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Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
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Friday, July 09, 2010

35 Days Hath July, September and -- What?

I don’t know how I started using the week as my basic accounting time. Four-week months have 28 days. Five-week months have 35 days. That’s unnatural (as you would expect from an arbitrary calendar convention with no astronomical basis). I must have learned the convention from some managerial job in my distant past.

As I’ve said, “calendar creep” routinely bumps a week from one month to another, and that screws up month-to-month comparisons. No mnemonic or knuckle-counting can help me.

And yet, I finally decided not to convert my Excel accounting spreadsheet from weeks to calendar months. I find week-to-week comparisons very helpful. Since Quickbooks automatically minds the months for me, why not preserve Excel’s different perspective?

This compelling topic shows you what a dull week it was. I’ve been writing orders and creating product pages for new Fall merchandise, but most of the products won’t stagger in until September and October. I’ve found a lot of things that should sell a few units and nothing with bestseller potential. Selling two pieces of 100 different items is much more work than selling 200 pieces of one item…but I’m content if the dollars add up the same way.

There will be no blog posts for the next two Fridays due to vacation.


It was a more intense week on the personal front. To briefly update my lament from two weeks ago:

Anne’s unemployment benefits are exhausted. Convoluted rules about freelance income (why didn’t I listen to her cronies who warned her not to report her earnings?) might prevent her from reopening her claim even after the Senate passes the rescue money. So the checks that were supposed to keep coming through November suddenly stopped, probably forever. That was our only reliable income.

The Medical Security Program was linked to unemployment benefits, so those reimbursements (which have been unreliable right from the start) end just as suddenly.

Our COBRA health insurance expires in a couple of weeks. The circumstances above have derailed my replacement plan.
How do you cover a bill that’s bigger than your mortgage at the same time that you lose your primary source of income? If I do nothing, we will be uninsured as of August 1. Anne refuses to gamble on good health for even one month, so I’ve got to do something…but what?

I know! We’ll go on vacation! The timing couldn’t be much worse. But since our major expenses are paid in advance and nonrefundable, we are committed.

Meanwhile, Anne’s anticipating up to four job offers by the end of July. One is an excellent job that would return us to the middle class. Two of them are acceptable jobs that would provide insurance and replace her lost unemployment checks. Let’s not talk about the fourth emergency-backup job yet. Any one of them would end the financial road to ruin that we're on now.

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