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Archive for January, 2005

tamales

January 31st, 2005 at 06:42 pm

well, we only made $11.50 each this month (January), but, we have the following things figured out:
1. our net profit per tamal is $0.08 (divided by 2 = $0.04 for each of us)
2. to pay for DD's psychologist, I need about $40-$50 per month
3. We need to sell 1,000/ month to make $40
4. We need to sell 250/week to reach the 1,000/month
5. 250/week is DOABLE (we sold 208 this last weekend!)
6. tamales sell really well at the flea market, but you have to be there very early (7:00am at the latest) as most of your customers will not be there to buy, but to sell (they arrive at 4:30, so they are hungry by 6:30 or so!)
7. chicken and corn tamales are the most popular with this segment of the population, the "offfice" people are pretty even between chicken and chipilin, with less going for the corn variety

So, all in all, it hasn't been a bad month! I need to call up 5 new people (that's my goal for this week) to tell them about the tamales...I can contact 2 people in purchasing and 2 at the Help Desk...who'll be my 5th victim??

I also have to figure out what else to do to get some more money coming in!!! I was already struggling before and, the tamales seem to be working only to keep things at the level they were before!!

business going ok

January 28th, 2005 at 05:05 pm

well, the tamales are selling...that is good news...the profit is not great, but, with rising volumes, we have a chance of earning some money....at least enough to pay for DD's psychologist in my case...
we are also selling other type of food on weekends, with larger profit margins, so I'll keep my fingers crossed...that might actually be the way to start chipping away at the cc debt...got yet another call today...ugh!

What I really need is to sell the apartment...but, the real estate guy....hmmmm...we need to keep calling and pushing him...

I have put all these things in God's hands, I know He will do what's in my best interest...even if I can't see it right now!

cutting costs!

January 26th, 2005 at 09:34 pm

Instead of $5 for "munchies" at the rehab center on weekends, I'll bring only $3 ($1.50 for DD and $1.50 for me)...I'm also going to try to use only $4 for lunches at work ($4/week) instead of $5/week...this will still give me the flexibility to go to the mall once a week if I need to run errands/make payments....all "excess" (if I bring my lunch every day, then there should be $2.75 left, if I manage to spend only those $3 at the rehab, that's an additional $2/week) will go to a special jar...If I manage, that is $19/month, enough to pay for 2 therapy sessions for DD...(almost, they are $10/each)
If she spends less than the $1.50 I've allocated for her, she can keep the rest ....If I can spend less than the $1.50 on myself, then I'll put that in the same special jar...
those are very big IF's, though....so wish me luck!

Lucky girl!

January 25th, 2005 at 03:30 pm

right now I'm envious of my best friend....she just finished paying off her personal loan and will now have $400 "free" each month...(envious in a good way, I'm happy for her!)...She mentioned she tried to talk to one of the cc companies to start doing fixed monthly payments, and they gave her a lot of trouble, so I told her to just forget about it and just use those $400 to pay off that cc....she said she hadn't thought about it, but that she could close the account in 2 months if she did!...(lucky girl!)...I need to talk to her...she has worked with international ONG's the past 12 years and, only 1 year in the "private" sector...so she has not been affiliated to the National Pension Fund system....which means there's only 1 year worth of contributions in her retirement account!!...I will try to convince her to pay off the credit cards this year, and then use at least half of those $400/month to put towards retirement, if not in the AFP system, in some other way...She's smart, so I know she'll consider it...
I just have a bit more practice dealing with money situations...in the ONG's her salary was a lot higher, and no deductions were made to it!! - lucky girl!!

DD and money

January 24th, 2005 at 04:54 pm

Well, I'd say DD is "getting it" about being careful with money...yesterday, we went to the re-hab center where my nephew is and, as usual, she asked for a soda (she always asks for something or other) and I gave her $1 and told her she'd be given some change...she still can't add or substract....but, then my niece wanted a soda and I told her to go and ask for it and just tell the guy collecting the money that he should take it from DD's money...well, DD came to me very upset, because they had refused to give her her change...I explained to her that it was because she had bought C's soda and she said: "I didn't. She bought a soda all by herself, I didn't get one for her!"...so I explained that they had charged it to her and not to worry,as I would give her some more money if she wanted something else (she asked for another soda later on....I'm thinking about establishing a $1 or $1.50 per visit for her, as opposed to buying her anything she wants...that way, she'll have to think about what she wants to buy...)...
Later on, N. - who was in charge of collecting the money that day (residents are not allowed to handle money until they reach a certain level, so you don't pay the people manning the shop directly!) came to me and said: Wow! I thought Ale was going to hit me if I didn't give her her money! - just an expression, she was very aggressive about getting her change, but was not violent or inpolite, just very very insistent! (good consumer, defending her rights!)....N's a very gentle guy, I like him a lot...I guess his mom would have a surreal moment if I said this to her, but, he seems to be such a "centered" person...(yes, he's a resident, too, so I KNOW he's not really a centered person....just learning to be, as all of the others are)...you can really see the difference in them from the time they come into the program...I hope some day someone will look at my nephew and think him a well centerd person, too!! - although, our family is way too crazy for anyone of us to be considered "centered"...LOL!
After the visit was over, DD asked why the residents - and her cousin, specifically - were not allowed to handle money - she has sometimes taken R to the shop, and SHE's in charge of the money, and knows she shouldn't let him touch it!...guards it really well, too! -and I explained to her that he's not allowed because he still doesn't know how to handle it, because he wastes it in things that are bad for him....she looked at me and said: "you know who else can't handle money? Grandma!" ....(great insight! Mom just loves to spend!)...
and, she was going on and on about how she's the only child in her class that is allowed to buy her own fruits and veggies at the marketplace..."all other kids just go with their mommies, but I buy my own food!" LOL!...I hope she's learning!

