Life, Money

Goal: I want to buy some art

Its good to have goals in life. 

The other day I was in Manhattan shooting pics of real estate, and I was assigned to the hip SoHo area (So(uth of) Ho(uston Street) ). Houston in this context is pronounced House-ton. I don’t know why, maybe that goes back to the British pronunciation. 

Anyway,  SoHo is known for its expensive clothing stores, and, as I discovered, street art. Here are two displays that I took photos of:

Some of the ones I saw were just beautiful and cool. And a little expensive, like a few hundred dollars. Now, I’m in full payoff debt mode, but DAMN I would love to be the type of person to buy a few pieces of SoHo art that I could decorate my house with. 

That’s now a goal. I want to grow my lifestyle so I can be in that position. That I have enough in my discretionary budget to buy some and not think twice about it.

And soon! 

I want to buy some art!


Uncle Sam cuts my debt by 1/4

Yes! I got my tax return from my accountant.  I’m getting back $3,200 in total! I really had no idea how much I would get back.  I suspected a good amount since I only worked half of 2016 so I’m in a lower bracket, if that’s how that works. 

Anyway, I’m putting it all towards my debt, much to my lady Mona’s chagrin. To be clear, she’s not pushing me hard to spend on her/us, but I can tell she’s used to a higher lifestyle and I can’t participate in it at close to that level yet. She’d love to go on vacation with me.  I’d love to too. I CAN do it but that puts my getting debt free down a way. And this is weighing me down.  I need to be responsible and budget well, tighten the belt and beat this thing. 

Money, Relationships

I’m happy with less debt

So, money is a big issue for me right now. I’m earning 20% less of my full time job from 3 years ago, but I’m happy with the work I’m doing. And I’ve accumulated not-insubstantial debt while unemployed. 

As some of you may remember, my gf Mona mandated that I start setting a therapist. 

HER therapist. 

I had to wait until I got a job but I started. And she, the therapist, Sylvia, got me really focusing on paying off my debt. I transferred 70% of the debt to 0 % credit cards. That idea hadn’t even crossed my mind before. But it IS helping me. The debt is going down quicker, I’ll give it that. I’ve paid off 17% of the debt with more scheduled. 

Plus I picked up a side job one day a weekend taking exterior pictures of real estate.  So that helps too.

I’m excited to see progress.


Thrifty Rex is Not As Generous 

So for eleven years… ELEVEN… I’ve owned children in Ecuador.

Ok, perhaps “own” is the wrong word. I’ve sponsored them with a monthly donation. It all started eleven years ago, I was walking though Manhattan’s Union Square, going to (or from) an interview. This children’s org had people in the park telling passers-by about their needy kids and how $x a month could help them get food, clothes, etc. 

No… it was not the charity associated with Sally Struthers, but something like that. 

Anyway, it was a guy that approached me. Very amiable fellow, I remember thinking that he looked like a friend if mine. 

Anyway… needy kids, monthly payment, yadda yadda yadda… I was in. I was not making great money at the time but I do like a good cause. And a good tax write off.

ELEVEN years later, I’m still in. Or rather… WAS. 

My credit card was expiring and I was on the phone with them about to update my card info. When all of a sudden, it hit me that I am trying to cut back these days so I can pay off debt. So off it went. 


That’s another $25 (as its grown to) per month back in the ol pocket, thankyouverymuch. I’m getting a hang of this frugal thing. 

Lo siento, Ecuador : (

Career, Coincidences, Money

Gratuitous Rex… Professional Photographer (Side job acquired)

So here’s something freaky. I suppose this can go into the Coincidence bucket… but this is to the point where I’m just floored… and thankful. 

So i was at my therapist on Monday, Oct 17th and we were talking about my credit card debt. I built up a good amount while unemployed and my new job pays such that i can’t put a quick dent in it. And to be fiscally responsible, I’ll need to get a side job. I mentioned it in a previous blog post. She, my therapist, asked me how much I would make before I see her next. I chose $200. 

I started noodling it around that week but honestly… was procrastinating. 

On Thursday Oct 20th, I get a text from my friend Marc. As he put himself through grad school, Marc had a job where he was a real estate photographer for a listings company. We’re talking about photos of residences, they don’t necessarily need to be for sale. Kind of like Google Earth, but they can’t use Google Earth without paying for it. 

Anyway, Marc  graduated grad school and got a day job but now he farms out the photo work as his side job. 

I hadn’t spoken to Marc in a while, and as I mentioned, on Thursday Oct 20, I got a text from him: 

He says he can get me 40 hours/ month. He normally pays $20/ hour, but because I’m “a bro,” he can offer $25/hour. So potentially, that’s an extra GRAND every month. OFF THE BOOKS (i think.)


Of course, I’ll have to be creative to get those hours in, since every other weekend I’ll be with Mona from 7pm Friday to 4pm Sunday. And with the shorter daylight in the winter, shooting before or after work on weekdays will be challenging. 

So, if he has 8 hours of work for me this weekend, that’s $200. 


Breakthrough, Career, Money

First Real Paycheck in Two Years!!!!!

(This post is two weeks old) 

That’s right, you heard it.  I’ve worked two weeks, this Sunday is the end of the month… BOOM… Paycheck.

Now, I had a freelance yob (sic) last year but this is full-time work again and I’m SO THANKFUL to be back in my financial feet again. 

And I don’t have medical insurance through them yet (starts Sept 1) so it’s more than I will be getting once my insurance is all set!!


Welcome back my old friend! 

Money, Relationships

My girlfriend and I just told each other our incomes

Ok ok, I haven’t even started my job,  but that still didn’t stop Mona from asking me how much I am about to make, saying that she needed a man who was her partner financially as well as emotionally. We’ve been together 14 months. I had some kind of job for six of those months. Ok I get it.

And… it took me off guard.

I needed to get talked off the ledge a bit, primarily because I was sensitive about my income. My recent offer was 20% lower than what I made at my last full time position.

After some hesitation, I told her.  And she was fine with it. I think. She said the way I’d been behaving was that it was much lower, in her interpretation.

And she told me hers.  It was exactly what I thought she’d say. More than twice what I’m about to make,  but I figured as much. No problem. I think.

Well, we broke that barrier anyway.  Things are still ok. I think.