That is the name of a fair...and, yes, it's consummerism (is that a word?) at its height!...I'm going there, because the Dollar Store and Pick and Save have outlets there...even cheaper than usual! (or, they drop their "price applies on 6+ units only" policy!)...I get to look for Xmas presents!...oh, and Ale gets a ride in the gusanito (the kiddie rollercoaster!)
Archive for July, 2006
I bought 3 eggplants on Saturday, just because they looked so nice...I had never cooked eggplant, but looked up some recipes and, decided on an eggplant lasagna...
it turned out YUMMY!...even my sister (who's no fan of eggplant) loved it...for $6 I made enough for 9 portions (but, with everyone having seconds, it is already gone!...it fed 3 people yesterday, and there was just enough left over so sis and I could each take 1 portion for lunch!)...this is definetely worth repeating!
One of my managers just wrote me an email...
"I somehow lost the documents for the car, you know, the insurance car and the technical document...can you please get me replacements? Thanks!"
The "technical" document is THE CAR REGISTRATION CARD!!!!...I have to go to the Legal Dept and get the company's legal representative to go to the police station to file a report before I can start procedures to "get a replacement"...and, if I don't do that, we are minus one car, because noone can drive that car right now...if stopped by the police, the car would get impounded and the driver would be sent to jail pending the proper investigation as to the ownership of the car!...
You'd think that, with all their studies and privileged brains, these kids would KNOW better and take care of the things entrusted to them!!...
In the meantime, all I can think of is What would be the most painful way to kill him?? ...because, I will get the heat for this! (shoot the messenger! seems to be the company motto regarding this sort of mishap...which, unfortunately, happens most often in my unit than in others!)
1. keep better track of my spending- I’ve been good and have tracked ALL the expenses!...it’s a still a shocker, but, having gained awareness of the problemS has helped me stay on track and, I hope to get better at curbing my spending!...and, this month I was right ON budget (as opposed to overbudget!) with my total expenses!! Yay me!
4. continue to lower my overall debt - I started Jan 05 with ~$17K (out of which ~$4K were for a loan and the rest -~$13K!-pure cc debt) and, am starting Jan 06 with $~11K (with ~$8K for a loan and ~$3K in cc debt)... expect to be able to end Dec '06 with ~$7K, which I expect to be purely for the loan... to come partly from the English classes/$20 challenge. ...current situation is: ~$8.2K (refinanced) loan, ~$2.9K car loan, ~$1K personal loan, $700 cc's**, Phone bill is $700...a work in progress...another one that won’t get taken off the list! …so, my level of debt is higher than at the beginning of the year, but, at least it’s “healthier” debt…plus, now I have a car that works! … > about the phone bill, though! **My boss still hasn’t given me the money to pay this one off, so this will remain like this until next month!
5. Help Ale find a way to earn those $3 she's missing to open her account with HER OWN money...She did it!!!- we opened the account on Jul 29th, 2006. This goal won’t disappear, though, as I will just change it to 5b. Help Ale save/earn money to put into her account at the end of the month!
for my records: spent $12 downtown (bought 1.5 lbs cheese, 15 tomatoes for cooking, 4 salad tomatos, 12 oranges and 3 green peppers, also a doll for Ale and some pony tail holders)
And, if we pay attention, we grown ups can learn, too! (or, get some very interesting insights!)
Today we went to the children's museum and, went to the "marketplace" section...I know they have a "fabric stand" there, so I took out some fabrics and started doing the "Fabric for sale!" bit...Ale was the pupusa lady (she took over the small diner they have with the stove and the "pupusas" --these are THE most typical salvadoran food: it's like a very thick tortilla with cheese, pork rinds or beans inside...but, the filling is put inside the uncooked maize dough and then the whole thing is cooked together...they have some pretend ones made out of wood at the museum)...
Anyway, when I started announcing my fabrics, Ale took a bunch of pupusas and said: "I'll trade you all these for that piece of fabric with the colorful fish"...so, we traded and...she used the piece of fabric as a tablecloth for her diner (the table and benches are cement), to make it look nicer!...I then went over and pretended to be a customer and asked for 3 pupusas...she turned to me and said: "if you buy 4, you get one free!"
LOL!... I'll find a picture of her at that pupusa stand and post it here on MOnday (I know I have one at the office!)
