I’ve spent the last couple of nights getting my finances in order.

Counting credit card debt and student loan debt, I’m about $28,000 in the hole. I’ll be 1K less when I cash my writing contract work check on Saturday.

About 3K of that is computer debt. No, more: about $3500 if you count all of the expense related to getting crap off both of my old hard drives. Maybe $500 in healthcare. The other $3000 I owe in credit cards is just fuck-off money. I had too much fun over the holidays, had to buy new clothes that actually fit as I dropped two sizes, and bought a *lot* of books and about $100 in CDs. Also, too many lunches.

I got it all organized using Quicken, and I’m trying to figure out how to have it all subtracted automatically when I pay my bills. I turned in my student loan consolidation paperwork today as well, so that should fix all the loans at a lower interest rate and bundle them into one payment, which I’d appreciate. I’m paying about $300 a month in student loans right now and $200 toward credit cards.

Seeing it all layed out calmed me down a little.

I’ve been having nightmares about work and bill collectors – the Citibank student loan people keep calling me because, though my parents graciously agreed to pay that loan for a couple of years, the payments were always late, and now that I’ve rolled all the bills over to my address (because I got sick of having the bill collectors call me), I’m trying to catch up on those payments so they’re reasonable able (I owe $250 this month, which should then allow me to pay “only” $115 a month from then on, until the loans are consolidated).

I hated putting all that together, but I think that in the long run I’ll have less nightmares and hopefully a better balanced checkbook. I knew things were dire when I bounced a rent check last month.

Oh yea. Time to put my house in order.

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