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I’ve been hyper focused on getting out of debt for almost three months now. Benefit: down more than $20,000 in debt. Downside: I’m hardly getting any work done.

I spend most any spare time drawing up spreadsheets that astonish me with their detailed power and demonstrate how I can be a millionaire again in a few years. I never before could make a decent spreadsheet and now I’ve got a life-changing one.

When I need to be working on my current book or preparing for class, I’m listening to Dave Ramsey podcasts, secretly, because it would blow my lefty cool to be associated with this evangelist preaching to the masses. But still I’m hooked.

I’m a bit OCD, to put it mildly. This is a curse and a blessing. I can hyper focus for an intense but short time. So as much as I am worried that my obsession is too much, I’m also worried that it will suddenly vanish.

I hope this time it is different.

Image: detail of Piet Mondrian, Oostzijdse Mill with Extended Blue, Yellow and Purple Sky, 1907-8. https://www.theartsdesk.com/visual-arts/mondrian-turner-contemporary-tate-liverpool



Living high on low

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In my attempts to live well on the cheap, for this month, I’ve just bought a case of ten-dollar Malbec at a 10% discount. I’ve discovered Aldi’s, which just opened up in my neighborhood and where I bought beaucoup stuff for 25 bucks. I went to the local import store that carries stuff from My People and got a huge thing of olive oil for $27. And I’m finding that I’ve got more than enough in the fridge and the pantry to make things. Honestly, I can’t make things fast enough. There’s plenty enough.

So let’s say we spend this month — honestly and I’m not at all proud of this — $300 on booze. I think it is realistically possible that we spend only $300 on food. I have to work to find ways to meet with colleagues that’s not “let’s do lunch.” Then maybe the February food and booze budget is down to $700.