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Look! The volcano is gone! ;)

September 1st, 2008 at 06:28 am

It has been very rainy lately, and it was sooooo cloudy this morning, you could not see the volcano!...I just had to point that out to Ale...
I was translating a program on volcanos in El Salvador....I must say, I didn't quite like it, it made it seem like my country is so barren...LOL!..it probably is...we are one of the most deforested countries in Latin America... Frown

They showed a waterfall and a piece of forest, but, since they were focusing mostly on the waterfall, it looked "rocky"...so....


Oh, well, it's part of the package for August (programs to be aired in Sept, and $$$ to be paid end of Sept/beginning of Oct)....I'm behind this time. I should have delivered the last script yesterday night, or, at the latest, today, but I still got 3 scripts to go!...

well, that is it for today...I have to take advantage of Labor Day (we are off at the Embassy, naturally, but, Ale is at school, niece is asleep and sis will soon be leaving for work, which means I have the whole morning to try to catch up with translations...but, since you know what they say about all work and no play, I called a friend and we will go to the movies around noon, so we are out just in time to go pick up Ale from school!)

woo-hoo! money!!!

August 28th, 2008 at 04:32 pm

I received my cheque for reimbursement of medical expenses...it's for $133.64...that solves my bank loan payment problem....the medical expenses went in my cc and I don't have to pay THAT until the 14th...by which time I will have not only my next salary payment, but for sure the translation money, as well!
woo-hoo!
I love it when things work out! Smile

Can't wait for the next payday

August 26th, 2008 at 11:00 am

While my finances are in much better condition, I still haven't gotten to the point where I can afford to live solely off my salary OR the translations...I need BOTH...(at least I'm not trying to decide WHICH debt gets paid and which one doesn't anymore!)...so, yeah, I need to pay the new loan ($209) and Ale's school ($155) and the rent ($175) and there's only $180 in my account right now...I NEED that translation $$$$...hopefully, it'll come before the end of the week (that would be SOOOO great!)...if not, I'll just have to move some money from my "taxes" saving account to the checking account to pay for the loan and the rent, and pay Ale's school (due on the 10th) with my next salary payment (9/5)...Everything else is covered...

Uniforms for Ale...

August 13th, 2008 at 08:18 am

Yep. She needs new ones...she outgrew most of the stuff...
she is down to 1 skort, 1 shirt, 1 t-shirt and 1 pair of pants...

I already bought the material to have 1 skort made...and I gave her $25 today, which I hope will cover 1 shirt, 1 t-shirt and 1 pair of paints...if not, I told her to get the shirts and I'll give her the money for the pants later on (PE classes on Fridays and Tuesdays, only, so...)

My cellphone is dying!

August 10th, 2008 at 09:58 am

The battery is not charging right...or else it's discharging too fast...it's lasting less than 2 days...I miss my Nokia cellphone...it could "live" 5 days with one charge....back when I used about 200 minutes per month! (LOTS more than what I use now!)....

I asked at cellphone company #1 what their cheapest Nokia was, with a chip that wasn't sealed into the phone for prepaid plans.... they don't have any...Nokia phones are only sold with plans...nope, not going to happen...I will not sign up for 18 months ...

sis was silly enough to do that for niece and, guess what!...she dropped her water glass on top of the new cell phone 2 days after they got it!!!...Now she doesn't have a cellphone, and sis is still tied paying for 18 months!!!

So....I will go on line and find out which phones they DO have for prepaid plans, to see which one I like (as we say here, it has to have the 3 b's: bueno, bonito y barato - good, nice and cheap!)

I still have some time...

"Why are you still here?"

