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Archive for November, 2005

discontent

November 30th, 2005 at 09:06 pm

Yesterday, the other admin looked "off" and I asked her what the matter was...I wish I hadn't! ...she showed me what she was working on: requests to HR to increase salaries for 4 of the analysts in the group...2 of them will go from 1,450 to 1,775....the other 2 will go from 1,775 to 2,400...that's USD/MONTH....oh, and the 2 latter ones also get their monthly bonuses changed from 3% of their salary to 5% of their salaries if the dept reaches its goals...it is soooo unfair!...I make $800 and haven't had a raise in 2 years! ...not even when I went and ASKED for one!!...the other admin makes $600 and hasn't had a raise in 3 years!...the reason: they don't know what they could possibly say to HR to justify increasing OUR salaries!! (how about: when we started, there were only 13 people in the unit, and now there are 32?? or...there were 2 houses and now there are 5??...) makes me sooo mad, I could cry!...I thought the feeling would have worn off by today, but it hasn't... Frown

I NEED A HUG!!

73 Passing clouds. Mild

November 29th, 2005 at 03:26 pm

The sun was fierce today and my eyes feel dry - Ale sat on my last pair of sunglasses... ((sigh))...
I have to go to the mall today -1.to pay the store card ($11) and 2. to buy a couple of gifts that I'm still missing...I want to be done before the "shopping nights" are inaugurated (things get put "on sale" but are misteriously more expensive than regular price!, there are HORDES of people everywhere and you have to queue to even look at the stuff, and then again to pay for it! ugh!

What I hate the most about shops starting the Xmas season so early (since mid-november!) is that you feel like you OUGHT to be on vacation, and not slaving away in an office ...and it's not just me...everyone at the office is in a playful mode, but, there's still soooo much to be done!!...

Expected spending for today will be:
$4 - gardener
$5- phone card
$15- vaccines for my doggie (she's a heroine! she caught a bat yesterday!)
$11- payment for store card
$10 owed to maid (I only gave her $30 yesterday)
$1 - lunch complement (I brought sandwiches, should pick up a beverage + fruit)

I have $50 in my wallet, so I shouldn't have to take money out of the bank until Friday...

Paying in cash is addictive!

November 28th, 2005 at 04:14 pm

My cousin brought me an ad for a twin-sized bed, with headrest and side rails, which was on sale for "only" $16/month...Ale will soon outgrow her toddler bed and, it WOULD make sense to get her one of these...especially since the headrest comes in white, red, PINK and blue....but, I said no! I told her I'd rather save and buy it cash, even if not "on sale" later on.... I know it's "just" $16, but, I'm living about ~$100 above my means as it is...this situation is partly relieved at the moment because of the English lessons, which bring in ~$120/month, which would bring me to live ~$20 below my means, but, this, of course, is not completely satisfactory...and, to think of adding $16 MORE is just plain stupid!...no, I'll try to save those $16 if I can and then buy the thing...at least, now I know of 1 place that carries them - I'd still have to "shop around" for best available price! Smile

Aren't you all proud of me??...This is all thanks to this site!!

I HATE processing payments!!

November 25th, 2005 at 05:27 pm

unfortunately, it IS in the job description! lol!....I have to process payments for: utilities (electricity, water, phone, internet and cable) at 5 houses, rent at 5 houses, maids at 5 houses, gardener at 2 houses...AND also personal and business travel expense reimbursements, reimburesements for moving expenses, reimbursement for payment of food for a seminar, payment for facilities for another seminar...BORING!!...and sooo time consuming! For each payment, I have to fill out a special form, print 2 copies (one for my records, which I almost never have time to file!!) sign it, get supervisor's signatures and deliver to accting...that's why I try to do them all in one day...for reimbursements, additional to the above, I have to include a receipt from the employee - which I normally sign myself, I really don't have the time to go around looking for 5 more people to sign other 5 papers!,,,plus, the money gets deposited into their accounts or, if they don't have a bank account, they get a cheque...
Oh, well, I just finished the ones for the Admin Director - completed, signed, signed by Director and delivered, YAY!...now I have to get started on the ones for the VP of my unit!! (which, quite honestly, have been sitting here for 3 weeks, as he was away and, I didn't feel like doing them, so now they are backlogged!!...serves me right!!) ((sigh))
Maybe I can finish them before noon (it is now 11:48am!)

