Yesterday was one of those days. If I wasn’t spilling something I was knocking something over. If I wasn’t knocking something over I was stepping in something and tracking it onto the rug before I realized what I was carrying (thank you, neighbors’ unfenced dogs). If it wasn’t me breaking something, tracking something, or spilling something, it was Ava or the cat.
By the time afternoon walkies came around, I feared leaving the house lest a tree fall on me. Then I decided if I stayed in, a tree might fall on me. So Ava and I headed for the waterfront.
It was a lovely hour. We wandered around. We sat and watched the fishing boats come in. Ava sniffed and peed. I thought and gained a touch of perspective.
Yesterday was also one of those days because I had to face an unpleasant fact: I’m making less than I’m spending.
Since spring, I’ve been spending money as if I had it. And I did have it — thanks to a low-interest, deferred-payment loan and donations from a handful of primo supporters. And I used it to make astonishing progress on fixing up Ye Olde Wreck, which enters the rainy season in better shape than I could ever have imagined. Between the donors’ generosity, The Wandering Monk’s phenomenally low hourly rate, and my own sweat equity … well, it was a miracle.
However, having money to spend from May through September created a happy illusion. Plain truth is, now that October’s arrived, my regular monthly bills exceed my regular monthly income. Which they usually didn’t in the past.
This is entirely my own fault. Before the loan and donations started coming in, I put some construction supplies on credit and I’m still paying that off. Last spring I also replaced Old Blue. But this time not with a $1,000 junker bought in cash. I wanted the car that was going to last me the rest of my life. I purchased a “pre-owned” hamster car. It has payments. Not very high payments. And I’m very, very happy to have a car that’s not about to collapse. I’ve also been making extra payments toward the principle, which is a good thing. And the credit card debt is at 0%. So I haven’t gone totally irresponsible.
But now I discover how it’s all adding up. Between vehicle payments and those construction supplies, I’m overextended.
Not a position I’m used to being in.
As I said, my own doing and my own responsibility to get out of. I’m not asking for a reader bailout. Next year I’ll hold another fundraiser. But donations are not the answer to bad management. Anyhow, I’ve already figured out how I can sell a few things and cut a few expenses.
In only one area am I considering turning to you. One potential cut would be to eliminate my Internet service. I use the ‘Net mainly for blogging and maintaining Claire’s Cabal. To avoid returning to library Internet service, I’m thinking about opening a Patreon account.
I’ve been reluctant to do this. In most cases, Patreon functions as a tip jar for small (though regular) “subscriptions” to creative endeavors. Commonly that means commitments of $1 or $2 a month.
Which ain’t hay if enough people do it. However, I feared Patreon might bring in tiny amounts while discouraging people from giving larger support to the blog during occasional fundraisers. The larger fundraisers are necessary both to keep me blogging and keep Ye Olde Wreck rising from the wreckage.
I still worry about Patreon’s possible long-term effect. However, it seems legit to look to small monthly “subscription fees” solely to cover the bare costs of keeping the blog and the Cabal online — that is, to cover their hosting fees and the ‘Net access they require. $60 a month would do that.
So. I’m asking you. Should I open a Patreon account? And if I did, do you think it would crash the fundraiser I plan for next year?
Whatever you help me decide, I am now off to begin selling a few items and taking a sharp implement to whatever pesky expenses can’t evade me.