July 2nd, 2008 at 08:47 am

I was commenting on my $1,000 weekend translation, and a friend from work asked me that question...she then answered herself: "oh, because that's not every month!"...
The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of leaving my "job" and become an entrepreneur and do the translation thing full time...I mean, I could drop Ale off at school and go back home and work until lunch time, then work for another hour or two then go pick her up...I could take her to dance lessons, stay there and work while she has her class (I have a laptop and a spare battery...and I generally connect to the internet when I finish the translation, just to "clean" it- a.k.a look for words or expressions I don't know/I'm uncertain of or unhappy with, and then to send it after I clean it...)
....the problem, as my friend pointed out, is that I don't get $1,000 translations EVERY month...then again, if I were doing this full time, I'd have more time to promote myself/make more contacts to make sure I DO get $1,000 worth of translations every month...
HOWEVER...at the moment, I NEED about $1,500/month....(to cover living and other expenses PLUS debt repayment plan PLUS savings- however little- PLUS taxes, etc)...once my debt is gone, this would go down significantly (as, currently, about 43% of my income goes towards debt...still an improvement over the 47% that I was allocating last year!)...
My job here is "secure" for 4 more years (the life of the program!)...notice the quotation marks, because, really, NO ONE's job is ever secure, is it?...
anyway...my goal is to be debt free, and then save for the dowpayment for a house (notice how my ticker is now showing the amazing amount of $30? It's a start!...once I finish with the debt, I'll be beefing that up!)...I then want to get my own house (easier to do if you are "employed"...but now banks are starting to also grant loans for "independent" people - to use their own words!)...SO, I guess my strategy would be to get the loan with the bank while I'm still employed here (before sept 2012), THEN make the jump!...does that sound like a plan??

I finished the translation!

July 1st, 2008 at 07:40 am

98 pages and about 28,000 words...all I remember is that I'll get $1,014 (or was it $1,016?) after taxes...this money will come in in August, so I already updated my excel spreadsheet...my current monthly average is $956...not bad....but my target is $1,000....still, it's the 1st of the month, so I can still "catch up"! Smile

Translations!!!

June 27th, 2008 at 07:08 pm

Well, July will be a 'dry' month...I got paid for all my translations last week (and the $$$ is all gone already!- some spent, some paid)...and the next payments aren't due until AUGUST! ....((GASP!))...AND, I have to renew my drivers license and the car registration...so in July I won't be able to make payments above the minimum payments...I hate it!...((sigh))...at least, I have the $$ for both the minimum payments and the license and registration!...PATIENCE!!!...
oh, but August will be a great month!...I already have $300 worth of translations that are due in August...and I just got a new 96-page job!...of course, that means I should be translating, not blogging!!!...oops! gotta go!

salary adjustment

June 25th, 2008 at 01:31 pm

we just received an announcement that we will get a 2.5% salary adjustment starting next payperiod (o, due on 7/11) yay!

In my case, it's about $27/month...hey, that's $27/month I don't have, currently...I'll probably use the first $27 to open a savings account to start putting money away to pay my taxes next year (as I estimate I'll have to pay about $4,500!)

New tires

June 25th, 2008 at 09:55 am

I noticed yesterday that we will soon need new tires for the car...and today there was an ad stating that tire prices will go up starting July 1st...I guess I HAVE to go tire shopping this weekend! (or, rather, that I need to have niece sit down with the yellow pages this week so that I can go buy tires on the weekend!)...you know what is great?
1) I DO have available credit, so I COULD put it on my cc...
You know what is greater?
2) I DO have enough cash available that I won't need to do that!!!
Such an amazing feeling! (of course, there are things I was planning to buy with that money, but they are not urgent, so they'll just have to wait!)

The sandwiches

June 18th, 2008 at 10:07 am

Well, the chicken pate probably cost about $3.15 to make...but I didn't even use up half of it!...so, let's say $1.50 ...and $1.35 for the bread...the 12 sandwiches cost us $1.85...or about $0.15 each!...
When we made them for sale, they were even cheaper, because I would buy the bread at the factory on sale for $0.60...yesterday I opted for buying it in the little corner store (which is always more expensive than supermarkets, even! that same bread would have cost me $1.25 at the supermarket) ...but I saved the cost of gas- going to the factory or even to the supermarket for 1 loaf of bread would have been crazy!

Ale was so very happy!...even happier because there was leftover chicken pate...which means we get to have sandwiches for dinner! ...since this is the pate Mom would make for our "pinata" sandwiches, they are extra special for us!

"they won't cost much, we'll make them at home"

June 17th, 2008 at 01:55 pm

this is what my daughter told the teacher after she (my daughter) offered to be in charge of bringing 12 chicken sandwiches to their "last day of school" party...
the teacher had originally asked her to bring in paper plates and chips...and when Ale offered to bring the sandwiches as well, the teacher worried it would be too much of an expense...
oh, well, they WILL be home-made, so obviously not as expensive as buying chicken sandwiches...or even buying the chicken pate to make sandwiches, since we cook from scratch!...(Ale has a good idea how much they cost, because she knows we used to sell them at 3 for $1...and this left us a profit, so...)