Money, money, money!!

November 24th, 2005 at 11:32 pm

I got paid for the November lessons up to now: $100!!...AND, one of the PM's that used to work here had left his car - engine didn't work and he couldn't sell it...with the instructions that, if I managed to sell it, even as scrap, I should keep half of the money and give the other half to the maid at the house in which he was stationed...well, I got a call a while back and they delivered the money today!! It sold for $200, but, I had to give the maid an additional $40 for a desk that other PM's took, but haven't paid for yet - figured it's easier for me to get paid than for her, as I see them everyday - so, I actually took $60....I took 10% of my money and gave it to the Padre Vito home and another 10% and put it in my Cuenta Futuro - which is my savings acct...I'm giving Ale 5% for her own bank acct, I'm leaving $10 for fun money and using the rest towards debt!...I'm planning on doing this with any extra money that I make this year. Starting next year, I'll do 10% Padre Vito, 5% Ale and all the rest towards debt, as I need to pay as much as possible to be able to live on my salary next year....(no more farm money!)

The English lessons are extra, but, those are not always reliable, as the amount changes depending on the number of times you actually give a class!

children and advertising

November 24th, 2005 at 05:05 pm

my 5 year old daughter insists that I should buy X-brand lollipops because: "they have prizes, and you can win a DVD" - she's obsessed with a DVD player at the moment...no, it's not going to happen, I have other priorities/needs at the moment! - and, of course, being the mean horrible mother that I am, I haven't bought the lollipops!...but, the other day she went to a piniata and got 3 X-brand lollipops...not one of them had a prize sticker...not even for a "free lollipop" or anything...she was sooo disappointed...and she said: "Mom, you know, ads lie"....

Of course, being a 5 year old, now she wants me to buy her Y-brand of soft drink (sugar + water and coloring added! this is THE worst thing on the market here in ES!)...because the tops have prizes...you can win another soft drink bottle (that's a prize??) OR a $50 gift certificate to buy "all the toys you want" at Jugueton (large toy store)...

Oh, well, I'm back to being the mean mamma!

LOL! I HAVE to share this one!

November 23rd, 2005 at 10:30 pm

I just received my cc statement, my new minimum payment is $38.56 of which- were I to make only the minimum payment- $7.96 would go to the principal and the rest is all interest!! It's so ridiculous, I couldn't even get mad!!- I have scheduled to get rid of this particular cc for Dec 12th, when I get my Xmas bonus...70% of my bonus will go to pay off that cc IN FULL!

medical expenses

November 23rd, 2005 at 08:50 pm

I finally went to get the results of my pap smear - taken about 2 months ago!!...I have metaplasia, so I had to schedule a colposcopy (sp?)...good thing I went to the community clinic and not to my private doctor....the colposcopy itself will cost $15 and, if needed, they'd take a biopsy for $12 additional...IF necessary, we would then schedule a criotherapy for $15....I cannot imagine my Dr. charging anything less than $200 for a criotherapy... and, the no-good insurance policy the company provides never pays for much!

Either the insurance company sucks, or whoever negotiates with them does!....according to the policy, the maximum one should be charged for a consultation is $17 (ha! try finding a doctor that sees you for less than $23!....The ones that have recently graduated, maybe, but any Doctor that has had his/her diploma for more than 5 years will charge $25-$30)...add a $9.50 deductible PER VISIT....and they pay 80% of whatever is left! (which effectively means they will pay up to $6.00 for a Dr's visit!!)...the deductible for medicines bought is $11.75 per RX....and the deductible per lab invoice is $10....which means that, unless you are seriously ill, you'd better NOT use private services!

