Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Budgeting 101

I'm recovering from a 3-day visit from L's brother(D), sister-in-law(T), and mother (Ma). Don't get me wrong, I love my in-laws; they're good people. BUT, like all of us, they have issues! I'm sorry, but, sometimes their issues DRIVE ME OVER THE EDGE!

D and T are 58 years old. They own a duplex in the Twin Cities. T makes $500/month in Social Security Disablity. D has been unemployed for 3 years. Ma recently sold her house and is currently living in D and T's rental unit for $800/month. D's nephew is renting their basement bedroom for $300/month. This income covers their $1600/month house payment.

In addition D and T's 27 year old son is supposed to be paying them $300/month for room and board. Unfortunately, sonny boy has refused to work for the last 3 months! He prefers to sit in his room playing video games and entertaining his friends.

According to my figures, their son's $300/month is all the money they have to pay utilities, car expenses, food, and everything else. I don't know about you, but I can't run a household on $300/month.

This situation sounds pretty bleak, doesn't it? Don't worry; when the going gets tough, fly off to Vegas for a vacation! And don't forget to buy a shitload of expensive souvenirs. We are now the proud? owners of the 18 inch, plush, vibrating dolphin, pictured above. WHY would a dolphin vibrate, other than for purely kinky reasons? We can't get rid of this "souvenir", as D and T visit us on a regular basis.

What bothers me the most about the dolphin, is that every time I see it, I'm reminded of how close my in-laws are to being homeless.


At 4/26/2006 6:09 PM, Blogger Bridget Jones said...

Is there anything legal you can do? That kid is asking for it.

At 4/26/2006 6:31 PM, Blogger SME said...

Just stuff the homeless dolphin in a closet 'til they visit - if there's room in any closets for that thing! Sheesh, it's huge. And kinda homely.

At 4/26/2006 6:53 PM, Blogger European said...

Sorry, but I had to laugh about the vibrating dolphin.
Money-stupid people are all over the place, but most of them are supremely uninterested in advice... Fine by me - just don't ask to borrow money from me!

At 4/26/2006 7:03 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Bridg, the only legal thing I foresee, is D and T declaring bankruptcy for the 4th time!
You're right about the kid. If that was my kid, his butt would have hit the pavement a long time ago.

SME, either that or I'm gonna start sleeping with it. ;)
Actually, I think I'll stick it in your suitcase, the next time you're here. I'll tell them that you fell in love with the dolphin, so I LET you have it. heehee

At 4/26/2006 7:11 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

SME's had a lot of laughs about it too, Euro!
You're right, they get downright pissed off when offered advice. We used to buy clothes and food for the kids when they were little. Now that the kids are grown, they can sink or swim on their own!

At 4/26/2006 7:20 PM, Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

I am scared of the dolphin. :-P

We all have to deal with families like that - I feel for ya. I've given up trying to figure some people out.

At 4/26/2006 7:45 PM, Blogger Squirl said...

A vibrating dolphin??? My sister would have plenty to say about that, I'm sure. :)

Some people would be poor if they had a million dollars. They just don't know how to handle it.

The next time your relatives come by for a visit just tell them that a killer whale got it. Yeah, that's good, a killer whale.

At 4/26/2006 8:05 PM, Blogger SME said...

Heehee! Yeah, tell them an animal-rights group showed up on your doorstep, demanding you free it into the wild like "Willy".

At 4/26/2006 8:05 PM, Blogger SME said...

And I'll be checking my suitcases for vibrating dolphins, so don't get any ideas.

At 4/26/2006 10:37 PM, Blogger SME said...

Vibrating dolphin from the Mirage: $50

Trip to visit relatives: $600

Giving your relatives a vibrating dolphin that will vicariously amuse dozens of people and provide crude family jokes for the next decade: priceless

At 4/26/2006 10:51 PM, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Kid needs to be booted. See The Millionaire Next Door for proof. They've found that kids when thrown out on their own will figure out a way to survive. Or not. Either way, it's better than bringing the whole family down. I'm sure he takes up resources.

Glad I got to see the picture. I was wondering what it was. Good use of money there.

At 4/27/2006 7:53 AM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

You could have them declared incompetent and have the court name a guardian of the estate for them who will control their money and make sure their financial needs are met. The first thing the guardian would do is boot the adult child or enforce rent collection. I know, I know, you have to be pretty incompetent to get the court to step in, but doesn't being on the verge of a 4th bankruptcy demonstrate that level of incompetence? ;-)

At 4/27/2006 11:32 AM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Obviously they don't know about tough love, eh? Or they do but have a hard time practicing it. Sorry to hear about this. And the dolphin pic is cool: it looks like it's floating.

