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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder

Making Good

Let me tell you about The Mother Of All Budgets.

Michael David Crawford, Baritone,

November 25, 2006

Copyright © 2006 Michael David Crawford. All Rights Reserved.

Those of you who read A Time-Honored Technique no doubt concluded that I'm a deadbeat, seeing as how I've been evading collection on my debts for quite some time now. For example rhiannon said:

you are a burden on society, you make more money than 99% of humanity yet you don't have enough money to pay your bills? Fuck that, get your shit together, if not for the rest of us, do it for bonita and yourself, you selfish bastard.

Folks like rhiannon missed the part where I said:

I have every intention of repaying all these people, but it's going to take some time.

Let me tell you about The Mother Of All Budgets.

I am paid well in my new job as a Senior Software Engineer in Vancouver's Gastown. In addition, I'm still earning money from Google AdSense.

I live in very modest accomodations in Vancouver. While it's Canada's most-expensive city, I only pay five hundred a month in rent.

The Mother Of All Budgets is a big OpenOffice spreadsheet. I called it that because we plan our budget several months in advance, and try as hard as we can to plan for every penny.

Every bit of money that we can spare goes to repay our debts.

Had I not got my job the very week I did, all of our utilities would have got cut off and our car would have been repossesed. We were also a month behind in our rent.

Since I've been in Vancouver, we've brought the utilities and the car up-to-date, and the rent in Truro is only half a month behind now. It will be paid up in December.

I owe some taxes to Revenue Canada. The last time I spoke to them on the phone, we tallied up our living expenses only to find they exceeded our income. My response was "That's not news to me". They didn't demand I pay.

A couple days ago I was finally able to make a payment arrangement with them. I should have all my Canadian taxes paid off next year.

The US debts are going to take more time. As I said in A Time-Honored Technique, when I am finally in a position to pay, I'll retain an attorney in the US to negotiate settlements with my creditors.

I used to feel bad about defaulting on my debts, but I don't anymore. Their collection agents hounded me mercilessly. Their treatment of me greatly contributed to my emergency room visit in December 2003.

One of them committed fraud to get a payment from me: she offerred me a settlement on the phone with the promise to send me the offer in writing. I made a payment on my settlement but the written offer never came. When I called to ask about it they claimed they had never offerred any such thing.

The alternative to ditching my creditors was homelessness for Bonita and I and likely insanity for myself. I could see no way around it. One does what one has to to survive.

Yes, I'm going to repay my debts, but it's going to take some time.

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