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Free of bank debt

January 4th, 2020 at 04:58 am

Finally!!! I paid off the bank (this was old credit card and interest debt) Now, I am NOT debt free... part of the money to pay the bank came from loans from the employee cooperative. BUT, the interest rate is half of that of the bank, and, since this is deducted before my salary is deposited into my account, I cannot default on it!
Soooo... this year will be a year of buying a lot of stuff. In the past 5 years, whatever broke was not repaired or replaced. Now there are a lot of things to be repaired or replaced. Starting with the car! (which is now a necessity, since Ale switched universities and the other one is NOT within walking-distance of our home, and, no matter what the government figures say, crime is still thriving -- and I don´t want to revisit our last experience on a bus, where the driver caused Ale to be thrown off the bus when she was getting out... AND, to go to this new university, Ale would need to take 2 buses, and the point for changing buses is the largest shopping mall in the country --and one where there have been lots of muggings and even kidnappings)
What would be our first "free" payment, then, will go towards fixing our car (hopefully, it CAN be fixed...don´t know what we will do if it can´t... we don´t have enough money for a **new** car, and, right now, I wouldn´t be eligible for a loan, not for a year at least)
so, this is where we are.
We made a list of all needs/wants. And then we put all the info on paydays and fixed expenses on a year planner. Once we had that, we prioritized needs/wants, and started slotting them into the paydays where I would have paid the bank. Ale thinks its stressful, but I tell her it should give her peace of mind to know that we know what we can do and what we cannot do (not all wants made it into the calendar)
All income from translations will go into a separate bank account, for a new (to us) car either in June or November (I get 30% of my year bonus in June, and the remaining 70% in November)
The plan is to save $100/month, sell the old car and use the bonus to try to purchase a new car. If possible, we would do this in June, if not, we will do it in November. I know that waiting until November would mean getting a better car, but, even if it can be fixed, I don´t know if the old car would make it to June.
Wish us luck!

wants vs needs

July 27th, 2018 at 03:47 pm

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.

2 purple dresses!

July 17th, 2018 at 03:51 am

My sister is getting married next month. The wedding party is supposed to be dressed in shades of purple (it used to be lilac, but, some of her friends convinced her, since we weren't wearing matching dresses, she might as well be more flexible with the colors to allow for shades of purple from lilac to grape)... SO... we went "hunting" for purple dresses, one for my myself and one for Ale... the first store we went to (which we thought was not as expensive as it turned out to be) had 2 beautiful dresses... and they offered me a discount if I took both... $225 for both... Er.. thanks... We then went to the 2nd-hand stores... at the first we found a beautiful dress in grape purple for Ale for $5. At the second one, we found one in wisteria purple for myself for $20, BUT, they had 50% off all clothes, so it ended up costing $10! We do want to get a rhinestone applique for Ale's, and, mine needs to be cut (at 1.49m - 4 feet 11 inches approx, I'm used to having ALL my clothes altered!), and, of course, they need to go to the dry cleaners (they do look wrinkled!) but, still, after all that, they will still be a lot less expensive than the $225! After the wedding, which is at the end of August, it will be time to start looking for dresses for Ale´s graduation (end of November)... guess where I´m going to look first!!
These are the dresses, although, they look black and gray in the pic... cheap phone, what can I say?

Counting meals

June 21st, 2018 at 02:42 pm

We have gotten into the habit of making menus and "counting meals". We need 45 meals to last a pay period. Most mornings we have cereal with milk, and vary only the lunches and dinners. We were lazy last week and didn´t make our menu. As a consequence, I didn´t purchase enough food for the whole 2 weeks....But, I always have some staples on hand that may be used. One of our favorite meals now is "false chicken" crepes... (I use texturized soy meal for the filling!) We both love them, and they are cheap to make... just some flour, milk and oil + 1 egg for the crepes (and I have learned to make them without the egg, even, if necessary), the soy + chicken base + onion + green peppers + tomatoes + garlic (and, sometimes, bbq sauce for a change in flavor), and, for a gourmet touch, some white sauce (should be butter, but we use margarine + onion + flour + ground nutmet + white pepper). Oh, and today we are having "meatless" lentils... I forgot to buy sausages! Oh, well...

Seems my life just got more expensive!

May 3rd, 2010 at 05:29 am

I used to buy Ale new clothes every six months, in June and December of each year, but, she already outgrew all her clothes. So, if she continues to grow at this pace, I will have to do it every 4 months! OUCH!

