My husband comes to me on an almost daily basis with a new THING he’d like to purchase. Sometimes it’s something worthwhile for one of our two businesses, and sometimes it’s more like skydiving or fixing the dent-that-only-he-can-see in the side of our X-Terra. And almost every time he comes to me with one of these, I respond: “As soon as we’re more comfortably able to pay our bills, we’ll do it.” In other words, when we’re “in the black.”
I know that term was not invented to refer to a couple of thirty-something parents with two at-home businesses who want to be able to pay their bills and buy skydiving (and oooh, I’d love some new clothes and a music class for the little Monkey), but I think the term applies perfectly for us. Right now, we are waiting on our next big paycheck for the gig we’re shooting in Scotland in a couple of weeks. When we receive this hefty check, however, we must apply pretty much all of it to our month’s bills and the airline tickets we bought to fly to London.
When do we know we’re in the black? Is it when we’re able to go out to dinner, even just once a month? Or when we don’t have to count the number of days left in the month, in fear of mortgage, etc, being due on the 1st? I’ve gotten very used to living paycheck-to-paycheck in the ten years I’ve lived in LA. Every time I’ve succumbed to The Man and gotten myself a “real” job, I’ve had no financial insecurity – but every time I’ve gone after my dreams, I’ve had to sacrifice the ability to get take-out Chinese (without being afraid to order the egg rolls, as that’s an additional six bucks.)
When my husband comes to me with the desire to purchase something our company needs, I say okay and we throw it on the new 0% APR credit card. You need to spend money to make money, right? Our bills, however, will be paid for right before their due date. This is, of course, not the most fun way to live.
The flip side… we spend every day doing work we enjoy, and most importantly, we do it all with our Monkey playing on the floor right beside us.