Sunday, July 17, 2011

Today's fortune: July 17, 2011

Today's fortune: Look forward to great fortune and a new lease on life!

A good move by my wife gave Jamie and I a new lease on financial life. And a new income opportunity could lead us to fortune, even though it might not be great.

For the past few months (hell, really for the entirety of our marriage), Jamie and I have been living paycheck to paycheck. It's no fun. We're making ends meet, and we're not missing any payments, but we haven't been able to get ahead.

And when you live paycheck to paycheck, large, sudden debts can be devastating. We had one of those come due recently: one of Jamie's college tuition bills. The full amount due would have just about wiped out my entire mid-month paycheck. We were planning for all sorts of contingencies on how to make ends meet.

But Jamie spoke to the financial aid office, and they're going to allow us to pay half of the bill this month and the other half next month.

Whew. Now we have a little breathing room.

Of course, life is really good about finding ways to claim the extra money left over from that reprieve. We still have to put gas in the car. We received a higher-than-normal utility bill today (thanks, air conditioner). The cats need a new supply of food and litter. And, oh yeah, both car licenses expire this month and we'll need to pay to get them renewed.

But because of Jamie's fancy financial footwork, we'll be able to make it through to the next paycheck. And to help, today I also started a new venture: online book sales.

I'm cleaning out my office and purging my book collection (I've whittled it down to a lean, mean 315 books so far). The ones that don't make the cut are going to be sold, either at a used books store, at a garage sale, or online. I began posting the best books online today.

Some of the prices are surprising. A low-print run book about Missouri journalism that's signed by the author could bring in 25 bucks. A manual for reporters covering court cases (which I got for free) may fetch $10. The biggest shocker of all is a baseball biography that's been sitting on my shelf for years. Apparently, it's pretty rare. I could get sixty dollars for that one.