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no food at home!

October 6th, 2009 at 09:42 pm

I was supposed to go to the supermarket on Saturday and, of course, with Ale (and now myself, too) being sick, I didn´t... so, we are almost out of food! I wrote a check and sent niece to the supermarket. She should come back with about $5 change... the good thing is, she´ll get a dose of reality as to how much things cost! (especially since I´m sending her with cash... she does go to the supermarket with sis, sometimes, but, since sis charges everything, she hardly ever looks at prices-- I know!--) so, now niece REALLY has to LOOK at the prices... she took a calculator. LOL! Why LOL? Well, whenever I go to the supermarket, I make Ale keep count... in her head... or in paper... not exact counts, everything gets rounded up, but, Ale can do it in her head and she writes down the resulting number next to the last item bought, just in case she forgets!

Anyway, this should be a valuable lesson for niece! (I sent her with $90 and a very detailed list)

Medical expenses

March 30th, 2009 at 10:36 pm

Well...we took care of the eye doctor last Saturday (I spent $22.60 to have the Dr. tell me Ale has 20/20 eyesight...and that, as far as he can tell, she has not "inherited" my tendency to myopia or astigmatism... Yay! those must be her father's genes!- he still has 20/20 eyesight at 35!)
She so desperately wanted glasses (and I sooooo desperately DIDN'T want her to need them! LOL!)....
And I already made an appointment for us both at the dentist's for Friday. This is just a "diagnostic" visit, so the Dr. can see what she needs to do... I'm hoping in Ale's case it'll be just a clean up and then maybe schedule a visit to the dentist's husband, who is an orthodoncist...yep, even I can tell she needs it!)... in my case... I KNOW there will be LOTS of work! Frown I've always had terrible teeth...

I also have to start allocating some money to pending vaccines for Ale...

O U C H ! (in more ways than one!)

OK, that settles it!

March 26th, 2009 at 05:26 pm

One of the new translators tempted me: asked me if I'd like to upgrade my computer, then went on to say a fried of his refurbishes used laptops and offered me a "new" one for $350....

I've been toying with the idea... but, at the same time...it's $350...wouldn't that $$$ be better invested in...say...me? and Ale? (our teeth, specifically... we haven't been to the dentist's for ever...)

so... that's been in my mind the past couple of weeks... and, when I was this [] close to calling the translator and tell him if his friend still has the laptot, I want it...I ran into my dentist at the drugstore around the corner from work!... hmmmm... I'll take that as a sign!...

For the time being, I'll take those $350 and allocate them to the "Teeth" fund (God knows it probably won't be enough!)...My old laptop works just fine...plus, if that guy's friend refurbishes laptops, he probaly WILL have others later on!

Is this an annual thing, then?

February 25th, 2009 at 08:38 pm

I was looking at my blog and it seems I was nesting last January (2008)...now I'm nesting again!
Like momsents, I'm craving spending...
My obsession right now is Ale's room.
To curve the spending, I decided to MAKE the stuff rather than buy...that way, I get to buy the materials (so, about 35 skeins of yarn + burlap + other stuff as opposed to 1 rug... cost is about the same as a brand new one + labor...BUT, it keeps me busy so I don't go out and keep buying, so it's worth it!)...
I think I'll be done with the rug in about 2 weeks (I've been working on it for 3 weeks now, so the rug has effectively kept me out of the shops for 5 weeks... yay!)...
NEXT, I want to order her books on top of the headboard (it's one of those with little spaces for storing things), so I offered to make her some bookends...we settled on elephant bookends... soft ones (saw the idea somplace)... the great news is I have most of the materials I need already (except for the sand to fill them....) I could either use the fabric left over from the ballet bag, or I could use another fabric I bought at the same time (which I really love,and was hoping to use to make something for myself, maybe a bag...) I can always ask my sis for the right color thread (she sells industrial thread, and she has oodles and oodles of samples...)
which would mean I would achieve my "nesting" goal (something NEW nice and very special for Ale's room)without spending any money! (yay!) ... I have even been working on my pattern...
Now, mind you, this is a project to be stared once the rug is finished! I'll post pictures! (this is what it WILL look like, but the pompons aren't sewn in place yet!)


