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Emerging to breathe...

January 2nd, 2009 at 02:40 pm

264 slides/ 11681 words translated....
311 slides/ 19256 words to go!!!

I think I can, I think I can...

They'd rather wait for me!

December 31st, 2008 at 10:23 am

Spoke to the guy with the 29 presentations and told him I could only commit to doing 17 by Jan 5... he said he doesn't need them until the 12th, and that, if I am available, he'd much rather wait and have me translate them all!

WOOO-HOOO-HOOO-HOOO!!!

(had to share! back to work!)

Swamped! :)

December 30th, 2008 at 07:19 am

Friends, I'll be MIA for at least a week! Not even reading, probably...I've got 16 hours worth of scripts for Feb...(Thank God for the work, and Thank God that they are sending them early this time!...sometimes I don't get them until the 10th of the previous month!)... AND, I've got tons of work from a government entity in charge of promoting investments here in ES... 29 presentations!!....I think I can, I think I can.... I think I can...

I told you!!!

December 8th, 2008 at 03:33 pm

Remember I said I would get less translations this month?

http://miclason.savingadvice.com/2008/11/05/less-translations-this-month-but-could-b_44822/

Not anymore! the other translator found a full time job and quit, so now her work got reassigned to me!!

Oh, well, I had a week "off"!
LOL!
back to the salt mines!!

Less translations this month, but could be a good thing...

November 5th, 2008 at 07:13 pm

See, they have been sending me about 10-15 scripts per month, and, if you take into consideration it takes me anywhere between 2 and 4 days to translate each one... well... my month is full... and, remember, this translations actually pay very little (below local market prices), so that meant I wasn't even looking for new (more profitable) work, because I didn't have the time for it... Now they've hired another translator...this month, they'll give her 3 scripts, and I get 8... so, yes, I'll make less money, but I'll actually have more free time to prospect for customers (or just enjoy the Holidays and start looking in January, when I imagine the new translator will get half the scripts)...so, getting less work from them might actually be a good thing!

Cha-Ching! first cheque of October!

October 2nd, 2008 at 03:35 pm

Woo-hoo! I got paid for translations today, and tomorrow I get paid at the office...Now, I won't have the translation money until Wednesday, because I already picked up my check, but, unfortunately, arrived back at the office too late to deposit it today. I don't want to go to the (outside) bank and then deposit the cash into my account. Plus, all my payments are due starting on the 10th, so that'll give the check plenty of time to clear (3 working days, since it's from a bank different than mine)...Once the cheque goes through, I'll make the payments online...woo-hoo!

Steps to freedom - update

September 5th, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Well, things aren't going as planned, in that I haven't been able to make the payments I had estimated/ save as much as I wanted...(car maintenance, medical bills)..but I still think it's doable -it's only been 2 months!...and at least I got both the house fund account and the "tax" account set up...so that is progress...Also, what I did was more of an average, so that, in the end, things might still work out...(I can use a larger portion of the Xmas bonus for this, for example)...if all else fails, I'll aim to be debt free by:
Xmas of the year I turn 40 (so, December instead of July 09), or, worst case scenario: before Ale turns 10! - so, June 2010!!)

The dream is alive!!!

Look! The volcano is gone! ;)

September 1st, 2008 at 06:28 am

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

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


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

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

Si se puede! Si se puede!

July 30th, 2008 at 09:36 am

(it CAN be done, it CAN be done!)
I've only got 1 more translation to go...after that, I'll be FREE to enjoy my nights (8pm -11pm)...I will be able to catch up on my knitting (I'm -or was!- knitting a blanket for Ale, for Xmas... and now I'm way behind!)....or read....or watch TV (although, I DO have it on and watch a bit while I translate...don't ask me why, I work faster that way!...yeah, I know how that sounds!)...or, do NOTHING...

The only problem is...I'm having a "laziness attack"...I really don't want to work on it...and, I COULD delay it for the weekend, but....we have the national holidays (in honor of the Patron Saint) coming up next Mon-Wed...and, wouldn't it be great to be FREE before Friday, so that I could REALLY enjoy the holidays...no work at the office, no work at home??

((sigh)) SI se puede, SI se puede!

Goals = Steps to Freedom

July 3rd, 2008 at 10:16 am

Thanks for all that responded to my last post...it really was illuminating!

As a result of your answers, I sat down and thought about what I NEED/WANT to do, financially, to really be able to leave this job and start my own translation business; here's the list of what comes to mind, complete with the time frame I've allocated to achieve the goals: (I still need to work on them to see whether they are feasible, though!I also need to figure out the most logical way to set them up - which one to do first, etc., so the exercise is not really over yet!)