Oh, and the "emergency" clause is just hillarious....if you are admitted through emergency at the hospital, the policy covers 100% of the hospital bill for medical services and 80% of the Doctor's fees - provided you use an affiliated Dr, otherwise, you pay and then try to get reimbursed according to the ins company's "tables"...good luck!- well, "emergency" applies if you are admitted because of an accident or, if you get admitted due illness ANYTIME BETWEEN 7PM AND 7AM....(?)....

OH, well, that's why I "save" the insurance for BIG things - none so far, luckily!

GRRR...They didn't deliver my stove!!

November 21st, 2005 at 11:16 pm

It's 5:35pm, and my stove hasn't been delivered...I'm trying to call the store and I'm going to tell them that if I don't get my stove tomorrow am, not to bother, I'll come by to get a refund!!...I bought it on Friday, so it is more than enough time for them to arrange delivery!

new stove arriving today!

November 21st, 2005 at 04:21 pm

I found a stove for $160! (well, $159.99)...original price ws $215!...I paid CASH for it! (sooo liberating!- and you should havde seen the saleswoman's face when I said; "i'll take it" and she said: "I'll draw up the paperwork for the credit", and I said: "No, I'll pay cash for it!" LOL!)...it is sooo pretty! I'm happy with my stove, I'm happy with the deal I got and, I'm happy that I have no new debt on it - I paid with money that was supposed to go to the cc debt, but, I still have enough to pay all cc's on time and to pay a bit over the minimum payment...Plus, my sister owes me $60! - which she'll pay me on Dec 7th, so I'll pay that into a cc on the 8th!

We are selling the old one for parts!! - if anyone takes it!!

woo-hoo! Care Bears at 25% off!!

November 18th, 2005 at 11:14 pm

Ale wanted a Care Bear ($7.50 at Jugueton, which is the local version of Toys'R'us)...and I found them at Siman (dept store) at 25% off if bought with the store card....I bought her 2 for $10.53 (original price was slightly lower than Jugueton's!!)...Don't worry! I was good!...If I pay within the same payment period (9/11 -9/12 in this case), I don't get charged interest on those purchases...I marched to the next cashier and paid the card! Smile
I already set aside the scooter and Barbie/Ken combo Ale wanted, and my cousin will get them for me with her 35% discount! I'm done with Ale!!...Now, I need to get the stuff for my niece, think of something for my nephew, find something for my best friend's son and I'm DONE!!! - oh, but I have to find my sister's B-day gift...have seen a couple of things that would be nice!

buying a new stove!

November 18th, 2005 at 03:57 pm

There's a "corridor sale" today to benefit the Home for Abandoned Handicapped children...I'll go see if they have a good deal on a new stove during my lunch hour...we have been browsing for weeks at other places, so I know that the lowest price we've found so far is $170....I'll take $170 with me, that way, if the price is the same, then at least it'll go to the children (our company is a huge sponsor of this home...it is one of the few charities for which you can set up an automatic payroll deduction with the company!...and, I have seen the work they do, it really is great!) www.fhp.org.sv/fhp/ if you want to visit their page!...
I hope I can find what I need!
*****************************
They only had electric stoves Frown I want a gas one - they are cheaper, and the gas is cheaper than electricity, too!... back to the old quotes that we had!! - because I want this resolved THIS weekend!!

Good and bad news

November 17th, 2005 at 11:52 pm

Well, I couldn't go to teach my class yesterday because demonstrators had closed one of our main streets and traffic was crazy...and today, my student can't make it because her brother is graduating!

The good news is, two much-needed days-off, the bad news is, I "lose" $20...oh, well, $10 really, as we rescheduled one class for tomorrow... and I can go shopping tonight! ...I can browse for more Xmas gifts and I need to buy a replacement "bulb" (?) for my car - I've done it before, I just don't speak "car" in English, LOL! so don't worry about me getting the wrong spare part!!...oh, and my niece said she'd love to have some of those "rain" lights for outside the house...I told her: If they're under $3, I'll buy them, if not, so sorry!

