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survive the recession

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TajLVLight at the End of the Tunnel

Today is the last day of 9-month classes in the Clark County School District, which means my primary source of income for the past six months (substitute teaching) is going to all but stop. I started preparing for this situation in January by offering freelance writing, editing, publishing and content development services via Elance.com, and I’ve gradually built a clientele and a track record I can use as a platform for expanding my services.

Today is therefore the start of turning my home-based business into my primary source of income. I am quite pleased with this transition. In fact, yesterday one of my clients asked me to create a proposal for a book project worth several thousand dollars. It is beginning to look like I’ve found a way past the summer doldrums.

In September, the political season will begin anew and I’ll have consulting work. I am officially declaring my goal to survive the recession as completed. Now, my fingers are crossed that we don’t go into an actual depression! 4 years ago

TajLVI called the IRS

I’ve been trying to pay off some back taxes from 2003 (seems like forever), and under the current circumstances, it’s just too much of a monthly burden. I decided to take action. I phoned them today, explained my situation, and after an hour on the phone with two different departments I got $1,100 in penalties completely removed from my account plus another concession I wanted. Ah, that feels better. And it was refreshing how sympathetic and understanding the IRS reps were. I imagine they are getting an earful everyday.

Oddly, if it were not for the financial squeeze this recession has put on us, I probably would never have made an aggressive call like that. One small benefit of tightening the belt a bit more. 4 years ago

TajLVA Plan - Plan A

Now that we know for certain that the house we rent is in default, we have come up with an action plan.

1. Talk to G.R., who owns the house directly across the street about renting from him. This would be the most painless move imaginable (assuming moves can be painless at all). He’s had bad tenants before. Right now the house is empty, and he is renovating the interior. It looks good inside, if a bit smaller than where we are now. He’s not ready to talk specifics yet, but we have planted the seed.

2. Meet the landlady and renegotiate our lease. We would never have signed for three years if we suspected she wouldn’t use our rent money to pay the mortgage. We are going to insist on revising it to a one-year lease, which will end on May 1, then go month-to-month thereafter. Since we have no faith in her ability to repay our deposit, we are going to tell her to apply it to April’s rent, due Sunday.

3. Assuming #2 goes as planned, wait till G.R. is ready to sign a lease, then give our landlady 30 days’ notice, same as she would give us if she sold the place.

4. Should #1 go south, start house hunting for a place at least as big as we have now for a lower rent. They exist. We just need to look around. When we find one, give 30 day’s notice.

There is a Plan B if #2 doesn’t go as we want, but it includes being “bad tenants,” either refusing to pay rent till she agrees, refusing to allow potential buyers to come inside, or just moving out without giving her notice.

I am hopeful that the negotiation on Saturday will go well. We have paid nearly $40,000 to live here over the years. We hate to leave, but we are not going to be victims of the landlady’s poor financial management. 5 years ago

TajLVA scarier thought

There was a message on the answerphone last night from a representative of our landlady (she doesn’t speak much English, so her daughter and sister often interpret for her). The message was not specific, just that we needed to talk to her. We suspect that she is in default on the house, and it is going to go into foreclosure. No need to panic quite yet, but in Nevada, renters don’t have many rights. If the bank wants you out, you get five days notice. Leases mean nothing. Should know more later today. (sigh) 5 years ago

TajLVA scary thought

One source of income I’ve depended on for the past two years is substitute teaching. It requires having a car. The car costs me about half of what I earn (loan payments, insurance, gas, maintenance, registration). Summer is coming and substitute assignments will decrease drastically. Now that I’ve got income from freelancing at home, it might make sense to give up the car and increase my freelance work. But the thought of living where I do without a car scares me. I rode the bus and a bicycle when I first moved here. Do I really want to do that again? 5 years ago

girdwoodianI'm not sure what to do.

I can’t tell if I should stay in Girdwood or not. Everyone in my department got $2/hr pay cuts, yet my property taxes, insurance, and utility rates keep going up. This is a chilling trend. Should I put my house on the market and bail or should I suck it up and wait it out? 5 years ago

Laura Gits terryifing!

i didnt think it would affet me at all . . but boy was i wrong! my school are making terrible cutbacks and its going to affect many people . . its scary!! 5 years ago

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