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Archive for June, 2006

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!)

Grocery shopping!

June 18th, 2006 at 04:43 am

well, my total at checkout was $80...but, I bought a tin of powdered milk (1,800g) for $9.98...(regular prices is $12!), you could say the "regular" shopping was $70...not too bad, but there's definetely room for improvement!

Have to add the totals to my expenses excel sheet on Monday

$3 for my $20 challenge...

June 18th, 2006 at 04:40 am

I had lent someone $187, and they gave me back $ the $3 go to my $20 challenge for June!

Oh! and the $1.75 for this week's free coffee goes there, too!

They did it again!!

June 16th, 2006 at 11:22 pm

the people from the coop discounted $65 from my pay again, so now Ale's school fund stands now at $402.11 (they should be discounting $32.50 each pay period!)...well, again, will try to live without it and send them ANOTHER message to try to correct it!...worst-case scenario, I'll have to withdraw $32.50 from that account!...
best-case I won't have to and can pay 3 months in advance at the beginning of the year!!

Debit card - update 060616

June 16th, 2006 at 06:36 pm

Well, I still have my debit card (haven't lost it!) -- already a month! -- I've charged 14 purchases and made 7 cash withdrawals...paid fees on 2 of those for not using the bank's own ATM...but, one was done late at night (security-wise that ATM made sense!) or when the bank's ATM was out of order, so I'm not that concerned about it...still, I need to plan better if I want to make sure to avoid fees...

Free coffee!

June 16th, 2006 at 03:52 pm

Same deal as last time -- I placed and delivered the order, and got a frozen capuccino from the Coffe Cup...I also got to keep the stamps, which means ANOTHER free coffee!! yay!!

Upcoming expenses - 060615

June 16th, 2006 at 03:43 pm

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!!

car related expenses -060615

June 16th, 2006 at 03:17 pm

8.55 gallons @ $3.47 = $29.67

Not as bad as I thought it would be, considering my sister's car broke down while I was away and, she used my car to get around!

School related expenses - 060616

June 16th, 2006 at 02:45 pm

no school supply list yet...I have all that stuff in stock, so I don't have to worry, but, if I didn't have it, that would mean reduced time to look for good prices on the stuff...which is difficult anyway, as most schools in ES follow a Jan-Oct schedule, so the "good" time of the year to shop is actually Nov-Dec!!...
Maybe they figure if you have enough money to send your kid to a bilingual school you don't care about costs?? (WRONG! I know a lot of people in my same situation....trying to give our children an education that is as close as possible to the one we received on limited income!)

I guess I have to focus on getting those navy sweatpants in the meantime!

Why am I always smarter after the fact??

June 15th, 2006 at 09:43 pm

it just occurred to me today, as I was having breakfast, that, instead of buying clothes that Ale didn't really NEED, I might have bought 2 more pairs of shoes for school, only 1 size bigger than the ones I got...I'd be covered for school shoes for the whole year!! ... Frown

OH, well, not much I can do about it NOW!

Neat contest! -- need help with ideas!

June 15th, 2006 at 03:47 pm

the ministry of economy of my country is having a contest for entrepreneurs!...basically, if you are salvadoran and have a small business or if you have a good idea, you can participate...I'm thinking of participating...they have 9 "grand prizes", which are $6,000 seed money and follow-up counseling for a year. Also, the ministry would be your co-signor so you could apply for credit from the local banks (which traditionally don't give credit for micro businesses)...the really cool thing is, even if you don't win, the different phases of the contest include:
1. they'll help you write your business plan
2. They'll give you special training in different areas of your choice (administration, taxes, human resource management, strategic planning, accounting, IT, for example)

so, even if you don't win, you get something very valuable out of it!

I want to do something with this stage, I have a vague idea of what and how I want to do it (that is ok, that's all I need)...but, I also need A NAME!!!....I've never thought about this...anybody have any ideas?? (good or bad, I'll take them all!...I can work with anything and see how I can adapt it or something!...obviously, I have to do something that will be good both in English and in Spanish!)

HELP!...I have a week to turn it in!

computer virus!!

June 14th, 2006 at 10:47 pm

Our computer at home's got a virus...they're going to fix it's going to cost (another) $15!!...luckily for me, I don't save anything on that computer...only on removable devices or at the one at the office (back up of certain stuff)...I'd die if they had to delete my excel files!!!

