Simple Debt-Paying Advice for Creative People

The other day I was talking to some friends about finances (yeah, these are the kinds of conversations you start having after age 25…) and one of my friends whose debt was spread out over a lot of different loans started talking about his strategy:

FRIEND: So basically I’ve got these two student loans and I usually pay an extra hundred bucks on one of ‘em and an extra fifty on the other, and then I’m also trying to pay off my car so sometimes I pay some extra there, Continue reading »

Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket: An Interview with Poet James Crews

I met James Crews at the University of Nebraska where he worked as a mentor for my first-year teaching class while finishing his poetry PhD.  We kept in touch, and when we both found ourselves in the northeast I drove out to southern Vermont to the farmhouse he shares with his partner in Shaftsbury (which, coincidentally, is just up the road from Bennington College, where I did my undergrad). Continue reading »

What I Learned From Working 70-Hour Weeks for Two Months

Writing about overtime hours last week reminded me of last spring when I took on the challenge of working 70 hours a week, every week, between three different jobs.  It was pretty intense.

How did this happen, you ask?  Since there wasn’t much to do at my regular Day Job working at the research greenhouse, I sought out a work from home opportunity (a.k.a. my Continue reading »

Unpaid Overtime is Not Cool (and What You Can Do About It)

There’s a lot of things I hate (rude people, traffic jams, being called “buddy” in conversation), but not getting paid for the work I’ve done takes the top slot.  This isn’t because I’ve been stiffed on a paycheck, but because I’ve had jobs where I had to face off against my arch nemesis unpaid overtime.

Check out this graph from the Economic Policy Institute showing Continue reading »

Paul Hanson Clark Interview Part II: Cookies, Capitalist Voodoo, and the Work-Art Balance

This is Part 2 of my interview with poet, artist, and part-time cookiemaker Paul Hanson Clark, so you can check out Part 1 here.

 

But I Also Have a Day Job: So to make your life work and still do your art, you have to go to your web editing job during the day and make the doughs in the afternoon. Continue reading »

How Much Time Do You Spend Commuting???

I used to commute.  A lot.

Back when I started my first office job, I was driving 23 miles to work and back, which took 35 minutes AND since I used a busy commuter route I had to get to work 20 minutes early or waste even more time sitting in traffic.  I listened to a lot of music during that time, though, to the point where I still to this day associate certain parts of M83’s Hurry Up We’re Dreaming album with that drive. Continue reading »

Budgeting 101 For Creative People

Budgeting is awesome and literally everyone should do it.  As a creative guy with a Day Job, budgeting’s especially important for me since I need to track my Day Job hours and keep the accounts balanced while I finish my novel-in-progress.  Not only that, it also shows me how I’m doing in my quest to pay off my student loans and helps me track how much of my income goes toward essentials (like rent!) and how much goes toward fun stuff (like books!). Continue reading »