Double-Ouch...we now have to go to the Juniors section!!!....

I took her to a place that was supposed to be an outlet, but, t-shirts were $19!!!... I then took her to another place where we bought 3 shirts and pajamas for $21! the only bad thing was we couldnt find any bottoms there...we went to at least 3 other places, but, I think shes all set now!

Going into frugal mode come 2009!

December 23rd, 2008 at 05:15 pm

Well, we went off frugal mode in November- with the Xmas bonus at the office...
while a lot of the $$$ has been going to things that were needed/not urgent (like painting the outside of the house and the living room) some has also gone to mindless spending (not bringing food for lunch... useless trinkets for Ale, etc)... I wouldn't say it's BAD, but it certainly could have been better used (yes, you do need to have some fun once in a while)... anyway.. I've already warned Ale that, come January, we will NOT be going to the malls anymore, unless it's for school-related items (like shoes...she desperately NEEDS new school shoes, hers look like she took them out of a dumpster already! I noticed it early December, but decided that, since her last day of school was the 17th, they'd HAVE to last until then!...and, I will wait until the last possible moment to buy, given the way she's growing!)...
I also told her we will not be eating out as much or entertaining as much, unless we find free/almost free fun!
Wish me luck!

Ha! I knew it HAD to be there!

September 8th, 2008 at 09:26 pm

The Dress...the typical volcanea dress I bought for Ale last year was "lost"...I arrived early enough to still catch Nanny at home (sis hadn't arrived home yet), and I had her look in all the weird places in which she generally stores things that are not in use...sure enough, there was the dress, which was bought just a bit larger than needed to be last year, so that it could still be used THIS year! HA!, I do need new shoes to go with it! (last year's fit just barely, and hurt Ale when she walks...and, this year, they're DANCING!), off to the handicrafts market I go (next weekend)
I'll take pictures of her in it and post them!

Almost ready for school again!

July 25th, 2008 at 04:12 pm

Remember I was buying notebooks and school supplies waaaay in advance? ...I'm now almost finished with all the purchases (need 6 pencils and 1 English-English Dictionary....Ale's "got lost from her back pack"...)...I also finished labeling most of her stuff (need to label 24 pencils- yuech!) and I bound all her notebooks in plastic cover last night (now I "only" need to bind the books, which we have not received yet...Oh, and she needs a couple new containers for her lunch box...

so, my shopping list is>

6 pencils
1 English/ English dictionary
2 small food containers

YAY!...I still haven't added the last things I bought, so I still don't know how much I really spent...

Oooops, forgot the uniforms!...some pieces are in bad shape, and others have been outgrown...but, I'll get these during the first week of school!

Ale melts my heart...

July 23rd, 2008 at 04:34 pm

really,that kid does.

Yesterday, we were lying in bed (it was cold, we were watching TV) and she said: You know what would be REALLY nice?...if we could get BIG a house, so all 5 of us could live together (she means the 2 of us + sis, niece and nephew)...I said: such a big house would be expensive..we'd have to save a lot to be able to do that...and she replied: could I help with the money I'm making from the business, even if it's just $1? It would help, wouldn't it?

Way to go, Ale!

July 20th, 2008 at 03:25 am

As of yesterday night, she had $9.20 cash, 6 frozen bananas and 4 popsicles...she had already re-invested $1 to buy 20 bananas....

Today, I took her to buy the doll stroller she wanted...first they showed her one for $3.50 (as opposed to the $6 she had budgeted)...then the saleslady told her: "We have one with the Disney Princesses on it..."...they showed her that one, and it was smaller than the original one...I asked how much it cost, and the lady said $8...Ale's eyes went big and she shook her head "no"...she told the lady: No, I want the other one...then the lady set another "trap", she asked Ale if she wanted to pay right away or wait until she had finished looking around...(hey, I was just the chauffer today!)...Ale said she wanted to look around, we went through the store and at one point we were standing in the aisle where they have the cookware, and Ale said: Mom, look, popsicle molds!...she chose a set that is the exact same size as the one we had...except this one holds 8 popsicles instead of now she has 2 molds! for chocolate and one for strawberry milk popsicles!!...It cost her $1.75...she paid for it all herself!...I then took her to the supermarket (1 block away) and she bought the strawberry flavor (Nesquick), 1 bag of powdered milk, 1 bag of chocolate coverage...that came out to $, now we are back home, and we already have the strawberry milk popsicles in the, now she has $0.71 left on hand, plus 6 frozen bananas ($3), 4 chocolate milk popsicles ($1.20) and 8 strawberry popsicles ($2.40)...

