While I’m not broke, I’m certainly not earning any money. It’s time to draft a budget. I’ve listed first fixed bills, like rent and health insurance, that pour in regardless of whether I’m alive. After the fixed bills come the more amorphous variable expenses like food, drink, travel, and entertainment.

Monthly, I have $2720 expenses in bills and another $1000 in variable expenses. I estimate I spend $3700 per month and $45,000 per year. I did not include yet the materials costs for art projects that likely cost another annual $5000. I spend $50,000 each year to stay in San Francisco, suggesting a minimum required $60k salary just to stay financial above water.

There’s not much to cut out of the budget. I need to live in this apartment and I grudgingly enrolled in the cheapest health plan I could find. I could cancel my New York Times and zipcar subscriptions, but that saves just $24 per month. Better to have a couple less cocktails.