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Help me be NOT poor.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Good News & Bad News...

Well, the last time I posted, it was out of desperation.  My beloved Late 2006 Intel iMac was dying. It stopped conducting heat properly and the soldered on graphics chip was throwing all sorts of graphic 'artifacts' on my screen. The computer would only run for about 10 minutes at a time in most cases, and that was the real problem.

I'm unemployed and still looking, although I was fortunate enough to gain some experience in freelance writing.  Most job applications were filled out online, and obviously, ALL freelance writing is done online. If my computer was only going to run for 10 minutes, then there was no way for me to apply for jobs or continue creating content to attract more freelance writing assignments.  So I took to the internet to try to raise funds to replace my computer.

The response was somewhat cold, to say the least.

I got a grand total of ONE PayPal donation, for which I am eternally grateful, but $30 isn't enough to replace my computer.  I got several negative remarks about what they called Twitter begging and also a scam.  I was hurt, embarrassed, and still very much screwed. Due to a tax refund, my rent was paid through March and my utilities are paid through February, but without a full time computer, my chances of getting hired on somewhere was practically zero.

Many people, well intentioned as well as trolls, suggested I use the computer at my local library. In a pinch, sure, but as the sole means of marketing myself to employers? No. My local library is the Main branch of the Cincinnati Public Library, located on Vine Street downtown.  I would need to take a bus there, which costs $1.75(exact change only) one way.  That's $3.50 per day in exact change to use the libraries computer for a limited amount of time.

Lucky for me, my sister agreed to let me use one of her families laptops. So the good news here is that I now have a laptop to work from and apply for things from. My sister lives 100 miles away, so it was going to take a 200 mile road trip to pick it up. 

My car is also in bad shape, though, and loses coolant every time I drive it.  My dad arranged for his very kind Korean mechanics to take a look at it.  They discovered that my head gasket was partially blown and that was causing my radiator to overheat and boil off the coolant.  It's a 1997 Dodge Stratus and the cost of repair is barely worth the value of the vehicle.  Besides... neither myself nor my family have the money to get this done.

So I drove back to my sister's house, very distraught about my situation. I was so riddled with despair that I accidentally locked the keys in my car when I got out to collect my laundry and my borrowed laptop.

Eventually, I got AAA to show up and get my car door open, so I could drive me and my defeated car home.  I now have to factor the commute into any job I take, since my transportation is no longer reliable. 

So this time next month, things may really start to come undone as I won't have my car insurance funds I need for the automatic withdrawal, then I won't have the electricity, then the internet, then the rent.  Food and gas money will probably dry up before that.

Hopefully, I can find a job before then.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

KickStart Me.

A big ask, but first, a big update...

I made $14,943 last year, including $3,200 in unemployment benefits that were collected from mid-June through September.  I made 30% above the poverty line for a single male with no dependents.  Should I stop complaining about how little money I have or should we all be outraged that the poverty line is set so embarrassingly low at $11,490 per person?

I think the latter.

Most of my income from last year came from the first half of the year when I worked at Kroger's inbound call center.  Thankfully, I got a tax refund of about $1,200 this week, which I can use to pay February and March's rent, with what's left going toward utilities.

I was fortunate enough to get 4 published features on Food Dive, 2 of which I've already been paid for and the other 2 I will use towards food and gas.  Of course, my last 2 features only owe me a total of $80.

I'm not supposed to tell people that... I think because they would be embarrassed for people to know that they pay so little.

So while there have been small bright spots, I am still as poor as ever.  Despite the tax returns, I am only able to pay up one month on rent.  Hopefully, I'll have a job by April, but honestly, it feels like things are slipping away from me, and the honest truth is that the longer I'm unemployed, the less likely I am to get hired.

Writing has been one of the few bright spots of this whole situation, but even that has been strained.  I've told you guys that I have a 7 & 1/2 yr old iMac that is starting to show it's age, but it's now preventing me from writing.  Most of the time, I can't keep the computer on for more than 10 minutes before it crashes.  It's a Late 2006 Intel iMac, so there isn't much I can do to upgrade it.  I've also been able to apply to less employers for the same reason. I start to do an online application, then the computer crashes.  I need to do something about that...

The Big Ask...

Here is where I need your help again.  This time, my rent is secure for at least another month, my food/gas is sketchy, but my big problem is a dying computer.

I need to raise money to get another computer, so I can continue blogging, freelance writing, and of course, applying for jobs.

As before, you can use the PayPal Donate button on the right.

The money I raise(unless I get a massive amount of money) will be used for a new computer that will not fail me, so I can continue to create content when I'm not applying for positions or researching companies I'm about to interview with.

So if you can donate, please do, and if you can't donate, please tweet this blog or share it on facebook so others may donate.