So, because I was willing to play, I now know a bit more about my daughter! (she's got the "business" streak!)
since her church group wasn't meeting today, we went to open the account...counting some coins she's gotten here and there (from aunts, etc), she had $16.40!!
So, now Alejandra has her own saving's account!
And it's all her own money, too!
I'm so proud!!
I might just make it at budget this month (previous months tallied have both been grossly over-budget, so I can tell already that this month has been an improvement)...there's no way I can survive unless I get much tougher on myself/my family, though, but, little by little...
Rising gas prices are not helping, of course, and, neither are electricity rates (which just went up by 14%, according to the Superintendency of Energy and Communications!)...with these 2 rising, groceries will soon follow ((sigh))...sometimes I feel like this is all wasted effort, but then, all these past efforts mean that the impact will at least be minimized! (trying to look at the bright side here!)
well, I've seen my deposit and, it seems a bit higher than what I'm used to...I'm wondering why, but, cannot access the intranet to look at my payment voucher (imagine half the company is looking at it right now, too!)...
woo-hoo! I WAS right, the pay WAS higher than usual....$80 more!...since the bank discounted the $160 for July's month payment and, since payroll tried to deposit it just to find it was paid, the company is reimbursing me!!...this means I get to put those $80 (and, potentially, another $80 next payday) towards my CC!!
I promised Ale that once she finished reading The Most Famous Egg in the City, I'd buy her a new book... well, she finished, and she already asked when we can go buy the new book!
The good news is: my debit card gives me points and, I can exchange them for $10 gift cards at some bookstores (900-1100 points depending on which bookstore)...I have 813 points...so, if I add this week's gas and grocery bills, I might have enough to get a gift card!...I can then tell her that she's allowed to buy any book(s) she wants, provided the total does not exceed $10!...
If not, I can use the debit card to buy the book, restricted to $10, and save the points until I have enough to buy a $15 gift certificate for the supermarket ....
well, I have thursday and Friday off next week (and, I think we'll do what we always do in our unit, which is just not return from lunch on Wednesday! :P )
If we do this, I'd probably go to the movies on Wed...to see a "grown up" movie...either by myself or with a friend or my sis...depending on what is playing... AND, Wednesday is "half-off" at all movie theaters here! (normally, tickets are $3.50, so I'd pay $1.75)
We have been invited to spend a day at a friends house at the beach, so that'll be about $20 (for gas and food)...I have the free tickets to the movies, which I'll enjoy with Ale on another day...I estimate I'll spend about $5 in goodies...unless we go for pizza afterwards (Little Caesars has a special: 1 large cheese pizza for $3.00, add 1 ingredient for $0.50) then it would be closer to $10...and, we have to fix our DVD player so we can rent the 2 Trollz movies and watch them at home (complete with popcorn!) some other day...on this "stay at home" day, we might also do some baking and crafting (I do have some of the instant mixes handy!)...I have also planned to take Ale to the Saburo Hirao children's park : nice park, plenty of green and nice landscape, games for children and, the Museum of Natural History is inside, too! -- Ale's never been there and, now they have the new exhibit on all the antediluvian (sp?) fossils they found (including the head of a mastodont!) and, also just opened a children's library (inaugurated yesterday! I read about it in today's newspaper!)... they also have a lot of traditional japanese games for the children (the land and the money to build the park was donated by Saburo Hirao, a Japanese that lived in El Salvador and, the Embassy of Japan makes regular donations...the new library is actually a donation from a Salvadoran living in Japan!)...entrance is $0.57 per person (not sure if Ale already pays hers or not!) plus $1.71 for parking...
I estimate we'll spend about $50 (depending on what it costs to fix the DVD!)...luckily, this all comes from the August "Events" budget!
I'm in!...I received a letter yesterday, and, my workshop is scheduled from the 15th through the 23rd of August!
HR's new thing is to give employees a present on the month of their birthday...today I finally made the time to go...it's a special pass to the movies for 2 people... I'll save it for our holidays and go watch Garfield 2 with Ale (or see what else is playing that she might like!)
#1. My boss sent the chart for our loan, and he is not asking 12%, since he considers me low risk, he's only asking for 5% annual interest! woo-hoo!