NOW I may think about changing cell phone companies!

June 17th, 2008 at 09:38 am

shhhh....don't tell anybody just yet... niece was in an ad for Cellphone company #1, which has MUCH better signal coverage than any of the other ones...the reason I stay with my current cell phone company is that their prepaid card balance doesn't expire ....with other companies, you buy a $2 card, once you load it to your cell phone, you have 5 days to use it, or it expire...$5 cards last 7 days; $10 last 12; $20 last 15 days and the $50 card lasts a month...
with my company, I can use a $2 and, as long as I receive at least 1 incoming call in a 60- day period, it NEVER expires...since I've been trying to CUT on cellphone use (I'm currently spending $2- $5 per month!) this makes a lot more sense than switching to company #1...
HOWEVER...the ad niece made is to announce that company#1 is going to go to "non-expiring" cards, too! woo-hoo!
I get the convenience of a pre-paid cell phone (contracts here are for a fixed amount, starting at $15, you get a "free" phone, but the contract is for 18 months...if the phone is damaged within those 18 months, you have to either buy a new one, or sign an extension of the contract (for ANOTHER 18 months!)...and, since I really don't care about having the "latest and greatest" cell phone, I can buy one of the cheap $10- $15 phones and get both the convenience of the no-expiration card AND the best signal coverage!!! It'll even help me LOWER my cellphone budget, because sis and niece (the people I call the most) AND the people at my office are already on THAT network, so calls will be cheaper thatn they are now, with me calling from company #2 to a company #1 line!
woo-hoo!
(I'll just have to wait until they announce it officially!- oh, and I'll have to carry 2 phones while I make sure everyone on my address book has the new number!)

sis got the loan!!!

June 13th, 2008 at 10:24 pm

They called her to tell her they will give her the $23K she needs to consolidate her debts...of course, she's complaining: Oh, I needed 23K three months ago, now it won't cover 100% ...
I know, I know, she's a brat!

Anyway, she is supposed to sign next week and, she has asked me to help her in drafting a plan to get rid of the remaining debt (VERY high interest incurred in these 3 months...probably about $1K in total) and how to try to 1) pay off the new loan as soon as possible and 2) maybe even try to save a bit!

woo-hoo! this is so exciting!

Adjusting my debt-repayment dreams

June 13th, 2008 at 02:35 pm

Well, I had secretly hoped to be able to pay off ALL my debt by 12/31/08...and starting Jan 09 debtfree...but, with the tax calculations I made a few days ago, I know I need to "save" about $300/month to pay for that...that means I can NOT pay all proceeds from the translations toward debt...that means I have to delay my plans by 4-6 months...
my NEW dream will be to be debt free before my b-day next year (that means 7/15/09, as my b-day is 7/16)

Ack! Taxes

June 10th, 2008 at 08:34 pm

..not wanting to be caught off guard next year, I modified the excel sheet my co-worker gave me to calculate my taxes for next year...I've input the salary info (old salary for the first 9 pay periods, new salary going forward) and linked it to my translation business sheet for translation income/ taxes...
Just with that info, I've already jumped into a higher tax bracket...and my estimated taxes for next year are at $4,000....If I reach my goal of $1,000/ month average, I'd have to pay $5,000...
this year I had to pay about $2,600...

OUCH! ...I guess I need to start a fund for that, too!

Thing is, the Embassy - by law- cannot withhold income tax from our salaries (although we do have to pay income tax) ...AND, for services, the translation companies withhold 10% of my income as income tax (which they have to deliver to the Ministry of Treasury)...BUT, given the (estimated) level of income, I'd have to pay 30% income tax ...
and, given that I don't need a car to do my job, and that the laptop was a gift...well, I don't have business-related deductions...

oh, wow, MORE translations!

June 10th, 2008 at 10:48 am

I got a 3-part document yesterday...managed to finish it and send it in (now that I know the piece I'm working on is due on the 12th)...that should be about $65...my monthly average is slowly climbing again towards the $1,000 mark- currently at $950....and I still have 2 weeks in June that would go towards the July total...Great!

woo-hoo! my award is $500!