Las Vegas trip -- very long, sorry!

June 14th, 2006 at 09:27 pm

Let's start with day 1...I got up at 4am and we arrived at the airport at around 5:45am...checked in, got lucky (we travel space available) and we all made it into the flight... arrived in LAX at around 11am and went to the hotel where the managers, directors, VP and part of the training team were staying/having a workshop...were dispatched to lunch and asked to come back at 1:30pm...then told to wait until 2:00pm...had a problem with the meeting room and finally started our meeting at around 2:30pm...this lasted until 9pm, at which time we went for dinner and started our drive to Las Vegas...(no, I cannot sleep on planes, and I couldn't sleep in the car either, despite having the back seat all to myself!) the time we arrived in our rooms, it was 3am (which was 4am ES time!)...and, believe it or not, it was as hot as ES at noon!!!...funny thing (gross, too!)..they brought us a rollaway bed and, when we unfolded it...A CHICKEN BONE!!! eeeewwwwww!!!...they sent us a new one!! (bed, not chicken bone! LOL) --(depending on hierarchy, we were sharing either 2 or 3 to a room!...this was done to keep costs down to be able to have as many people as possible attend the event!)...we even had some people that are no longer in our unit, and they gave a presentation on what they have been doing and why/how their experience in our unit has been useful to them in their new roles!...
next day, we were supposed to meet at the lobby and watch the opening game of the World Cup together...most didn't make it, but watched the game in our rooms instead!...then we had lunch and, at 12 were again at a meeting...we discussed the current situation of the company (confidential), upcoming and current projects of our unit (confidential) and, had a team-building exercise in the form of a trivia quiz...we were asked to solve the test together and then put on teams to "consolidate" answers...of course, we all got much higher group scores than individual ones!...we were also asked to fill out/present our findings regarding: why we are proud of being part of this group, what -if anything- makes us feel embarrassed to be part of this group and, what can we do to correct things...then we had the directors and VP talk to us about the upward feedback they had received from us a few days before--very interesting exercise!...the meeting lasted until 6:20pm...(which was cutting it really short, since we had to be dressed up and ready to go to Jasmine at Bellagio at 7:00!)...went to dinner (beautiful place, and our VP had requested the tables right in front of the window that overlooks the fountains!)
We had a wonderful dinner and then went to see the Cirque de Soleil (sp?) at the same hotel...the show started at 10:30 and ended at about was impressive...I really cannot think of other word that describes it that well! sis and I had often seen those shows on TV and commented that going to one would be such an amazing dream! (and it was!)...the company paid for 1/2 the ticket and, employees were required to pay the rest..except the other admin and I, who were invited to this one by our VP!...for some, the combination of exhaustion, fine dinner, drinks, dim lights, sound of falling water and soothing music was too much and they fell asleep during the show!...Others (like me!)where too excited by the whole experience and watched in awe! --I didn't even know WHERE to look, so much was going on at the same time!!...from here, some of us went to zzzzz, while some others went gambling or partying...
The next day we had brunch at Treasue Island (yumm! great food!...we all did the same thing! first we had breakfast and then we attacked the lunch foods!LOL!)..this was our last "sponsored" event...from then on, we covered our own expenses!...we were separated into teams and given our instructions for the scavenger hunt!...that was so much fun!...We were dismissed at around 10am and, had until 6pm to gather as many points as possible and to put together a presentation for our judges!...Our team was 4th (out of 5!) but, we were given a "special mention" because we really looked like we had the most fun!! LOL!...
One of the things you had to do was take a picture with a REAL bride and groom inside a chapel! -- we went up to a couple and said: Congratulations on your marriage...could we crash your wedding? and explained the situation!...they were wonderful, and said yes!... we took our picture and, they asked if they could take a picture with their own camera...we agreed and, as we started to move to get out of the picture, they said: NO! we want a picture WITH you guys! LOL! ...I guess we are part of their Vegas-wedding experience! (this was at the Say I Do Drive trhu wedding chapel, by the way!)...we took tons of pictures (most of which did not meet eligibility criteria for points!), but, we had sooo much fun!!!...Other things included were a video of the whole team singing the national anthem in front of the Paris (funny how none of the teams that presented the video could spell anthem! LOL!...we didn't have ours, the lady that "took" the video didn't press the ON button!!) and a video/picture of one team member being thrown into the pool!...Ours was entitled Safety First! as that was what the guy being thrown into the pool kept saying, even while we were dropping him on the side of the pool, from where we proceeded to roll him in!... At 6:30 we finally were able to start reviewing the presentations (you can imagine what a riot THAT was! with all teams wanting to invalidate each other's points!)...after all teams had shown their pictures/videos and, after the judges gave their verdict, again some went to sleep and some to party!...the next day, my roomies and I woke up at around 8:00 and went for breakfast and then shopping...we had to be back at 4pm to drive back to Los Angeles...some groups were driving and some others were flying (3)...1 of these groups did not make it (flights were full) and ended up renting a car and joining us in Los Angeles!...our flight was leaving at around 1:30am...we were all put on the stand-by list because the flight was supposed to be the end, there were 14 of us on stand-by (including some people NOT from our unit) and there were 16 spaces available!!! yay!!! so we all made it back home!...we arrived at 7:07am, and, went home to shower/change to go to the office...we didn't stay the full day, though, just took care of the most urgent matters (for me, that meant leaving for home at 4:30pm!)...our faces were "variations of a theme" and the theme was "Beat Up!"....we all looked tired, sleepy and wrinkled...we are doing much better, and are almost back to normal now!--but, we are still consuming inordinately large amounts of water!!...we were asked to send in our feedback on the whole event by end of day today, so I guess the results of that will be the official closing of the event!

