That Thing That Thing That 1 Thing

Thursday is a great day to do that 1 thing you don’t want to do but also don’t want to continue thinking about doing. Friday is also an acceptable day. What is your 1 thing?

My 1 thing yesterday was to avoid my 1 thing. My 1 thing today is to avoid my avoidance of my 1 thing.

My 1 thing is to figure out how to make some money out of no money. I overdrew my account, and it is two weeks before I get another check.

I am 1 genius. 


The last time I did this was just two months ago, though I would have guessed six.

It happened like it always happens, from a combination of unchecked spending and wistful thinking.

I spent two weeks in Minnesota with family in the beginning of the month, and thanks to their generosity, I spent approximately nothing. So when I got back to the city, I decided I could be a little laissez faire and it would all even out. Sooo that’s what I did. I winged it. It would all work out! And maybe it would have except I overlooked a few key things:

My old rent was $700. My new rent is $875.

My old monthly payments to the IRS for my 2011 taxes were $0. My new monthly payments to the IRS for my 2011 taxes are $100.

Thanksgiving. I bought some wine and some cider and some potatoes and some vermouth and some flowers ($50). I also bought a Breaking Dawn ticket ($13.50) and movie snacks ($19.50, which was probably 1 bag of M&Ms) to share in a small attempt to make up for all the fancy food bought and made by people not me.

I had a bad day and spent $40 on jeans at Marshall’s.

I woke up one morning and decided I would change my life and that doing that would require some things so I spent $183 at Target. I bought a mattress pad. A fake face washer thing. A hairdryer. A brush. Some makeup. Some face wash. A bath brush. A lightbulb. A light timer. Some twinkle lights. A timer for the twinkle lights so they would turn on the morning and encourage me to get out of bed. A new trashcan. Walking out that day I thought, I should turn around and return most of this. I kept walking.

I went to the bar a lot of times.

I ran into a friend out in the world and went to dinner with her and had a really good meal and two glasses of wine and it was worth it and I don’t regret it at all and it was $42, with tip.

And so on. You know, just normal life spending for a normal life that I can’t actually afford. The Usual.

The last time I checked my bank account was before I wrote my rent check and it all seemed fine and good and like it might work out!

This morning it’s at -$2.

WHAT TO DO? What we scrappy, living on the edge of our seats and our income folks always do: FIGURE IT OUT.


1. Ask parents for money. I have decided I’m not doing this anymore and I’m sticking to this. So: Nope.

2. Ask friends for money. Usually I don’t even have to ask because my friends are like, oh bb, you dumb thing, can I lend you $20? This is not ideal and I do not enjoy being this person, but: A Lannister always pays her debts … and to friends, I pay them immediately.

3. Get emergency credit card from Mike Dang. Way back in the dark ages I gave all my credit cards to Mike Dang for safekeeping. I considered asking him for them. Okay actually I considered inviting myself to his house and then snooping around and finding them and taking them. But I’m not going to do that. No more credit cards. Having those things in my hands is real dangerous. Not happening.

4. Use emergency credit card overdraft fund. So I have overdraft protection that goes to my credit card associated with my bank. Bills and direct debits to my checking account are covered by a transfer from my credit card. This costs $3 each time it happens. This also works with ATMs sometimes, but then charges: the $3 transfer free plus the $2 ATM fee plus whatever the ATM fee is from the ATM, which of course is NOT IDEAL and actually KIND OF TERRIBLE but that’s the thing about desperation: You take what you can get, and if that means paying $5 to get $20, well, that makes you stupid, but it also puts $20 in your hand.

5. Return Target things. A few things are still in their boxes (you know, because I needed them all SO BAD), so I can return them and get that money back on my card.

It’s going to work out and it’s going to be okay and I’m never ever going to do this again even though I probably will.


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