Step 1. be debt free! - I have about $8.5K in debt...about $6k is for a personal loan, and the rest is cc debt...Step 1 is to pay that off, so that I have the tremendous amount of money I'm currently using to pay off debt available to build up my financial situation...

timeframe: I want to be debt free before my 40th birthday (next year)...that gives me 12 months! ...I'd need about $800/ month to be able to do this...hmmmm..

what I'm doing about it: my debt level is finally low enough that I can get a loan through the bank that does our payroll without needing a co-debtor...I submitted the paperwork yesterday...I just hope my sketchy financial history in the past 5 years doesn't affect me...

Why did I do this?....well, the new loan would be at 10% annual interest; the current one is 11.5% and the cc is 28.99%! (YES, that's not a typo!)...this would significantly reduce the amount of interest I'd be paying, and would make it easier to actually pay off in 1 year...

Step 2- Taxes! ...more income will mean more taxes...based on estimations, I'd need about $5,000 to pay my taxes next year.

Timeframe, again, would be 1 year (a bit less, actually, since taxes are due April 30!)...I'd need about $555/month to achieve this...

How I'm going to do this: I've already spoken to the bank exec and I'm setting up a savings account next payperiod (July 11) so that I can start saving 1. part of my salary and 2. the corresponding amount whenever I get paid for translations

Step 3- Emergency Fund I currently have about $150 in my EF (that's almost nothing, I know!)...I need to have $5,000...but, for that, I'm giving myself 2 years (24 months)...that would take about $210/mont...

Are you still with me? If I add all this up, I'd need $1,565 AFTER TAX to fund all this...doable? difficult, yes, but not impossible...especially if I put money aggressively into debt repayment, then work on the tax thing and then "catch up" on the EF thing...

Step 4- "tie over" fund ($2,000)...this is not really urgent and could be left for my "last year" here...this would be my "revolving credit" with myself to cover normal expenses in case translation payments are late.

Step 5- house fund - I need at least $10K in here... that should be enough for a downpayment on a small house in a good (read: safe) neighborhood; a 3-bedroom would be nice, so I could leave 1 bedroom as a study...but, really, a 2 bedroom would be more than enough! (I can always set up in my room, in the dinining room or living room!)...this one, as you can see, is already started...it has $30 in it, and $30 will be automatically added on the 28th of each month...I don't plan to make any additional contributions to it until the debt is paid off/money for taxes is complete....If it turns out that not all $5K are needed for taxes, I'll transfer the remaining amount to this account. Once the debt is gone, I'll use part of that money to start increasing contributions to this fund...and once the EF is full, I'd add part of that, too (snowballing, in a way!)

Step 6- Ale's college fund- I still have 9 years, so I'm also counting this as "not urgent" (although, I know those years will pass quickly and I NEED to have at least some money in it...I will start the college fund in August of next year!- after I'm debt free!)

Step 7- health and life insurance- I already have a (very modest) personal life insurance policy, apart from the one given to me by my employer...if I go out on my own, I'll need to increase the amount and I'll need to add disability insurance...Medical insurance: I already know the one I want! It's like a pre-paid plan with one of the best hospitals in the country...If you are hospitalized for an emergency, for whatever reason, insurance covers 100% of it...if you go to emergency care, but are not admitted, you have to pay $11.45...for non-emergency care, insurance pays 80%, as long as you go to their doctors and providers...no problem with that!...they give you a thorough check up at the beginning to determine eligibility, so if they accept you, there are no "pre-existing" conditions!...I would also sign up as an "independent worker" with the social security institute (medical care)...I know I will need $$$ for this, but, again, it's not urgent and I'll look into it about 2 years before my "estimated date of departure - EDD"

Step 8- retirement Currently discounted from my salary are about $400/month...and the employer -by law- pays as much into the fund, too...so I need to think about putting at least $800/month after I leave...

...I've estimated what level of income I need to have to make all this possible...
I'd need to make $13K the first year (July 08 to July 09) to be used exclusively for The Plan...this is definetely feasible!(I know it doesn't add up, that $1,650 X12 i $18,780, not $13,000!...what I mean is $13,000 would come from the translation business)...then I'd need to increase that amount by about $2K every year for the next 3 years...the other advantage of waiting until Dec 2012 is that, if my position is terminated, I'm entitled to full severance payment: 1 monthly salary per year worked! (under Salvadoran law, if I leave, I don't have a right to severance payment...I believe the Embassy does give you something according to your bosses' request...up to 50%, I think- need to look for the latest update to the policy!)

I also need to keep really good track of what I'm doing and where the money is going...and make sure I keep focused on what I really want!

"Why are you still here?"

July 2nd, 2008 at 08:47 am

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

I finished the translation!

July 1st, 2008 at 07:40 am

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