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Posts tagged with: windfall

When you Find an Extra Money

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I remember a time very clearly when I was cleaning out an old binder and stumbled upon a hidden stash of money. Or those times when you are cleaning out the pockets of your laundry and find a wadded up $20. Finding extra money is always a blessing.

Many times, I can quickly recall when I put that money there. But every time, I do a little jump for joy at finding some “extra.”

Bookkeeping Error

bookkeeping

As you know, money has been very tight around here. I am pinching pennies left and right. Borrowing from peter to pay paul. And sometimes taking things a bit too far.

What I haven’t told you is that our water was cut off last month. Now don’t jump down my throat, read the details first.

First, it was off for less than 5 hours. But it shouldn’t have happened.

I schedule all my payments through my bank account. I have learned the hard way, now to schedule a payment until I have the money in the bank. (Clients do not always pay when they say they will, so I no longer count the money until I have it in hand. Although I use forecasting to know what I expect to come in and when.)

This particular bill is due on the 10th of each month. I was not able to schedule the payment until the 21st (and then it takes a week to arrive.) So the check was literally in the mail.

On the 25th, we woke up to no water. I was 15 days late, and had not ever been late before. They had cut my water off!

I was able to call them and make a payment over the phone and they turned the water back on within a couple of hours. But wow, that taught me a lesson about being late with the utilities here!

Fast Forward to This Month

The payment for the water bill is still due by the 10th of every month. I scheduled it to arrive on the 6th.

Since then, I have been watching to make sure the check was cashed, and I was not at risk for having my water turned off again. And I waited and I waited.

Today, I started to get nervous as we approach the 10 day past due period. Before I called the utility company to confirm they received it, I decided to check the bank one more time.

And there is was, cashed on the 6th. I don’t know how I missed it!

But I am not at risk for getting our water cut off again, and I have an extra $108 to spend. (I track my day to day availability on an Excel spreadsheet which I also use to forecast. This lets me know what’s coming up and how what I do today will affect the future months out.)

It’s not quite the same as finding a stash of cash in a binder or hidden in the pockets of your jeans, but I’ll take it. Every little bit counts!

The old Hope would have blown this money. The new Hope is laser focused on what bill I can pay or debt payment I can make with it!

Have you every had a tiny and unexpected windfall? How did it make you feel? And what did you do with it?


Rewards and Celebrations

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I have some good news to share today! I am about to receive the largest paycheck of my life!!!

I have been working on a writing-related project for a loooooong time (10 months) and finally finished last week. (No, it was not a book). I wasn’t smart setting up my contract and I had agreed to not get paid at all until project completion (in my defense, I thought it would take a fraction of the total time invested). Anyway, 10 months later I’m about to receive a paycheck for several thousand dollars (more than 5, less than 10…but that’s “gross,” so I’ll need to pay taxes), which is by far and away the largest single paycheck I have ever received.

Good news: This means we are going to knock it out of the park this month in terms of our income. Last month was the most we’d ever made (in life), and this month is going to be even better! I tell you this because we’ve just “met” and I really want you to understand how NOT TYPICAL these huge pay months are for us.

But, that aside, I want to celebrate. It feels like a HUGE weight off my shoulders to have this project complete; in the past we would have done something fun – gotten a ‘sitter and gone to dinner.

But we pay babysitters $13/hour (is this normal?? I used to make $5/hr when I babysat but that was 20 years ago), plus a dinner-for-two can be in the range of $50, so we’re talking roughly $80-$100+ if we were to throw a movie into the mix, too.

What do you do to reward yourself when you’ve hit a big milestone? Ours has ALWAYS been going out to eat, but we need something new (read = cheaper!) I want to celebrate a little!


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