This week has been hectic...I've had to run around paying bills for the 5 houses and, I've had to look into new curtains (for one of the "office" houses, too!)...some days, I swear I could go nuts!...others, I have some "dead" time in my hands...I don't mind "back-to-back" assignments, but some days, I feel like an octopuss, with 9 people pulling at me from different directions: 1 from each arm and another one grabbing my head!! ((sigh))...I'm closing my computer and leaving now!!

Found a perfect gift for one of my friends!!

November 17th, 2005 at 03:19 pm

I bought it right away, because the moment I saw it I thought: GB!...It's one of those card/photo displayers that have a little clippy thing?? ...the base is in the shape of a flip-flop...striped, with bright pink, blue and green...she ADORES shoes, so I know it'll be perfect for her! (las year I gave her a mini-calendar that featured a different shoe for each month!)....the best part? It cost $1.80!!! (she knows my presents are more symbolic than anything else this year!...just a gesture to say: I love you and thik of you!...) AND, I found some (very) old Xmas cards (all the leftovers from the ones we bought with ex-hubby over the years...blank insides!!)...so I'll add a card to my presents this year! Smile

Xmas browsing again

November 16th, 2005 at 07:46 pm

Found a tub of Legos at $9.99...of course, those are "real" Legos...I can get construction bricks of unknown brand for about $6.00....they are good, they actually fit with Lego-brand bricks and, half of them'll end up lost and/or chewed up anyway, so....I also looked at stuff for the house (found a nice garlic-bread plate at $6.00...of course, given that we almost never make garlic bread....) and I found beautiful cloth placemats at $2.50 each (think I can get cheaper ones at the Indian market...and hand made!)...I found some of the project managers at the same dept store...looking into buying a ping-pong table ($209)...I tried to get the salesman to throw in a the racquets, but I don't know what happened after that, because I had to leave to go pay my store card ($30)...I would like to keep a store card, but I'm undecided on whether to keep this one (expensive if you have balance on it, but, the store is within walking distance to my office, it has several other stores at convenient locations and, there's no annual membership fee and, if your acct shows a $0 balance, there are no "handling fees" or charges...) ...I'd have to investigate the other stores and see what their store cards are like (of course, I also have to look into NOT keeping any store cards!)..

OH, and I didn't actually BUY anything at the store...just made a payment.

reached an agreement with my sister today!

November 15th, 2005 at 04:54 pm

I left for my walk at 6:00am...my niece has to be at school at 7:00am (she's supposed to be on vacation, but she flunked several subjects so now has to go to "summer" school - yes, it is dry season here!)...so my sister needs to leave at 6:20 am tops...she did!...she thought I had taken my daughter with me and just left! ...Ale was asleep and didn't notice (thank God!) and, when I came home at 6:30, I didn't see the car and thought my sis had taken her, but, when I went upstairs and passed in front of the girls' room - after stretching and drinking a glass of water - I saw a foot emerging from underneath the blankets!!...my sister didn't even notice she had left my daughter alone!!..she's only 5!!!
So, we made an agreement: I'll go for my walk at 5:50 and be back at 6:20....but, if I'm not, she's taking Ale with her!, if not, I'm allowed to kill her (my sis) when she comes back!...honest, some days...I REALLY have to pray for patience!!

Thanks for the encouragement, Laura!!

started walking today

November 14th, 2005 at 04:32 pm

I want to lose 5lbs (in reality, I'd need to lose 15lbs to be at my ideal weight!), so I'm setting small goals of 5lbs...I started walking today...I hope I can turn this into a habit...I got up at 6:00am (sooo NOT me!) and went walking for 30 minutes...must have walked about 4 Kms) ...Also, sis and I have planned lighter dinners (soup and sandwiches), which should help both our budget and our waistline! (the only one exempt from this will be my daughter!)...If I can continue with this habit until Dec 15th, I'm buying myself a new pair of sweatpants - I only have 1 pair! - that'll be my "reward"...
I have done well so far - no aches, I stretched both before and after walking...I expect to get a "nap attack" a la Garfield at about noon, though! ...
I packed my lunch today: left over spaghetti and some tomatoes in olive oil and basil...yummy! can't wait for lunch time! - I'm not really hungry, but I can almost taste those tomatoes already!!

