The 76 cent Miracle

I’m in shock this morning. In a good way.

Ever since I realized I couldn’t hide from my December visa charges and accepted that March would be a fiscal disaster zone, I’ve been dreading looking at the month end numbers. It’s been about six weeks of dread.

Although I re-drafted my March budget in order to take into consideration what a dufus I was at the beginning of the year, a few extras have made the bottom line sink below zero on my spreadsheet. It’s called life in the real world, I guess. Stuff happens. As usual, some stuff is more valid than other stuff.

This morning I got paid from my part-time gig. I’ve been putting in a few extra shifts, but not a lot. After all, my part-time gig is not my priority, my full-time gig is, and it requires lots of my brain power and time. Still, I like my little part-time job for a lot of reasons. It’s simple to do and requires very little brain trust – so it’s kinda the anti-real job for me. The job means that I interact with people and give them some encouragement, and I like that. I like to help people.

I got paid about $90 more than I expected today. After I put that number in my spreadsheet, my bottom line moved to .76 cents in the black. It’s nothing short of a mini-miracle.

There are lots of people who can’t be bothered tracking their revenue and expenditures. Perhaps they’re better at eyeballing things than I am. When I hit a projected month-end balance of .76 (the difference between expenditures and revenues, not my bank balance) I know I must keep tracking things this diligently. No doubt a lot of people would read this and think “man, that chick is a bit nuts, or obsessive, knowing she earned .76 more than she allocated elsewhere.” That’s fine with me. This is working for me now, and I’m happy to know, with rock solid confidence, that for the first quarter of 2010, I did not spend more than I earned.

I get that March isn’t over yet. But, for the first time in six weeks, I feel a bit optimistic again. I really needed that.

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