While at the store, she also eyed some other stuff she liked...I just told her: You could make enogh to buy that, too, if you really want it!

Ale is up to $6.20!!!

July 18th, 2008 at 04:42 pm

$7.20, actually, as she used $1 to buy a new batch of bananas...

She needs to buy more chocolate, too, and wants to buy flavoring to make strawberry milk popsicles...(in case her friends get tired of chocolate!), yesterday she was confronted with a tough decision: the doll stroller she wants (what started this whole thing) costs about $6....but, if she buys it NOW, that will be the end of the business, as she wont have enough $$ to restock supplies....I reminded her she still has to pay me back the $5 I loaned her...but told her she can pay in installemnts (even if she quits once she's in school and doesn't finish paying me back, I want her to KNOW that this is DEBT and all debt should be repaid!!!)....

Ill let you know what she decides!

In the meantime, she has 12 chocobananos and 6 new popsicles in the freezer!...and asked me if she could take some of our Nesquick to make strawberry milk popsicles...

Ale sold $4.40!!

July 16th, 2008 at 07:14 pm

now I have to make sure she understands she didn't MAKE $4.40...that she has to deduct her costs from that (we calculated them together) and that she can't just SPEND the $4.40 or the business is over!- wish me luck!

Ale goes into business

July 10th, 2008 at 09:33 pm

...or, she will, once we work the numbers...

I made her some iced popsicles seems Nanny had attempted this some times before, without success...

The popsicles came out perfect this time!
Ale wants to sell them to the neighborhood children for $1/each (I told her she really can't do that, since the store in our neighborhood has cheaper ones, but promise her we'll work on pricing and then she can start...I also told her she can make "chocobananos" - frozen chocolate-covered bananas)...This conversation took place at lunchtime...

At 3pm, she calls me to work, and wants to know who gets the money...meaning who gets to keep the profits....
she also wants to know where the "original" money will come from ...meaning the money to buy the supplies for the first batch....

I told her I'll loan her the seed money, and she gets to keep the profits, but she can't spend it, because she has to re-invest it...she got a little confused with the concept of profit, so I promised I'll explain to her when I get home...

Even if she doesn't make much, it'll be a good experience!

"I 'm the only one that doesn't have cable"

July 7th, 2008 at 09:27 pm

That's what Ale told me a couple of days ago. she then proceeded to tell me she hopes to get some new kids in her class next year that don't have cable, as well...I told her: Baby, the way things are going, some of your OLD class mates might become cable-less as well! (A lot of the parents complained at the Parent's assembly last year because the school was increasing tuition. While I didn't feel thrilled at the idea, I understand that teachers and staff face cost-of-living increases,, it's a PRIVATE school....that means it is OWNED by someone - the school principal- who actually sees it as a money-making venture...) I think at least 1 other student has had the cable disconnected, already!

I understand the need to "compete", believe me, I do...I went to a partially -subsidized private school and, while half the class was taking trips to the US and Europe every year, some of us couldn't even afford to go to the beach on Sundays!...I wore clothes bought from a door-to-door vendor, they wore designer know what? I turned out just fine, and I don't see why Ale shouldn't!...and I keep telling her, if she had cable she probably wouldn't be out playing with her friends outside all afternoon!....
And I know cable is just 1 battlefront!...soon I'll get to fight other ones,like: cellphones and clothes! ugh! Wish me luck!

The sandwiches

June 18th, 2008 at 05:07 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 08:55 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...)

We're back from DisneyWorld!

