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Archive for June, 2006

$20 challenge - 060630

June 30th, 2006 at 08:03 pm

Total for June
Challenge statistics:
to discount from challenge this month:

Earned in June: $32.50

net for January: $12.15
net for February: $318.40
net for March:$380.00
net for April: $222.00
net for May:$336.86
Net for June: $32.50*
Total ytd for 2006 (net):$1,301.85

TARGET: $4,000

$2,698.15/ 6 months to go!

* was expecting some $$ owed to me for services, but, apparently, they'd be paid until that will go into my July challenge (If they pay, I'm starting to have my doubts!)

HOw would you go about this?

June 30th, 2006 at 06:43 pm

I need to confront my cousin ref the phone bill...I mean, she knows, and she knows I'm mad...but, I want to tell her that I'm particularly upset about the way she has handled the whole thing...and, no, I'm not talking about her parenting (or lack thereof!)...I'm talking about HER... she told me the other day that she had gone and paid the internet/cable service so it would be reconnected (was disconnected for 1 day!) because "not because of D., but because of me, because cable is my only enterntainment and I don't feel it's fair to give even THAT up"...
well, I guess she hasn't figured that, so that SHE can have her enterntainment, MY DAUGHTER AND I are going to have to cut ours to be able to pay for her son's least, I'm hoping that this is because she's CLUELESS, because if she realizes this and still justifies reconnecting her cable, that means she's just as inconsiderate as her son...

I also want to tell her that I DO expect her to pay me, and, since this will have to come out of my cc payments (I'd have to make minimum payments only on the cc to be able to apply the rest towards this debt for 6-8 months), that I expect her to pay for the the same rate I have on the cc...

Also, I want to make it clear that, if she runs into any more financial trouble (and she will!), I am willing to offer moral support, but nothing more...

I'm really not confrontational, so I know this is going to be difficult...

On top of that, I haven't decided whether I should do this as part of a meeting that I want to have with her and her son (God, grant me the restraint to NOT kill him!) or as a separate meeting -- she really doesn't need anybody else making that child feel like SHE's not in control...but, then again, the situation between them is such, that...does it really matter? She has no control, he truly is Master in that house (yes, capital M)...

any ideas are welcome!

contest update - the Interview

June 30th, 2006 at 05:22 pm

Well, the interview is mainly to test your level of "entrepreneurship" I really don't know how I did!...since I'm not the most aggressive person in this world, I KNOW I didn't get the highest scores possible, plus, I have got a lot to lose (job security at a very solid company) in their eyes...we'll see...they'll call next week to let me know whether I have been accepted into the next level or not!

If not, at least I tried!

going to the lawyer's on Tuesday

June 30th, 2006 at 03:06 pm

Well, I have to go to the lawyer's to try to keep them from docking my pay over the phone bill (which effectively means I will be paying MORE than if they were docking my pay, but, at least my record won't show that they had to resort to this! -- plus the people at payroll in the company don't have to see it!) AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHH
I just called my cousin and told her she IS coming with me and her son IS coming with us, as well....I know there won't be any consequences for him and I know he couldn't care less about my pay (in fact, I think he might even feel some sort of satisfaction that the B*tch is having trouble! -- I'm sure that's how his pampered mind perceives me!), but, I want him to at least have to FACE the lawyer and own up to what he did, and see that there ARE consequences...won't do much good because the consequences don't affect HIM, so he won't care, but...AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHH!

060629- 2006 goals update

June 29th, 2006 at 09:07 pm

I've taken out goal #3, as it was achieved last month! 3 more to go!!!

1. keep better track of my spending- Ouch!...I’ve been good all this month, in that I HAVE tracked even the tiniest of expenses –YAY, me!...but, of course, this has uncovered a horror story…the result is that I have split all my expenses into several categories and have started tracking them separately …hope to be able to report improvement in actually meeting the budget! This is an on-going goal, so I will keep reporting on it!

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: $7.6K (refinanced) loan, $2.9K car loan, $1K personal loan, $1.4K cc's ...a work in progress...another one that won’t get taken off the list!Add the $1K of the phone call to the list! I just know my cousin won't pay for it!

5. Help Ale find a way to earn those $3 she's missing to open her account with HER OWN money...same as last month…!
...but now there is another loose tooth!

Cousin got accepted!!

June 29th, 2006 at 04:25 pm

She also submitted an idea for the contest, and she went for her interview today and, was accepted into the program on the spot! This is great news!

