It’s been a long, long time since I(we) have had a bank balance as low as it got last week — it was down to $25. I always panic when it gets below $500 so you can imagine the stress of seeing that $25 balance. We spent just a little under $800 in vet bills for Tigga and still owe for the cremation. Then there was the adoption of little Idgie and her vet’s visit yesterday to get her sutures removed. But, all the bills are paid!

I manage all the money in the household and I have to say that I do it very well. We live well within our means but still have the resources to meet unexpected emergencies, and to spend on ourselves once in a while.

I honestly don’t get the folks who get so deep into debt that they file bankruptcy and then, after filing bankruptcy, they continue to piss away money on trips and extraneous bullshit items that they don’t need.

My brother has his paycheck tagged in a major sort of way by the IRS, to the point where he brings home less than $700 per month from his primary job. He works part-time, and shares a house with his wife and her boyfriend. (Yes, you saw that right, his wife and her boyfriend.) After his first wife passed away two or three years ago, he lost their house (it was a multi-family) in foreclosure and had to put almost all of his crap in storage. He’s now so far behind on his storage facility payments, he’ll likely lose that stuff.

He can’t afford to pay his bills, yet he has every technological toy one can have, along with such a vast array of video game platforms and games to go with them, you’d think he owned his own store. He owns several computers as well. And he’s a tool junkie. When he sees a tool he doesn’t have, he buys it. Not because he needs it, but because he thinks he should have it.

My ex filed bankruptcy. Yet he and his wife continue to take trips to Vegas while I’m unable to collect $3500 in arrears for child support. By law, I can’t collect the arrears until he comes out of bankruptcy in 2-3 years. But he can still take those trips and buy extravagant gifts for his wife and our daughter who lives out in Colorado near him.

Some friends of mine filed bankruptcy and were in such a bad state of affairs, they couldn’t make their payment on the trailer they bought — and, of course, if they couldn’t make the trailer payment they certainly weren’t making the lot rental payment in the trailer court. Yet, at least once a month they traveled to Philadelphia to visit their son. Eventually they got evicted from the trailer court, and they lost the trailer not long after that.

An ex-girlfriend of mine pissed and moaned about how broke she was after she left her husband, and was talking about filing bankruptcy but turned around and bought a $500 ring and put it on her credit card. I don’t know if she ever did file bankruptcy but it sure as hell seems irresponsible to me to be unable to pay your bills and then get yourself deeper into the shit buying an expensive item that you don’t need.

I don’t get it. Why would anyone bring this kind of stress on themselves? But then again, we live in a “me, gimmie, mine” society so I suppose that money management is a lost art, having been completely consumed by the sense of entitlement that so many people seem to have these days.

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We’re waiting on some paperwork on our business banking account so that we can get a merchant account which will allow us to accept credit cards, and then we’re rolling on the business. We’ve already had some limited success on a cash basis with some of the health products and we’re very excited about everything in general. These products have been received much better than we originally anticipated so it’s hard not to get excited.

We also have to submit an application for a permit for “conditional use” of our house as a home office (otherwise the town can zap us a fine), but it won’t be discussed by the zoning board until mid-October and the application isn’t due until later this month. We’ve got it filled out and ready to submit, but can’t make the process work any faster than it does. Hopefully the town won’t zap us while we’re operating until then. Heck, all we’re doing is using a room in the house for a desk, computer, and limited inventory to mail out following online sales. It’s not like we’ll have customers coming to the house at all times of the day. But, we’ll get the permit just the same, to make everything all nice and legal.

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My daughter Michelle called me yesterday and told me that Vanessa (Le’s daughter, not her own Vanessa) wasn’t present on the first day of school. The two Vanessas have a class together and our Vanessa told us that when they called out the other Vanessa, she wasn’t there. I always suspected that Le would move on without any word to anyone, and it looks like that might have happened. Not much we can do about that, I guess.

It’s really too bad. Nobody has seen nor heard from Le since June 6 when my father was sentenced. It was like she just fell off the planet. But, I guess that’s what she needed to do…

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