One of the things we have been doing around here in order to:

A. Not be hoarders.
B. Make the house easier to clean.
C. Make moving easier if we need to do that eventually.

… cleaning and throwing away and decluttering.

Of course, we are trying to make money at every possible point in this process.

Yesterday, Randy took a bunch of books to Half Price Books nearby and for some DVDs and a whole lot of books he got $125. Then he took our old CDs (get it, because we have it all on the cloud and on a backup drive in the hosue) and got another $30 from Disc-Go-Round. Certainly not the biggest score of our lives, but a hell of a lot more money than, “Let’s throw it in the trash.” for sure.


It was nice to add another $155 to the “Cash we might need one of these days” envelope we keep hidden deep in the bowels of the basement of the house. (You know we live in a ranch house that’s built on a cement slab, right?)

Especially since you know our run of great money luck had to end here any minute.

I was all excited yesterday, dancing around and singing, “We’s gonna pay our car payment early.” I kid you not, it was literal dancing and literal singing and I was in heaven.

This morning? The unemployment payment didn’t go through.

I check the information on the unemployment website (yea, technology!) and everything is correct. I call my bank and they cheerfully, lovingly tell me that there are no deposits on hold and no deposits have been rejected. I took a break from being freaked out about the payment to really enjoy the level of customer service I get from ING Direct Capital One 360 and how the promise that service would not decline has actually held true.

Then I go back to freaking out because the website says he was paid but no bank has the money.

The only thing to do is wait until tomorrow and hope it was just delayed a day because unemployment reliability. I was going to pay the car payment with that money! Okay, two weeks of his unemployment pays half the car payment, but I have the other half here, in cash, ready.

No one really has security if you think about it. Sure it might seem silly of me to rely on government payments in a state that’s pretty much bankrupt in a country that can’t decide on anything except how much money it’s running out of. I know a secret, though. It’s not any better anywhere else. I used to run accounts payable for an boutique advertising agency in Chicago. She would use angel investors and then transfer the money into the payroll accounts so the employees would get paychecks.

No one is truly secure. Down here at the bottom end of the spectrum, those mistakes can just mean a little more. They cut a little more deeply.

The worst part – for me – is that from where I stand there is still a long way to fall. I could pay my car payment today but I don’t because I require a little bit of “just in case” money to be in the checking account at all times for emergencies. For many families on unemployment not paying the car payment wouldn’t be a choice based on fear/comfort/risk levels … it would just be entirely impossible.

Making the smart choice in these situations requires so much planning and thought. That people with money think that anyone is capable of such mental gymnastics is just living in a fantasy world.

Another Two-Question Day!

1. What was the last bill you had to skip paying?
2. What did you do to catch up?