Sunday, November 23, 2008

Second Week, pass the pills

Hello there,
It's been two weeks at having two jobs and i'm happy to say they are happy with my perfomance, in both places.
I got so many comments from readers about taking lunch from home that I just want you all to know that I am taking lunch with me from home. I asked the maid about the best way to do it and she had good ideas on what I should buy to take it. So I bought a thermos with 4 containers ($6 at HiperPaiz) and I get to eat a whole lunch that's usually still warm by noon. I reheat it on the microwave anyway. I did agree with my wife to come home for lunch twice a week so we can talk over lunch instead of waiting for me until 10pm. I might cut that down to once a week since it's not easy to go home, eat and get back to the other job in just one hour without rushing everything.
I got my first paycheck from the morning job this thrusday and I was overdue in paying one of my debts so it had to go into that. No clothes bought LG :-) only medications, see below. I Need to write about my wife one day, but it's going to be a long post so I can't do it right now.  Next paycheck is going to pay up dad completely. The amount due is only about $500 (a bit less).
I'm waking up without much problem. However since thrusday I got a twitch in my right eye at night. I remember having this twitch in college when I was programming without sleep for one or more days.
Also I got called for a work emergency early saturday so I couldn't rest. Instead I was at a bank recovering an important data server until 7pm that day. By the end of the day I was sneezing, had a running nose and to top it off I woke up today with a sore throat. Yeap, I got a cold. The first indication that my body defenses are going down. At least after sleeping most of sunday I don't have a twitch in my eye today.
I'm already taking medication for my cold and I rested most of today (sunday). Tomorrow I hope my throat is better after starting to take the usual 7-day dose of antibiotics that takes care of that. I can manage most of the cold but the sore throat really makes me grouchy and in no mood to smile.
Oh, did I tell you that my notebook, this one from where i'm writing from, my "machete" , my way of work, almost my work life and some part of my personal life, gave up on me thrusday? Yeap. I managed to recover it with no loss of data. But the situation really scared me. This notebook is mine, however I use it a lot for work (all my jobs are done from it). So after telling my boss of my computer troubles , he said we would look at getting me one tomorrow. I want to tell him that I want in some way to end up with it as being of my property, rather than assigned to me by the company. I wouldn't want to work other stuff on it if it isn't mine. Even though my boss does that on his(the company's) notebook.
I'm doing some extra hours right now to complete my 25 hours for my morning job. If I get to do 25 hours every week I should get at least $800 every "quincena". I have two payments overdue but they will have to way until december since I can't pay them right now.
I know it's going to be tough to be tight with money on december but I will try to put off temptation by paying debts the same day I get paid. I know my wife would love to spend the money instead of paying debt. As I said she needs a post of her own.
LG was concerned about my arrival time at the morning job. I have to be available at 9am for a daily standup meeting. I can do that by getting to the office or by calling the teleconference phone. So far i've been at work at 8:50am by the latest.
Besides being at the meeting my boss there is very flexible with my hours because he understands that on one side I have another job and on the other hand there are tasks that require me to work at nights (like right now) when users are not using the system so I can make backups, copy large files, run long defrag jobs, etc. All the stuff needed for computers to work for a long time without users complaining.
Next week is going to be interesting. I have a provider comming in from Colombia on tuesday and wednesday. That will mean I will have to come in early to my afternoon job. So I will have to talk to my morning job boss and tell him I will work for him at nights those two days. I hope he understands, and maybe we find out some interesting things by me working more at nights. I'm still feeling my way around this job but i've been productive already and I like that.
Ok, i'm sleepy.
At least this blog is free. Your comments are priceless!


Cindy in California said...

You are doing so well!! Thank you for taking the time to update. Take care of yourself so you can get over this cold.

If you can get a few of these extra paychecks and get all the bills up to date I think it will take some mental weight off your shoulders. It's worth the sacrifice right now to get the debts paid.

