Some changes (or "In which I reveal my finances")

1. Tarot offerings – I originally wasn’t sure how I’d feel about doing readings remotely. I thought that I’d prefer to do live readings with Skype or Google + Hangouts, but found that I actually enjoy having the time to reflect, let the cards sit a bit, and then type up the readings. So, I changed it to offer all the readings by default as PDF files via email and mention that I can be available for the live readings as well.

I also added a longer 7-card reading at a low introductory price ($20), but all intro prices expire on April 30!

2. I added an Amazon Affiliate store. I’ve always linked to products on Amazon through my affiliate id., but it hasn’t converted into any sales. From now on, if I talk about something, particularly books, I’ll add that item to my store.

3. I want to expand the reach of my blog. Pretty much all my regular readers are personal friends. That’s great, and I love that you guys read, especially when you comment or talk to me on FB. Some of you have even bought readings already, and I’m so excited to do them for you. But my friends aren’t necessarily the target audience for things I want to do in the future. So, I want to reach more people.

I’m floundering a bit on what to focus the blog on. I’m doing more personal growth and spiritual work lately, and to me that seems to dovetail nicely with the mental health stuff I also talk about. But it seems that people don’t search for those terms together. I thought about toning down the mental heath stuff, but it’s so central to who I am and what I go through, that I don’t feel I can. So, I will still talk about my struggles with bipolar and in particular depression, but I’ll be adding more of the self-help/personal growth/spirituality stuff, too. I’ll try to make the post titles obvious as to which is which because some people like one more than the other.

4. Begging, money, stupid crap like that – Here’s the deal. . . Unemployment compensation ran out for me in January. Between tutoring, a tax refund, a few hours a week of research for a small company, and some help from Vocational Rehab (and now selling some readings), I’ve been . . . getting by. I’ve had to borrow gas money from the kid a couple times, which is embarrassing, and had her phone get turned off (for a day or two) a couple of times.

On May 1st, I get $733 for my VA disability payment, plus $532.24 from Voc Rehab. This is the only guaranteed income I have at the moment (and last week was the last week for getting work from the small company).

Starting May 1, rent is $700 plus I have to pay $133.33 for May, June and July for the pet deposit I sort of never paid. Management finally realized I have the cat (thanks to all the trouble with the A/C), and I’ve got to pay. The manager is allowing me three months to come up with it, but even that is a bit rough at the moment. Plus, I have to include the water bill (can’t find the bill at the moment, but it’s been running $55-68/mo) with my rent on the 1st. I still have a storage unit. I’ve been trying to whittle down what’s in there so we can get a smaller unit, but it’s slow going. The rent on that has gone up every year, and is now $164 – which is ridiculous. And yes, there is stuff in there that I do NOT want to get rid of. I *will* be in a 2-bedroom place again at some point and have the room for the stuff. So that’s:

$1265.24 coming in on the first and roughly (depending on the water bill) $1057.33 going right back out. Then there’s the $73 for the electric bill and the $100 on the internet bill (I’m a little behind on both), leaving me about only $35 for gas and groceries for the whole month. Now, final exams are coming up, so I’ll likely have some tutoring appointments to help out with that, but not nearly enough. And I have to pay for a CPR class (~$30) and $70 for my teaching credential.

June is interesting.

First, tutoring dries up in the summer. I usually have a couple of summer clients who are either repeating a class or trying to keep their skills up for the next one, but last summer, I ended up with only one for only part of the summer.

If I do pay for the CPR class and credential, then Voc Rehab will call me “employment ready” and I’ll be eligible for 2 months more of the subsistence allowance at the full rate of $725.78. So, that will help. But I have to be able to pay for the class and processing fee for the credential to get that.

So, yes, I guess I’m begging a bit. If I can’t land a job in the next couple of weeks (and I’m long-term unemployed, which makes it tough), I’m kinda screwed.

I’d so much rather earn the money through affiliate sales, tutoring and doing readings than have any more given to me. People have helped me out so much over the last several years, especially during times when I could not earn (applying for disability and doctors telling me not to work) but I’m still used to being independent. I’d rather earn than beg.

A couple of people have bought Leonie Dawson’s Incredible Year Workbook – THANK YOU! It now takes 2 months to get paid for that, but it seems to be pretty standard across affiliate programs and every little bit helps (for a reminder, I get 50% of anything bought on her site through my links). Since this is the only one of her products (and it’s the cheapest) that I’ve actually used, it’s the only thing I feel comfortable hawking, but if you like her stuff and want to buy anything else, it would help me out if you went through my link. I’m not sure how long the tracking cookie lasts, but at least 24 hours.

Also, I do have Google Adsense on this site (you may have noticed). To date, I’ve made a total of $22.22 from it. While that’s a very interesting number (not only for the repetition and palindrome, but in numerology 22 is a “master” number) but they don’t send a check until it hits $100. More eyes means more earning, so please, if you know anyone who might enjoy any of my themes or particular posts, I would appreciate you sharing it with them.

All this to say. .  . I’m adding a “Donate” button to the sidebar. This week a couple of fantastic people wanted to help me out, but didn’t want to get a reading, since they don’t believe in that kind of thing. I totally understand that. I know a lot of the people who read the blog are not remotely interested in some of the stuff I’m trying to hawk.

So, if that’s you, please hit the Donate button here or on the sidebar. It is through PayPal, and I do have a merchant account from back when I sold books a lot. $5 at a time adds up.

For some reason, I’m completely certain that come Fall, I’ll have a job. I don’t know why I’m that certain, but I am. I don’t know where it will be, or even if it will be teaching (I think so), but I’m certain. So, it’s a matter of getting through the summer to get to that job.

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