June 6th, 2008 at 04:11 am

long story, but our Miami to Orlando flight got cancelled (and that was THE flight for us...the only one that had space! add to that 100+ revenue passengers from that flight added to the other ones = RENTAL CAR!)...I ended up having to rent the car in Miami and driving to Orlando!!!...and they DIDN't have compacts, or economy, or mid-sized cars...I had to take a full-sized one!!! ...add to that the fact that dropping the car at a different location is more expensive, plus the gas to drive that monster from Miami to Orlando...well, between the car rental and the extra purchases, we spent ~$200 more than we had budgeted (fortunately, I did have a little extra I could use for just such a thing!...after all, don't they say when you travel you should pack your bags and take your money, then take out half of what you packed and add 30% more $$$??)
I got lost, too! (have I ever told you I have a "broken" compass?? I get disoriented VERY easily!, it's a joke...but, believe me, it was NOT funny!!!) took me 2 additional hours to find our hotel!!! ...
well, that was day 1.
But on day 2....we went to Animal Kingdom and loved it!!! - we didn't do many rides, but we DID see a lot of animals part of the Year of a Million Dreams, we got chosen to be on the Mickey Mouse float in the parade!!!!
We had to buy some clothes because our bag DID travel to Orlando without us, and Miami said our bag was in Orlando, but Orlando hadn't acknowledged receipt of the bag...and, NO, when you travel stand by you don't have the right to be reimbursed for purchase of clothes or toiletries if your flight gets cancelled (you do have a right to compensation if the airline loses your bag, though!)
On day 3 we went to Epcot and they gave us free "ears"! (I had already bought Ale's, but she kept insisting that I buy myself ones, so we could both have ears...and I kept saying "No").
We also went to get our bag from the airport...and I got lost again! both on the way TO the airport and back!
Day 4 we went to Magic Kingdom. Left early (10pm) because Ale didn't want to stay for the fireworks (the noise scared her!)...
Day up at 4am to go to the airport and drop off the car/get on the 6:15 flight! Got to Miami, checked in and went to the Miami SEaquarium and to the beach (but did not stay because Ale stepped on a rock at the beach and freaked out! - she didn't want to go near the water again and I didn't want to fry in the sun!)...went back to the hotel for some pool time and to change. Went out to hunt for a Barbie Girls MP3 player she wanted (with her own money)...had to go to 3 different places, to finally find 1 left at Toys R Us!...

Every day, when we came back to the hotel, we added up what we had spent to make sure we were more or less on track...
And every day Ale got to write down what SHE had spent out of her $ it was a good exercise for both of us!

Came back home to find 4 pieces of translation waiting for me...all due next Monday, so I gotta get to work early tomorrow.

Gotta go! that's my report for today!!!

Piggy bank!

May 26th, 2008 at 05:12 pm

we opened the "Disney Money" piggy bank today...Ale had $15.03
I told her as soon as we come back we have to start another piggy bank (they sell them here at the marketplace...any shape and size imaginable!)...and she said: what would that be for? ...I told her I wasn't sure...could be for another trip, maybe...and she said: or for a medical emergency, Mom, so we can pay in real money and not credit card money!

My baby!!

The homework box

March 25th, 2008 at 11:19 pm

I'm thinking of putting together a "homework supplies" box...using stuff I already have, but adding some stuff, I was thinking:

1. pencils (Ale tends to lose them!)
2. eraser
3. sharpener
4. colored pencils
5. box of crayons
6. watercolors
7. white glue
8. 2 or 3 brushes
9. old magazines (for cutting up)
10.glitter glue (we do have some leftover from the school supply sale)
11. colored bond paper, letter size
12. white bond paper, legal size (we have about 10 reasms!)
13. yarn in different colors (leftover from knitting projects)
14. ribbon
15. gift wrapping paper (I do have some small scraps left over, too)
16. construction paper (from school supply sales)

Anything else you think would be good?

Happy International Women's Day!

March 9th, 2008 at 04:44 am

March 8th is International Women's Day...
congratulations to all!

we did have a nice celebration...I convinced sis of going to lunch using a special promo from our grocery store club could get a special plate to share among 3 people for just $18 ...and we bought a plate from the children's menu for Ale for $5...this was at a very good restaurant (it's not fancy, but the food is GREAT!)...we even had leftovers to bring home for tomorrow's lunch! yum!...(LOL! you should have seen niece's face when I pulled out my flyer detailing the special promo and saying: we will have THIS one!)...she did enjoy the food and declared herself "stuffed" in the end...but, for a moment there I thought her eyes were going to pop out of her head!

Also, since our freezer was full, my grocery shopping at the supemarket was ~$50!...woo-hoo!...tomorrow I have to go to the market to get the veggies, fruit and that'll add ~$15-$20...still, last time I spent $85 just at the supermarket, so...

oh, and the supermarket had a 20% all "special store" items (hardware, clothing, SCHOOL SUPPLIES), so we finished buying Ale's notebooks (at least, I think we did...since I don't have a list yet, I bought the same amount of notebooks that we bought for THIS school year... I don't imagine them using LESS notebooks for the coming school year...MAYBE they'll ask for MORE, but, then, I'll just have to buy those extra ones...

