That is me, wailing in sorrow and anger. Sorrow over the recent death of Lolo, who was a really cool dude and all round decent guy. Anger over the wreckage that has become our current cash flow / debt balance, yet again, for four years running!
We just sent Lola back to the Philippines, to deal with the funeral for Lolo, her husband. We also paid for a ticket for Sweetie's sister to fly from Manila back to Mindanao, and for various other expenses associated with this tragic event. My guess is the final cost to us will be close to $3,000.
The reason this is hitting us so hard is that we have long ago tapped out our emergency fund. In fact, we were already carrying about a $3,000 balance on our credit card. We are due to receive the annual bonus that Grump's employer gives out around this time of year, and we were hoping to wipe out that stupid credit card debt. Ha!
Now the credit balance is soaring up to $6,000.00, with no end to the bleeding in sight.
I know the problem is that we SHOULD have had a substantial chunk of loot set aside to cover emergencies like this. At one time we did, but year after year problems have cropped up "back home", (the Philippines), that have financially hammered us.
It all started those four years ago, when we were still living in South Carolina, with some expensive, recurring medical problems my wife's sister had. Then someone else would get sick, then the sister would get sick again, then someone else, and on and on and on and on.
Three years ago we moved from Columbia, SC to Macon, GA. The move was expensive, and stretched our finances to the breaking point. No sooner had we begun to settle in than we received the news: Sweetie's sister was in need of medical help yet again!
A year later, after paying off all the preceding nonsense, we stretched our finances once more to purchase a house. Guess what happened? Did Sweetie's sister require urgent medical care again? No ….. well, yeah she did, but a few other family members contributed to the "sick rolls" this time. Oh man!
To pay off that craziness we had to sell off some of Grump's retirement investments. We pounded down the debt, then set some money aside for emergencies like this.
So all was well for a few months, until the antics of The King.
If you don't know, The King is/was Sweetie's sister's lazy ass husband. In her village, he seemingly was the ONLY man who did nothing all day but sit in his father-in-law's chair and watch TV. Even Sweetie's uncle with one arm did more work than this clown. His whole contribution to the family was to siphon off funds from the money we would send home so he could buy himself expensive snacks and drinks the rest of the family couldn't afford.
Lolo didn't like this sluggard, and on more than one occasion tried to run him off, until The King suddenly claimed to be interested in going to Taiwan to "get a job". This was an expensive proposition, as The King had no funds to get there. This was the one and only time Lolo asked us for money, to send The King to Taiwan. We stretched our finances once again, and scratched up the money to send him on his way.
If you're curious about how The King's "trip to Taiwan" fared, you can read about it here: http://buyingnirvana.com/words/hari-sa-mga-tapulan-the-king-of-all-laziness/ . Suffice it to say that he left nothing behind but broken promises and debt. How much debt? Would you believe over $3,000, much of it borrowed from friends of Sweetie's family! Now The King is gone, and of course Sweetie's sister has absolutely no way to pay back that amount of money. GRRR!!!!
I can't wait for Lola to get back home! Once she does, maybe then our battered finances can start to recover!