I am finally back online.
I was out of town for work and could you believe that I couldn't find a decent Internet connection anywhere? I also find it personally insulting that upscale hotels (or flea-infested rat trap motels, for that matter) don't have FREE, reliable WiFi for guests. It's a crime that they charge for that! Don't they know people are working and ALWAYS need the option to be connected?
After moving to D.C. from Nashville, I was frantically seeking work and freelance assignments because I couldn't afford to be unemployed for any more than a month (well, two weeks if you want to keep it real!).
I got a few freelance assignments, but for those of you who don't know, it's pretty standard for publications not to pay you until the article you've written actually runs. So, you might not get paid for months. Also, if the publication decides not to run your piece, then they may only pay you a fraction of what you would have gotten had the piece run.
So, I hustled and wrote a piece in three days for a major magazine, but it didn't run the month they told me it would, nor did it run the following month.
I felt sunk.
So then I wrote two smaller pieces, one for a huge newspaper and another for a smaller magazine.
Didn't know when those would run either.
Then, last week, I got a check in the mail for the FULL AMOUNT of the first article I wrote for the big magazine! Yes, $1,200!!
I was ecstatic (though, I must admit, the fact that my article is going to run in this magazine had me more jazzed than the cash... for about two minutes).
Then, I learned that the article I wrote for the big newspaper is running this week! That means a $500 check should be coming my way!
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Ok, so the real reason I am so excited about all this is that I intend to use the full amount of both payments ($1,700 PLUS the regular monthly payment) on my credit card. I've already deposited the first check and set up a $1,200 payment.
Secondly, I meet with my tax preparer later this month and fully intend to use my ENTIRE TAX REFUND on my credit card.
That sounds like no big shakes -- when you're serious about paying down debt, that's the minimum you should be doing -- but it's big shakes to me because I hope, I hope, I hope, that it will all be enough to pay off the FULL AMOUNT of my remaining debt!
I'm at $5,581.61 on the card now.
I made a decision to use money from my mini emergency savings fund (which I managed to double to $2,000) to pay off whatever remained on my card after I put all that other money on the balance.
So that's my plan.
I hope (cross my fingers and do the math) to be debt-free by the END OF FEBRUARY!
Now, that doesn't include my car loan (that's another post), but that's just about $2,777 and I'm on pace to pay that off by September (APR in 0.9% on the car).
That's my plan and that's why I'm so exited. A lot depends on what my tax refund looks like -- I did increase my withholdings to keep more money in my paycheck, so the refund shouldn't be as big as it has been in previous years (although, if it's really small, I'm going to wonder what the heck I did with the money I kept all year!!). If it's not enough to pay off the whole amount, then I'll have to scale back.
I know some of you may think it unwise to you my emergency fund, but I don't plan to completely empty it out. Besides, I'll make it a point to fill it back up using the money I'm currently putting onto my debt balance.
But I'm getting ahead of myself (can you tell I'm excited? This post is rambling and crazy and I'm typing so fast my fingers hurt!).
Anyway, enjoy the start of the new week!