It'll be a tricky balance to keep your family happy with all the extra hours you're working. It won't be easy but try, try, try to avoid the pressure of some type of "reward" (purchase...which is really spending money when you want to pay debt). Plan small, meaningful ones maybe as each debt is paid. You're in a tough spot because you have fully bought into this goal of getting out of debt but they may not be on the same page. I hope they realize you're really doing this for them. You'll all be so much better off to be out from under the bondage of this debt.

Good job on bringing your lunch. Small savings can make a big difference in getting out of debt.

We're cheering you on! Stay on track. The end result is worth this struggle.

La Gringa said...

Yeah! What Cindy said. :-)

I'm also very glad that the two jobs are working out for you and that your hours can be flexible.

Be strong with your family. You have to convince them that you'll never get out of this debt without some sacrifices. And really, she should get a job, too, even if she can't find one that meets her expectations. Or let the maid go, which would add L.3,000 or so to your monthly income.

I just can't keep myself from saying that antibiotics should NOT be used for colds! Next time you feel yourself catching a cold, try taking mega doses of vitamin C.

Jeremy said...

Yeah, what La Gringa said. Either she works or the maid goes. Or both.

Love the blog. I'm walking the same road my friend and it isn't easy. Stay strong in December. It's the toughest month.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, how can you have a maid with all that work you have to do in order to pay for your debt? I am sure your wife helped a lot with those overextended credit cards. Please!!!!!

La Gringa said...

Awww. Now people are being mean. I know it is a different culture and maids are the norm among the middle class, the financial situation your family is in, it does seem that your wife could do the cooking and cleaning. I do! And I'm not in financial trouble.

I guess it is hard to imagine that change in lifestyle, but desperate times require desperate measures. You don't want to be struggling like this for 10 years. I'm sure that one day you would like to buy a house.

If the balances that you list are up to date, it looks like you could pay off Credit Card Cr2 in one month of your second job! How much interest would that save every month?

Have you done a budget yet? I think if you list rent, school, gas, utilities, maid, and all the credit card payments that should be made (not minimum payments!) and show your wife how much is left, she might have a better understanding of what needs to be done.

Jeremy said...

I'm not trying to be mean, it is just that in times of financial difficulty, you swallow your pride and do whatever you have to increase income and decrease expenses.

When I first lived in Honduras we had a maid (3x week). Now we are back in the US and that was one of the first things to go when money got tight (ok when we finally realized that money was tight.

And I agree wholeheartedly with your budget suggestion. Making one is tough. It's not a bad idea to just track your expenses for a month to get an idea what you actually do spend on what and then make a budget from there, trying to cut something back each month.

La Gringa said...

I'm glad to hear that you weren't trying to be mean, Jeremy. It just seemed that we were ganging up on poor AJ.

AJ, you have to do that budget! Jeremy's suggestion of just tracking your expenses for one month is a good way to start. And one thing in particular that I would like you to show separately is the amount of interest that you pay on each credit card per month. Remember paying interest is like tearing up your paycheck into little pieces and flushing it down the toilet. What percentage of your income gets flushed down the toilet each month? Those numbers need to be the focus of your attention. You'll never get out of the hole by making minimum payments.

Looking at the numbers will help you and your family to keep from rationalizing. We all rationalize about our weak areas! I'll be the first to admit that. It's harder to do, though, when looking at the cold, hard facts. If you need any help setting up a budget format, let me know.

Hey, I'm giving you tough love here because telling you what you want to hear is not going to help you. ;-D

aighmeigh said...

you've been given some great advice, and i heartily agree with the budgeting idea! LG is also definitely right on target about the vitamin C too--it'll knock the sickness out of you and you won't have to worry about becoming resistant to common antibiotics!!

i'm really glad things are going well for you--keep up the hard work! :)

AM said...

In my case, my wife is a much better money watcher than myself, so what we've done is that apart from taking care of the kids, she is in full control of finances. I keep a full time job. Frankly I think she works harder than I do so I'd be in no position to ask her to take a job. For the cold/flu what you can do is to squeeze about 6 of those small key limes (limones in Hond.) and drink the pure juice shot style. Do it before a good night of sleep and you'll feel much better in the morning. It'll also save you lots on those pills.