School supply sale --take 2!

June 29th, 2006 at 04:17 am

My cousin has started trying to contact small bilingual schools to see if they might be interested in us having a school supply sale, since they are just now starting to give out their school supply lists to parents!! far, 2 have shown some interest...we'll see how we do...this would be a great relief for her and, would go towards my $20 challenge!!

At the pool!

June 29th, 2006 at 03:32 am

These pictures were taken two weekends ago, while Ale was having her swim lessons by one of our new managers

Ale at a break

With San Salvador volcano in the background! (everyone falls in love with that volcano! --guy almost had a heart attack when he saw it from this perspective, he lives on the other side of it!)

Contest Update

June 28th, 2006 at 11:42 pm

They called me!!!...I have my interview on Friday at 10:00am!!....I have to go there and explain my idea!!

Ok, now I have to go to my boss and ask for permission to go!

Angel - part II/ I even got kissed today!

June 28th, 2006 at 02:21 am

LOL! one of the managers was asking me to finish some travel arrangements for some visitors today, so he could put together all the info I have been sending him, and so I told him not to worry and that I had even consolidated the info by traveler already so all he would have to do was forward it...he got so excited, he just bent down and kissed me on the cheek! (no, that's not sexual harrasment here, plus, it WAS totally innocent, plus he has a girlfriend that works at our was just a spontaneous gesture!)...I'm guessing it's just that I took the time to put this together in one user-friendly format, just one email per passenger, which saves HIM time, and allows him to look better in front of these potential customers...(it took a while for us, even involving our VP, to get the authorization for them to fly business, space confirmed, as there was a mix-up with the authorization levels in the system...after several emails back and forth, it finally got resolved!)...but, see, that's the thing...the other admin would have done the same thing...she probably wouldn't have consolidated ALL the info in just one email...but, compared to the rest, that's really minor!...he would have been grateful (he's one of our nicest managers, and always makes a point to show he's grateful for the work we do for him), but I don't think this would have been his reaction if it had been her!

Car related expenses - 060627

June 28th, 2006 at 02:11 am

2.92 gallons @$3.42
Must admit I cheated by only buying $10 worth of gas, just enough to get me to Saturday so the full tank will be registered as July's expenses...

I forbade access to my nephew

June 28th, 2006 at 02:00 am

my nephew D (cousin's son) has, as you may already have guessed no regard whatsoever for other people's property/well-being... (this is the one that stole --my cousin says "took without permission"--his mom's car and crashed it, the one that racked up the $1,000 phone bill, the one that keeps hounding my cousin to pay the internet bill because he wants to go on line and chat --and my cousin makes this a 1st priority because at least it keeps him in the house!!)...well, since my OTHER nephew, R (sis' son, who is in rehab) has been home for 3 weeks, due he was recovering from surgery, I haven't worried about D. using the internet or the phone at my place (having "been there, done that", R. is now much more conscious of these things!)...well, R left yesterday to go back into the rehab center (the Doctor said his recovery period is over and can now resume his normal duties at the center), I KNEW there would be trouble today... I gave our nanny specific orders that D. was NOT to use the computer or the phone, or drink our sodas while we are not home...sure enough, he came in today and, without even asking, just sat himself down to the computer...what happened next is a little murky, because there are 2 different versions: the nanny's (which strikes me as more trustworthy) and my cousin's (who claims she was here at the time... she DOES admit he didn't bother asking anybody if he could use the computer...I figure the nanny is too lowly a person to ask and, Ale being only 6 is inconsequential in his mind!)...the nanny says he DID use the computer despite her telling him not cousin (his MOM) says he immediately stopped using it when the nanny told him to...In any case, I already talked to her and, I intend to talk to him, too, is not the $$$, as the line is dedicated and so there are no additional charges...although we COULD talk about additional charges for the's the PRINCIPLE of the matter...I, for one, believe my cousin should have STOPPED paying for the internet the minute the $1,000 phone bill arrived and started applying those $50/month towards repayment...her view of it is: 1.that would have angered him and he would have screamed at her (he's 16!)...2. the internet keeps him inside the house...3. she has to pay anyway because she has a contract, so not paying would only mean late fees for her!..., it is preferrable for her to let ME hanging than deal with her son!!...well, SHE may take that view, but I certainly do not, and I feel he needs a lesson in PRIVATE PROPERTY...the computer belongs to my niece, but, my sister and I pay for the internet service, so it's OUR service and I don't want HIM using about THAT??... I also don't want him anywhere NEAR my phone!...which my cousin is now using to make her business calls (and supposed to give us her share of usage, but, since she hasn't had any income for the last 2 months, has only paid for 1 month...and then, not really for HER whole share!, just for part of it!!)...I get really mad, but, I try to be understanding (with her, I can be, but NOT with him!)...she does need help to get on her feet...she did help me a lot (both monetarily and emotionally) when I lost my job and, she's always willing to help (drive us around, accompany us to Dr's appointments or hospitals during crises, take care of Ale if I don't have a nanny) and, that is stuff that I really appreciate and don't put a price tag, she can help with that sort of thing and we can help with $$$, despite all our difficulties, so I'm willing to do it and not be too picky about her phone bills (it's not like they're exhorbitant, either), but, I am NOT willing to let her son abuse the relationship between our families and, I have told her on several occasions just WHY I'm not in agreement with her approach to the problems with, at least in MY house, he has to obey the rules!! I wish I could PUNCH HIM!!! ARRRRRGHHHHH!...I swear, if he ever disrespects my nanny again like that by disobeying her orders, I'm going to send a letter to the neighborhood administration requesting that security be notified that he is NOT to be allowed into the neighborhood....