movie Sunday

November 14th, 2005 at 02:46 pm

Went to the movies with Alejandra on Sunday...she wanted to see the Legend of Zorro - and watching Antonio Banderas for 1 1/2 hours is not precisely painful for me! LOL! - we go to the matinee becuase it costs $2.30/ticket, as opposed to going in the afternoon, when I'd pay $3.50 for myself and $2.50 for her....we bought a small soda and small popcorn...I snuck the chocolates from home! LOL!...so we spent $6.40...then we went for a short stroll in the shopping mall, to see the decorations (they're starting to put them up already!)...I let her go into a store and try on shoes (just to try them on, not buying, ok?)...I just bought her two pairs and she doesn't need anymore at the moment...although, the way she's growing lately...who knows!

Xmas shopping

November 11th, 2005 at 09:48 pm

Right now I'm Xmas browsing...today I saw some beautiful picture frames at $2.49 that would be great for 2 of my friends...I also know -finally- what I want to get my niece....she says she wants an organizer for her beads and, I will get one of those organizers for nails and screws that they sell at the hardware store (about $1) and will buy some beads to fill it...she buys hers at the mall, where they are really expensive and, I think I can get them a lot cheaper downtown, so I could have her present for about $5...
Last time I went downtown I found Winnie-the-Pooh character slippers at $3.50 and bought some: my sis gets Tigger ones (for her b-day, though, which is Dec 15, so I still have to look for something for Xmas!)....my best friend gets Pooh ones...my friend in the US even gets a pair of Eyeore ones! (I just couldn't resist them!)...DD was almost in tears so I bought a pair for her (for immediate wear)...Piglet ones...and, they have solved the eternal problem of her going barefoot around the house! ....I saw a beautiful nightable lamp for about $5, which I liked for myself....hmmmm, wonder if it gives out enough light to read by...I might get one for my sis if it does!...
The most difficult present is my cousin...she likes personal presents (nothing for the house, for example)...I know she loooves sweets and chocolates...but she's diabetic!!...hmmm, I might have something there...she has to buy her clothes at special stores or at the maternity sections of stores because she's 1.60m and weights 190 lbs...like me, the perfumes she likes are expensive ($60+ a bottle)...plus, she's the one that TAKES me downtown, so I really cannot shop for her present while she's with me!...I also have to find a present for my nephew (her son)...for my nephew that is now living in the US, I think I'll get a book on how to draw "manga", which has always attracted him and it is something for which he has a lot of talent...
For my daughter, I have bought already a short/shirt set and a Princess nightgown...I need a book (I ALWAYS give her a book!) and a toy...and I have just learned that the co-op is NOT giving toys this year, and that is generally my "Santa" gift for her!...she also gets a toy from the company I work for - which they hand out at the children's party, so there's no opportunity to "disguise" it as anything but the toy from the company mascot!...
Oh, well, I had already advised her I might have only enough money for ONE toy anyway...I'm leaning towards getting her a scooter, which my cousin can get for me at $15....
Still undecided as to what to get for myself...
My goal this year is to have the Xmas festivities cost no more than $250....and that includes the nanny's Xmas bonus and gift! - last year I spent $191 in total!, but, this year everything is more expensive and, the nanny "jumps" into the next bracket for her "aguinaldo"due she now has been with us for 5 years (the brackets go by Less than 1 year, 1-3 years, 3-5 years, 5-10 and 10+....

If I can manage to keep things under $250, I still have money left over from my own aguinaldo to put towards debt...

got the cheques!!

November 10th, 2005 at 08:10 pm

The bank exec delivered the cheques for the loan today...I already went to pay at one CC company Smile
I have to go pay the loan at the other bank - unsure as to how we will handle the refund of $150, though, as, while the exec was processing the cheques, one payment came due and, since I have it on automatic discount from my salary account, it was paid....

