Bukowski and money

I've read somewhere that Buk wasn't at all that careless with money. But when did he start to really feel the financial gain of selling many books?I understand that after quitting his postjob he received some 100 dollars a month but I dont understand how he could be in need when expressing his own fame and travels meaning he must be selling many books. And how was his relation to becomming rich?(if he did...)
 
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ROC

It is what it is
Sounes mentions this trait quite a bit in his biography. If one reads the letters too, you see over and over where he is chasing dollars and cents (that are rightfully his) and generally trying not to leave too many loose ends.

Fame as a writer does not always equate to wealth. He needed to ensure there was enough money for today andtomorrow and, as a writer, tomorrow was surely more frightening than for a man with a 9 - 5. Besides he had a kid and ex-wife to support.

I think he viewed his increasing wealth (and fame) with a gentle ironic humour. He was probably quietly satisfied with the idea of being financially independent (I imagine - who wouldn't be?) and he must have been satisfied that he could provide things for himself and his lovely wife without the fear that accompanies debt and overspending.
Even in the 21st Century, it still feels good to be able to bring home the bacon.
 
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If my memory serves me well, Sounes said Bukowski got nervous whenever his savings fell below $20k. That's back in the 70s and 80s. In today's money that must be like $100k or something.
 

mjp

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$20k in 1986 is only about $34k now. A sizeable chunk of cash in savings, but hardly a fortune.

If he had $10 or $12k in the bank when he quit the post office (as I believe I read), that's still only $50 or $60k in today's dollars, which would tide someone over in Los Angeles for a year, maybe two if you lived really close to the bone.

But yeah, according to a few people he definitely liked to keep at least a few thousand dollars in the bank as a cushion after 1958 or so (when his father died and he banked the money from the sale of his house). A few years after he bought the San Pedro house he could have paid it off outright, but preferred to double up payments rather than spending all his available cash to pay it off immediately.
 
$20k in 1986 is only about $34k now. A sizeable chunk of cash in savings, but hardly a fortune.
How do you arrive at $34K? 20 years x inflation? I think by 1986 his financial outlook was somewhat different. The $20k period was probably up to the early 80s, latest, don't you think? Property prices must've been massively lower than they are today and the Dow was under 500. In this light, I can't see how $34k today would have the same value.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
mjp uses an inflation calculator on the internet. Pretty damn cool when trying to compare money over time, etc... I'm sure he'll post the link (I think that he may have before)..

All best,
Bill
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
...The $20k period was probably up to the early 80s, latest, don't you think? Property prices must've been massively lower than they are today ...
I lived, and rented, and couldn't afford to buy a home in the L.A. area from 1978 to 1982, and I remember property values exploding during that period. Greedy landlords raised my rent on an almost monthly basis. I know, I'm opening myself up here by calling them greedy, but that's exactly what they were. Anyway, those prices back in the early 80s were laughable compared to the huge amounts homes sold for in the 90s and 2000s.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Hi David,
Greedy, is greedy. I'm not sure who would call you on pointing this out. Yes, it is greedy to raise rent almost monthly. How can a person budget or live when the largest bill in their life is changing at the whims of a landlord. I suspect that it was a supply/demand issue, where they owned a bunch of peoperties. When they had vaccancies, they would not take a chance of raising your rent. When they were full, with people waiting, they would raise it and at worst, you would move and make space for the higher paying person. I guess that you did not have a lease, as that would take care of it.

It is one thing to set a price and then rent it for that price, with a COLA-type increase at the renewal of the lease. It is quite another to threat a necessity as a commodity that should be traded as the market changes monthly.

At least that is my opinion.

All best,

Bill
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Hi Bill:

You guessed right. I did not have a lease at the places this happened, and the landlords knew they could find other renters easily if I balked at paying more. At one place, I had a verbal agreement that I could live there, with the same rent, for at least a year. I fixed up the place, and a month or so later they sold it, I was evicted, and it was torn down to make space for an apartment building. I don't really think anyone will call me out for saying they were greedy -- I was just being hypersensitive.
 
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