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I just spent $640 on a new monitor.

Cue PF Frugality alarms: Alert! Alert! Unplanned purchase! Funds diverted from debts still outstanding! Activate guilt shields! Criticism incoming!

Yeah, I'm cowering. I know, I know. Why spend $640 that you (broadly speaking) don't have when you do have a functional, if aging, monitor and you're trying to get out of debt?

Because unfortunately, "functional" isn't quite good enough. I work from home roughly once a week, and Spouse uses my monitor when on call at the new job. At work, we both have dual, (reasonably) high-res monitors, because our employers understand our workflow has us moving between applications throughout the day.  To illustrate, in my usual work at the current client, I am checking/have open at a minimum:
Specification documentation, usually Excel or WordAn integrated development environment app, mostly for the display aspects of my workA browser, to review HTML changes as I make themSQL Server Managemen…
Recent posts

Damn you, George Ezra

So, the last five years have been... fraught, perhaps? Intermittently dreadful, oh yes. With periodic showers of crap. Generally, double-plus ungood. 
Not that the long chain of years before these last five were a sunny smiling "before" picture.  I am the very model of a middle-class neurotic: chronically, clinically depressed and anxious.
(I don't want to overstate this. None of it has been extreme enough to require hospitalization, for example. But it has been absolutely bad enough to make me feel like every cell in my body is bruised and knocked askew, like I'm dragging myself through a swamp with my legs encased in concrete. Just bad enough to make me feel hopeless and joyless and sleep 15 hours a day. So yes, many, many people are far worse off than I, but this is more than bad enough for me.)
But recently I had a sense -- a hope  -- well, maybe it was a fantasy -- that I was reaching a new equilibrium, that I could soon be entering a period of calm. It's p…

The Dubious Joys of Ownership, Part the Second

Yay, we don't need to replace the roof?

Still: Miscellaneous repairs and refurbishments - $2,355Exterminator - $70 Commission for finding new tenants -$2,038Mold inspection -$350Mold remediation + installation of mold-repelling superpowers -    $2,553Tree removal -$550Grand total - $7,916 Amount available on-hand - ~ $4,500
Result: another $3,275 from the line of credit.

[Edited to add tree removal. Did I mention Sigh?]

The Dubious Joys of Ownership

Our rental property continues to physically embody the reasons why people don't make money off of rental properties.

Checklist for the last two months:
Tenants not renewing Downed branches (and possibly damaged tree) from windstorms need removalPossible leak in atticProbable mold in attic The management fee for finding/renting to a new tenant is much heftier, of course -- roughly equivalent to a month's rent. And of course that's in addition to costs from the usual refurbishing when putting a rental back on market: painting, deep cleaning, replacing anything that has aged out since the lease began (in our case, that includes at least a mailbox). Let's call that $1,500, though I honestly have no idea.

No word yet on what the branch/possible tree removal will cost. Crossing my fingers that the tree is okay.

The state requires a certified inspector to determine the presence of mold. (This costs us money but I approve of it. Mold can have a huge health impact and unethical/…

The Not-Good, the So-Bad, and the Just-Ugly: THE NUMBERS

Okay, since I'm typing into a void here, I'm less concerned about posting numbers. Speaking them unto the universe, as it were.

They're not good. As in six figures of not-good.  Yup.

And now, without further waffling, the trauma and the tragedy: $104,966.38.


Here's the breakdown:
CreditorInterest RateOwedAmazon Store26.49%-31.99Chase Visa21.49%-123.38Chase Amazon Prime18.99%-127.30Chase Slate13.74%-420.18Chase Freedom12.74%-103.56CU Signature Visa 210.49%0.00Bank A Signature Visa10.40%-262.17CU Signature Visa 18.40%-13,210.51HELOC7.50%-85,344.58CreditFirst (Firestone)0.00%-785.80Citi Diamond Preferred0.00%-2,055.43BankAmericard Platinum0.00%-2,501.48Total CC Debt-19,621.80Total Debt-104,966.38

A few notes --
The HELOC is strictly for expenses for the rental property; as noted before, the majority was to repair/renovate extreme damage.We've paid approximately $10,000 (! (!!!!) ) in interest charges on the damn thing so far.Most of the cards are "work…

Huzzah! Hurrah! Hooray!

Spouse got a job, a gen-u-wine, paycheck-generatin', benefits-havin', full-bloody-damn-time job! With a salary nearly equal to the previous, City-based position!

Win win win for the Spouse!

It starts in a few weeks. And then joy will spread across the countryside like melted butter, dripping into every crevice, as we start to beat our debts over their filthy heads with the valorous shovels of income and frugality!

Yes, I'm giddy.

Running in place

I suppose I should be grateful not to be losing ground, and even to be able to run, but I so want to move forward.

I'm relieved we haven't gone further into debt since our job losses -- well, not since the fall, anyway -- but the inability to make progress frets me daily, even hourly. I need movement, not just running in place.

My new consulting gig is going well, I think; at any rate, they haven't seemed particularly shocked by my ignorance, nor dismayed by my slowness. I believe my performance may be better than adequate, but I'm not feeling like it yet. Fingers crossed.

Fingers crossed, too, for Spouse, who's had two phone interviews and one in-person interview with an employer about an hour away. All went well (the recruiter's verdict: "It's your to lose"), but now we're waiting for a decision. The company allows -- even encourages -- telecommuting, so the actual commute wouldn't be daily, lessening its impact. On the other hand, Spous…