Funny as it may sound, school supplies are cheaper now that they are "off season" than they were while "on sale" in January....

Oh, and I showed Ale that there was a $0.20 - $0.40 difference between notebook A, with a generic cover (say: picture of 2 cute cats and 1 puppy) and notebook B (with licensed character on the cover)...both notebooks were the same size, had the same amount of pages/sheets, same format (lined, in this case), binding was sewn, rather than stapled for both notebooks, same quality of paper...

Her opinion?....Mom, that's so dumb! you could buy the cheap one and, if you're really so crazy about the licensed character then use stickers or gift paper decorated with the licensed character and it would stil be much cheaper!...((had to brag, sorry!))

Oh, we also did some unbudgeted shopping....

1. we bought a bright orange fish...yes, we already have 32+, but ours are so we bought a bright orange one of the same kind... it cost $2...and hopefully it'll reproduce with the other ones and give me a chance to explain to Ale about genetics...who knows, there might come a day when I'll have to buy a silver fish to introduce some fresh genes into our all-orange tank!

2. I've been looking for flip-flops for Ale and myself (remember those neat "lemon" ones Santa brought for Xmas 2006?...well, after over a year of daily wear- we use them inside the house, and for the beach, too- they were pretty much useless ....AND we found ones on sale at $2.80 (adult sizes) and $2.40 (children sizes)...I bought a pair for myself, a pair for sis (hers were useless, too) and a pair for total was $7.60 (sis still wears children size 4! LOL!)...I didn't get a pair for niece because she has about 10 pairs (of which she only wears 1!) courtesy of her dad ....(he won't pay for textbooks, but flip flops...oh, yes, a girl can't have too many flip flops!)....

Well, as you can see, it was a pretty full day!...and quite spendy, but, to make up for it, tomorrow we are going to a special theater show at the's a special play for children....and it's FREE!

"Is that laptop more expensive because it comes in colors?"

January 17th, 2008 at 02:52 pm

there was a full-page, full-color ad for SONY Vaios today in the newspaper...
Ale, it seems, wants her own laptop...
after looking at the prices (the cheapest one was $1,099- don't ask me about specifications, I'm technologically challenged)she said to me:
"that's a lot of money...but maybe I could save for it...right now I only want it for games, but if I take good care of it,it'll last until I'm a teenager and then I'll use it for school stuff...and you know, even if I got a laptop that didn't come in colors, I could always use stickers to make it look nicer"

I just had to share that one!

woo-hoo! school supply packages are a done deal!

January 11th, 2008 at 11:25 pm

140 packages....our profit will be $560/2 = $280 for each one of us!!!...

of course, it means working like crazy during the weekend, but....

I include this in the Teaching Ale about $$ category because, as usual, if she helps out, she'll get paid!

Ale's dream store

November 7th, 2007 at 04:16 am

Ale and her best friend want to open a store to sell "stuff"...they actually want to call it "Ale and Danny's stuff"...Ale says that Danny will be in charge of allocating the money, but that she (Ale) gets to be the boss and she gets a bigger share of the profit (her expression, not mine!) because it was HER idea...Ale will be in charge of ordering the stuff to sell, but, she says, she will have to order other stuff, too, as it would be nice to have restrooms in the store...she also thinks it would be nice to have a cafeteria, so people can eat there and save on food and gas...the food in the cafeteria would be free for customers, so if someone coming in for the first time notices the cafeteria, she'd tell them: oh, it's free for our customers...

AND, she says she would be very good at selling, because she's already been to the flea market on Sundays, and has also experience buying stuff from coming with cousin and me on our weekend expeditions downtown...

She knows she has to pay for the stuff she buys, plus the people that work at the store, and that from they cannot take all the profit because they need to replenish the store.... (I wish I had known all that when I was 7!! LOL!)

Ale on debt and cc's

September 11th, 2007 at 02:54 pm

Of course, Ale is all for saving right now (with the Disney trip on her sights!), but I explained to her paying down debt comes first...

so, here's our conversation:

A: so, first we pay debts.
MI: yes.
A: then we travel, no, then we make sure you don't go into debt again...Mom, we should just shred the credit card, that way you can't use it!

(LOL! I wish, but, local norm dictates you HAVE to bring an intact cc to be able to close a cc account. Otherwise, they make you wait for new plastic --AND CHARGE YOU FOR IT, so I'm taking good care of my cc, but it's "grounded" and cannot leave the house!)

About that trip to Disney....