In the red!

June 14th, 2006 at 06:19 pm

Ouch! the trip certainly took its toll!...I'm over budget in enterntainment and Others...and it's just mid-June!...I guess that means I have to do a lot of damage control in the next 17 days! (not too easy, with Ale's b-day on the 26th!)... Frown

If I add up all the categories that made up the Others last month, I'm $22 below what I spent for May, but, still... Frown

Oh, well, it's not like we have monthly off-sites!

secret admirer??

June 13th, 2006 at 11:06 pm

LOL! yesterday at around 11:00pm I got a text message in my cell that said "Hope you have a good night, but dreaming of me" (in Spanish)...from a number not in my, I called the number and got a woman's voice...I was half asleep and she sounded half asleep,, I thought I recognized the voice and, after a while of asking Is this X? Y is that You? somebody said: Marisabel?? and I said Yes...and she said: this is R---, I thought it was the landlady for one of the houses we rent for our expats...and thought she (or her teenage son) just misdialed when sending the text message....

Now, this morning, I was commenting on this with the other admin and, at first, she said: maybe it was a new guy, whom I REALLY like!...and I said, no, it was X's landlady....but, then, this morning, I remembered that his housekeeper is also named R--- .... could it be?? ...

This all could be resolved just by calling the housekeeper and asking, but....I don't know, in a silly way, I'd rather not ask and wait and see what happens...

After all, the idea of a secret admirer is SOOOO very romantic and, romance is something that has been lacking in my life for so long now...

School related expenses - 060613

June 13th, 2006 at 10:29 pm

Things I got during the trip to Vegas (Ross' Dress for Less!):
shoes (2 pairs)- 1 black school shoes and 1 white tennis shoes...found white Skechers at $11.99 + tax (12.95) and black Stride Rites at $12.99 + tax ($14.03), so I spent $26.98 -- woohoo!! (original prices were $36 and $42, respectively!!) that leaves $12.16...AND, I found alight sweater - navy, at $10.99 ($11.87 tax included) ....that leaves $0.29 from the money that was given to me...from now on, everything comes out of MY pocket!

Stuff I still need to get:

School supplies (need list, have stuff in stock -leftover from sale last year)

sweat pants for gym class (2) - navy blue... available at many stores, checking prices at the moment

Book bag - need to check if the school has restrictions on these (can they have characters or do they need to be solid colors only?...) Size will depend on school supply list!...we also have some left over from the sale...

Stuff I'd like to get

coin bag - for Ale to bring her allowance to school...might knit THAT one! -- Ale had a wonderful idea...her pink tennis shoes (Converse-look-alikes) had small bags attached to the sides...we took them off because we knew she might lose them, she suggested she might use one of those as a coin purse!!