Didn't make it!

June 27th, 2006 at 10:21 pm

It's still only the 27th and, I'm already $30 ABOVE last month!!...if it weren't for the famous tickets for the Museum and the trip to Las Vegas, though, I'd be $112 BELOW last would still be overbudget, though...but, I guess I'll give myself a blue star for a nice effort in June and, make an even bigger effort to keep tracking/controlling variable expenses in July!


June 27th, 2006 at 03:50 pm

My cousin is finally starting to warm up to the idea of one of those "plug in" phones (you plug them into any electrical outlet and you have a working phone line!) which are only available through pre-paid plans (you use up your minutes, you buy a card, just like a prepaid cellphone...) ...sure, the rate per minute is higher, but, with her son, it would still be cheaper than a regular phone (if only because you cannot abuse one of these, your time expires, your phone is dead for outgoing calls until you recharge!)

It has taken me almost 6 months to convince her of this!

She's taking out a loan on her house to pay for several debts (including the current debt on her house) makes sense because the rate they'll give her is lower than her current, she gets to pay for her car and several other debts...she currently pays about $500/ month for car and house (2 separate payments of $300 and $200), and, with this new loan would have one payment of $300 ...part of the money she's borrowint would go to pay for the famous phone bill!

You're such an angel!

June 27th, 2006 at 03:05 am

I swear sometimes I feel like the other admin hates me...and I swear sometimes I understand why! today...she's out sick and, everyone's been asking about their travel arrangements (which she's in charge of...I get to do the expenses when they come back!)...and, just for ASKING pass bureau or other departments whether the reservations were made, I got 3 "you're such an angel"...which she never gets!...
people DO treat me differently...nicer than they treat her...Everything I do is like I'm doing them such a big favor...most of what she does they take for granted...I don't know why that's not like I have an attitude or anything like that...nothing that would make people think I was doing them a favor just for doing my job...maybe it's just the opposite, that I enjoy doing stuff for people...

Birthday party

June 26th, 2006 at 10:14 pm

Well, only a handful of children showed up...but, at least Ale's current best friend was there!...and also some of the ones that have been with her the longest (who are also leaving the preschool at the end of July! gasp!!)...she had a blast, and I guess that's what's important...meanwhile, we had so much food leftover, we've been living off sandwiches, soda and cake the whole weekend (and, yes, I paid dearly for it in the form of a mild migraine --how's THAT for an oxymoron!-- yesterday night!...I'm back to my "normal" diet today...except, I paid $0.33 for a natural fruit juice instead of my usual $0.30 for soda!! ...right now, I think "soda" and my body's reaction is YUEEEECHHH...which is a really good thing!)...
The party itself was fun for the kids, and they even got to make a souvenir to take home at the recycled materials workshop...Alejandra and her friends had a great time, but, if I had to guess who had the most fun, I'd have to say my niece and her friends (all 16-year-olds!)LOL!...the "Bored-out-of-his-mind" award would go to my nephew, who didn't enjoy even the HOuse of Gravity, and spent the whole time complaining because the cafereria was closed and there was no coffee!..I still don't have any pictures, but will post them as soon as I do!