#2. My niece's aunt (whom I know and trust) has a school transport van...she has agreed to take Ale from the new school to her old preschool (to do her homework)...that means that Ale gets the help she needs and, I get the peace of mind that she's with someone I KNOW will deliver her unharmed! (of course, this is what she does for a living, so I have to pay for it, but, I would have had to pay for SOMEONE else, too...only with her, I know Ale is safe!)
On Saturday, a friend of my sister's (L)came over to celebrate my birthday (I cooked, she brought the wine!)..she had on an amazing pair of sandals...and, C fell in love with them...and asked where L had gotten them and how much they cost...Next, she started hounding my sis to give her an advance on the money for the ad (the cheque will be ready in 2 weeks)..sis said:no...and I said: you have to wait until payday, like the rest of us...Mommy, Mommy, PLEASE...NO. You don't have credit!...she kept insisting all weekend, but, sis is not budging! (good for her!)
A friend of mine has asked me to do some (paid) translations...I just sent her the first item (3 pages)...
I know she'll pay me when she comes back in about 2-3 weeks (is currently working on a special project and is traveling frequently)
woo-hoo! this will go towards my $20 Challenge!
Another one of my bosses (H) --who's been away because he's in charge of a project to open a new company in another country-- came back this weekend and, said he wanted to talk to me ... He had spoken to my boss who gave me the loan (J) and, wants to give me a loan to cover the rest of my cc/extrafinancing debt (actually, they are very good friends and H lent J money to pay for his MBA, that's where J got the idea to lend me money)... his rate is higher than the other guy's (12%), but, still lower than the cc (28%) soooo...I'll move whatever is left over after that last payment I made! (have to look at the account, I don't want to leave $0.01 there!)...I think I'll take lower payments over the same period of time, though, just to make sure I can pay all my debts (or, leave smaller payments for the next 7 months, and go to larger ones once the phone bill is paid off!)..that would effectively rid me of all CC debt...of course, my level of debt would still be the same, but, at least my payments WOULD make a real difference!!-- I would be done with J's loan in a year and, with H's probably in about a year and a half or two years...also about the same time I'd be rid of the car payments!...It would be like getting a HUGE raise!...and THEN I could start seriously saving for a house! (my life savings right now total $700...no, I cannot touch it, they are with the company co-op and, the only way to have access to that would be to resign from the co-op and, to do that, I would have to repay my loan in full -- $2,900...It's a requisite at the coop to put some money into that account each month, and I don't regret it...some day, it'll come in very handy!)
...I read someplace that learning to crochet is good exercise to improve your handwriting...so, I brought up the idea with Alejandra and SHE LOVED IT!...I told her we'd begin once she and I were on vacation, but, she insisted so much, I started teaching her yesterday!!...
she's so enthusiastic about it, she tried to do a couple of stitches on her own today while I was in the shower!...it is a less than perfect chain so far, but she's getting the hang of it!
I sold some tickets to the Museum, and got $10, rather than deduct them from our Entertainment budget, I'll put these towards my $20 challenge, since it's cash!...
The answer, of course, is because I'm disorganized!!...the landlady just called...according to her, we are 1 month behind in rent...we just went over all my payments with my bank account vs her bank account and, sure enough, there's one month missing!...(this happens because my sis gets paid on the 25th and I get paid on the 15th and the 30th, so, rather than try to consolidate, I pay my half on the 15th and my sister's whenever she gives me her cheque - anywhere from the 29th to the 7th!)...now, we looked at Jan through July...but, I discovered an additional payment (3 payments) in Dec, so I need to call her again and, I guess we need to make an appointment to sit down and look at it very carefully --because, until Dec, I WAS behind...so I really cannot remember if that 3rd payment is to bring things up to date or, since it was for Dec 29th, if it was already for half of Jan 2006...
My sister, of course, relies on me to keep track!...
shucks, I guess I'll talk to her so she can take a look at HER account and see when she gave me her money and when I deposited it!...it's $157.50 vs $315!! (in my book, I just paid her for the beginning of the month of July, with only my sister's part remaining...but, in her book, this past payment covered the end of June!!)...AAAARRRGHHH!...we need to agree on where we are, and then start keeping accounts all over again!
