Home > Archive: June, 2008

Archive for June, 2008


June 28th, 2008 at 03:08 am

Well, July will be a 'dry' month...I got paid for all my translations last week (and the $$$ is all gone already!- some spent, some paid)...and the next payments aren't due until AUGUST! ....((GASP!))...AND, I have to renew my drivers license and the car in July I won't be able to make payments above the minimum payments...I hate it!...((sigh)) least, I have the $$ 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!

Tires cost me $68!!

June 26th, 2008 at 10:25 pm

Found a great deal on tires! woo-hoo!

salary adjustment

June 25th, 2008 at 09:31 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 05:55 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!) 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!)

Parts of my country that I don't know!

June 24th, 2008 at 03:59 pm

The guys have been going out to the field a lot lately...I don't get to go. I stay and "hold the fort", LOL!...
but, since we bought a camera last year, I make them take it and, aside from the pictures of the events that they are attending, they occasionally take pictures of the scenery...

Here are a couple of places I've never been to (and not likely to visit anytime soon, as it is difficult getting there even with a 4X4!!- in fact, there are places where they had to leave the cars behind and walk for about 1 or 2 hours to get to the communities!)

As you can see, transportation IS an issue (and this was during dry season!!)

lunch at the beach yesterday

June 24th, 2008 at 06:03 am

The day was soooo beautiful, we decided to go to the beach, to a nice little surf lodge someone had recommended to us...
We spent $50 for 3 people...not bad, considering sis had an entree and lunch (Ale just lunch)...and sis had a couple of beers...
As for those things that money can't buy...

This was the view from our table:

And this is us, enjoying the afternoon!

So, when does YOUR vacation start?

June 19th, 2008 at 09:41 pm

Ale thought I had 7 days vacation from work, just as she will have 7 days vacation from school.... Frown I wish!
...I explained work vacations aren't the same as school vacations...she was disappointed, but, I promised her I would try to take the day off on the 26th (her b-day)...
I already asked and my boss said I can take it....

The sandwiches

June 18th, 2008 at 06:07 pm

Well, the chicken pate probably cost about $3.15 to make...but I didn't even use up half of it!, 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 09:55 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 05:38 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!
(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 concept of "dress code"

June 16th, 2008 at 09:54 pm

I had to explain to Ale this morning that the fact that the school is allowing them NOT to wear their uniforms the last 3 days of school does NOT mean students can wear whatever they want... she wasn't too happy about it, but, I know she now probably thanks me (as it seems some of her schoolmates had to be told this AT SCHOOL, BY THE TEACHERS!!)

What bothered me about Ale's clothes this morning:

1. mini-skirt: she was wearing what used to be a mini skirt 2 years barely covered her while sitting down, even with shorts underneath it!
2. shoes: black ballerina flats that were pretty when bought, but after almost 1 year of abuse look like she rescued them from the city's a miracle they don't have holes in them, but look very worn and ratty...AND, they make her feet smell if worn without socks!!!
3. shoes: she changed into crocks...definetely not a choice of footwear my grandmother would have thought appropriate for school! - it's as if she had worn sandals: too casual!

So I sent her to change again and she found a skirt that was about 3 inches above her knees and she decided to wear her Hush-puppy sandals...

She gave me an evil look...and I explained to her...I asked her if she had noticed that I never wore my work-clothes on the weekends, or viceversa...

I told her that is because eventhough I don't wear a uniform, there are certain rules we are required to follow when at certain places (no bare shoulders at church, no jeans at certain offices, etc)...

She seemed to have accepted it by the time we left for school and, coming back from lunch I got a message in my voicemail that said: "Mom, we can wear our normal clothes to school today, but we cannot wear 'ycras' you know what 'lycras' are?" (they mean short biking pants)...I'm guessing there's a long list of other stuff as well!

sis got the loan!!!

June 14th, 2008 at 06:24 am

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!

Nice gift!

June 14th, 2008 at 12:06 am

A while back,boss#1 got a copy of then-unreleased (?) book, called The Lempa River, Flow of Life... I admired the book, but said nothing.
Today, the book was officially released and, boss#2 got a copy...which he just gave to me! YAY!

It has pictures and information about the Lempa River, which is our most important river in ES! - In turn, I'm giving it to Ale (but, I'll be the guardian for now!)

Adjusting my debt-repayment dreams

June 13th, 2008 at 10:35 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 11th, 2008 at 04:34 am

..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...

healthy craving!

June 11th, 2008 at 02:57 am

I had to go to the supermarket today...didn't intend to, but none of the corner stores had powdered milk, and we ran out...I went there on an empty stomach- bad, I know!...but, the one thing I craved was a salad with yogurt I bought a lettuce and some tomatoes (no salmonella here!- or maybe we are just inmume already! LOL!), a cup of plain yogurt and a bottle of nutmeg (not used in this recipe, just one of those "basic" spices that we didn't have at home!...)

The dressing: yogurt, mustard, ground pepper, salt, vinegar (tiny amount) and basil leaves...simply divine!

yum!...and Nanny had cooked some chicken with a red sauce that was delicious, and some rice w/ I had a VERY nice dinner!

oh, wow, MORE translations!

June 10th, 2008 at 06:48 pm

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 $ 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!