So...that officially closes the "like to get" list for Ale's school stuff!

Forgot to add that I also bought 3 X 3-packs of socks for Ale at $0.99 + tax ($1.07) each, so $3.21 total...$2.92 coming out of MY, the total I've personally spent is now $103.42

I'm back!

June 13th, 2006 at 10:11 pm

...we came back yesterday, but I'm just now starting to be capable of some coherent thinking!...a mixture of exhaustion, sleep deprivation and dehydration...will blog at length some other day!...for the time being, as a friend so aptly said: Let's just put an end to this ceaseless spending! (I spent about $180 in total, of which about $40 are refundable...$10 were for a calling card...about $15 for non-refundable meals...$83 for clothes for Ale and myself - more for her than for me, but will write separately on this...some souvenirs for my family...the rest is mostly for water and non-alcoholic beverages!)

The trip was fun, and I don't regret going! It was definetely worth it!

woo-hoo! the Museum is available!!

June 7th, 2006 at 04:53 pm

I can have Ale's party at the Children's Museum...they are not really offering the service right now, so they'd rent me the space, but I have to bring the food (which works great for me,as my cousin and I can make things for much less than whatever they'd charge!... our cost is $0.17/piece for sandwiches and $0.25/piece for hot-dogs, for example!)...the children can play in the Museum, so there's no need to hire an entertainer ...I think we can make something quite grand at a reasonable budget!!

Nephew got operated today

June 7th, 2006 at 05:01 am

my nephew, the one that is in rehab, had to have an operation on his nose...apparently, he got his nose broken at some point and didn't even realize it...when he went to live in Delaware the cold weather gave him a sinus got so bad he was having trouble breathing...they had to operate today because his Dad offered to cover it with his wife's insurance but, as of the 10th of June, they are switching companies and they wanted to make sure it was, anyway, to make a long story short and to get to what's important: the operation went very well and he's in his room now...only problem is, he's feeling so well, he's already complaining about the bandages and about the medication, etc...((sigh)) he'll stay 2 -3 weeks at our house for recovery (the re-hab center won't take him until he's fully recovered and can follow the psychological treatment just like everyone else!)...these 3 weeks will be "added" to his total treatment time (it will be as if this were a parenthesis),the total treatment is 22, instead of being out on Dec 07,he'll be out on Jan 08...he's protesting about that, too!...

will pack my migrainge pills, too!

June 6th, 2006 at 08:38 pm

someone said: bring your bathing suit to Vegas...well, they've sent us the weather forecast and, temps range from 97F to 101F...will definetely need my migraine pills! (yep, heat is a is extreme cold!...)..add sleep deprivation and the odds don't look good! (we have to be at the office at 4am on Thursday to leave together to the airport...)ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

Upward reviews- done!

June 6th, 2006 at 07:48 pm

we had to do upwards feedback reviews for the 2 directors and the VP of our area...due by end of day today...(the form was given to us about a week ago) ...I hadn't done them yet, as I wanted to think about some of the questions a bit...sad to say that, in the end, the toughest ones were left blank (which areas do I think they should improve)...I was as honest as I could in the other ones, though...truth is, the top guys give me so little trouble!...and, as bosses go, none of them is particularly annoying or aggravating...and, while they are all demanding, their requests are generally sound and delivered in a nice way...they have also been very understanding both in work-related issues (while I was learning a new set of skills, say...cutting me some slack at the beginning and explaining things when it would have taken less time to do things themselves) and in personal ones (letting me work weird hours to see my mom or my sister at the hospital, to go teach English to increase my income, etc)...
now, if you were going to ask me about the managers, that's another thing...some of them are really bratty, others are whiny...THEY are the ones that drive me nuts!

Ale's school fund - 060606

June 6th, 2006 at 04:38 pm

Ale's school fund stands at $336 right now...estimated by end of July is $466...from here, I have to pay $54 for the Technokids fee (computer training- the $54 is the fee for the year)...$18 accident insurance ...about $25 for the pants/socks/cardigan...(I still have those other $40 for shoes) ...that would leave me with $369...with that I can cover 2 months tuition...add $42 and I can cover 3 months tuition, which would be the end of the year, I'd be able to "save" those 3 months into the School fund for 2007...we'll see how it works out!...I just like to keep these things in mind, and writing them down helps....also, as I go, I can see how my plans change/evolve!

premium gas will go up $0.21!!

