Monday, September 24, 2007

Bill(Me) the Kid (Part 5)

Warning! This is a test of the Budget Blues Alert System. This is only a test. If this had been an actual Budget Blues Alert, this warning would have been followed by official whining, crying and a completely irritating diatribe about the injustices of being a budget-conscious consumer in an over inflated economy. This concludes this test of the Budget Blues Alert System.

Oh, hell. Who am I a kidding? This is not a test.

This debt diet sucks monkeys.

Chris and I are approaching the two-month mark in our noble mission to eradicate the mound of bills that clog our mailbox and ultimately weigh down our spirit (need Zoloft, lots and lots of Zoloft). It’s working (see our gold stars below), but it is sooooo hard.
Especially now.

Two much. To do. With so little. Cash.

$ Two weeks ago we had my little sister’s bridal shower.
$ This past weekend Chris’ fam was visiting.
$ We have a financial reprieve this weekend (yee-ha.
Cruising the couch from sun up to sun down).
$ Next weekend is our 4-year wedding anniversary and Chris’ 30th birthday.
$ The weekend after next is my sister’s wedding.
$ The weekend after that we’re going to OK for Chris’
great grandmother’s 98th birthday.

Just when we finish this round of activities, we dive head first into the holidays … Good Will here I come.

We are working diligently on the “creative finances”
aspect of our debt diet, though. Chris made $100 just for showing up to a focus group (they overbooked and ended up not needing him). And he has two more lined up for the next two weeks. The one I was supposed to attend fell through and I have since been contacted for two more (of which I couldn’t participate … I don’t have diabetes and I certainly don’t know the first thing about quilting … too bad the mother-in-law wasn’t in town for that one). Sigh.

DallasChild purchased two of my articles, now it’s just a waiting game for payday (also, waiting to hear back from several other pubs … fingers are crossed). I have my products ready to go up on Craigslist, but every time I sit down to do it, Coop screams for attention (too bad that kid can’t detect police officers gunning speeders as well as he can me needing “mommy time”). I’ve given up on the idea of being a movie extra … I don’t have the time or the energy and unless they’re looking for someone with enough baggage under their eyes to criss-cross Europe, they wouldn’t want me anyway.

So what has the world of penny-pinching, allowances and inventive modes for making money got us, thus far?
* We’ve paid down a $1,000 in credit card bills (which means two cards are now free and clear).
* We’ve whittled away $800 in baby hospital bills (meaning four medical groups can cross us off their hit list).
* And, if we stay on track, we’ll be debt free by next June.

While we’re making great headway, the thing I didn’t expect when we launched into this new way of living was the crazy amount of stress (again with the Zoloft). I have knots the size of melons in my shoulders because I am so guilt-ridden about not being able to afford to throw my little (and only) sister a bachelorette party or my husband a ragin’
30th-birthday bash. I cried on my way home from work Friday because we didn’t have the extra cash for me to play hostess to Chris’ mom, step-dad and grandma the way I normally would.

And Chris is no better than I am. Thankfully, though, when one of us is freaking out, the other has the presence of mind to maintain sanity. Three cheers for teamwork.

I send up a prayer of thankful gratitude nightly that I have been blessed with my new copywriting position (which came with a hefty pay increase) and that Chris’
job has commission perks. If our professional objectives hadn’t aligned when they did, I fear we would’ve been raising our baby in debtor’s prison (at least room and board would’ve been free). =)

On to month three.

This concludes this “test.”

-smell you later-
Coop’s Mom (aka Tessa)

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