[theforum] Bits from the Finance Front

David Kaufman david at gigawatt.com
Mon Jan 5 22:53:00 CST 2009

As of today, after this month's hosting bill from The Planet ($113.84 for 
both the old server and the new one) was drafted from the checking account, 
the account no longer has sufficient funds to cover next month's hosting, 
and evolt will have to begin transferring money from PayPal to cover its 
hosting fees.

This sounds worse than it is -- For the whole time (going on 5 years?) that 
I've been treasurer the checking account has always had a relatively low 
balance (a couple hundred dollars) while the PayPal has always had one to 
two thousand dollars in it.

So the end is *not* near -- we could do that, as previously noted, for a 
couple years if need be -- but the tide has certainly turned.  Since I 
became treasurer, evolt has never needed to take "donation money" out of 
the PayPal account to pay recurring expenses.  It's been done just once 
iirc, for the initial $300+ of setup fees when we first moved to the 
Planet.  The PayPal account, to me, has always been evolt's nest egg. 
First Cafepress, and then Google AdSense, have always wired funds directly 
into the checking account, and there has always been just about the right 
amount of revenue to pay ongoing expenses.  And so the checking account has 
always had a couple hundred bucks in it -- never much more, and never much 

Having to make this transfer also feels bad to me, because it's like 
crossing a line, like spending other people's money.  The Cafepress account 
and the Google AdSense account were setup on my watch, as was the IRS 
taxpayer ID and then, with it, the checking account.  As a result I feel 
comfortable managing these accounts.  But the PayPal nest-egg was handed 
over to me, in an act of trust.  It was not *earned* by the sales and 
advertising revenue streams I helped to create -- it contains the 
hard-earned cash money donated by the members of our community, most of 
whom donated it during a donation drive whose purpose was to prevent 
evolt's imminent demise, and many of whom still continue to contribute, 
some even doing so with a monthly automated payment.  And so I find myself 
reluctant to spend a dime of that, if it can be avoided.

So, anyway.  Emotional milestones aside...

We do need to complete our server migration in as few more billing months 
as possible, so we can decommission the old trusty tempest server, and cut 
our burn rate by 60 percent:

 1. tempest/old/production ......... $69.00
 2. tron/new/development ........... $44.84
 Currently unsustainable Burn Rate: $113.84

My hope is that reducing this bill to under $45 a month, plus maybe making 
just a one-time "stimulus" transfer (or "bailout" or "rescue", whichever 
euphemism you prefer) of a couple hundred dollars from PayPal to Checking 
will get us over this migration hump, without evolt having to start dipping 
into it's nest egg a little bit each month, just to make the rent.




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