Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Financial Woes

So. While I've been working on side projects, I haven't actually been working much for my client this month (so far -- one week was eight hours, another nine, and last week was 17). Money has been a bit tight, and I've held off on dipping into my emergency fund by (foolishly, I know) not putting aside tax money when I've gotten a check. (Note: this tactic is especially bad since I under-budgeted my tax bill last year, and still need to come up with an extra $2k or so, by my estimates. I was planning on taking a much higher percentage out of my checks until I saved what I estimate I'll need, but because my income has varied wildly the last couple months, this hasn't happened.)

Which brings us to:

Financial dilemma #1: my most recent student loan statement says I don't have another payment due for two months. Somehow the last two payments were both posted to last month's statement, so it appears they received one late (though no late fee, yay!).

Financial dilemma #2: my snowball fund from last month. I wrote previously about waffling on where to allocate the money to...and I haven't chosen or acted yet. I haven't tapped the snowball fund, but my fluctuating income this month has made me loathe to actually use it.

Do I skip my student loan payment this month since they say nothing is due for two months?

Do I still put my snowball fund to debt, or partially use it as emergency money, or hold on to it until my income stabilizes this month?

The last time I had a solid check from my primary client, I paid more than the minimum on both my credit cards, and neither of them have a remaining minimum due amount for this cycle. It's possible that I could coast until next month without paying more on my credit cards or my student loan, though it would mean there wouldn't be any significant progress in my debt reduction this month.

I know this is a five paycheck month for me and that I will have more money to put towards debt later this month from this week's and next week's checks, but this is getting me down. I had such momentum in paying down my debt last year, and it's just completely plateaued since January. Luckily I haven't had to tap my emergency fund yet, though the price of that is not contributing to my tax fund...so I suppose that just means I'm using tax money as my emergency fun. Erk.

It's bad enough to see my IRA and 401k accounts still down (thank you recession!), and then I have this. I know everything will turn around, but that doesn't make me feel better in this moment. The ides of March aren't even yet upon us.

/end me crying on your shoulder

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