June 9th, 2008 at 01:56 pm

remember I said I didn't know how much my cash award was?...well, it was $500!!! (approved for $500, my bosses had asked for $1K!)...
This will go towards debt! -woo-hoo!
It should be included with my next payment, on June 13th, so I know that there will be deductions, but, still...
AND, you should see the note they wrote to justify it! WOW!

$134 this weekend!

June 8th, 2008 at 10:02 pm

Thatīs the total for translation for this weekend. And I still have 3 pieces more, due on the 12th, 16th and 18th...they should be about $100 each! yay! - this helps make up both for the "lost" week and for the $$$ that was overbudget from the trip! yipee-yay!

:: happy dance::

New ticker!

June 6th, 2008 at 06:22 pm

I want $10,000 for downpayment on a house...someday...
I opened a new "future account" when I closed the Disney one...they will be taking $30 out of my salary each month...but I can add as much as I want to/can after that...the will take it directly out of my account (where my payment is deposited) starting next Friday... I'm hoping to see THIS ticker go down as I watch the other one (debt) go DOWN...
wish me luck!

payments today!

June 6th, 2008 at 04:07 pm

I went to pay Ale's school tuition for June ($137, due June 10th) and also a cc so I can FINALLY close it! ($10...but i have to wait until tomorrow to close it)..then went to get my balance in the cc I used to pay for the car - just to cross check...then I went and printed our photos...we already put Ale's autograph/photo book together...it looks awesome!...I also had to buy some juice boxes and milk boxes for Ale's snacks and lunch at school...it has been a "spendy" day of sorts...but I'm hoping to have a NSD tomorrow!...

oh, and i also had to pay Nanny, because although it was sis' turn to pay her (we alternate every 2 weeks), but she didn't, and Nanny asked me if she could borrow $20 from me...I opted for giving her her full $83, as I know sis will give it to me later...I just don't like the thought of Nanny, who has to get by on so little, being paid late!)

I am still translating...these ones will bring about $100 each, so about $400...that will be enough to cover the additional money we spent and to pay $100 more towards debt ...

I also learned that I "lost" a translation job because they tried to drop it off on Wednesday, but they needed it for Thursday night, and, needless to say, with me ARRIVING Thursday night, they opted to take it to someone else!...oh, well, I really needed my rest yesterday!

We're back from DisneyWorld!

June 5th, 2008 at 09:11 pm

long story, but our Miami to Orlando flight got cancelled (and that was THE flight for us...the only one that had space! add to that 100+ revenue passengers from that flight added to the other ones = RENTAL CAR!)...I ended up having to rent the car in Miami and driving to Orlando!!!...and they DIDN't have compacts, or economy, or mid-sized cars...I had to take a full-sized one!!! ...add to that the fact that dropping the car at a different location is more expensive, plus the gas to drive that monster from Miami to Orlando...well, between the car rental and the extra purchases, we spent ~$200 more than we had budgeted (fortunately, I did have a little extra I could use for just such a thing!...after all, don't they say when you travel you should pack your bags and take your money, then take out half of what you packed and add 30% more $$$??)
I got lost, too! (have I ever told you I have a "broken" compass?? I get disoriented VERY easily!...here, it's a joke...but, believe me, it was NOT funny!!!)...it took me 2 additional hours to find our hotel!!! ...
well, that was day 1.
But on day 2....we went to Animal Kingdom and loved it!!! - we didn't do many rides, but we DID see a lot of animals ...AND...as part of the Year of a Million Dreams, we got chosen to be on the Mickey Mouse float in the parade!!!!
We had to buy some clothes because our bag DID travel to Orlando without us, and Miami said our bag was in Orlando, but Orlando hadn't acknowledged receipt of the bag...and, NO, when you travel stand by you don't have the right to be reimbursed for purchase of clothes or toiletries if your flight gets cancelled (you do have a right to compensation if the airline loses your bag, though!)
On day 3 we went to Epcot and they gave us free "ears"! (I had already bought Ale's, but she kept insisting that I buy myself ones, so we could both have ears...and I kept saying "No").
We also went to get our bag from the airport...and I got lost again! both on the way TO the airport and back!
Day 4 we went to Magic Kingdom. Left early (10pm) because Ale didn't want to stay for the fireworks (the noise scared her!)...
Day 5...got up at 4am to go to the airport and drop off the car/get on the 6:15 flight! Got to Miami, checked in and went to the Miami SEaquarium and to the beach (but did not stay because Ale stepped on a rock at the beach and freaked out! - she didn't want to go near the water again and I didn't want to fry in the sun!)...went back to the hotel for some pool time and to change. Went out to hunt for a Barbie Girls MP3 player she wanted (with her own money)...had to go to 3 different places, to finally find 1 left at Toys R Us!...