different worlds

January 21st, 2005 at 06:21 pm

a couple of weeks ago we had a meeting, and my boss stressed the fact that we need to have more activities as a group...well, I'm sorry, I don't have the money to participate in their group activities...every friday they go out to lunch...to places that charge at least $5-$6 for a sandwich!!...this would mean that, to go to one Friday lunch I would have to sacrifice for a week and a half...hmmm, don't think so!...their other activities involve mainly drinking and dancing...not that I have anything against that, only that, if I'm going out, I have to pay for a cab for the nanny to go home, which is about $7.00 ....I generally give her $10...if she can haggle with the taxi driver (we don't have meters), then she gets a little extra...but, that means that just going out -even without drinks or "cover" for entry into any place- costs me $10...
They?...well, the expats, besides making almost 3x as much as I make in salaries, receive a per diem to cover food and, the company pays for their house, utilities, maid, car, gas....the locals? the eldest, I think, is about 27, only one of them is married, no children...besides him, all others still live with their parents, as is the custom here, so they don't pay rent or utilities, and only some are required to help with food expenses....so, basically, their salaries go to buy gas and car expenses, and, the rest is "free" for them to either invest (I hope! for their sake!) or spend as they wish...and they make almost 2x what I make....
With my salary, I have to pay for rent, childcare, utilities, debts (yep, that takes the most of it!), gas and car expenses...talk about living in different worlds!! ....one day, maybe, my boss will ask why I don't go to these things....although, of all of them, he might be the one to understand....if only because he's the only one that actually KNOWS my salary!!

Mom's playing games again!

January 20th, 2005 at 11:56 pm

I got a call from the Home today...saying Mom wants some more juice boxes...I delivered 9 of them on Monday...I told them sorry, make a list and I'll call Friday to get it and bring the stuff on Saturday when I go visit...Mom has never been mindful of the fact that we don't have the time (she never "worked"...she helped my Dad with the store some times, but, mostly, she went to her sewing group...she can't see that getting out early from work everyday or just skipping an hour or two in the afternoon can cause you real trouble!)...plus, I HATE going to the supermarket...plus it is EXPENSIVE to go to the supermarket more than once a week...(see previous post)...plus, it is extra fuel to go there...and it's not like I'm swimming in money right now - I would think that's rather obvious!!...
I know that, even if I buy stuff in bulk and bring it over, she'd still be making them call me in the middle of the week...because it's not about the stuff...it's about the attention...Mom cannot live unless she takes center stage...she's always done that...I'm guessing she's telling them how rotten I am even as I type!! ....
In case you're wondering: no, our relationship was NEVER good...

call from ANOTHER cc company!!

January 20th, 2005 at 09:59 pm

well, this one was more encouraging...basically, if I pay $7 today, I'll be ok with them...to bring the account up to date would be $33...might as well be $300, I can't pinch $33 right now...but, $7.00 is doable...
The real estate guy showed up today and already took the documents he needs to put the house up for sale...says he'll be in touch (he'd better, or else I'll be in touch!!...)
sis is sick today, the Dr. says she's gotta stay home for 3 days...it's her lungs and throat...she asked me to go to the supermarket and buy her some lemons and honey...I wish I could say that I managed to go in and buy ONLY the lemons and honey...but I bought a can of dog food....((sigh))...good thing I had only brought a $5 bill .... Frown

Got a call from one of the cc companies!

January 20th, 2005 at 05:01 pm

I hate these phone calls...basically, they always treat you like you are some kind of criminal that doesn't WANT to pay...I have been making partial payments, and I understand they haven't covered the minimum payments, but, it's the best I can do (other than just hand over my whole paycheck, which still wouldn't bring the accounts up-to-date!).... Frown
I need to sell the apartment....the real estate broker was supposed to call me last week...he didn't, so I called him yesterday...he was out and still hasn't called me...this infuriates me!!...and, of course, tells me just how much enthusiam he will have trying to sell the apartment!!....and the woman that was so interested in the apartment and was submitting her papers for the loan still hasn't called, either...you'd think she'd have the decency to say: sorry, I didn't get the loan and can't buy the apartment from you (if that is the case!)...
Oh, well, not much I can do but pray and keep offering the apartment!