I also need to notify payroll that they don't have to discount this money anymore...or, rather, that the discount should be $159.91 and should go to another bank! lol!

I feel much lighter...I know it's a looooong way off being debt-free, but, at least I know I can live with my salary, and not have to hand most of it to the credit card companies!! Smile

Have 1 house ALMOST sorted out!

November 9th, 2005 at 07:11 pm

First, thanks to Jorge for that last comment...I never thought of my life as interesting before, crazy, yes, but interesting??...

I have 1 of the 5 houses we rent almost sorted out now...I have 3 execs there, with their new maid, and I'm only pending with stuff from 1 person which is arriving tomorrow (finally!)...Let's call this Villa 1

House #2 is almost ready, too, I'm only pending sorting out the gardener payments....

House #3 is "messy" in that the landlady is disorganized, makes a fuss any time we want something fixed (and the house DOES need a lot of work!) and has a debt with the water company from before we rented, which she has arranged to pay for a period of 1 year...for which we are NOT paying, so all these receipts I have to pay in cash and then submitt for reimbursement, which is a lot more complicated than it sounds, and it's a lot more complicated than the system we have set up for the other houses, where I just have to fill out a form, get a signature and drop everything off at the mini-bank inside our offices...It is also messy in that the phone/internet/cable TV bill arrives at the company's main offices....where it gets lost until it reaches someone that recognizes the address and then forwards it to me, which results in payments being late at least 90% of the time!!

House #4 is "messy" in that the exec living there is constanly traveling and giving me the bills once they're overdue...this is a problem because, again, if the bills are overdue, I cannot pay them with "paper" but have to use cash and then submitt for reimbursement...

House #5 is messy in that the exec made the contract in his name (see previous posts) and am still trying to fix that so the company starts paying...I know he's getting mad - this has gone on for 5 months now!

Hopefully, by the end of the year everything will be in order....this really drains me - and takes a lot of my time, which could be used more productively in other things...

I think I scored a few points with my boss today...

November 8th, 2005 at 11:20 pm

...we had to fire the maid today...my boss (director) and 2 managers share a house, but, the maid wasn't really performing well...some days she was a star, and others...she was just terrible!...and, she was abusing the phone...there were calls for her cellphone for about $100 this month!...he was very nervous about it and I said: I'll be there (I was the "liasion" of sorts, since I was the one calling her to give her the complaints in Spanish every time there was a problem)...today, he was: Oh, it'll be messy...and I told him not to worry, since I had fired people before (sadly) while I was at my previous job...It went rather well, actually, very professionally done, if I may say so myself...and he remarked on that, so...I guess it's just a side of me that he hadn't seen before (in command, as opposed to taking orders! lol!)...now, they want to keep paying for her son's school - I believe the reason they hadn't fired her before is that they all loved the little guy so much!...and she said she didn't want any help and that she'd find a way to make do without them...I told her not to be silly and not to let her pride get in the way of her son...I told her if she wants him to have a better life, he needs to have an education and, she has 2 other kids...I told her to take the aid as something being offered her son, not her, and that they are doing it from the goodness of their heart and not because they feel bad, and that they have set out to help him because they love him- they do! and that, despite what she might feel and think right now, they are actually fond of her and care what happens to her - they do!...I told her to call me as soon as she finds a school for him next to her own house or next position (although, this arrangement of letting the maid have their children with them is most definetely NOT usual in ES), so that I may go to the school and take care of the tuition, uniforms, etc...We changed the locks on the house, though, just as a preventive measure...her "husband" is a shady character...so much so that the guys prohibited his visits in the house, because he made their girlfriends feel uncomfy!...and, after all, she DOES know all their routines...and when the house is most likely to be alone! ... Frown

I hope she takes my advice about the school aid for her son!

money problems AT WORK!

