Plus, I've just noticed something that makes me thing maybe I've been going about this all wrong. At least for people who have Paypal accounts. Maybe.
Apparently if you send money to me through Paypal using my email address [cpw (at) maine (dot) rr (dot) com] instead of using the donate button, Paypal doesn't take a cut of the money. If you actually use the donate button Paypal takes a cut that seems to hover near three percent. Sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less. Damn, I wish I'd known that earlier.
When my boiler broke (almost a year ago now) and I got donations so I could have it replaced and thus not freeze/be forced to abandon my home, the price tag on the replacement was $6,000, which is why I assumed that I'd never be able to play it, be forced from my home (I never considered freezing to death as a viable options because it would have involved freezing to death) and end up in a setting not conducive to blogging. I announced, in a post I wrote through tears, that I'd be shutting this place down.
Then, as noted, someone stepped up and sent me the money (thanks again, you're all awesome) but if Paypal took 3% of $6,000 dollars then that's $180 and I really could have used that fucking money. On the other hand, maybe the "send money for no fee to email address" thing has some sort of cap where they're all, "On that much money we're totally pocketing some no matter how you send it."
So, um, please give me money if you want to and it will not cause you financial distress, but if you're willing to do more work than hitting the donate button, it looks like it would be better for me if you logged into Paypal, clicked the "send & request" thing, and used my email address "cpw (at) maine (dot) rr (dot) com" (with the " (at) " replaced with "@" and the " (dot) "s replaced with "." of course.)
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That lengthy and unplanned aside finished, this is where things stand with respect to finances:
- Oil -- Filled. Not looming over me anymore unless the full tank can't last the winter.
- Income -- still at $200 dollars lower than I'm used to without any magical money saving things falling from the sky.*
- Tuition -- I need to be in school this semester (≈ $1,000), and have indeed signed up for one class so that I technically count as being there, because the plan was always to give my psychiatrist and psychologist (both paid by the school) one full school year to figure out the best way to hand me off to other people in there field who would simultaneously be good for me and take my insurance, and this school year was that year. (If I'd known that they were going to cut all of the interesting classes at the start of last school year, I'd have started them seriously looking back then and have graduated last spring.)
- Non-monthly bills -- that $200 gap in monthy income won't really start to fuck things up until the insurance or taxes come due (I think that next up is taxes, which is ≈ $650) because what the gap really took away was the savings that was supposed to be built up for the irregular expenses.
- Internet -- I only figured out that when the bill came due was tied to the school semesters (I'm on a college student plan) last semester, but that at least means I should see it coming this time. Based on passed experience, it should be due near the end of this month, or the beginning of the next one, and cost about $194.75 this isn't figured into any of my calculations of how to afford anything because I was completely confused by the billing cycle until a few months ago. (It's nine months with no bill and then the next bill is due in three months. I didn't catch the pattern for the longest time.)
- Cat -- currently on my shoulder, her head against my own. I've actually managed to largely avoid paying cat related expenses. She's the family cat. Sure, everyone but the cat, the gecko, and me moved out, but she's still the family cat and family members often pay for cat food. This is interesting because I've never once asked them to pay. I've just asked them to be involved in getting it because they have access to cars, all the pet stores are a ways away, and that shit is heavy.
- Washing Machine -- still doesn't work. I need to go over it top to bottom again looking for any possible problem because we've moved passed the stage of replacing things that would eventually have to be replaced anyway and into the point where a single wrong guess as to which part is causing the problem will mean that it would have been cheaper to just buy a new one even if the very next guess is spot on and fixes it with no trouble. The problem with the whole "I need to look at every part again and see if I missed something all of the times before" thing is that it's a lot of fucking work. Hell, the very first step is moving the ginormous thing so that I can access the right parts to get a decent look inside and that's hard as hell.
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Random other note: the whole staying in school for healthcare thing. For the psychatrist the hard part is finding someone (within walking distance no less) in his practice who takes my insurance. Even he doesn't take my insurance. My insurance is great for paying for meds, but a lot of practitioners just won't accept it because there's a lot of paperwork involved.
For the psychologist the issue is more finding someone who is a good fit for me. As you may have noticed from reading this site, my brain isn't exactly the most normal brain out there. It might even be Abby Normal. Of course the person who is a good fit still needs to take my insurance (and be in walking distance.)
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First day of school note: The wind was out in force today. The cold wouldn't have been a problem without the wind. Good fucking god was it bad. I need to find my gloves. I need to find a winter hat. I need to find a scarf or neck-warmer. Depending on what kind of hat I find I might also be in need of damned ear muffs.
My hands were in my pockets the entire two hour walk to school, even so the left one felt like it was going to fall off from the cold. What is the world coming to when keeping your hands in your pockets doesn't keep them warm. Next time I'm going back to the hoodie that has sleeves long enough to hide my hands in. Sleeves of proper length may be great when you need to use your hands, but they're a liability when trying to keep your hands.
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* Technically if I could pay off ... wait, never mind. Well you can mind, but it wouldn't work. For some reason I was figuring for a $100 dollar gap instead of the actual $200 gap.
Anyway, what I was thinking about was credit. Donations have saved me many times, for which I am forever grateful, but they haven't saved me every time. Those other times I survived by kicking the problem down the road a bit via getting the money on credit. That the interest rates are horrible goes without saying, but the other problem is that minimum monthly payments add up. Where possible I try to pay more than the minimum, but often I can't.
At this point even if I did have more credit sources to pay things with, the additional monthly payments would spell doom.
So, back to my mistake, when I was figuring for a $100 dollar monthly gap in spite of knowing it was $200 and having it typed out right in front of me, it occurred to me that since several of the monthly payments are $25, paying off four debts would cover it.
The reason I started the sentences with "Technically," is because that would cost, I think (the figures are fuzzy), $1878.58. It is, at best, extremely unlikely I would get that much money. Also, if I had that much money it would be enough to close the imagined $100 dollar gap for eighteen months or the actual $200 gap for nine and in either case the gap wouldn't be such an immediate concern.
The truth is, though, that I wouldn't use it to close the gap. I'd pay off the four cards here and now, thus saving a bunch of money in the long term (since there'd be no interest) and hope and pray that I'd find a way to fill the remaining $100 dollars of said monthly gap. I hate carrying debt, hate being charged ridiculous interest rates, and very much want to get rid of the debt I have.