If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’m working poor. I need to hash some stuff out that involves money and art and ethics and stuff so buckle in.
First thing, I sat myself down and figured out that I need a list of things in order to do a few things:
- Writing lesson stuff.
- More paid content for Patreon in order to possibly increase revenue from that.
- Short poetry/experimental films
So that’s the short n tiny list. I have a list of the things I need to make these things happen and all of it costs money. I’m in a position now where I’ve pretty much adjusted to the reality of my higher cost of living.
It’s not great, but it’s not tragic still.
Currently for basic living, not counting food or things like new underwear, socks or medications I spend about 41% of my monthly income.
Add in stuff like cell phones, internet/landline, medications, food, and things go up to almost 85-90 depending on what bills are due that month.
I’ve been looking at and rearranging my budget. Last month I felt pretty confident about life and added an extra few dollars so I could have Audible again. I suspended the service for a few months. I have been toying with getting Netflix because the partner and I aren’t able to get out as much on weekends, so it’d be nice to have a wider selection of new stuff to watch.
Currently the plan I had worked out previously to get the things to make more money things happen is pretty proper fucked because my phone is dying. It’s served well, but it is a very low end smart phone from a long while back and poor old thing is trying but just kinda not working out.
Almost all of the things I want to do that involve some new to me ways of using social media, etc. rely on either having a camera or a good phone or both.
I have neither.
I had planned on working with my phone as is until about Xmas ish. I need a new plan.
This is where stuff is going to get intersectional.
Because of the changes (out of my control) in my household (read dayjob money) finances, I’ve had to restructure how I use my Patreon and other monthly donated or writing hustle money. (Note to self update Patreon about this) That being what it is, I’ve been working on adjusting while not killing my personal quality of life.
Initially I killed it. This is something I have a lot of economic trauma about and (as many poor kids will tell you) is something I fall back on. When things first started changing I did what came naturally to me. I killed my entire entertainment/self-care budget. I took it from about 35$ a month and maybe 50$ quarterly extra, to 14.
For a while I switched out my audible for keeping myself in a pound or so of good coffee a month for work.
I also downgraded the quality of food I was taking to work.
A few months of that as it always happens took a toll. I decided to rework and got a few extra writing hustle money dollars and reinstated my audible and a few times a week getting good food.
However, because I made those choices I had to stop my saving up for X thing (camera, tablet, phone) budget because money doesn’t come out of my ass.
Fast forward to right now.
Recently I’ve been encouraged to do a lot of writing work that would be great experience, great fun, etc. but none of it has been paid gigs. I can’t afford it monetarily or in terms of the finite amount of energy I have for my art.
So that’s not a viable avenue for me right now.
Next recent development is that I am so disgusted by so much of the freelance industry, my options for work there are limited. Yes, this is by my own choice. Frankly, it just stresses me out too much to compromise my ethics for 50$ here and there.
I decided to work out what I am going to need in the coming months and currently the cost (not complete) is just over 500$.
It is the season of my partner and I needing things like new underwear and pants. We need to replace some household stuff. We both need new pillows etc.
Me personally, I’m going to need Femme stuff. Foundation, bras, hair stuff soon.
All this in mind, here’s where I am.
I don’t entirely know what to do.
In order to produce my best work I need to not be in a constant state of panic and stress. In order to be in that place I need to know that my little family has our needs met. I need to be able to work my dayjob and write through my fatigue.
In order to do those things, the number one thing I need is some financial breathing room.
I can give myself, some by cutting out my quality of life again. I don’t want to do that, I know where that leads and the end result is that I can’t write my best.
I know I have patrons and some stuff, but the way my life has changed, it’s not enough. I have nightmares.
I believe in my art and ideas right now. Not in their profitability, but in the value of them.
But belief don’t pay the bills and a bitch gotta eat.
I know I could do another Gofundme. My last one to help me get to AWP wasn’t a total success but it was very very helpful.
However, I am very nervous about trying that again because I, uh, had an inability to raise ALL the funds left me feeling really terrible about myself and I am not sure if I’m ready to put myself back into that position.
I don’t know what I am going to do.
I also want to say that my actual lived life puts more of a light on the lie that I can not go to Starbucks my way to a better financial position. There’s been some great articles disassembling that whole mindset from the perspective of folks who don’t have 5$ a day to spend or save.
So here is where I am.
I’m trying to figure it out.
Right now I’m going to work out just how much the stuff I/we need will cost. Then, once I get a goodish on the high end total I’ll figure out how to pay for it.
In the meantime, the stuff I mentioned up top is going to be delayed again. That sucks, but, what’s to be done?