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[personal profile] litch
I've been broke a lot of times in my life. Last week of the month and more bills than money, can't afford something so you put it off, stretching to make things go an extra couple days. But what I am going through now feels different. Like running out of gas in the middle of the desert at night when you haven't seen another car for hours.

I've got 15$ in the bank and a couple hundred in cash. I'm planning on using most of the last of my cash to pay my may mortgage note. I've got a little cash coming in from Raak and a 1 day temp job for election day. I keep looking for work but things are just not happening. Every job I apply for is completely swamped with applicants and I am really applying for everything. Anything remotely related on craigslist, all the temp agencies, target, HEB, every lead I can find. Most places aren't even bothering to respond anymore.

I ransacked my coin jar and managed to come up with enough to buy the dogs another bag of the high end kibble. I thought about buying the cheap stuff but the price difference really big enough to make all that much of a difference. Thought about making them food from scratch but figured out it's cheaper to buy the pre-made kibble and at least it's nutritionally balanced.

I can squeeze out a couple hundred here or there for a while longer, enough to probably keep the lights on & water flowing for the rest of the month but I've been hearing the sound of my engine sputtering for the last month or two. Once I completely run out, when the utilities are shut off and I'm out of things I can sell, which looks to be around mid june at the latest. I'll empty out the house and put it on the market. Once it sells, even in the delapidated condition and as bad as the housing market is (and will be by then) it should give me enough to pay off the people I will have borrowed from and little extra cash.

Then I am just going to float. I might see if my truck can make it up to somewhere cool.

Date: 2009-04-29 02:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sphinxie.livejournal.com
Oh Litch. :( I'm so sorry this is happening to you.

Date: 2009-04-29 03:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] litch.livejournal.com
Me too. It could be so much worse, I'm still relatively healthy, brilliant, capable, and socially connected. I don't have any children or infirm depending on me.

But it still is pretty sucky.

Date: 2009-04-29 03:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] contentlove.livejournal.com
Have you ever considered starting a pet care business? It cost me almost nothing to get started, and although it took some time to get up to speed it was pretty steady. It costs about 120 bucks to join http://www.austinpetsitters.org/ and I got almost all my clients from them for the first couple of years. Granted, it's slower now, but I see two kids in my neighborhood have plastered the whole upper south Austin with fliers on every light pole offering dog walks for 15 for a half hour (which undercuts me, but I started at exactly that price too and I'm established so they aren't peeing in my cornflakes, I welcome them.) Seriously, the investment here for advertising is low cash and high leg work, plus you make a little website (which I know you can do yourself, simple is fine) and get it up, which is another 50 bucks for domain registration and service, if that.

Anyway, you are great with your dogs and I'm willing to be your reference. Let me know how I can help. Also, while you're going through this, I would like to offer to buy you dog food. Give me your paypal please, I'm not kidding. I've seen you do some things for others. Let me do this for you.

You could advertise as "A Big Guy Who LOVES BIG DOGS!"
Petsitting is largely a woman's game in this town (lots of abused dogs are more afraid of men than women and lots of rescues have been abused) but I think the guys in APSO do pretty well...and some people who have multiple big dogs want a bigger person, it makes them feel better. I'm big enough to have heard stuff like "Okay, I believe you're sturdy enough to handle my dogs." Why yes, I am from hearty peasant stock, thank you for noticing!

But seriously, it might be a way to get through this. Because you are steady, brilliant, socially connected and not taking care of infirm parents or young children. I think you can do this. I'm available to answer any questions.

Now tell me where to send the food $$$.

Date: 2009-04-29 06:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] litch.livejournal.com
Have you ever considered starting a pet care business?
Yes, but it seems like a pretty saturated market, especially now and just getting worse with school letting out. There are lots of flyers from people offering the service. So it makes me pretty hesitant to invest the money and effort.

You could advertise as "A Big Guy Who LOVES BIG DOGS!"
That's a really great pitch.

I don't have a paypal, I am setting one up, I'll post it once I do.