A couple of days ago, I was craving soup for lunch (we had that kind of weather), so, I bought a bag of instant cream of mushroom (powdered) and a bag of pretzels, I only used half the bag and half the pretzels...and sealed the rest and put it in my desk drawer...
today, I forgot my lunch (I packed it yesterday night to try to save time...now I remember WHY this doesn't work for me!)...I noticed when I dropped Alejandra off, and, was mad that I was going to have to buy lunch...and THEN, I rememberd my soup and pretzels!!!...woo-hoo!!! all I have to buy is a drink today (~$0.35) I feel happy!
My niece got picked to be in an ad for a local dept store...she's getting $60 after taxes...soooo, my sister wrote this on a piece of paper and pasted it on her bedroom door:
This is what happens in real life:
They pay $60
you spent $4 (to have a blouse altered)
you spent $5 (to have your hair blow dried --when you could do that yourself at home)
You owe me $20
and your aunt $5
You end up with : $26
Welcome to the Real World!
We have our patron saint festivities (such a Latin thing, don't you think?) in 2 weeks...so, in the capital city we get August 3,4,5 and 6 off...some years it's great, whenever the 3rd falls on a Tuesday, but, still, even just 2 days off like this year are nice...
I'm thinking about what to do with Ale those days (the city all but shuts down)...I was thinking about doing some arts and crafts at home and going for a nice "picnic" in a park near our house...(debating the last one, though, as the city seems to have grown more dangerous lately...) ...maybe take her to the aquapark one day...although, what I hate about that is that they don't let you bring your own food and, their food is both HORRID and EXPENSIVE (I wouldn't midn the expense as much if the food were worth it...)
This is what went through my head today when my cousin called to tell me that her car needs a new tire, because it's starting to vibrate funny and she took it to her friend that is a mechanic and he told her there is a "bump" in one of her front tires....
Now, I DO believe it, but, I also knows that means paying for the phone bill just dropped a few more rungs in priority for her! ((sigh))
Well, in the end it wasn't $1,000...it was $900 and they took out $160 for the current month's payment (which the office will pay for at the end of the month anyway, so it's like a double payment towards the loan this month!)... so I ended up with $740...Only $700 will go towards the cc...the other $40 I'll keep to help pay for this month's phone bill payment ($100 total!)...
Still, I'm happy...$700 going from 28% down to 9.50% MAKES a difference!
soooo, the bank exec came by today to give me my check (I was out on my lunch hour, having the tape player installed in my car!)...BUT, she's coming back tomorrow morning!! woo-hoo!!...Aval Card: here I come again!! (no, the cheque won't cover the whole amount, but, bringing even part of it from 28% to 9.5% is progress!!)
Ale's school stuff, that is...I really don't understand this...mainly because our school was subsidized, so what we bought was minimal (think pens, pencils and notebooks)...books had a stamp inside where you wrote your name and grade and, where to be bound in clear plastic if new when they were given to you (on loan)...
So, yesterday I stayed up until 11:00pm labeling stuff (didn't finish, though!)...I just have to say: I'm happy we have computers and can print the same label 11,000 in 10 different sizes if needed, without having to type it more than once! (or I'd be even crazier!!)
my goal this week is to finish labeling EVERYTHING and, put everything in its plastic box as required by the school, then put it in the highest tier of my closet where Ale cannot get to it! -- that way I'll be ready for my next challenge: binding books in clear plastic! (books haven't arrived yet...have I mentioned I was so spoiled that my nanny would bind my books/notebooks for me when I was at school??...it's difficult to do it right!...I guess I have to learn now...better late than never!)
1. New bed for Ale... Pending, not urgent yet, but increasing in priority as she grows...she'll soon be too big for her bed!--Have started quoting...the dept store to which I have a card has a set of twin bed with drawers (nice!) with headrest, night stand (not needed) and chest of 4 drawers (not needed) at $399.00 --waay to expensive for so many un-needed things!! I'll use this as my "base" though (or, rather, as my "top", considering this the most expensive alternative!)...still looking into having it custom-made (which, ironically,would probably be less expensive here in ES!)...Ale has started asking when we will buy her new bed!
2. New bike for Ale...Has dropped even lower in priority...depending on how things go, maybe Santa can bring it!
5. Dresses and shoes for friend's wedding! (she's getting married in Jan 2007, so that gives me time to save!...and to lose some weight, too!)
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