September 6th, 2007 at 08:48 pm

Some time ago, ex-hubby called and said we "needed to revisit some long-buried converstations"...uh??
Turns out he wanted to talk to me about:
1. A promise he never fulfilled (and, in my mind, I just thought: which one of them all??-- lucky I decided not to say it!)
2. His airline employee ticket benefits will end next year and, he will save 2 (space available) tickets for Ale and myself to go to Disney if we want to. Now, mind you, he isn't Ale's dad (warning, because if he were, this next thing would be petty!)...I have to pay for the tickets...about $300/each (taxes and fees INCLUDED)...which is a lot less than the regular fares from ES to Miami, which generally fluctuate between $599 and $649 (tax and fees NOT included! which means they come up to $750-$875!)..

so, it's a good deal...the problem, of course, is: it takes more than plane tickets to get there!!!...I've been doing numbers and, I estimate I'd need at least $1,300 (including plane tickets!) to even consider it a go...Ale, of course, thinks we can make it...I'm not so sure...

Mainly, I'm still having trouble paying down debt...I expect to "catch up" in November, and, be up to date with everything + pay a cc in full...but, that will leave only about $45/month (which is my current minimum payment on that cc, and which I'll allocate to other payments starting Dec 2007)...

I've investigated and, the best dates for us (based on school schedule and potential flight availability) would be:

Between March 13-19
May 1-5
Between June 21-28

June would be my preferred option:
1. Ale is on vacation
2. Her birthday is June 26. It would be cool if this were our last day at the parks!
3. It's further away= more time to save
4. I receive a small bonus in June

The problem? ex-hubby said ticket benefits end June I don't know if that means: must be purchased before June 1st
2. tickets must be purchased before June 30th
3. tickets must be used (travel finished) by June 1st
4. tickets must be used (travel finished) by June 30th.

I've already asked about this and also about the exact price (since we are space available, price isn't subject to seasonal changes!)

So far, we have $121 in our Disney account (which I set up back in 2004, and should be nearing the $1K mark, but I had to take out the money to pay down debt about a year ago!) and the ~$12/pay period from my salary increase ....and I have decided that the package of translations to be paid at $0.03 go towards this, too...I estimate all these would get me to the $600 mark (once collected), I'd have the plane tickets...Have to find a way to earn the rest!

Of course, the REAL challenge is to do THIS while keeping the same targets I had for paying my debts!! (which is why I added the other ticker ABOVE the Disney one!)

Keep tuned for updates!

school sweat pants for Ale

August 31st, 2007 at 05:52 pm

They finally have the "official" uniform sweat pants....we were lucky, Ale has PE on Tuesdays and Fridays...that means I'm only buying her 1 pair, and not 2 (as I would have if the PE sessions had been closer to one another-- rainy season lasts 6 months, after all... and we don't own a dryer!)

Book fair this weekend!

August 24th, 2007 at 04:53 pm

I'm so excited!...Ale and I had planned to go, now sis is joining, too!...
I already withdrew the $20 out of my account (it's payday today, and we've already received our $$$!)...
I will definetely leave the debit card behind for this! (I have no willpower when it comes to books!) $20 we have and $20 is the most we can spend!
In 2004, when we went to the US, Ale and I were let loose in B&N and, eventhough we didn't get everything we wanted, we spent almost $200! YIKES!...worth every penny, but, still...that was BEFORE, this is NOW, and NOW I'm actively trying to get out of debt and not shutting my eyes in denial!

Book fair: the Land of Temptation!!!

August 14th, 2007 at 06:00 pm

the annual book fair will take place 25-28 August...I have allotted $20 (as usual)...Ale is very excited about it...if I let her, she'll use the $20 on herself! (I want to buy 1 book for myself!)...
Sadly enough, the library is not an option for us...
1. location (it's very far away, and there's no parking!)
2. working hours (M-F, 9 to 4)
3. you cannot take the books home!, it's buying or lending for us!

oh, to be debt free...

August 14th, 2007 at 04:45 pm

and never to fall in debt again!...
that was Ale's wish last's my wish every day! LOL!...
she knows that debt is the reason so little of what I make actually makes it into the house!! LOL!


August 8th, 2007 at 08:38 pm

said with her most impish expression...
This is what Ale asked today when I told her I wanted her to review her toys and separate them into: "to keep", "to give away", "to sell" and "to trhow away" I explained to her that, since her friend T. is going away, she's getting some of her toys...
"Oh, to make space!"
Smart girl!

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