As in most households, things have been a little tight here around Chez Loco. After the housing fiasco last semester, I was lucky enough to have parents who could charge the cost for me, but Alice had to do it herself. The result was an overdrawn credit card and payments that jumped from $20 to $200, literally overnight. She’s been paying down $20 here and $40, but with the economy what it is jobs are hard to find and she’s had no income other than her Etsy Store. This means that she’s been living off of her student loans, which don’t go very far. I’ve been keeping us fed, picking up the late/no pay fees her brother left behind on the electric bill (don’t even get me started on him), and generally taking care of the household expenses. When our January checks come in, she’ll be paying me back for part of this, but not much. And I’ve been surviving off of loan money and $7.00 an hour (well, $7.25 since Thanksgiving).

The last two days have been a windfall. While talking to a coworker, she mentioned she’s looking to have her senior pictures taken at Walmart. Instantly, I recommended Alice, who is a fantastic photographer and did my senior pictures. When I said she’d do them for under $100, I could tell that the coworker in question was sold. I’m bringing her the pricing information today, along with some samples. Anything that gets Alice a few extra dollars makes things easier on me.

The second windfall happened not long after. Remember how I was talking to my boss about family and handmade dishcloths? Well, when her sister saw them, she freaked, so The Boss commissioned another set for her birthday–$20, paid in advance. I’m bringing them to her today at work.

Third, while cruising around CraigsList, I came across a request to make rocking chair cushions. It’s simple, it’s fiber, and its local. We’re still hashing out the details, but I think I can get about $50 for it.

On top of that, Alice’s parents sent her $150 for Christmas (among other things), about half of which is going to things like bills and food. And our checks from the student art sale came in, so I’ve also got a cushion there.

Don’t get me wrong. Things are still a little dicey, and these are only temporary fixes. I still need a new job (one that pays minimum $24000 a year, by my estimate), but it makes things easier for the time being. It should at least get us through the next couple of weeks, until our overpayment checks come in.