Date: 2009-04-29 09:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] contentlove.livejournal.com
Well, here's the thing...I don't think the market is saturated. Afaict, there are a hellalot more dogs than people to take care of them, and people keep getting pets. Being a homeowner/long time resident (plus, you buy insurance) makes you a different deal entirely than hiring a kid. Anyone who suggests I'm comparable with hiring a kid gets told to hire a kid then and goodlucktoya. Seriously. Lots of people do NOT want to give their house keys to kids. They want a grown up with a track record.

When I started, my track record was references from my friends.

It's one of those things you've got to do to grok how much of it there is. That's why people keep starting businesses doing it. Otoh, it's hard work, and the hours are crazy. I've been successful because of my willingness to stick to it and work every day that there is work (mostly).

But yeah, you'd have to try to find out. And that would take an investment. Frankly, I really hope you get a job in your field. But this another field, and I'm telling you, it's got nice acreage, if you like dogs.

I'm less available for feeding,

Date: 2009-04-29 09:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sheilagh.livejournal.com
but I love investing in friends' businesses. I'd love to fund your starting fees to the austin pet sitters group, if you want to try that route.

I'm slow on lj sometimes, so email me if you want to roll with this.

Date: 2009-05-03 12:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] contentlove.livejournal.com
Did you get that paypal yet? Do it now!

Are there other startup costs?

Date: 2009-05-05 01:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sheilagh.livejournal.com
In addition to the petsitter's fee? does Litch need a DBA, or such like?

Date: 2009-04-29 03:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eliset.livejournal.com
Instead of waiting until the lights and water are shut off, why don't you put your house on the market now? You've already suggested it might take a while to sell.

Date: 2009-04-29 06:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] litch.livejournal.com
I don't want to sell my house. I will if I am forced to and that's how I determine "forced to".

I am not going to make any more money selling now that I would some weeks from now and selling at all in this market is going to be a loss of what I think the property is intrinsically worth. I am holding out hope that I will either find a new job in the next couple weeks.

If I am forced to sell it I will probably just put it on the market at a price low enough to get it bought quickly, even with the issues it has.

Date: 2009-04-29 03:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stickcow.livejournal.com
If you're hungry, you know where to find us. We've been eating about 6ish lately.

Date: 2009-04-29 03:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stickcow.livejournal.com
Also, lawn mowing? Let me know and I can cancel my service with ABC at any time. I know it's not much, but it's a start.

Date: 2009-04-29 06:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] litch.livejournal.com
It's funny, but hunger is really not a concern. Last couple of grocery trips Diet Dr. Pepper accounted for over 1/4 of my food bill and that was pretty much my last real indulgence. I've quit buying that and can live for quite a while on pasta, beans and rice, eggs and few vegetables here and there for 20$/week or so.

It's hard to starve in america, it's impossible to starve with more than a handful of friends.

Date: 2009-04-29 11:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stickcow.livejournal.com
We've got some diet dr pepper if you need a fix, picked it up for the inlaws, but they've left half a case here so far.

Date: 2009-04-29 03:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] luxcanon.livejournal.com
You are also welcome to join us for supper any time, I love to feed my friends. You should follow CLKs advice and post a paypal button, I'd like to pitch in.

Date: 2009-04-29 03:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] contentlove.livejournal.com
Oh yeah, and I'll make you breakfast any day or every day. I usually come home and eat around in the 9:30 to 10:30am time slot, and I'm real serious about you being welcome here.

Date: 2009-04-29 03:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] egosumquisum.livejournal.com
Check your fnord.org mail.

Date: 2009-04-29 04:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scorpionis.livejournal.com
I'm sorry things have gotten so down to the wire for you. Let me duplicate others' offers for company and food: I'm usually here all day except to pick up Zoe or run errands. And when you decide to sell your house (I hope you don't have to!), tell me and I'll come over and make it sparkle so you can show it off properly.

Date: 2009-04-29 04:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] delicatetbone.livejournal.com
let me know what you need...i'll do what i can to help from afar.

Date: 2009-04-29 05:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cosima-sf.livejournal.com
you are welcome at my apt for food, i am hanging on myself or i would give you some cash. i am also up for helping fix up house for sale, which you should do asap!

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