Oh, ref> the fabrics....
As you can see, the rug is very colorful (one might say technicolor! LOL!), so if I use the hot pink fabric, I'll be "picking up" the pink from the rug...If I use the other fabric... it's bright red (also on the rug) with multicolor mandalas... so...either could work... I'll let Ale decide once I have given her the rug

I would also like to go to the dollar store for some cheap picture frames to build a nice display on her wall... but that IS money...
Oh, and I also saw this wonderful idea
for displaying children's art in their room....they put a "clothesline" against a wall (so, a piece of yarn suspended from 2 nails), with wooden clothespins, and the drawings were hung with the clothepins! so clever... and it looked great, too!)...another NEW thing for Ale's room that wouldn't cost me any additional $$$$ (I do have all the materials!)

HELP! ...oh, and, no, I haven't been watching HGTV, we don't have cable! LOL!

"I already have your present, sweetie"

December 22nd, 2008 at 08:21 pm

he,he,he...this is what I told Ale when she showed me- again- the dream doll house...little does she know an identical one is sittin in my sister's closet...
I have almost all my presents...including my nephew's!!!...
the one I'm missing is tricky...it's Santa's "family" present... a big box containing 1 present for each one of us... in past years it has been easy, as there were only 4 women/girls in the house...now with nephew things get complicated... I'm thinking perhaps towels... (in the past, the 4 presents were identical, or "related", only different sizes and/or color)
Oh, I also have to shop for Nanny's Xmas dinner and present...but that one is easy!

painting the house

November 12th, 2008 at 08:06 pm

My house was starting to look like it could rival the Munster's, so I set aside some money to buy paint and hire painters (we've tried DIY in the past, and we are just TERRIBLE!...not to mention the fumes give us all headaches and then we end up painting only 1 coat!!)...Also, that is X amount of hours of my already overbooked day... did I mention on top of the 8-5 job and the translations (read 8-11pm) job, I am trying to make the ballet bag for Ale? Oh, and a fish blanket... Oh, and I also want to try and see if I can make a chicken pie like the ones Mom made?? (I'm good, whenever I try things like that they are ALMOST...almost, but not quite... as good as hers)...
Back to house painting: that type of work is not really awfully expensive here, so I just made sure to wait until they had the paint special they ALWAYS have at the end of the year (buy 5 gallons, get 1 free) and bought 12 gallons of paint (paid only for 10!)
That is just to paint the outside of the house, fron and back, and the living room... I will wait a couple of months before doing the bedrooms...although, they are having 'Shopping nights' this week and everything will be 35% off... I could get the paint and keep it stored for a month or two... If only I could be assured that mischievious hands will NOT attempt the DIY thing!!

$0.01/ minute calls....

September 10th, 2008 at 07:17 pm

Hmmm....cellphone company #1 is offering $0.01/minute calls for up to 5 "frequent" numbers...If I switched, I could put the office cellphones on that plan (4) and add sis....If I did decide to go with a contract ::shudder::, they have them starting at $5/month...then calls to office cellphones would be free (since I would be contracting it through the office's acct exec, and would be in the embas sy's plan)...then I could add sis and niece on the $0.01 thing...I'd still have 3 slots....best friend? would have to find out if she uses that company, but definetely a possibility...

hmmmmm....I guess I have until next Tuesday to decide (sales exec comes every Tuesday)

Ha! I knew it HAD to be there!

September 8th, 2008 at 09:26 pm

The Dress...the typical volcanea dress I bought for Ale last year was "lost"...I arrived early enough to still catch Nanny at home (sis hadn't arrived home yet), and I had her look in all the weird places in which she generally stores things that are not in use...sure enough, there was the dress, which was bought just a bit larger than needed to be last year, so that it could still be used THIS year! HA! ...now, I do need new shoes to go with it! (last year's fit just barely, and hurt Ale when she walks...and, this year, they're DANCING!)...so, off to the handicrafts market I go (next weekend)
I'll take pictures of her in it and post them!

Medical expenses

August 13th, 2008 at 08:22 pm

I submitted a medical expense claim to the insurance company today, for a total of $251...we'll see how much (if any!) I get back... I think the deductible is $74/year, but not really sure...this is for 2 neurologist visits / tests/ medicines, so it's really not bad!

Uniforms for Ale...

August 13th, 2008 at 03:18 pm

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...)