November 8th, 2005 at 03:21 pm

and no, I don't mean my salary....
I'm in charge of paying utilities and other bills for the houses that we rent for our executives...well, one of them rented the house in his own name instead of the companies, and now general services refuses to pay for the utilities until this situation is solved (I.e. a new contract is drafted)...in the meantime, they came to shut off his water yesterday and we are one month behind with the electricity bill...so right now I have to go beg the GS Director to pleeeeaaaase authorize the payments...the worse part is, since the execs in my area are the only ones that have houses paid for by the company, a lot of people are jealous/envious - including the GS Director!- and, since they can't spew their venom onto the execs....guess who they use as scapegoats...yep, the lowly Admin assistants - that would be me and B, the other admin assist in my area...people are generally nasty and mean whenever we request "favors"...as if it were OUR houses or as if it were somhow OUR idea that these people get preferential treatment...SORRY, OK?? this is the way THEY negotiated their contracts, SORRY if YOU couldn't, but it's not MY fault!! ((sigh))....Ok, I have to go and get humiliated by this "lady" right now...(no, generally I don't go to her, I go through my boss, but, unfortunately, he's on vacation, so I have to go there personally this time!)

***********
Wow!...she was actually nice to me....she said "no" on the money thing, but she was nice and offered an alternate solution....I'm impressed!

Money worries at home

November 7th, 2005 at 08:08 pm

Well, I'm better now that the loan has been approved...but, now my sister is staying up all night wondering about what to do with her debts...of course, it doesn't help that her ex-husband keeps dumping the children's expenses on her (he just makes some lame excuse and doesn't give her any money....what is she supposed to do, just let my niece go without school?..no, of course she pays for it...then again, I've always said: sue the idiot! Even if you don't get much, at least you'll have the satisfaction of having done SOMETHING about it!)...It also doesn't help that he does give the children lots of stuff (shoes and clothes for my niece, for example, but, not school clothes or shoes....or $$$ to go to concerts and things like that!)...AND it definetely doesn't help (and this is one of the things that she COULD help!) that she constantly feels that she has to "match" him and not just be the one that provides necessities...so, she ALSO gives them a lot of stuff - wants, not needs! - my niece has about 40 pairs of shoes, of which she wears mostly 5 pairs....this is EXCLUDING school shoes!...consequently, my niece really doesn't believe that "there's no money" ...Point in case? my niece NEEDS to go to the orthodoncist for a follow up visit...there's no money for that, but, her dad just gave her a $25 ticket to see DJ Paul Van Dyk and my sister gave her a $25 ticket to go see Ricky Martin....YES, I understand that those things ARE more important to a 16-year-old than braces, but, shouldn't the grown ups act maturely and NOT just give in to the teenagers' view of the world??...my sister also acts like this because, growing up, her own teenage years were "the best of her life" because my parents had money back then and all she had to do was wish for something and it would "magically" appear....it's stupid, if you ask me!...she sort of uses the same "logic" on my daughter - another disadvantage to living with her! - but, I manage to curb it - I'm the mom, I have the last word!...I'm sure glad that alejandra has a better grip on the money situation (at age 5!) than my niece at age 16!...The sad thing is, of course, that my niece is being taught NOTHING about handling money (other than how to spend it, of course!)...the other day, my sis was crying because she was desperate and my niece just said: Chill out, mom, don't be overdramatic (this, from the Drama Queen herself!), it's not like you REALLY don't have money!....she lives in Fantasyland....Some days, I wish I could just slap some sense into (both of) them!...my sister is getting to the point where her credit cards are catching up with her (been there, done that!), which is the point where you are using the credit cards to stretch your salary from one payday to the next, but, then finding that you have to use almost all of the money you get to pay for the credit card, just so you have enough credit available for your next grocery bill!...OUCH!...Right now, I'm living paycheque to paycheque and, I know a lot of people think I'm stingy because I never have more than $5 in my wallet and because I don't even have a debit card...well, there is a very good reason for that: I CANNOT TRUST MYSELF WITH MONEY!!! - at least I recognize that....I used to charge everything on the debit card and then find myself one month behind with rent or, having to apologize to the maid until payday....which just sucks! I mean, I'd make this poor woman wait up to 3 days for her money, when she makes so little, just because I had overspent on WANTS...it's horrible!...so, now I'm counscious of that and work with cheques only - I cash a $45 cheque every week, $40 for the maid and $5 for my lunches...Every payday I withdraw $20 for gas and others...if I'm lucky, the car consumes less than $15 and that gives me $5+ for "fun" money...if not - like last time!- then bad luck!...((sigh)) I know my sis thinks this is a miserable life, but, I sure wish she would see the rewards...which of course, none of us will see in the short term...right now, the advantage is that I'm not creating any more debt, which is not such a "visible" advantage!!

