Coming Up Short

23 Jan

It’s nearing the end of the month, and folks- it’s not looking good.  I’ve kept to my budget (mostly), so that’s not the problem.  The problem is the money wasn’t there in the first place.  The nature of my main job is that I don’t get paid until a month after I do the work.  The nature of my budget is that all the money I receive in a month (as in, in my hand or bank account, in check or cash form) goes into next month’s budget.  So, say that I earned $2,000 in November (oh, how I wish this was a real example).  I do the work in November, get the check at the end of December, and it factors into my January budget.  Now this usually isn’t a big deal, since I earn about the same each month anyway.  Except for November.

November was NaNoWriMo.

For those of you who didn’t just nod knowingly at your screens or shudder in sympathy, let me explain.  NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writer’s Month.  It’s a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days.  That means at least 1,667 words, or roughly five pages in Microsoft Word, every. single. day.  Can you see where I’m going with this?

I probably shouldn’t admit to this, since my boss reads this, but I was a bit lax in my work habits in November.  Don’t get me wrong- I did all the work that was assigned to me, but I didn’t ask for anything extra.  Couple that with a crazy schedule at the end of the month at the retail job (Black Friday shoppers- and you know who you are- I want the 10 years of my life back that you stole) and you have a recipe for a skimpy budget in January.  All told, the monthly take was about $2,065.  Tax, rent, insurance, and other life necessities added up to most of that amount.

The good news is, I won NaNoWriMo (and I’m wearing the shirt to prove it).  I wrote 50,168 words in 30 days. The next day I cut out 4,005 of those.  Two months later, I’m back over 54,000.  The best part of NaNoWriMo is that you don’t actually have to finish the novel in 30 days.  You can take as long as you like for that part.

The bad news is, I paid $150 on my undergrad loans in January.

For those of you who forgot, the goal was $961.

I’m a little short this month.

I did, however,  just got paid for some stuff I sold online, and I managed to save some cash from some other places in the budget, so there will be money left over at the end of this month to add to the payment amount.  Probably about another $100.

$250* out of $961.  I think I’m off to a great start, don’t you?

At least I have my mostly-finished novel to keep me company.

*This post will be updated at the real end of the month to reflect the actual amount paid.

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