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Homeless Man Lives On Reward Points

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the troubled-living-miles dept.

The Almighty Buck 4

Jim Kennedy lost his six-figure corporate development job 19 months ago, his house went into foreclosure, and his bankruptcy will be finalized in January. A story that is not uncommon these days. What is unusual about Kennedy is how he has been living since his financial meltdown. He has been supplementing his cost of living with reward points from hotel and airline loyalty programs. From the article: "This week, Kennedy is at the Holiday Inn Express in San Clemente, where he converted his United Airlines miles. He brought down the 7,000-points a night cost to 5,000 by adding $100 for his four-night stay, so it costs him $25 a night. But there’s an added benefit because he can expand his food budget with the free breakfast. It’s also convenient, as he can drive up the 5 Freeway to get his mail at the Mailboxes Plus in Irvine – he has a post office box because he has no address. It’s here he gets his unemployment checks, which he and 147,000 other jobless people in Orange County are using for survival."

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Link is to autoprint version (1)

OnlyJedi (709288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31448354)

The link provided tries to automatically print the article, which is kind of annoying. The original article [] is available and avoids that issue.

That said, it sounds like he may have been living beyond his means. Yes, Orange County is an expensive place to live, but it seems he was spending money willy-nilly. One of the first HDTVs released (when prices were above $5000)? A 375-bottle wine collection? A leased BMW? And all the spending he must have done to acquire these reward points? He may have been making six figures, but that's no excuse for poor financial planning. It sounds like even after he lost his job he continued spending like he expected to get right back on his feet, and now he's paying the price for it.

I guess it's like what happens to many lotto winners. When you have all this money, you feel like there's no end to it and keep spending. Until there's nothing left. Sad, really, but he can blame himself for not planning or making changes to his lifestyle until it was too late to save his home. Hopefully he can get back on his feet soon.

Re:Link is to autoprint version (1)

EdelFactor19 (732765) | more than 4 years ago | (#31488338)

what i want to know is why is he not forced to sell off his BMW, hdv, wine collection etc as part of his bankruptcy?
overall, fair or not, the guy sounds like a moron. If you make 6 figures have the common sense to put some of it away in savings. Making that kind of money, he should be able to live for several years or more without working. I'm not saying he should be ready to retire today; but really you had no savings, investments, etc? You threw all of your money away on frivelous crap and are acting surprised now?

Should get funnier when his lease expires for the bmw.

where are the mod points when i need them; this story made my day; and your post was even better.

how do you not find a job when you made 100k+ (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449102)

Who pays that kind of salary to someone who isn't good enough to land another job? I'd like to go work there, because surely I could pull in 500k? I have recruiters badgering me three or four times a day to take interviews ... it is not hard to get a job right now if you are a decent developer.

Actual Checks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31470062)

How low tech! And not very environmentally friendly either. (not that I care) Kansas issued a prepaid card that got refilled every week. Its probably cheaper to do it electronically as well with paper cost and postage cost.

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