Ale's school shoes

August 8th, 2008 at 04:08 pm

In February, Ale needed new shoes for school. I bought her a size 2 pair, which were a bit large for her at the time, and, since they were having a 2X1, I bought a size 3 pair for the new school year (starting next week)...sis said I was exagerating and that I would probably have to save the size 3 shoes for the FOLLOWING year (Aug 09)...turns out, I was right! Those size 3 shoes are the perfect size right now (which means I will probably hit the 2X1 sale in Sept/Oct for a size 4 and size 5! LOL!)...oh, yes, those size 3 shoes also fit my sis! LOL!

New tires

June 25th, 2008 at 04:55 pm

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!)

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

June 17th, 2008 at 08:55 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 04:38 pm

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!)

The beach club

March 21st, 2008 at 06:06 pm

was really nice!...It must be a lot better if you can come in your own yatch or small plane ...the access road was terrible!...we only dared go in because we had already driven for 2 hours to get there! It's unpaved and narrow ...those last 10 Km took us 30 minutes to complete!...even if I had the money for the membership, I wouldn't be able to take it ( 3 or 4 times taking this road would probably kill my car!)...PLUS, it's far away (117 Km or something, sis said)...good thing one of the benefits sis gets is unlimited gas for her car, because otherwise it would have taken us about $50 for the trip...it really is not worth it for a day trip...if you were staying a couple of days, yes...

OK, back to the good part! The place is beautiful, the employees were all very nice (at other places they make you feel bad when you come with a free invitation - which is totally stupid, if you consider that people are given those free invitations to try to entice them to sign up for membership! Go ahead, alienate the potential customer!)...but her people were very nice...
They had a wading pool, a small pool and also a jacuzzi... they have cabins for 4 or 8 people if you want to spend the night...if not, you can stay in your "palapa" by the pool or by the marina (and, they do not have a beachfront, as they are further inland, but they will take you on a 2-hour tour to a nearby beach if you want to...free for members, $113 to hire the boat if you're not a member...needless to say we DIDN't take the tour...the food was also very good and, not really expensive (each plate cost $9, your choice of fish or meat- good, tender meat and really good fish- potatoes and a salad...sodas were $1 and beers $2...we didn't bring a cooler, but saw many people HAD brought their own drinks)
The place was very clean (worth noticing because, unfortunately, we still don't have a "don't litter" culture here in ES!)...oh, and that also applies to sound pollution...generally, if you go to the "popular" beaches or resorts, it seems they are trying to drown the surf sound (??? isn't the sound of the ocean one of the reasons one goes to the beach??)...here, they had some soft playing music (as in: if you were sitting next to the bar, you could hear it, but if you moved 2 or 3 meters away, you could hear the sound of the birds louder than the music- bliss!)...hmmm, so this is how the other half lives! we could get used to it!- and, honestly, at $300/year for the membership, it would be "doable" ...but, besides reasons 1 and 2 mentioned above...well, it's not a necessity, so, of course, it's not happening!- it was a nice excursion, though! - total cost was $25 for Ale and myself...I consider them well spent!

Here's a link to their website: http://www.barillasmarina.com

Shoes!!!

February 29th, 2008 at 09:09 pm

went and found the perfect school shoes for Ale...Hush Puppies brand...marked at $22, but with a 25% discount!)...found the perfect Hush Puppies for me, too! ($15, and my old were already starting to be a point of embarrassment!)...and MY Hush Puppies were eligible for 2X1...so we found ANOTHER pair of school shoes for Ale marked at $8(not Hush Puppies, I know that brand won't last as long, but...)that were also 2X1 eligible- we bought 1 shoe size bigger than she currently wears...so, we left them at the cashiers and went to the cc booth at the same mall, and asked how many points we had ....we had enough for a $15 voucher!!...sooooo....
1 pair Hush Puppies for Ale (for this school year)
1 pair X brand school shoes for Ale (for NEXT school year)
1 pair Hush Puppies for me..

"real" total = 45
minus discounts and promo= $31
minus voucher = $16!!

so, I paid $16 (cash) for 3 pairs of shoes...2 of them Hush Puppies!!!

Aaaaah!...I feel so RICH!!!

I'm back at $1,001!!!

