So I wanted to tell you a little more about how I'm spending my money these days, because I find myself in the unique position of both "needing more qualified business expenses (unless I want to turn more of my income into taxes)" and "being under budget on personal expenses."
In other words: for the first time in my life, I'm in a position where I could be—if not should be—spending more.
The business expenses stuff was relatively easy. I doubled the amount of money I pay for guest posts, so feel free to pitch me! (I haven't started responding to all of the pitches I received over the weekend yet, but I will SOON.)
I also signed up for Writer's Winter Break 2020, a five-day craft+business intensive hosted by Catapult and William Morris Endeavor. Here's how they describe it:
Unlike conferences that focus purely on craft or only on the publishing industry, our Writer's Winter Break will offer emerging and experienced writers alike the opportunity to dive deep into their creative work while developing meaningful relationships to help kickstart a career as a published author. Focus on your manuscript, connect with your peers, find new mentors, receive detailed feedback from leading literary writers, learn how to launch and navigate a writing career, and forge transformative connections with agents and other key players in the industry.
I'll be absolutely honest, because I always am about these kinds of things, and note that I probably wouldn't have signed up for a $2,500 intensive (plus travel costs) if I hadn't been actively looking for ways to grow my career (by spending money on it). I would have wanted to sign up—wanted very badly to sign up, since the experience comes with the opportunity to learn from writers like Meg Wolitzer and pitch yourself to William Morris Endeavor—but I wouldn't have been able to justify the expense if I hadn't wanted to justify some more expenses.
I'm going to be meeting with my CPA in a few weeks, which in itself will be another qualified business expense, and we're going to have a detailed conversation about tax optimization—but that's another post for another time.
As for the personal expenses... well, here's a shortlist of what I've bought recently (all prices are rounded because I'm running to a meeting in nine minutes and am not going to look them up):
$100 on plants and locally-made pots, when my favorite local plant store opened a new branch (PLANT PUN INTENDED)
$80 on Swan Lake tickets, because I wanted to be close enough to see the feet (that's a Ballet Shoes reference, of course)
$15 on the art museum's "art in the dark" event, where they gave us all tiny flashlights and let us wander the museum at night like we were going to do an art heist or something (no art was heisted AFAIK)
$100 on the black-tie-optional art museum gala that is in one week and I still need to figure out what to wear (like, am I going to be out of place if I wear a gown because I totally want to wear a gown)
$250 on a donation to support music scholarships
$15 on a YMCA T-shirt because the YMCA was selling T-shirts
$20 on indie rhythm game Crypt of the Necrodancer and $44 on the accompanying dance pad (which I believe is also indie-made)
With the exception of Crypt of the Necrodancer, all of these expenses are community-based, which feels good; I spent about sixty seconds asking myself if it would be better for the world if I just made donations instead of buying all of these tickets, because it felt a little extravagant and potentially selfish to be, like, swanning around town (BALLET PUN INTENDED), and then I remembered that I was on the board of an arts organization and we spend at least half of our meetings discussing how we can sell more tickets.
In other words: they want me to come to the events. That's why the events are there. ❤️
Okay okay okay I gotta run MEETING TIME
but more on this LATER THIS WEEK
leave me YOUR QUESTIONS
sorry this post is so rushed and potentially CAVALIER