"unfrugal"

January 19th, 2005 at 10:34 pm

I know there isn't such a word, but, believe me, that's what Mom is "un-frugal" as can be....she's been in the Home for 8 days, and, not counting clothes and other stuff she needed to get into the place (we hadn't gone to get her stuff at the old house yet), just in snacks and candies and other treats (meals are included in the price she pays per month), I've already spent $29 (of her own money)...and this is that I bring stuff in limited quantities...I do not want to imagine how she spent when there was noone to put a stop to what she was doing (she loves buying in bulk...even perishables!!...you can't imagine how much food we threw away!!)....on potato chips, fruit juice, candies, tamales, crackers, sardines and deviled ham...now she wants pastries and other stuff...
I know it's her money, and that's why I buy these things which for me and my child are luxuries (and which I never bought in large amounts anyway, as they are not good for my daughter...or me!), but, still, it hurts me that she can be so oblivious to our living standards....she wants to live the high life like she did when she was young and the family was rolling in money....she doesn't care if that means we end up pennyless....(because, after her money is gone, guess who'll end up supporting her??...the way we did when she didn't have income for 2 years.....I have had people say to me: so? it's her problem, don't make it yours....and, believe me, if she were younger, I might go along with it...but, she's 80...she has no insurance, no savings, no nothing...only my sister and me....my half-siblings? they were my father's children, and we haven't heard from them since we sent them copies of the invoices for the funeral expenses - which they requested we send them)...

woo-hoo!! free salad!!

January 19th, 2005 at 06:25 pm

a friend from the office (the other admin at my department and a friend from the prayer circle) just came by and gave me a salad!! (apparently, there was 1 salad left from the order she placed, so she split it and gave me half of it!!, now I have something yummy and healthy to eat with my ham and cheese sandwich!!...and free!! ....God shows Himself in my life with these sweet little details!! Thank You!!!

temptations...temptations....

January 18th, 2005 at 08:23 pm

I hate going to the mall....wait! did I say that?? Did I actually think, then write that I HATE going to the mall?...can that be true??...uhmmm, yes, it is....I used to looooove going to the mall!! Now I hate it...it's temptation-land out there!!....they have opened a huge mega book store right next to the food court!..You have no idea how much will power it took to get away from the window...they have put the children's section right at the entrance, and you get a view of all those wonderful, colorful books as you (try) to walk by!!...on the next window, they have the best-sellers....how cruel can they be?? today, their door was decorated imitating the cover of the latest Isabel Allende book!!...I almost had a heart attack!! (can you tell I'm a bookworm, er book lover?)...but, I managed to survive and not buy anything (of course, it helps that I go there with only $5, $2 for my lunch and $3 for any incidentals....like during the holidays, when none of the specials were available!!)...
I spent my $1.99 and have already put the $0.01 in my jar...I counted the money in it, so that I can really see what I've put in by the end of the week...right now, I have $0.56....Hey, $6 a month pays my share of the "security fee" at the place where we live (each house pays $12/month for 24-hour armed guards at the entrance/exit of the complex)....$10 pays the minimum payment on my department-store credit card....
Hopefully, I won't have to go to the mall again this week! (but, I do have to go to the supermarket to get some things for Mom!...she still hasn't realized- or, rather, she refuses to acknowledge- how much I hate going to the supermarket...and, no, that is something that I've always hated...ever since I was about 12, that is!

eating out today

January 18th, 2005 at 04:21 pm

today, I'm eating at the shopping mall 4 blocks from my office...I need to go make some payments (which unfortunately can't be done directly through my bank, so I have to physically go there)...it is ok, as I have set a goal of bringing lunch from home 3 x week, to allow for running errands at least 2x a week...I try to do several errands on one day, so that I don't have to go out every day, also saves on gas money...the good thing about that shopping mall is that I can do almost everything there....my goal for days when I'm eating out is to spend no more than $2....
Also, I have cut down my sodas from 2/day to 1/day (good for the diet, also!), and, whenever possible, I buy Salvacolas at $0.25, instead of Coke or Pepsi at $0.45- $0.40 ...You'd think that my options are limited with $2 at the mall, but, not really, there are always "special offers"...$1.99 burger/fires/free-refill soda from Biggest....$1.75 big pizza slice and 16oz soda from Pizza Hutt...$1.50 regular pizza slice and 8oz soda from Dominos...$1.99 baked potato (ham and cheese) and soda from Papaland...and others....just a matter of seeing what I'm really in a mood for....or what I have time for (the baked potato takes 6 minutes before I get my order)...What I don't use for lunch I "pass" to the next day...at the end of the week, I put that in a coin jar...at the end of the month, I will see how much I have and probably use it to pay for a bill...

Keeping track

January 17th, 2005 at 10:14 pm

I'm not very good at keeping track of my money...mostly, it just "leaks" out...I can generally remember/account for the big purchases, but not the $0.75 or less ones...and I know there are plenty of those, and I know they add up...this journal will be my attempt to follow my "out of budget" expenses...maybe just thinking about posting them will keep me from making unnecessary purchases...we'll see...

so far, this month I have managed to bring food from home 9/11 days...so it has been good. I still buy myself a soda and/or fruit piece, so I have been spending about $1 per day (as opposed to the $2-$3 per day I was spending!)...every little step counts, right? (plus, if you see it as a $5/week saved, it isn't quite as small any more!)