February 7th, 2008 at 04:05 pm

with the translations I submitted yesterday, my monthly average for translations is back at $1,001!!!! - that is my main goal for the year, to have at least $1,000 monthly average income from the translations...not all will go into debt...some will be for "reinvestment" (buying stuff I need for translating...like my new glasses - prescription changed!- or specialized dictionaries and funding an account in case my laptop NEEDS to be replaced or serviced)...part will go to savings!!!! .... last month I put $50 into savings!!!...then again, I had to take $20 out to pay for additional gas and groceries...so, it ended up being only $30...but, I figure it's $30 is better than $0!!!

$3.70 for a 400g bag of powdered milk!

January 9th, 2008 at 08:22 pm

same bag that cost me $3.09 on Saturday!
...and they tell me Premium gas has reached $4/gallon!!!

Desperate times call for desperate measures, I'm calling a "clan meeting" at my house tomorrow!!

spending for the weekend!

January 7th, 2008 at 09:46 pm

I'm definetely nesting! (what for, I don't know!)...I bought the veggie thingy that I had mentioned to put Ale's stuff in order (in place of the $50 bookcases)...it cost me $7.95 (I thought they were ~$11 originally!)...it looks really cool! (let's see how long it lasts looking clean and tidy, though!)...we went by the "FAbric Zone" and I saw some fabric I have been eyeing for about a year now, as an "end of roll savings"!!!...Needless to say, I jumped at it! (normal price was $6.95/yard...end of roll is $1.95/yard!)...there wasn't enough stuff to make a curtain to fit my window, though, so I bought 2 colors in the same pattern (a burnt orange and a chocolate brown!)...I also fell in love with 2 other matching pieces - blue and yellow...so, I bought them all and now have enough for 2 curtains and some matching pillows (how many depends on the size)....total cost? $10.95...and since I don't like ruffled curtains, a friend will saw the hems for me!...(I have been using an old sheet of my nieces...purple in color, which doesn't do "anything" for the room!...my walls are a very pale blue)...I'm happy! Smile

working on my spreadsheet for 2008

January 3rd, 2008 at 04:30 pm

I am re-using some info and all the formulas, but have to work on the conditional formatting to reflect the new amounts budgeted...it's proving to be a lot more work than I thought it would be...the good thing is, even if I don't fix that right away, it shouldn't impact the quality of the actual data!

First expenses of the year!

January 3rd, 2008 at 03:26 pm

had to pay for the security co. at our neighborhood ($15) and for gas for my car today ($36.31)....gas was expensive today, but, it should last a bit longer since Ale doesn't go back to school until next Monday (so, 4 trips less) and church group is out until next weekend (1 trip less)...Niece is also on vacation, and is not working at the moment, so....

Welcome, Welcome 2008!

January 1st, 2008 at 04:21 pm

my goals for this year:

1. Track spending (I know, I generally am very good at this for the first few months, then drop it, but, this year I got a small pocket calendar!!)

2. Make at least $1,000 per month average from translations. Save at least 10% of that! (still working on the best configuration, given my amount of debt...since I am still owed from the toy sales, I will not know 100% where I stand until I make those payments)

3. Take better care of myself...(financial, because I've been neglecting things like dentist check ups due $$$)...started "last year" by ordering my new glasses...with the new prescription....and bought contact lenses also with the new prescription - I guess this could also be seen as an investment in the business! (can't translate very well if your vision is blurry!)

Ok, that's it for now...I'm off to watch the Rose Parade to see if I can spot "our guys"!!

Saludos!

More medical bills!

December 28th, 2007 at 05:19 pm

Ale is sick again....as am I! (and sis, and cousin!- we all catched the same flu bug! ugh!)...another trip to the doctor's office ($30) and another ~$90 in meds...well, I can't complain, I actually had the cash! (well, it should have been paid towards debt, but...it's worth it!-plus, I'll get SOMETHING back from the insurance!)
I hope we all recover before New Year's!!

Ale's Christmas list

November 26th, 2007 at 06:25 pm

is totally crazy!...she found a "special toy catalogue" insert in the newspaper and copied about 1/2 of the toys advertised!...averaging $20/toy!...er, um....NO...she's already getting too much stuff as it is!...she's getting a BIKE, and that should be enough!...she's getting a Jr Scrabble (which I bought before I knew I was going to be able to afford the bike), 2 books in English and 1 in Spanish, a plush Piglet (also bought before the bike became a reality)...my cousin is giving her 1 present, and she'll get 1 from my sis + family...oh, and she's finally getting the remote control car she's been asking for the past 3 Christmases (we have a left over sample that no customer has ordered!)...
AND, I wanted to give her a 64-piece box of crayons, and asked a friend to send it (they are not available locally!) ....she sent a 120 piece box, and a 24 piece of twistable crayons, and some glitter glue AND some drawing paper...
ok, now I feel guilty!

total damage for the weekend!