The big rip off!!

June 26th, 2006 at 09:22 pm

well, we had the party at the Museu, and less than half the people showed up...(on a side note: the saddest part is to think, even on a Friday, we would have had a higher number of people show up if we had done this at Pizza Hut or any other fast food restaurant! -- seems people are afraid of Museums!)...anyway...remember they had said that I only had to pay for the people who had attended...well, at the end of the event, the person in charge of events --with whom I had had a meeting on Tuesday -- said that what they would give me was a 25% discount on the tickets for the people that hadn't shown up...WHAT??...I had discussed this with someone else, and they had said I'd only had to pay for the people that attended...she said that the person that I had spoken to about this didn't know about Events...ok, so, now it's getting late and Ale is starting to get desperate to go home and it is starting to rain and I can see there will be A, I was pressured to leave as soon as possible....then, they gave me some used tickets as proof of purchase...NO, I will accept used ticket stubs for the tickets we DID use, but, at least got them to give me the tickets that I paid for that we had not used!, now I have a BUNCH (about 38!) of tickets to the Museum (which I intend to use/give away! I don't care, but, I WILL get my money's worth!)...we went there on Sunday already...
What I will do is add this to my enterntainemnt account as available fun money until they run out...
...I'm guessing this is just one more reason people DON'T have their parties there!>Frown

060622- $20 challenge

June 22nd, 2006 at 10:27 pm

$6 more-- final payment for translations

"your daughter is a tough customer"

June 22nd, 2006 at 08:33 pm

LOL! :P due the nanny situation, my cousin and a friend took Ale with them all day today...on their to-do list was the purchase of the pinatas for tomorrow... the friend called me and said: Wow, your daughter is one tough customer...she knows what she wants and she won't accept anything less...(I cannot wait to hear THAT story in full detail!)

LOL! Baby!

Bounced cheque??

June 21st, 2006 at 10:10 pm

No,no,no,no,no,no,no!...this isn't happening!...I gave a cheque for $432 for the funeral services - the money for this had been deposited CASH by ME in my account...there is a reserve for $432 in my account (which, in theory, was made by the funeral services company, right?) and, eventhough the money is reserved and there is STILL another $128 left on the account, the cheque has been rejected! (I'm looking at my own account on line, the funeral services company hasn't called yet or anything -- as a matter of fact, I just called THEM)
...this is just another mix up....(probably the cheque did not include the reservation code or else the reservation code they wrote on it was wrong, so the bank thought these were 2 separate charges...) UGH! I hate this sort of thing! It takes forever to solve!

I called the bank....the error came from the funeral services company...when they reserved the funds, they input the cheque number as 126...and the actual cheque number is, of course, cheque 726 was rejected because there were insufficient funds to cover it!....that means I have to try to recover my $7.35 (bounced cheque fee from MY bank), from the funeral services company!!...wish me luck! -- but, I WILL fight this one to the end!

I'm mad!

June 21st, 2006 at 08:20 pm

I just got a call from a lawyer's office ref: the famous phone line that my nephew (son of my cousin) abused!! makes me SOOOO mad!...

Mainly, the reason I haven't done anything about it is that the phone company WILL reconnect as soon as I make a payment and, unless I pay in full ($1003.20), they will NOT accept my request for any changes in the account (like restriction of international calls), which means, as soon as I make any payments, the line will be up and fully operational for him to make any phone calls he pleases! (she works all day long, so he'd have at least 6 hours a day of unrestricted access!)...

This REALLY sucks! Frown

Tracking expenses - OUCH!

June 21st, 2006 at 06:05 pm

OUCH!...with 1 1/2 weeks to go, I'm still "in the green", but, only by $0.63....I'd say it is safe to say that I'm NOT going to make it on budget this month! ...oh, well, the trick will be to keep it as close as possible then, and, keep the gap at or below the level of last month's!

No nanny + no school = STRESS

June 21st, 2006 at 05:45 pm

The nanny's daughter called today...the nanny is not feeling well, and will not come to work today...maybe (MAYBE) tomorrow...

