Posting frantic blog entries about having no money, and needing to stay home and conserve funds, is nothing new to me. In fact, a quick search found two entries with the same freakin’ title: GROUNDED! and Grounded! were only a few months apart. Still, those were probably good sentiments, and I should’ve followed my own advice.
’cause damn, I’m BROKE.
Yes, month after month without rental income at either the New Mexico house or the Charlotte condo have damned near bankrupted me; and that’s without considering the repairs and maintenance I’ve had to do on them this year. The only reason I’ve been able to stay afloat this long is because I was able to make some very good stock moves with my annual bonus from last year, bringing back in several times the amount I invested.
And now, I have to pay taxes on those earnings. For the first time I can remember, I will OWE money on my taxes… And as someone who is both a homeowner and a landlord, which means all sorts of tax benefits, I’m used to getting a hefty chunk back every year to play with. If I hadn’t done those stock deals, I would’ve had a refund of $4,014 coming to me.
Not this year… This year I’ve tearfully sold all of my stock, except what’s in my 401k, and put the remaining proceeds aside for Uncle Sam. (And the NC Dept. of Revenue – damn you, state income tax!) I cannot TOUCH that money, which sits in my savings account taunting me. I’ll probably file my taxes as soon as I can, just to resist the temptation.
I spent a lot of money I shouldn’t have in the past year, including trips I couldn’t afford, furniture I had no business buying, and many nights out at restaurants and bars when I should’ve stayed at home. It’s come back to bite me in the ass, but I’ve just about gotten my “spending” credit card paid off to zero, which is a momentous step in the right direction. And I have again settled on a budget, which just about perfectly balances my income and reasonable expenses.
As long as I’ve got rent coming in from both rental properties each month (which will be a miracle) and no maintenance or repairs necessary on either one (which will require a pact with the Devil), and assuming that the people who’ve been on a “payment plan” to me for some money they owe me continue to pay each month, I’ll be able to skate by for the year.
Translation: I’m screwed.
So yeah, I’m going to spend most nights and weekends pouting at home. Come keep me company, will ya?