November 19th, 2007 at 03:25 pm

OUT:
well, groceries were $48....fruit and veggies at the market $18...bought some cloth to make some bedding for Ale $19.75 (still need to get the batting, but that's not expensive and, she'll have 2 new bedcovers/4 new looks for her bed!)....seafood $23...invited the whole family for lunch at our favorite restaurant: $55 (had thought it would be $50... still, not too expensive for 4 people!...and, sis had beer and niece and I had one glass of wine each!)

IN:
2 translations...$42 and $74.48...and a third one which I still haven't done, so I don't know how much I will get for it!

seafood on sale!!!

November 16th, 2007 at 10:19 pm

a well-known seafood store just opened a new branch in a new neighborhood near my area...to encourage people to go to their new location, they're having a 2X1 on ALL their products!!...
I was thinking about buying 1 lb of shrimp this weekend anyway (Ale DOES love them, and we so seldom have them...maybe 2 times this whole year?...)...so, this is great! ...I may even buy some fish (which was NOT on the list, but, would be worth it!)

I'll let you know how it goes! Smile

New iron!

November 14th, 2007 at 06:41 pm

well, Nanny asked me yesterday if it was ok for her to use the iron, as the cable had started smoking while she was ironing in the morning!...er, NO!...I will probably take the old iron to have it fixed and use it as a "spare" for emergencies...I bought a new iron yesterday (luckily, they were on sale!..it cost me $29)...a steam iron, HEAVY, teflon coated... (don't ask ME, I don't know how to iron, but Dad had learned while in the military and always said a heavy iron works best...of course, he was in the army around WWII, so....the new technologies might make that unnecessary!)...

books for Xmas!

November 11th, 2007 at 02:03 am

I already bought my gift: the Lord of the Rings books!! Smile
I also bought 2 begginer's books (in English) for Ale: Charlotte's Web and a story about Igor (Dr. Frankenstein's assistant) wanting a new brain!
And one additional book in Spanish for her...

the bookstore was having a special sale and the books were 20% off! Smile

Milk on sale!

November 8th, 2007 at 04:20 pm

...powdered milk has gotten so expensive (we are now paying $2.98 for a 400g bag!)...and, today I found an ad offering it at $2.16!...I'm stocking up!

Expenses for today...

November 4th, 2007 at 09:57 pm

Well, it WAS the battery!...the car started today with no problems...took it to the shop and the guy tested the battery, asked me to start the car: no problem....told me to turn it off and turn on the lights, radio and a/c- without starting the engine- and, sure enough, after that, it was dead again!!!...it's ok, when I bought the car (used) I knew the guy that sold it to me had had to buy a battery for it, as the one it had died on him 3 days before he delivered the car...I KNOW he didn't buy a NEW one...so, it lasted 18 months...now I have a brand new battery, which has a 2-year warranty...it was on sale, too, at $60....I'm glad for several reasons:
1. it happened NOW, when I had the $$$ to buy it without incurring new debt
2. it happened TO ME, on a WEEKEND, at my cousin's, at around 7:00pm....and not to my niece at the university on a weeknight- she finishes classes at 9pm!...

Thank God for small mercies!
...I'm happy!

another expense for today were Ale's medicines (needed to complete her treatment): $38...this is after the 20% discount!!!- they did some research and found that Salvadorans pay the most for medicines in Central AMerica....up to 500% of the "real" price...whatever that means!...oh, well, at least part of the medical expenses is reimbursable (we'll see how much!, it's my first time using THIS policy!)

****
Expected expenses for tomorrow: plumber!...there are leaks in 2 of our bathrooms that are above my level of expertise! (I'm afraid I'd end up like the people in the comic strips, flooding the house and having to pay extra while trying to save some $$$)...minor repairs, I do myself, but at least one of these means replacing parts that I have no idea how to put in!- I can't even explain it in English!...I expect it to cost anywhere between $30-$60...I'll call the plumber tomorrow morning, as they charge extra to come on the weekends!


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