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Failure to Pay – Hope


My biggest client pays me pretty consistently every two weeks.  It’s not like clockwork, but I can generally count on getting paid on a regular basis.  But last month, well, I didn’t get paid.

I expected it to arrive the week of Christmas, and I thought, “Great, just in time for me to do a little Christmas shopping” But no payment.

In previous years, they’ve always asked for my year end invoice early so they can get it paid before the new year starts (I always assumed for tax purposes, but never asked.) And I’ve always enjoyed getting those monies early especially with the holidays, etc.  But again, not this year.

So here I was, the last two weeks of the year, no income, no extra money and I didn’t panic. I had the little bit of money in my EF but I was firm that the was not an emergency.

So we ate up the food in our pantry, which would probably have just lingered, went to the movies with gift certificates received as Christmas presents and really enjoyed some down time at home. We spent no money, not a dime the last two weeks of December. What a blessing this was!!

That gets me started in January.with double the money I would have had. They’ve paid me for my 1st December invoice now and I expect payment for the second one any day now.  Christmas came late this year by helping me avoid the temptations to spend over the holidays and giving me a kickstart on my debt payoff journey for the new year.  Who knew that not getting paid as expected could be such a blessing!


  • Reply john |

    Why didn’t you remind your client to pay? That would make everything a lot easier. Most of my Clients forget my pay day, and i remind them every month or so. Anyways, good to hear that you got paid, it sucks but that’s good news.

  • Reply Maureen |

    Hope, I believe this post shows much growth personally and emotionally. You have come so far in just 9-10 months. You remained calm when it didn’t come, were resourceful, and even optimistic. Happy New Year to a new you. Congrats! You have inspired me to be calmer in the face of much personal and emotional turmoil in 2014. I have many blessings to be thankful for-my husband has a great job, we have a beautiful (new) home, and don’t have any needs or even most wants that go unmet. However, in 2014 we relocated across the country for my husband’s promotion, sold a house, built a house, left all our family and friends “behind,” and I had to close down my law practice after 6 years. We also incurred debt that we can afford to pay, but it adds to the stress. Finding a new job has been stressful and the 10-month journey with contract work and a failed opportunity (quit a hostile work environment after 3 days) sprinkled in for fun. I start a new corporate law job on Monday and trying to stay optimistic that things have finally turned the corner. I am normally an upbeat person, but being away from my family and friends without meaningful employment (we don’t have kids and my husband travels often) has tested me more than I ever thought possible. You’re continued journey has been fun to watch and kept me focused on the marathon rather than the sprint.

  • Reply C@thesingledollar |

    Oh man, I’ve been there with the late client payments…not for a while, thankfully, but I get it. I agree that it’s wonderful you were able to stay calm and ride out the last of December without spending anything.

    By the way, can you maybe change the title of this post? Something like “Dealing With a Temporary Failure to Pay”? When I first saw it I thought *you* had failed to pay something!

  • Reply xingcat |

    Hope, one of the best things about budgeting well is the ability to use previous earnings for current bills. Once you’re out of debt, the next step can be trying to get to a place where you use last month’s earnings for this month’s bills. That “float” (some people can do this with last YEAR’S earnings for this year’s bills…they are ninjas, I’m convinced) is a great place to be in, and you seem to have gotten a tast of that.

So, what do you think ?