I am financially happy with where I am at. I can afford to buy books, to have Netflix, to have a car, and a to rent an apartment (though maybe I need to rethink this priority list). I don't want for anything essential, and I have a few things that are positively extravagant (I'm talking to you, Contessa the Roomba). I don't quite have the funds I would like when it comes to novel research, though. Specifically, I'm talking research for settings.
Oh, I could go to the library and troll the Internet just like everyone else, but I'd really like to be able to travel to the actual places. Pictures, and even other people's writings on a place, can tell me only so much. I'd love to be able to go walk the streets of London or New York or small towns in places I've never heard of all in the name of a novel. To explore these cities and town and countries with a novel in mind, jotting notes and ideas for scenes as I go.
I set Madison very close to home. As in, she lives in my apartment in an alternate universe and drives by places I see every day as she's fighting evil. Having a setting close to home has its benefits: I know it really well; if I need to find a new hidey-hole for evil, I just have to hop in my car and cruise around; and little things on regular outings can give me new story ideas.
But it'd be really nice to have set this novel in Paris...well, okay, maybe in LA or a big-name city that a lot of people can relate to, and take a two-week trip (or longer) to explore it. It's one of my writer's dreams and it's one of my plans several books into the series for Madison, when, theoretically, I should be making more money and be able to afford the trips.