Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

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

Posts Tagged ‘Amazon.com

Last Update On Efforts?

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Total Black: $1,404.21
Total Red: $235,585.30

The monthly earnings report from Amazon.com arrived via email the other day.  I haven’t earned that much.  But it prompted me to think about all the various efforts to date in supplementing my income.  It may not be easy finding different gigs in my new location. Keep reading . . .

In Medias Res . . . Again

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Total Black: $585.61
Total Red: $228,964.81

I’ve reached the middle of the road.  Six months into this journey.  And along the way I became an art seller, a contract attorney, and an usher off-Broadway.  I’ve participated in a medical experiment, worked at bit as a solo practitioner, and sold many of my belongings and reduced quite a few expenses.  But it’s not been enough. Keep reading . . .

A New Day Has Dawned

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Total Black: $450.75
Total Red: $230,611.32

Unemployment benefits came through overnight.  New York state pays $405 a week maximum regardless of how much you earned last year.  Given that I owe back taxes, I’ve opted to have federal income tax withheld from my unemployment payments.  That means I net about $385 or so.  Three hundred of that is already promised in checks I cut this morning.  $199.61 to the law firm I worked for, for my monthly COBRA payment.  I also sent $50 to SallieMae and another $50 to a credit card.  That leaves me with approximately $85 until next week’s $405.  But I’ve been making ends meet on less, so that’s a near jackpot.  I have to use some of that for dry cleaning.  The rest will probably go for food.  That’s alright though.  Rent’s already been paid.  Living in Manhattan I don’t really have commuting expenses.  Utilities aren’t paid for yet, but that can wait until next week.  And I do have the interview later today for the temp job.  Things are stable for the moment.  Keep reading . . .

Change to Spare?

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Total Black: $406.64
Total Red: $228,519.06

In a prior entry, The Lowly Penny, I wrote about my own struggles to unclench my hand.  Unfortunately, despite quite a few opportunities, I still haven’t given anything to people I pass on the street.  In fact, at one point last week, the only money I had was $2.50 in my pocket from one of the participants of the bookclubs I organize when she paid her RSVP fee in cash moments earlier.  As I walked home with that money in my pocket, I wrestled with giving it away versus getting something to eat to hold me over until the morning when unemployment money came through.  I don’t know which is more embarrassing, that I kept the $2.50 or that I used most of it to purchase an instant noodle dish for dinner.  I must have stood in Duane Reade for about fifteen minutes thinking through all the variables of the items I could afford.  A box of pasta for $1.99 would supply at least three meals, but I’d have to eat it plain because I didn’t have any sauces, oil, or even butter to dress it up.  A can of tuna fish for $2.09 would’ve worked, but it was tuna in oil and I don’t really care for that type.  Tuna in water cost more than I could afford.  I debated the chicken-flavored Ramen noodle six-pack for $2.49 because that would have provided at least three meals (I usually double-up on the Ramen noodle packs because they’re small portions).  But I decided not to chance it because I was unsure if New York charges tax on food and I didn’t want the embarrassment of having to give it back because I didn’t have enough on me.  None of the credit cards had room to cover the few cents extra it might have cost.  I had to laugh though as I stood there comparing prices.  I had this image of myself on The Price Is Right deciding whether the actual retail price was higher or lower than the price being displayed on the can of stew or box of mac & cheese in front of me.  I knew the answer, I explained to Bob Barker, because of that low point in my life in Duane Reade figuring out what I could afford to buy. Keep reading . . .

Mothers

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Total Black: $38.60
Total Red: $227,972.40

Not much to write today.  I’m furiously typing to get in under the radar.  It’s nearly Monday as I write, which would mean a day without a post, if time did run out.  That can’t happen–not this early in the game.

So, before I even started my day, my mother called to tell me about an ad for temporary attorney work that a friend of hers spotted in the classified section of the Scranton newspaper.  I made some excuse to end the call.  Yes, it’s sweet and thoughtful and all that other fluff that we feed each other because we don’t want to offend the karma spirits or come across as ungrateful or disrespectful.  But my mother’s friends should not be looking through classified ads for jobs for me.  Has it gotten that bad?  Probably not.  I’d swear that my mother rents those flying banner ads that trail behind airplanes: “MY SON GOT LAID-OFF”  I don’t understand why everyone knows this.  Yes, I see the irony in that I’m pretty much putting up my own electronic flying banner through this blog.  But I’ve not shared my identity.  At least not yet anyway. Keep reading . . .

Out of the Box

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Total Black: $901.25 ($500 of which is still for an un-cashed check)
Total Red: $228.069.39

We don’t fall deeply into debt solely on our own.  We have gentle encouragement all along the way—from our peers and their pressure, from the Joneses and their upkeep, from the television and its ads. At this time last year, I couldn’t have been more in the box than if Charlotte Perkins Gillman herself plastered me to the walls. I was earning $160,000 a year working for one of the largest law firms, and one of the most prestigious law firms, in the world.  I was laid-off after only two years with the firm and with more debt than when I started and it just keeps growing.  In retrospect, I, like many others in my shoes, just assumed there’d be a few more good years at the firm before the curtain fell on that stage of our careers.  But what good is retrospect when dealing with times like these?  Not many have seen such times, and frankly a lot of us still aren’t acting like things are that bad—when Starbucks goes under, you’ll know we hit the iceberg!  But I suppose that’s a conversation for another day.

Today—all the creative ways I’ve come up with so far to start thinking outside the box and diversify and increase income streams.
Keep reading . . .