Every day, when we came back to the hotel, we added up what we had spent to make sure we were more or less on track...
And every day Ale got to write down what SHE had spent out of her $75...so it was a good exercise for both of us!

Came back home to find 4 pieces of translation waiting for me...all due next Monday, so I gotta get to work early tomorrow.

Gotta go! that's my report for today!!!

Add $9 more!

May 28th, 2008 at 02:58 pm

a quick one-pager! woo-hoo!

Another $106!!!

May 27th, 2008 at 10:28 pm

When I came home, there was a new package of translations waiting...a lease agreement amendment- joy! (not!)...
still, I've gotten quite used by now...but, I swear, thinking about the difference between a lessor and a lessee (or arrendante and arrendatario in Spanish) makes my head ache...it's one of those things I've never quite gotten...so I just repeat like a parrot: lessor is arrendante...lessee is arrendatario, and keep going!)

I had until Thursday night to turn it in, but I want to be FREE tomorrow and Thursday to pack and make sure I'm not forgetting anything! (yes, I have a list...but unless I have ENOUGH time to pack, I feell like I'll forget something!)

my monthly average "fell" to $867...but because I had to divide by 7 now, since all/any work gotten on the last week of a month will most probably NOT be paid the following month, but the one after that (so, this translation $$$ will probably be paid in early July, rather than late June!)

More translation jobs!

May 22nd, 2008 at 08:44 am

a PACKAGE arrived yesterday. It's one of those training evaluation packagess, which pay $0.03/word, and which generally bring in anywhere between $6 and $20 for each session evaluation. This one had 5 session evaluations. I've already finished 2 and they were about 1,000 words (so, $30 pre-tax). I'm finishing tonight, and I'm hoping this one will bring in about $70 in total.
(see? I told you God would send work along!)

$34 more for a $1,015 average!!!!

May 20th, 2008 at 09:17 pm

Just finished another translation. That brings my YTD average to $1,015!!! yay!
and if I get anything else this week, it still counts towards June...
Week after starts counting towards July, and then there'll be a "lost" week...

We'll see...I know God will send me enough work to make up for that week! Smile

We are going to Disney!!

May 19th, 2008 at 02:27 pm

I made the payments I wanted to towards debt and, with the reduced airfare (had budgeted $700, turned out to be $435) and the gift from ex-hubby (of paying for Ale's park tickets), this trip has become a reality (almost!)

Now, all that is left is praying for space to be available on all flights so that we can proceed as planned with our "space-available" tickets! (wish us luck!, although, ex-hubby says the flights "look good"- meaning they are not full!)

We are leaving on the 30th, so my goal is to have EVERYTHING ready by the 26th (including luggage!)...

12 days until take off!!! - and I'm guessing we won't get to sleep on the 29th!!

$30 more and a promise of another translation job!

May 17th, 2008 at 01:01 pm

I made a translation yesterday for $30, and the people from the translation agency said they'll send another document tonight! - my monthly average is at $994 at the moment!!
Did you notice the ticker?? I'm past the $9.5K; $9.0K; and even the $8.5K mark!- woo-hoo!! ::chugging along::

add $42 more!

May 14th, 2008 at 03:33 pm

another 2 small translation jobs!

woo-hoo! cash award!

May 12th, 2008 at 11:21 am

There's a program at work whereby your boss can nominate you for a cash award. The nomination is then reviewed by a committee...well, my bosses nominated me and I got it! ...I still don't know how much it is, but, hey, any (legally obtained) unexpected income is welcome in my house!!


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