I learned what my raise would be this year, and if the first deposit with the new adjustment is any indication, it adds another $140/month to the coffers. But that still wouldn't really dent my month-to-month expenses. A profit-sharing check gets distributed next month, and I'm already fantasizing about all the things I'd love to do with it.

Cakewalk announced the release of a new version of SONAR, the software I use to record my demos. I didn't upgrade last year, and the version I have can get unstable. I would like to upgrade, but that would be $229. Just about every piece of software in my studio has an upgrade available: Sound Forge 9, Sibelius 5, Reason 4, Ableton Live 7. SONAR is the linchpin of my studio, so that gets priority. (Honestly, I haven't done much with Sibelius 4.)

I bought my laptop with an 18-month loan, and if I could just make a big enough payment, I can probably shave six months off that term.

I've got some band scores saved on my Amazon Japan wish list, and I would still like to indulge in some purchases from Sheetmusicplus.com. And SXSW? Please may I have a music badge?

But my savings accounts aren't as padded as I'd like, and I'm not putting a dent in the credit card debt.

The easiest solution would be to find a new job that doesn't lowball me by the tune of (redacted.) But I'm convinced there's a recession looming in the distance, and the last time I had that sense of lousy timing … well, it got me where I am today.

Slow and steady wins the race. Wish I were that patient.