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Winston

Within Your Means, According to Your Abilities

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So, this man in Colorado kills his pregnant wife and two young kids. No one is shocked, at least like we used to be.
To say we've become desensitized to violence is an understatement. But still, we look for answers. It's important for the heinous act to make sense, in some way. Maybe he was having an affair? Perhaps he was a right-wing-nut job that watched too many Dinesh D'Souza movies? Maybe his "assault rifle" jumped in his hands and pulled it's own trigger? Nope. None of the above.

First, a quick recap. This family, on the outside, was a text-book All-American family. They went to expensive pro-football games, took trips to the coast (from Colorado) and lived in a very nice house. They both worked, with the husband having a good job and the wife providing supplemental income. On Facebook, the wife bragged about what a great husband and father the soon-to-be killer was. What happened?

Well, we all know what destroys most relationships: Sex or money. We have no indication that the murderer was inadequate in the sack, but we do know he was inept at running a family's finances.

Looking for a motive, the Colorado State Police discovered what a stinking pile of fetid horse dung the family's finances were in. Sure, their combined income was about $90,000. Not bad at all. But they had a $3,000 mortgage, $600 in car payments and $1,300 in monthly payments.. And despite an almost six figure income, the family had a whopping $879 in savings... total. Their debt totaled $70k. Combine the above with costly trips, raising two kids (with a third on the way), and you can see a financial train wreck looming.

And would anyone be surprised to learn that this family had previously filed for bankruptcy in 2015? No?

If we put on our Detective Monk scanner hands, we get a picture here. The murderer, too prideful to file for bankruptcy again, just decides that it's easier to liquidate ALL his assets this time and start-over in Dante's 9th ring of Hell.

So, I feel sorrow for the victims, and disgust for the perp. Now what?

Bad finances causes more individual and societal pain than folks realize. All these asinine "We Solve Your Debt Problem" commercials just throw gas on an inferno. I hate to be the only adult in the room, but I have some bad news... You can't have it all.

Let's use our tragic family as an example. If you've got a $90k budget, you can't afford a $3k mortgage, $600 car payments and $1300 in monthly debt. You find a smaller house with a $2k mortgage, a car with a $250 payment THEN you pay down your debt. AFTER you pay your debt you get the nicer house and car. Simple, no?
And what about those 2 1/2 kids? Betcha Mr. Murder wasn't saving shiat for their financial future. But he sure did enjoy flying to those Pittsburg Steelers games.

So, we know what happened. This jackwad thought he could look like Mr. Big on his income, and pay The Piper sometime "later". Any adult knows that tripe doesn't work. HE might have even known. But my question is this: Who else knew?

Remember when the Department of Homeland Security was relevant? They had a saying, "If you see something, say something!".
If someone you know is behaving like a financial idiot, get in their face (in a nice way). Especially if they're going to wreck their family along with themselves. Pose the question "Can you afford that?". Make them face the reality. Force them to be an adult.

And maybe this is you (minus the murder). No one is perfect, but it is not a lot of work to make a basic spreadsheet. Income on one side, expenses on the other. It's really that simple. For all you Devil's Advocates out there, sure, you need a phone. But, can you afford a $800 Samsung S9 and $200 a month in charges? In the quiet privacy of you own mind, you know what the right thing is. And doing the wrong thing has consequences.

I know, I know, self-sufficiency and rugged individualism are so 19th Century. So instead of think of this as "boot-strap" dogma, think of it as "Sustainable Microeconomics". Think Globally, Act Locally, or whatever you hip kids can relate to. Because living it up and not paying the bill is douchy. In extreme circumstances, it can eat away at your soul.

Live the life you should. Not the one you think the world expects.

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  1. Kevin's Avatar
    Mmm...
    Been three suicides in my group of people I know. I mean Husband suicides.
    Money, money, and money. They all had wives. Those wives were all spenders. Austerity program means 'loser' to some people. I mean what would the Jones' think? And my mother?!
    There's certain expectations. Two of the three had made big money, really big. The third guy was at six figures. All were experiencing bad times, financially.

    Maybe it's my neighborhood, but that story sounds not too outlandish. That he killed everyone? That part's extreme, but I have heard of it before. I can't imagine.

    I can imagine a divorce where I lose everything and then moving to Costa Rico. I could sell banana tacos to rich tourist-surfers. I'd be like another Capt. Ron. Show them all the cool spots. Duuude...
  2. midnightpoet's Avatar
    I've made more than my share of stupid financial mistakes, but at least I learned from them and didn't kill anyone - I mostly blamed myself (which led to depression but that's another story). What that guy did is just beyond comprehension. It does seem though that too many people want too many things and think they are entitled to have everything.
  3. Winston's Avatar
    Been three suicides in my group of people I know. I mean Husband suicides.
    Dude, that is messed up. I knew the problem was bad out there, but not to that degree.

    ...They all had wives. Those wives were all spenders. Austerity program means 'loser' to some people. I mean what would the Jones' think? And my mother?!
    Used to be a man was a MAN. Sorry for being the Neanderthal in the room, but for God's sake, put your foot down, people! A "loser" is someone who lies to their family, and doesn't pay their damn bills. If their wife or mommy don't understand that basic fact... well... it's better to be alone than to live with jerks.

    I can imagine a divorce where I lose everything and then moving to Costa Rico (sic)...
    No, man. Let's make it Belize, and sell fish tacos to the DEA agents. But I'm bringing my wife, and she's making the churros.

    And midnightpoet, we've all made mistakes. But for too many, it's not an "oops", but a lifestyle.
  4. dither's Avatar
    Wise words Winston but who will listen?
    "Pay the piper sometime".
    Well? That sometime WILL come.
    But what about appearances?
    That lovely wonderful all American self-made hero image?
    The boy who done good.

    And so, when the cracks begin to appear, it comes down to this.
    Do you kill yourself or your family?
    Or both?

    I'm not familiar with the situation that you've mentioned Winston and this is completely off the cuff but that's my take on it.
    Updated August 19th, 2018 at 07:07 PM by dither
  5. Winston's Avatar
    Turns out the (alleged) murderer was cheating on his wife as well as lying about finances.
    Once you compromise your integrity, you're done.
  6. Kevin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    Turns out the (alleged) murderer was cheating on his wife as well as lying about finances.
    Once you compromise your integrity, you're done.
    what was that guy that dumped his pregnant wife into the S.F. Bay? Scott something-or-other. Body washed up and he was a goner. He was not suicidal, though. "Peterson", that's the one, real creepy. Cold as a dead fish.
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