I got the loan!!!

November 4th, 2005 at 05:22 pm

WOO-HOO!!!...I got $7,800. I'll get the cheques on Monday (and will head straight to the other banks to pay!!)...this greatly reduces 1. the amount of money I need to pay for debts each month and 2. the amount of interest that I'll pay in the long run!...it is such a relief!!!!

I could dance!!! yipeeeeee!!!

(thanks to all who gave me support and were rooting for me on this one!!!))

called the bank exec again...

November 3rd, 2005 at 07:12 pm

She said still no news, but that we should definetely have an answer by tomorrow! ...I keep praying that this comes through...it's not like my Plan A is not working (the loan would be plan B) it's just that the loan would make things waaaaayyy easier!

OH, and I started with the English lessons, 2 this week and I go again today, so we'll be having 3 lessons per week, that makes $30/week! yipeeeee!!

Gotta go now, though, because we are getting trained on the new accounting/purchasing procedures....Finally!- the procedures have been implemented for 6 months already! and every time, whenever you want something paid/bought, you need to go to at least 5 different people to get a straight answer!!...my mantra has become: I HATE project Centra....Hopefully, with this training, my new mantra will be I LOVE project Centra....or, at the very least, I hope that it will stop being such an inconvenience as to merit notice!!

Will update again tomorrow, hopefully with wonderful news!! Smile

Day of the Dead

November 3rd, 2005 at 02:48 pm

Yesterday was Day of the Dead...it's a national holiday....
We stayed home, and didn't go out...most people go to the cementeries and bring flowers to their dead...some stay for a while and "visit" with their dead...and eat traditional Day of the Dead foods...Yep, we have traditional foods for almost every holiday you can think of!
...My family has never believed in this (visiting)...Grandma always said: while we are living....she meant that we are supposed to spend time and share with our loved ones while they are living, as it is no use going to cry to someone's tomb over what you did/didn't do...So, no day of the dead for us, just a holiday...We will go visit my parents' graves before Xmas, though, as we do want to make sure they are giving them maintenance (no overgrown weeds, plaques in good condition, etc)...

almost without money again...

November 1st, 2005 at 03:45 pm

Which is typical for me...my cheque was $206 for the Oct-16 to Oct 31 period....of this, I pay $70 to Alejandra[s school, $40/week for the maid, 1 supermarket (~$40), $15 gas, $5 cell phone, $10 fixed phone line, and about $150 to debt...so that leaves me with $10 until Nov 7th...when I receive the farm money ($750), and from that I pay $30 for the prepaid funeral services, $5 water, $15 electricity, $15 swim lessons and about $650 to pay debts...and then again I'm penniless until the 15th, when I receive $311, of which $158 go to pay the rent, $40 for the supermarket and $10 for gas, $2 for cell phone and about $100 to pay towards debt....
then the cycle begins again....it's really tough, and, I really, really, really need to get out....but, that is why I'm paying so much towards debt, I have plans to get rid of 2 cards by Dec 31, 2005, then "kill" another one in January and a fourth in March....that'll still leave plenty of debt for the next 3 years...especially since the $750 from the farm will stop, so that the payments will have to be greatly reduced (probably will have to go back to minimum payments only- UGH!)...that is, unless I can get that loan from the bank...and they haven't called...they must still be "investigating"...I hate waiting!!!!!