A few times a year, about once every season, I panic about money.
Being in a job where the work is either feast or famine, it’s understandable that I have these fears. The funny part though is that since the end of my first year of working professionally, I can’t think of a time when my panic was not dissuaded within a pay period.
Today I had my seasonal panic. I pulled up to a Wendy’s drive-thru, ordered my lunch (not healthy AT ALL, but healthier than it could’ve been), and attempted to pay with my bank card. After a few swipes, the cashier said “No money.” I had a sinking suspicion that I would not like looking at my checking account.
I paid the ~$5.50 bill with a credit card (ugh, I rarely carry cash), and pulled up in the lane out of the way. My fear growing, I looked up my balance on my phone (another big no-no). Sure enough, my account was in the red by about $50. One quick scroll showed me why. Both of my tax payments had been cashed.
Silly silly Kristen, believing both the state and Uncle Sam would take time before taking your money.
As I drove to work, I already regretted buying my lunch. I started devising ways to cut back.
Should I really go to Delicious this weekend to attempt clothes shopping? Maybe I shouldn’t take Saturday off, but instead try to find last minute work. Should I skip Happy Hour tonight? Could I even get a gig for this evening?
With my brain whirling, I arrived at work. I tried to take five minutes in my car to sit and breathe. It went better than I might have hoped, maybe fifteen seconds where I was able to shut off my brain from crisis management mode.
When I arrived, my lead greeted me warmly as he so often does. He and I work well together, with a camaraderie I don’t have with many others. He asked me how I was doing. Instead of my usual “Pretty good”, “Meh” or “Okay”, I instead said, “Um, well, I’m broke so I desperately need to pickup more work.”
Not exactly the best way to start my work day.
Rationally, I knew I needed to fix my negative balance as soon as possible. During a break, I transferred some money from savings to fix the overdraft. It was also enough to cover my upcoming health insurance bill which I need to pay tomorrow before work.
As my work day progressed, it turned out my lead needed someone to drive an extra vehicle for the Load Out this evening. I was added to the crew and picked up extra money for the drive.
As I waited for the load out to start, something bugged me. Until I checked my account, I hadn’t really been worried about my finances. I’ve been working like crazy ever since I got back from Frolicon, with little break in my schedule until Shibaricon. Why was my account so low?
Opening up my pocket planner, I quickly scanned my work log. And then it hit me.
I get paid in six days. Because my vacation lasted two weeks, I have a pay period lag. I have more than enough money coming in to pay for rent, my other bills, and replenish the cash I took from savings.
Not only that, but I picked up extra work this evening too. Panic averted.
For a moment there, I doubted my year long goal of 10+ events, and wondered if I should back out of things I’d already paid for or scale back my hopes and expectations for the year.
Nope, not gonna happen.
I am, in fact, doing just fine.
Comments are disabled on this post