Since I'm on permanent disability and my wife works for the state government, every once in a while some unexpected financial event has the potential to throw things into a real crisis. In general, the beer money that I make from Swords & Wizardry I don't spend - I either re-invest it in things like cover art, or I stash it in case of a family emergency.
About a week ago, my car suddenly developed an earth-shaking vibration in the engine. For those who have seen it at NTRPGCon, my car is a junker: the paint has flaked off about a quarter of the body, the driver's side window doesn't move, and the acceleration is similar to that of an angry turtle. But it serves the purpose of getting my daughter to work and me to the stores or other errands like handling my son's chronic missing of the school bus. Unfortunately, it was clear that this problem was going to rip up other parts in the engine - it was that bad.
It turns out that the engine mountings had started to come loose, or come apart, which is something you need to fix unless one day you want to see your car's engine through the rear view mirror. The problem was that this trouble developed just late enough in the month to come after the payment of lots of bills, but early enough in the month that there wasn't any way to just tighten the belt and make it through. You can only make it so many days by living out of the pantry; I know this from experience. Credit cards were a bit close to the limits, partly because of my new computer and partly because my wife had just gotten some repairs to her own car. A fixable situation, but one that needs a bit of time to even out.
However, there was just enough sitting in the Swords & Wizardry bank account to handle the gap between what we could pay, versus what we needed to pay, for the repairs, which was $521.29. Without that money available, we would have run into some serious difficulties; mainly my daughter, since I drop her off at work, but in other ways, too. For those who aren't familiar with Houston, Texas, you have to drive everywhere -- there is effectively no public transportation in most of the city.
Anyway, I thought I would mention it and say thank you to all those who have bought various modules or rulebooks, etc. from me over the last year or so! Although the end result of purchases obviously aren't foremost in peoples' minds (except when doing something like Chgowiz is -- see HERE), hopefully it will be a lift of the spirits for people to know that the money from our games and hobbies, even when it's not going to charity, can sometimes have a really big unexpected effect somewhere down the road.
So thank you, all of you -- have a good feeling today about the hobby -- it can occasionally have some significant real-life effects!