Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Breathing again and some concerns

We are back to sending goods to my ex-brother-in-law. Thank God!
They have told me that while we had a break in the supply they realized they need more volume shipped to them as the demand has increased. I hope I can get our supplier to meed our demands and so they can sell more and I can earn more.
My best friend came over from MO a few weeks ago. I went out with him a lot to do errands and talk about the old times. Eventually I got the courage to ask him for a loan. At first he was ok and asked how much. I told him I needed $8,000 (to pay my main credit card and cancel it).
He said he didn't have that money but that he could get me to use one of his cash lines. Unfortunately another friend of his back in MO had already used his $20,000 cash line, and is not paying him back. So I worried that he wouldn't want to put himself in the position of having to pay for someone else, again.
As he was leaving he told me he just couldn't come up with the money. However he knew there was a programming gig that was almost finished (it was a proyect from this other friend that wasn't paying him back). He would check if I could finish it. If it was finished the company expecting the software would pay $15,000. He talked with the other guy and he agreed to give me $8,000 to finish it and he would keep the other $7000 since he would handle everything else and it was after all his business.
Right now i'm in the process of getting set up and hoping I can finish that software in a couple of months. My friend said one month, the guy said two weeks. So i'm thinking it will take a bit more.
LG expressed her concern that it seems like I only pay debt with my additional income. Unfortunately that is mostly true. I have a loan with the company coop that is automatically deducted from my paycheck and it's at 12%/year for 3 years (refinanceable once I reach 18 months of payments).
A big chunk of my paycheck goes towards groceries. Food, clothing, and other house supplies. Plus money for my wife to keep her car running and her spenditures. Also cellphones and landlines, water, electricity, etc.
The other big chunk has been my taxes, which seem to increase more and more every time I get a payraise.
This past couple of months have been abnormal. I've had to pay the yearly registration for one of my cars, I had totally forgotten about that and it was a big chunk. I've had to pay money up front for some house repairs for which the landlord has given me credit towards the rent pay.
In general as i'm writing this I think I haven't done an important part of controlling my debt. I haven't made a budget and so I don't know exactly where my money goes. I should do that very soon, NOW!
Well, at least this blog is free


La Gringa said...

Okay, you've mentioned the budget a few times. It's an important step for you. I really think it would be helpful and enlightening for you and your family.

I know it seems like a daunting task (especially if you aren't an accountant like me), but just start with the easy stuff, like rent, car payment, water, school, etc., all the expenses that are well defined.

Then go on to the other things like groceries, gas, and make an estimate. Even better, keep track of everything that you and the family spend for 2-4 weeks and use those numbers.

If the total estimated expenses come up to more than the total estimated income, then you know that you'll need to make adjustments somewhere. It's not even a bad idea to involve your family with those decisions, for example, ask the kids, do you want to go to a movie once a month or would you rather go out to eat or whatever.

I'm going to guess that there may be some good internet sites with more info and possibly some formats to help you get started. Keeping track of what you spend can really be an eye-opener!

AJ said...

I think I will have no trouble with the big items, most of that stuff I pay with my debit card.

I think the challenge will be to track the cash/day-to-day expenses and where do they really go.