Perhaps you should donate the dolphin to charity; it might make some poor kid happy...

At 4/27/2006 12:12 PM, Blogger Laura said...

Actually, dolphins supposedly have some of the highest sex drives in the mammal kingdom... Hm....

Sounds a lot like some people I know. At least you don't have to live with them!

At 4/27/2006 4:18 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Notta, it's too frustrating trying to figure them out! :(

Squirl, I KNOW that Bucky would find a use for the dolphin! ;)
L always says that you could give his brother a $million and he'd be 1 1/2 million in debt by the end of the day.

SME, you should enter the write your own Mastercard commercial contest. That was "priceless".

ZS, this is such a viscious cycle. The parents have NO life skills, therefore they haven't been able to teach their kids any life skills. It's easily corrected, but they're militant about not changing their lifestyle.

VV, this may happen to them yet. They NEVER watch or read the news, so I doubt if they know that the bankruptcy laws have changed. They are the prime examples of WHY the bankruptcy laws have changed.

WC, I will eventually donate the dolphin to the Salvation Army. They'll expect to see it in our house, so I'll have to wait until they forget about it.

Laura, I LOVE dolphins. I spend most of my time at the MN Zoo in front of the dolphin tank. That's why they thought of me when they saw this souvenir. It's sort of a thoughtful gift, but STUPID!
L's family is the main reason we DON'T live in the Twin Cities! I think EVERYBODY knows someone like this.

At 4/27/2006 4:58 PM, Blogger Davey said...

I for one, am shocked at all of you!!! FOR SHAME. Dolphin epilepsy is a serious problem. I am at this very moment writing a letter to Betty White, Pam Anderson and other high profile members of PETA to call attention to this racisist attitude. Now if you'll excuse me I still have 2 weeks left in the seal hunt.

At 4/27/2006 6:09 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Thanks Davey! I'm surprised that NONE of us thought of epileptic dolphins.
I'm starting a non-profit organization to aid those poor creatures RIGHT NOW. Please make your checks out to ME. I'll see that the money is disbursed appropriately...HONEST! ;)

At 4/27/2006 7:57 PM, Blogger Great White Bear, said...

Hmmmm..... new pick up line? "Wanna come over and try out my vibrating Dolphin?"

Or... "you should really stop by sometime and try out my vibrating dolphin"

Or..."why don't we go back to my place, pour a couple of drinks, get comfortable, and ride the vibrating dolphin?"


At 4/28/2006 9:56 AM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

Looks like a giant duster to me. Instructions for use:

1. Place duster on hardwood floor.
2. Find one toddler.
3. Place toddler on back of duster.
4. Encourage toddler to ride duster over every square inch of the floor.
5. When toddler tires of this, put toddler down for a nap.
6. Go to kitchen, get strong drink of choice and either a mop or a broom.
7. Take drink, mop/broom, and duster out back.
8. Hang duster from clothesline.
9. Beat the hell out of the duster while thinking of your financially stupid family member interspersing with liberal sips from the strong drink.
10. Repeat the beating or drinking steps as often as necessary.

Guaranteed a much cleaner floor and some measure of stress relief from moronic family members.

Disclaimer: Not responsible for any excessive beating or drinking.

Caution: Do not leave the backyard with the mop or the drink, no matter what thoughts run through your head during the beatings. ;-)

At 4/28/2006 11:11 AM, Blogger Sadie Lou said...

SME said...Vibrating dolphin from the Mirage: $50

Trip to visit relatives: $600

Giving your relatives a vibrating dolphin that will vicariously amuse dozens of people and provide crude family jokes for the next decade: priceless

*laughing my butt off*

At 4/28/2006 2:24 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

GWB, ya know I tried those lines on L, but he wanted nothing to do with the dolphin part of the proposition. I guess you have to be single for it to sound appealing. Wanna dolphin? ;)

VV, THAT sounds like the BEST plan yet! Does anybody have a toddler I can borrow?

Sadie, my in-laws had no idea how much entertainment they would be providing around the world with this ridiculous gift! Good thing they don't read my blog. ;)

At 4/28/2006 8:56 PM, Blogger Bridget Jones said...

'what noise does a dolphin make?"

'buzzzzzz' 'buzzzzzzzz' 'buzzzzzzz'

At 4/28/2006 9:10 PM, Blogger SME said...

Vancouver, that's my kind of housekeeping! (If it were really that fun, I'd be a regular Martha)

At 4/28/2006 9:35 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Remember Flipper, Bridg? It sounds like Flipper when he'd get all excited.


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