Can You Be Financially Insane?

Maybe I’m just financially insane. Have we considered that?

This week I was waiting with bated breath to see which would land first: my $795 rent check in my $600 account, or the $400 from my freelancing client that would prevent the check from bouncing.

The $400 landed first, and I felt this rush of relief, and then that day I spent money compulsively, like, out-of-body experience compulsively. Oh, I thought, Something is definitely wrong with me.


Did I mention that guy with the ADD? I was interviewing one of the top experts on ADD in the country, and we got to chatting about distraction, etc, and he said, “It sounds to me like you have ADD.” He even offered to hook me up with a center in Seattle that diagnoses ADD. But of course the analysis is $260, so we’ll just have to wait and see on that one.


On this Monday I might have to take money out of my Fuck Off Fund, because, per the ush, I set myself up to go on a trip that I don’t have money for. I’m going to try to lemonade stand it a little while I’m there. It’s a music festival, and I’m going to do portraits. But also, I don’t know. I’m going to feel it out.

I thought this blog would be a journey toward financial wellness. Maybe it’s just the observance of a disturbed individual living out her dysfunctional life. Ah well, it’s still pretty fun.

One of the reasons I feel insane is that career-wise, things are going well. I’m in Glamour and Cosmo this month. (Pay: $0) I found out I was in Feminist Fight Club. (Pay: $0) I have amazingly successful people in my corner trying to help me along and get me work. My book is sitting here right next to me.

And still. Bank account:

It’s the peak time of something, that something being the space between the growth of my career, in reputation and network, and the stagnation of my earnings.

I haven’t saved for retirement in almost two years. I’m hoping that what I’m putting away, in time, work, and dedication to this career, will pay off in compound interest.



Taking action is the most important thing. Yesterday I spent the entire Sunday setting up my Society6 store with the illustrations from my book (done in collaboration with Tony Ong.) I went to my favorite coffee shop and they gave me my tea for free, they were playing Pinkerton, and Ace Ventura was on the TV. I felt more hopeful.

Somehow, I’m most comfortable with less than $100 in my bank account. It feels like home.

I haven’t been using YNAB, even though I labeled all over my cards to do so. It’s just so easy to ignore, because it does exactly what it says it does, which is shows you what you’re stealing from.


Ok, let’s face the numbers.

I have $73

I have to pay $40 to eBay for selling a friend’s breast pump on there. (True story)

The guy who was going to go to this music festival with me couldn’t, and I sold his ticket, and I didn’t give him the money at the time, so I owe him $325.

I still owe $500 for my skin cancer surgery.

I owe my tax account probably $300.

I haven’t saved anything for taxes. This terrifies me. I swore I would never do this to myself. YNAB tried to convince me to keep my taxes in the same account as my other stuff. It seems like I’m not financially sane enough to do that.

My earnings thus far:

So according to this sad little income report, I owe $2,800 if we assume 20% toward taxes.

Also I’m on track to make just $33,000 this year. Not. Great.


What we’ve done here is taken someone who might be financially insane and put her in a low-earning, unreliable profession. Will she make it?


Yes dammit, I want to make it. I commit myself. To whatever padded room, whatever straight jacket I need to not hurt myself.

Jessica Moorhouse said she would help me with bookkeeping, which is a skill I’ve never learned.

Liz at Express Credit Union said I should get a business loan to build my credit for something I need (which I’ll tell you about later). She said she’ll watch it to make sure I don’t use it for anything else.


Shouldn’t I be able to do this without help? Sometimes you can’t, and trying to convince yourself otherwise only gets you in more trouble. You need those padded walls so you don’t bonk your head. An accountability buddy is a kind of padding.

This blog is a kind of padding. You just need to do what you have to do, and this is what I have to do: continually confess, to live in a state of confession, do my weekly washing of my weekly sins. Forgive me readers, for I have latte’d.


What is wrong with me? Something. But I can work with it.