I was taking life coaching classes as a possible career change from editing (which I financed on credit cards), and wasn’t sure that was the direction I should be heading either.
I had made just about every financial mistake a new freelancer could make, especially not budgeting. At least my debt was pretty small, but I was blowing through any money I had saved in my emergency fund, and I certainly wasn’t contributing anything to retirement.
And so those words came to mind, and I did just that…I stopped digging. I created this blog, and really started examining my finances…what I was spending money on and why, and creating a budget and doing my damnedest to stick to it.
But last week I had another not-so-good revelation about my finances…I may have stopped digging, but I was still standing in an empty hole.
Every month has been a struggle or worry about how I will pay my rent or health insurance without borrowing money from my emergency fund. Essentially I’m living paycheck to paycheck.
The worst part was realizing that I’m making about 8K less than last year, and last year’s income was pretty pathetic!
Going back over my posts on this blog, I had forgotten I’d written a piece about being at a fork in the road. One direction is self-pity and depression, the other is to use the information to strengthen my resolve to change the situation.
Fill ‘er up please!
So now it’s time to start filling the hole that I dug, and really focus on getting ahead and not just maintain the status quo.
I had a very quiet weekend where with the exception of a run, bike ride, and a haircut, I pretty much stayed home and did some soul searching.
December is one of the most quiet months for me. I’ll explain in a future post, but I just don’t really do Christmas. Work is usually slow (oh my favorite words-*sarcasm), so it’s not unusual for me to be in my yoga pants by 5pm making myself a nice dinner, and curling up to watch a Netflix movie.
And since it’s slow, it’s the perfect time for me to put into action some goals that will hopefully help me gain traction in the new year.
1. The search for a full time job. Instead of just starting to search, I’m revamping my approach, which obviously wasn’t working very well. So I downloaded Melissa Anzman’s book, How to Land A Job, which I’ve already started and have implemented some changes. I figure it’s going to take some time to get through the book, so I have all December to do that.
2. Building skills. Another goal for December is not only revamping my resume, but adding new skills to it, including learning Adobe Premier, which is a different kind of editing software than the one I use. You can actually “rent” the program each month, which for $30 is worth it to add another skill to my resume.
3. Continuing to build up this site. I still need to try and make as much extra income as possible. Plus I really love working on BATB, so I’ll continue to write on this site, guest post, and build relationships to hopefully attract visitors, and more importantly advertisers. I also just joined the Yakezie challenge.
4. Look for a roommate. The fastest and best way I can start to fill that money hole right now while I look for more work is to reduce my rent. I currently pay $1250 (well it’s $1400 but I rent my garage for $150), so to make a nice difference I need to be paying no more than $850. I’m sad as hell about this, but it doesn’t have to be forever, and what’s worse? Stressing month after month about money? I already put the word out to friends, so I’m hoping I can find someone who isn’t psycho. Ideally I can make this happen by February 1. *update! May have found someone to look with me. A guy friend from volleyball. We are just doing an initial search. Fingers crossed!
5. Continue doing freelance, PA, and taskrabbit work and try to find new clients.
I’m still not opposed to leaving Southern California…eventually, but right now that would probably cost me MORE money because of the cost of moving AND losing $600/month in personal assistant work AND possibly freelance income.
But when I job search, it certainly won’t be just LA that I’ll be looking.
So that’s the plan. I have some more mini-goals for December, but I’ll save that for another post.
What do you think?