June 6th, 2006 at 03:16 pm

It was announced in today's newspapers!!...I filled the car last Thursday, and obviously have been very good at not driving unnecessarily this week, because the needle has barely moved down, but, I'm still going to try to fill it today (unless the stations have already upped the prices!)...

You DO realize how gas at $3.69 totally messes up my budget (well, everyone's), don't you?? aaaarrrghhh! -- I had based my budget with gas at $3.50 max, which seemed kind of reasonable, seing that when I did that, gas was at $3.24!!-- ((sigh))...

At least, since it's cool most mornings and evenings (when I drive to and from work) I'm not using the air conditioning during the week...only on the weekends, and only around noon!

school related expenses -pending list 060605

June 6th, 2006 at 02:30 am

went to Siman (dept store) cardigans (in ANY color), no sweatpants... shoes WAY too expensive (white tennis shoes ON SALE $45.99!!)

Disputing charges on my credit card!

June 5th, 2006 at 11:39 pm

I just came back from the bank, I went to dispute the charges ($30.07) on my cc...the account executive had said that this sort of request has to be done in person, not via, today I took the time to do this in between bringing some print jobs to Xerox and picking up another job that was almost ready (it's about a block away...I had to run!)

...they say it takes about a month for this sort of thing to be resolved! ((sigh))

my excel spreadsheet keeps improving!

June 5th, 2006 at 07:01 pm

I have made several changes, added columns and some conditional formatting...I have set a max amount for everything now (the "Others" is still murky and, eventhough I have separated several categories, I still need to work on it...just to make sure Others is still Others and does not include anything necessary...but, at the same time, the objective is to recognize that there are Others, and that these need to be reduced...not just to reallocate them to justify them!)...soooo, the conditional formatting: if I go over the budget, the Total for the month cell turns RED...ouch! (talk about getting a visual!)...If I stay under or right on budget, it stays green!

I'll let you know how I do at the end of the month!

School related expenses -pending list-060604

June 4th, 2006 at 11:54 pm

to look at sweat pants, shoes and sweaters/cardigans...I almost had a heart attack!...a pair of sweatpants for $24??...a cardigan for $24??...

At least, it gives me a reference point regarding prices...

I went to Hiper Europa and they don't have either...went to Hiper Paiz and they had some pants... some were $6 and some were $10...but neither looked like they could survive 2 trips in the washing machine without coming apart!!

I found Hush Puppies mary janes at $25 at the Hush Puppies store...I found the same style for $15 at the outlet....(didn't check for sizes, though...I really think my best bet is to wait at least until mid-July to get the shoes...unless I find a REALLY great bargain!...because Ale outgrows her shoes every 6 months!)

Going to Las Vegas!

June 4th, 2006 at 11:48 pm

the unit's offsite this year will be in Las Vegas...AND, this year they decided to invite us (admins)...we are leaving on Thursday and coming back on Sunday/Monday...all expenses are paid until Saturday all we have to take care of is meals on the weekend...
We'll see how I do in a "non-controlled" environment!...(my daily routine keeps me away from places of "temptation"! LOL!)

Free lunch (and dinner, too!)

June 4th, 2006 at 11:45 pm

On Friday I was invited for lunch, and then, as I was going home, my sis, my daughter and I were invited for dinner! That's lucky! (plus, it allows me to go out without touching my "entertainment budget"!)

School related expenses - pending list-060602

June 2nd, 2006 at 05:31 pm

Things I need to get:

School supplies (need list, have stuff in stock -leftover from sale last year)

shoes (2 pairs)- 1 black school shoes and 1 white tennis shoes...comparison shopping at the moment!

sweat pants for gym class (2) - navy blue... available at many stores, checking prices at the moment

Book bag - need to check if the school has restrictions on these (can they have characters or do they need to be solid colors only...) Size will depend on school supply list!...we also have some left over from the sale...

Stuff I'd like to get

light sweater - navy or white...not very common...keeping my eyes open...the alternative might be to knit it myself...the cold months are still far away enough that I might just finish in time...(might be more expensive than a ready-made one, though!)

coin bag - for Ale to bring her allowance to school...might knit THAT one!

will update this list as I find items, including prices, before making a final decision....

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