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wants vs needs

July 27th, 2018 at 08:47 am

We made a list a couple of weeks ago of all wants vs needs. I must say I am proud that our Wants list is short, and items are not high-value (most expensive item is about $200)... sadly, our Needs list is kind of long, and items, while not luxury ones, are not cheap, either.

Needs (in order of our priority)
1. new glasses for me --I just realized mine are over 4 years old. The anti-glare coating is gone, and they are a bit scratched. I cannot reuse the frames, which are already very worn, too, because they are permanent use (I can´t walk around without glasses, the world looks fuzzy!).. unfortunately, given my sight problems, even if I go to out local non-profit foundation to get them, they´d be at around $200 --I do not qualify for aid, just the lower-than-market prices.

2. clothes washer: $350-$500, if new. Ours died about 9 months ago. We are washing by hand, which is not so bad for shirts and regular pants, but, is a pain (quite literally!) for jeans, towels and bed linens! My supervisor is about to move from a temporary house to an apartment, and, will not take her washer with her (not enough space for washer and dryer at the new place, she needs one of those two-in-one towers) and said she would sell it to me for cheap, we haven´t discussed prices.

3. New beds - $400 to $1,000 ($200-$500 each). ours are 19 years old and 10 years old, respectively (they usually go on sale in October and February, so we went to see prices yesterday, just to be aware of how much is needed. We might be able to negotiate a better price if buying 2, and paying cash.

4. New living room furniture. $300 -$500 When my sister left the house, she took the living room furniture. This is not urgent, but, would be nice to be able to have company over more often!(as is, we entertain in the dining room only, or at our bedrooms -- Ale´s closest friends, for example) With living room furniture we could have her church group over, for example.

Medical expenses

March 30th, 2009 at 03:36 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!)

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!)

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!

woo-hoo! money!!!

August 28th, 2008 at 04:32 pm

I received my cheque for reimbursement of medical expenses...it's for $133.64...that solves my bank loan payment problem....the medical expenses went in my cc and I don't have to pay THAT until the 14th...by which time I will have not only my next salary payment, but for sure the translation money, as well!
woo-hoo!
I love it when things work out! Smile

Can't wait for the next payday

August 26th, 2008 at 11:00 am

While my finances are in much better condition, I still haven't gotten to the point where I can afford to live solely off my salary OR the translations...I need BOTH...(at least I'm not trying to decide WHICH debt gets paid and which one doesn't anymore!)...so, yeah, I need to pay the new loan ($209) and Ale's school ($155) and the rent ($175) and there's only $180 in my account right now...I NEED that translation $$$$...hopefully, it'll come before the end of the week (that would be SOOOO great!)...if not, I'll just have to move some money from my "taxes" saving account to the checking account to pay for the loan and the rent, and pay Ale's school (due on the 10th) with my next salary payment (9/5)...Everything else is covered...

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!

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

Translations!!!

June 27th, 2008 at 07:08 pm

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

Adjusting my debt-repayment dreams

June 13th, 2008 at 02:35 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)

oh, wow, MORE translations!

June 10th, 2008 at 10:48 am

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 $65...my 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!