If I were keeping schedules these days then tomorrow would be my regular reminder that I have a donate button (top right-hand corner of the blog) and benefit if you use it. I'd also talk about the history of the month (no one knows where the name comes from, Ovid gives to explanations, the ides were yesterday.)
However, I've not been doing a good job of keeping to a schedule and there's something related to my finances that I wanted to talk about, so why wait?
A long time ago I came up against a situation where I needed a lot of money (about four thousand dollars) and I needed it right at that moment. The alternative would have been very bad, especially mental-health-wise. Not that it would have annihilated my brain or anything, but the healthy state of my mind these days never would have had a chance to even come about.
So I did something that I never thought I'd do: I got into credit card debt. Heavily.
I've always been a big fan of living within your means because once you get into a hole it's hard as hell to get out. A huge part of the reason we have perpetual poverty is that a lot of people don't have enough means to be able to live within them. But I got lucky, I started in the middle class I live in my family's home, I got food stamps and SSI without the usual hoops. I thought I could live within my means.
But this thing happened and I couldn't, so I made a gamble. I bet that if I used a credit card to pay the $4,000 I needed there and there, I could survive devoting $100 dollars a month to it in perpetuity (in theory it would be paid off eventually, in practice usury takes forever to go away.)
The gamble paid off. Things had been on the verge of tipping into a nigh unbreakable downward spiral and drowning in depression. I was able to avoid that; I was able to get help. Eventually the help even worked and, with a few exceptions, I am now like a mentally healthy person provided I have my meds.
But $4,000 in high interest debt has been hanging over my head ever since then. I don't think I ever talked about this before. I find it embarrassing, even shameful.
This past semester I had to drop out of almost everything (good news: the one class I stayed in I passed, A-) and my therapist recommended and supported me applying for a medical withdrawal which would give me a bit of a refund. I was expecting a pittance, but it actually refunded everything paid for the classes I withdrew from.
I had dreams of finally getting out from under my $4,000 dollar burden. It, wasn't actually enough though.
Payments have to go through and stuff, but I think it's going to drop to $2,000. That's a lot better, but I had such hopes for escaping the usury.
Next month is, I think, when Social Securty starts deducting another $70 a month from what they pay me after dropping me $200 from what I actually need. I have, at least, a temporary fix for the $200, but no idea how to cope with the $70. If I'd been able to completely eliminate the debt on that card I wouldn't have to pay it every month which would cover the $70 with money to spare. As is, not so much.
I've basically spent all of my available money paying down debt, which means that I have nothing to do for present expenses. Of course, they're easy enough to pay by adding to the debt I was trying to eliminate.
Present expenses include $250 for the house, an upcoming dentist appointment (usually $200), and student loan payments because withdrawal from classes means that I won't be a full time student again until next semester, that's IF I get the money to go.
And that's what's on my mind at the moment. Now I'm going to try to do a Kim Possible post.