Today I have no problem, I just left Ale at school and she'll stay until 5:00pm (talked to the principal, they run a DAycare/homework club in the afternoon, so no problem), but, tomorrow is teacher's day, so they have the day off...and, if the nanny cannot come, I need to find a option is to let her tag along with my cousin...the pros: they love each other, I know I can trust my cousin...the cons? her schedule is not regular at all...sometimes she has lunch at 3:00pm...Ale cannot do I'm a little aprehensive about that... The other option (not really!) is to let her stay home with my nephew and niece (nephew is recovering from his operation and, niece is 16...she, too will be off school, but, we anticipate she'll have her hands full with her brother, and don't want to overwhelm her!)...Third option is for me to request a day off work ....but, I've requested so many already -- what with taking my sister for medical appointments and other stuff!...what is there to do?? ((sigh))

Contest update-- aaarghhh!

June 21st, 2006 at 05:25 pm

Well, my online application did NOT get submitted...on top of that, I called and they told me the category of Entrepreneurial Women had closed at 9:05! (this was not specified in the website!)...the categories still open were tourism, ethnic products and Information and Communications Technology...I submitted it under the latter, maybe they'll accept it! ((sigh))

Will keep you updated!

updated to say they accepted the application....and they warned that they are backlogged processing them, so it will probably be 2 weeks before they contact me with further information!

Reading El Economista

June 21st, 2006 at 05:19 pm

the local newspaper publishes a monthly magazine called El Economista, which features local entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial initiatives....the June mag arrived yesterday...Ale now likes to read the paper with her breakfast and, she said to me: Can I have the magazine? a joke, I gave it to her...she read it!...I don't think she understood much of it, but she read it! LOL! -- let's hope for some subliminal learning...

Sweet child of mine!

June 21st, 2006 at 03:20 pm

yesterday, we went to buy a few extra party favors for Ale's b-day (I thought there were 30 children at her school...turns out there are 40!...I don't expect ALL to show up, but, I wanted to buy 3 more "baby" gifts)...We went to the Dollar store and, Ale picked the gifts: she found two 3-packs of squeaky toys and said: "Look, Mom, we give 1 squeaky toy to each kid, so with 2 packs we get gifts for 6 children!" (which is what we ended up doing!)

I feel so proud of her! -- and she's only turning 6 next week! Not only does she know how to plan a party now (which she mastered at age 4!) she also knows how to keep her costs down!! woo-hoo!...I feel like I'm doing a good job with her! (of course, she's such a smart kid, it's easy!)

I hate computers!!!

June 20th, 2006 at 05:35 pm

well, no, not really...but, I hate it that yesterday I stayed after work to fill out my application to the contest and, it took me 30 minutes to fill out (and it read great, if I may say so myself!) and, when I hit the SUBMITT button, I got a message that said: field "name" is mandatory....I went "huh?"...guess what! whole application had been deleted!! ...
so, now I don't know if 1. my application went through and it's just that the site doesn't have a confirm message or 2. my application really got lost and I have to resubmitt it!...

So, I guess I'll re-submitt it (just to be on the safe side!) UGH!

Free dinner!

June 20th, 2006 at 12:51 am

Today, there was a very important meeting and, one of the analysts was supposed to coordinate lunch...problem was, nobody bothered to tell him!...that is, until 11:30am, when somebody asked him what he had ordered for lunch!...He somehow got out of the meeting room and phoned for HELP!...of course, I helped him out and everything went OK (except for the food being served at 1:00pm instead of 12:30 as usual!=...he had ordered a couple of extra lasagnas and, gave me 2 to take home!! woo-hoo!!

Free dinner always tastes the best!

Got to use the movie passes!

June 19th, 2006 at 10:26 pm

Of course, we did spend money on goodies (part of DD's full movie experience!)...but, the whole tab was $5.95, when, usually, we spend $10 when we go to the movies(we always go to the matinee, so prices are cheaper)...We've got 2 more tickets, which are valid through 28/June, so we are going again next weekend...

upcoming expenses - 060617

June 18th, 2006 at 04:46 am

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!--will start quoting!!

2. New bike for Ale...Has dropped even lower in priority...depending on how things go, maybe Santa can bring it!

4. Ale's birthday party!! - She wants to have it at the Children's Museum...Museum is available! will have the party next Friday!...depending on how many children/adults attend, it might be about the same that I would have paid for the cheapest party package at Pizza Hutt --if ALL attend, which is difficult, given that it's on a Friday!--and a much more interesting and unique experience...I'm already working on the invitations [/b]

New expense on the horizon: one of my best friends is getting married and has asked me to be a bridesmaid and Ale is to be her flower dresses and shoes! (she's getting married in Jan 2007, so that gives me time to save!...and to lose some weight, too!)

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