Amanda’s Money Coma, Part I of II

Amanda SteinbergAs the founder of DailyWorth, I have a responsibility to be on top of my financial game. Like many entrepreneurs, I'm obsessive about managing my business accounts–and occasionally that comes at the expense of my personal finances.


As some of you know, I started DailyWorth because, despite having earned more than six figures for many years, by the age of 32, I had practically zero net worth.

In the past year, I've made enormous strides.  I've doubled my income, cut my spending, and my husband and I are saving a bundle. This year has been a financial breath of fresh air.

In October, a swarm of bills descended. My husband was out raking leaves. Standing in the kitchen, my 10-month-old daughter in the Bjorn, I opened one piece of bad news after another:

  • It started with the $5,000 bill from my accountant — triple the normal amount because of a snafu last year.
  • Next was the $3,000 bill to replace our decrepit 100-year-old windows: we knew the bill was coming, but why now?
  • Then came the $2,500 notice about some “transfer tax” on on the apartment we sold in Manhattan 2 years ago (oops?).

After scribbling a tally of all outstanding payments on the back of a napkin, I realized we had about $11,000 in unexpected bills to pay, on top of the $10,000 a month our lives currently cost.

What's a DailyWorth founder to do? Sell stuff on eBay? Take on a second job? Call in an adviser?

No. I took the high road. I buried my head in the sand. I shut down. Paralyzed. That was 2 weeks ago.

Then Amber, my assistant, woke me up yesterday with this instant message:

Do you know you have negative money available in your personal checking account? You're about to overdraw by $1,047.50. You have an $87.96 account balance. I'm moving $2,000 from your savings account into your checking so the checks don't bounce.

Wow. Nothing like an empty checking account to snap me out of my money coma. Panic struck. What if Forbes finds out? Or, God forbid, DailyWorth subscribers?!

So, dear readers, I'm coming clean. My husband and I have to come up with about $11,000 that we don't have in cash.

Next Wednesday I'll be back to share our plan with you.