip: Don’t drive drunk and don’t blog sleep-deprived. It should be a WIP Wednesday today but honestly, I haven’t picked up a hook since I finished up the Ravenclaw scarf last week. I want to but I keep getting sidetracked by other things like books. Silly books. They’re so distracting and absorbing.
I lost my cell phone yesterday. I had it on my desk and used it to find a phone number that I called from my desk phone at 1:00 in the afternoon. When I went to leave at 5, it was nowhere to be found. Not on my desk, in my pockets, in my purse, on the floor, under something, behind something, etc. I went to T-Mobile and bought a $60 LG. I paid $20 ($15 plus tax) out of pocket and they add on three more payments of $15 to my next three bills. If I find my phone, I have 30 days to return it and get a refund. The installment plan is interest-free and I figured it’d be better to not risk coming out of pocket the full amount in case the phone magically turns up, which I hope it does– mostly for the pictures but also for the $60.
If the phone remains gone forever, I may not be able to put up pictures of all of the projects I finished for Christmas. I was a crochet fiend. The gifts were really well-received too. And because I was so rushed, I took all the photos with my phone. Frustrating. I’ve decided I’m going to finish the baby cape before I go on to another project. And to make sure I stay focused, I’m only going to read when I’m on the train. No crocheting until that cape is done, done, done. I really WANT to see it done it’s just the tentacles that are driving me absolutely nuts. But, I’m almost there and just need to charge through the tedium. Besides, there are lots of projects waiting to begin and I can’t enjoy them with this thing looming over me.
In money news, I’ve got good and bad today. Let’s do the bad first and just shove it out of the way. It is what it is and there’s not much more I can do about it than I’m already doing. For the first time, Ex is going to be late with the entire first half of the custody payment. Unfortunately, I’m not at the point where I have the full $1k emergency fund and even if I did, that’s not enough to cover my rent. All of my other bills are fine. What can I do about this? Well, because Landlord is a family friend, I’ll have to talk it over with my folks first. Either I pay him late on the 15th or my parents loan me about half the rent and I come up with the rest, have a tight week and a half, and then repay my folks the second Ex pays me. And of course, I can get motivated to get that divorce done so I’m closer to having the child support garnished from his checks. This is critical. Ex is in a sales job with a fluctuating income. The real problem, though, is Ex spends way beyond his means. And the way child support works, at least here, is that his not having money should be his problem—not mine and the kids. In other words, the state would’ve garnished the child support from his paycheck and he would’ve been the one late with rent, not me. So although I feel some twinge of pity for him, it quickly evaporates too. This isn’t a problem because the man just can’t earn enough money or I’m inflating the child support figures to unrealistic amounts (I used the state guidelines and am asking for the minimum)—it’s an issue because the man can’t stop spending money, earned or otherwise. Maybe it’ll change one day, but I just don’t think he has what it takes to cut the crap. At least I’m in a better position to deal with this sort of hiccup than I was even a couple of months ago and soon I’ll be in a position where this type of hiccup won’t even flicker on my radar.
So, the good news is today I learned I have a positive net worth! Just barely but hey, it’s something to say I’m, well, worth something! I have, as I mentioned yesterday, $21,446 (Liability) in debt which includes a personal loan my parents made to the Ex ages ago which I have assumed partial responsibility for recently. For those who want to know the exact details are: $4,797 in credit cards, $2,000 in Personal Loans, $363 at an Auto Repair shop, $6,363 in student loans, and $7,923 in an auto loan. The car I have, which I’ll pay off next year, is realistically worth about $8,000 (Asset 1). My retirement funds are currently worth $20,275 (Asset 2). This means I have a net worth of $6,829. While this means I’m $214,571 shy of what my net worth SHOULD be, I don’t give a damn. Because, I’ll get there. I know it. Not in a year or two, I get that. But I’ll eventually be at the very least, an Average Accumulator of Wealth. Maybe, since I’m still young enough, I’ll even get to Prodigious status. When I look at my numbers and spreadsheets, I see that I’m scheduled to be DEBT FREE in April 2012. Despite the fact I’m pretty sure I can beat that deadline, let’s stick to it for the moment. If I throw my debt money plus the money I’ll be saving from daycare at that point at the planned six month Emergency Fund, I’ll have that ready to go 8 months later. In short, that means 2013 will probably be the best year I’ll have experienced in ages. It’s at that point where, if I keep expenses down as I’ve been doing all along, I’ll have about $25,000 “extra” that year. You see, the bottom line is without debt, I can get by on just my income. And it’s that freedom from not just banks but also from Ex that drives me so voraciously.
On a side note, I did indeed pry open The Complete Tightwad Gazette last night. So far, I find it overall interesting although the author’s tone can grate on me at times. She does get carried away into this sort of judgey, soapboxy, holier than thou thingy that can rub me the wrong way. There are a lot of ideas, tips, and tricks in there though. Useful tips like reusing bags of various kinds mingle with less useful ones like composting dryer lint and how to replace zippers (anything sewing related is a no-no for me). I like her readers’ contributions a lot as they tend to have a more helpful, modest tone to them. But yes, I can absolutely see why people get turned off by her although I find some of the negative reviews to be downright unwarranted and saying more about the reviewers’ personal issues than anything having to do with Amy. Because that thing is too giant to carry around with me, I threw Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes And How To Correct Them: Lessons From The New Science Of Behavioral Economics into my bag and am reading it on the train and during breaks. That’s been a really interesting read although sometimes it gets… confusing. But, I guess that’s to be expected since it’s dealing with a heavy and confusing topic—behavioral economics. After the complete over the top guilty pleasure that was The Girl Who Played with Fire, it’s a bit of a switch. I do like it though. Definitely up my alley. By the way, I just realized thanks to Amazon I’m apparently reading an older version of the book and that there’s An Updated Version. Any book suggestions for me? I’ve got Wickedwaiting for me at home and lots of crochet books, many of which I’ll be returning over the next several days. Plus, I took advantage of an offer from Adam Baker at Man vs Debt and downloaded a free copy of Debt Free For Life. My Dad suggested A Sudden Dawn but my library doesn’t carry it. I want to read another Haruki Murakami book (I read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle a long time ago) but don’t know which to choose and my library has lots of options. Not to mention, I think I want some lightness in my literature so I’m trying to decide on a Dave Sedaris book. And, continuing with light reading, I want to read some smut. Never tried it but thanks to the Gingerbread Lady, I’m intrigued.