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the overdraft fees exceed the actual invoice

Updated: Jun 5, 2022

Overdraft fees from the past week now total over $200, because a client missed my invoice ... and then my reminder ... and then finally saw and responded to my messages ten days after the bill was due, over two weeks after the invoice had been sent.

this is my "the game is afoot" face more than my "overdraft say what" face

Not deliberate, but disastrous.


What this means is that every bit of money scheduled to come in is worth less when it finally does get paid, because it goes to paying off the financial institution before it can go toward any of my own bills that are already overdue.

This isn’t an uncommon story. If you know anyone else who freelances, I guarantee you that you know somebody else for whom this post rings painfully true. It’s the nature of precarity, of earning a living by the skin of your teeth.

And that's the difference between being late paying a small business vs. being late paying a major corporation.

The corporation will cut off your lights/internet/whatever and move on.

The SBO will watch their own lights/internet/everything get cut off instead.

This is how corporate monopolies win.

It's also something to keep in mind when you are deciding which bills get paid first.


And, once you get behind, it's extremely hard to get caught up again.

Replying to

It is, but that's what makes the whole thing so frustrating and sad ... because (I'd argue) most freelancers who work with small orgs with any consistency know that the people running them are in very similar positions. You look around and you know that the people who owe YOU money don't have it, any more than YOU have it to give to the bank/power company/whomever.

It really IS the inverse of the "trickle down economics" theory –– and I know my clients well enough to know that none of them is going to be late paying me ON PURPOSE, just out of spite.

It ends up being a situation with no real bad guys but a whole lot of losers.

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