Sunday, October 5, 2008

One down, many to go

Well this will be a short post as I'm having a lot of work and family stuff going on.
Just wanted to report that i'm done paying my ex-brother in law. I gave the last $100 to my mom last week.
I also called him and told him I was done paying him by giving the payments to my mom to support my niece. He came back to me saying that we should talk later about how he could keep sending money for the baby. I didn't even thought he would bring that up. Remember what I said about asking him for another loan. Maybe that's something we could do (loans at 0% interest are good).
On the other hand him and my sister are starting a court thing to define child support.
He didn't actually call me back so I will call him tomorrow.
I guess it wasn't such a short post after all. Anyway, at least this blog is free.


Guanaja Sharon said...

Hi. I read your blog when LaGringa wrote about it today. I have lived in Honduras for 11 years (being a citizen of the U.S.) and I can tell you for a fact that people in the U.S. get themselves into situations similar to yours with credit cards. The only advantage they have is 1) lower interest rates on the cards 2) ability to make payments and lose the "extra fee" one gets if the payment does not met what the bank feels is necessary on that month 3) ultimately they can apply for bankruptcy if the situation gets out of hand and this puts them back to square one without the capability of getting good credit for 5 years.
I feel badly for you and other Hondurans as the banks here rip people off by charging the abnormal rate of 60% on credit cards.
You are doing all the right things - trying to reduce your costs while maintaining a good life for your family. By taking them to school you have discovered that you now have time to spend with them to talk. I hope you can continue the practice taking them to and from school as it is a precious thing not to waste and a price cannot be put on spending time with the family.
I try to make it a practice to only use the credit card for an emergency (and going out to dinner does not constitute that) and to charge no more than I can pay off in one month.
The type of food your wife buys at the grocery can make a difference too. Less frozen items, more fresh. More vegetables, less meat. More fruit and less worthless sugar snacks.
Also, if the girls have cell phones they must understand that all this "messaging" and unnecessary calls are just that - unnecessary. Heck, you lived without a cell phone for years right and the world did not come to an end! There should be a limit on the amount of time they are allowed to use the phone. They are kids - they don't need to chat for hours with someone they just saw at school! You, on the other hand have a business and it means least I assume that is what your cell phone is for. So, maybe you can put the girls on a "budget" during the crisis.
Good luck and the minute you get your debts paid off just remember - make a budget, live within your means and say no to charging and unnecessary spending. If you can't afford it, you can't afford it and all the family should be made to realize this.
All my best.
Guanaja Sharon

AJ said...

Thank you for commenting on my blog. I appreciate your advice.

My youngest girl has a prepaid cellphone that usually doesn't have any balance since I use it to reach her and not the other way around. The oldest one has a cellphone on our corporate plan but she is very careful when using it because she is a good daughter and knows that I will get all the call detail records at the end of the month , LOL! She rarely spends more than $7 a month on that phone.

I think that groceries are a big expense and it used to be a lot bigger when I had 10 people living in my house. I'm now basically paying up debt acumulated over the years from sustaining others in my house. Now it's only us and maid.

I hope you keep comming back to see some more postings.

gringabosque said...

Hi aj,
Today I read all your blogs since the beginning and although it's hard, you're really on the right track. It's hard not to feel guilty about the debt but it's old history and now you're on a new track and that's great. Be proud every time you make a decision that improves your financial situation.
The best thing is what you're doing for your daughters. Teaching them financial responsibility is a wonderful gift and much more important than material possessions. We make a mistake thinking we are what we have and not who we are.
There's a blog that I read every day from a guy who was in big debt and is working his way out.It's
the and he has a lot of practical advice.
I think what you're doing is great. Hopefully, your wife can really understand that these decisions are for the family and not yours alone. You may have to change your lifestyle even more drastically: one car, always using the social security hospital, buying fruits and vegetables at the market, no new clothes, perhaps no maid. I wish you luck and my best wishes.
Mary from Miami now