Take Wyly, a former billionaire who made his fortune from Michael's Stores and Sterling Software. He declared bankruptcy this week in the wake of a potential nine-figure forfeiture order from the Securities and Exchange Commission. The judgment stems from a jury decision that found Wyly and his now-deceased brother, Charles, liable for violating securities law by using offshore trusts to hide stock trades.
Read MoreSEC: Tycoon Wyly's bankruptcy budget 'staggering'
In court filings, Wyly filed his monthly expenses for the court's approval and the SEC is asking for an asset freeze. The SEC said Wyly has spent a total of $450 million over the past 10 years, "a burn-rate of approximately $3.75 million a month."
Of course, much of that may have been lawyer fees to battle the SEC. But the SEC says his everyday expense include $2,200 a month for "pool, home maintenance and landscaping," $2,000 a month for groceries, and $32,000 a month for "two personal writing assistants" (he's written several books). The salaries for the writing assistants and his housekeeper total $523,345 a year.