Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Fourth Day of Accounting

with 2 comments

The 10th of the month has arrived already and with it comes my fourth day of accounting.

Total Black: $64.23

Here’s the Breakdown:

Primary Checking: $0.06
Secondary Checking: $0.00
Savings: $0.00
PayPal Account (Personal): $0.22
PayPal Account (Blog): $0.00
Amazon Payments Account: $0.00
Mutual Funds Account: $63.95

FICO Score 497

Total Red: $230,977.94

Here’s the breakdown:

Credit Card Debt

MasterCard: $5,813.86
Visa: $8,268.35
Visa: $5,737.47
American Express: $2,398.31
Raymour & Flanagan Credit Line: $5,903.91

Student Loan Debt

Federal Stafford Loans: $96,810.17
Private Student Loans: $33,840.63

Back Taxes

IRS (2007): $1,280.08
IRS (2008): $27,952.00
NY State (2008): $0.00

Other Loans

My mother: $42,973.16

Total black this month is abysmal.  And you can see that the sixty odd dollars that I’ve been listing for the past few entries really is just money in the mutual fund account that I can’t access.  I have six cents to my name at the moment.  The PayPal blog account is at zero, I must admit, because I borrowed money again from that account.  In The Powerful Process of Gratitude I expressed my appreciation for a donation that I received and explained that I had to use it to pay for dry cleaning so I could get my clothes for an interview with a attorney temporary staffing agency.  Otherwise, I would have had to interview in nice, but not professional, clothing.  I haven’t been able to pay back that money to my blog account yet.  I also borrowed the money from my first donation.  I don’t recall now why.  I don’t want to make a habit out of it, but lately it’s been a bit hand-to-mouth with the landlord breathing down my neck and the tax lien filed against me by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.  Thankfully, my mother was able to lend me the money, albeit through space on her credit card, for me to pay the tax lien off.  Now I need to get that money to her.  So, you’ll note that the amount listed under New York taxes is $0.00 whereas the amount listed under “Other Loans” has increased since last month.  I also don’t have charts to map progress . . . or should I say regress.  I don’t have the time today because I just returned home about an hour ago.  I hope to create a chart that tracks all the different debts, but I first need to learn how to make it.  My FICO score plummeted.  It’s because of the tax lien.  Now that it’s paid off, I think I will send a letter to the appropriate department, explain my situation, and ask if they can have the tax lien dismissed instead of marked satisfied.  If it’s marked “dismissed” it will be ignored by FICO scoring.  I don’t know what “satisfied” would do.  Overall though debt is higher than when I started four months ago and income is much lower.  But I’m not going to get out of debt without a struggle.  It’s only a temporary setback.

In other news, I started the new temp job today.  It may be pretty steady through to the end of the year.  I’ll check on that tomorrow with the associate handling the case.  Either way, it’s a solid eight-hour day (not counting the required thirty minute lunch) and I can be out by 5:30 p.m. and on to another gig in the evenings.  The normalcy of it, for lack of a better word, will be a welcome change.

And as for normalcy, this evening I had a really odd experience.  I was standing outside a building, waiting for a contact to approach me.  I’m working on a new gig; details to be revealed if it it materializes into something.  I got to the meeting place about an hour early and rather than text or call the contact to let him know, I opted to sit at a table on Broadway and just relax a bit.  The weather was wonderful and I hadn’t just watched the city in a while.  About thirty minutes later, I texted the contact to tell him I was early and that I could meet up whenever.  No reply.  So around ten minutes to eight, I walked the few paces over to the meeting space and waited.  I fidgeted with my phone and read my horoscope.  As I was standing there, I saw this man walk past me.  He was sort of leaning to the right a bit and clearly struggling as he dragged a beat-up old black suitcase behind him.  In his left hand he held a plastic cup, the type you’d get from a convenient store, and under his right harm he held snug to his body a piece of cardboard.  He lived on the streets, or at least by them.  But he wasn’t any other homeless man you see walk by.  See, thirteen years ago that man and I worked together in Scranton at one of the many odd jobs I’ve had.  We solicited donations to the Fraternal Order of Police, telemarketing.  And he could have sold fire to the Devil that’s how good he was at selling.  His name is Chris.  By the time that he walked by and I realized who he is, he had already crossed the street.  I thought about running after him, but what good would it have done for me, in a suit, to have run up to him, stopped him, identified myself, and then asked him how he’s been or what’s new?  I’m not in a position to open my home to him.  It probably would have hurt less if I just ground glass in his palms.  I didn’t have money to give him.  You can’t withdraw six cents from an ATM.  So, instead I texted my friend; we both worked with him and were friends with him, her more so than I.  As we communicated back and forth I realized that in a few ways, I’m quite similar to him.  Sure, I have places to turn to and people who support me.  But with six cents in the bank and not much coming through right now, I too am only steps from the streets.  It was a very humbling and sad moment, mostly because I couldn’t even buy this friend a cup of coffee and instead just had to watch him go by.

2 Responses

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  1. Seriously dude I have to wonder, what the hell is going on with you? You show absolutely no judgment, no ability to understand cause and effect, no ability to understand the financial consequences of your actions.

    Why anyone would hire you to participate in decisions where real money is involved is beyond me. If you wonder why you are unemployed, I think you really need to examine what decisions you’ve made that have brought you to this point.

    Mike

    November 12, 2009 at 08:59

  2. I think Mike is a bit harsh, but, yeah it’s hard to justify a $2000/mo rental in Manhattan when you had the chance to move. Why not move to Jersey City or Brooklyn and get roommates and cut the monthly bleeding on renting?

    James

    November 12, 2009 at 21:53


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