It's been a up and down cycle this thing of having two jobs. One day I get up at 6:30am feeling like I can do anything and the next day I feel very sick. Fortunately my cold is gone and some of those days that I feel sick it clears up by the time I'm driving back to the house from dropping off the girls.
About the maid. Many of you have stated that I should get rid of the maid and have my wife clean and cook. That would work if the plan was for my wife to stay at home. My and mostly her larger goal is for her to actually get a job.
So we can't look for a maid the day she gets a job because, as those of you who live in Honduras know, good cheap maids are hard to find. Even expensive good maids are hard to find.
We have a maid and my wife is looking for a job. She goes to job interviews every now and then. She is in a job placement agency. I look for jobs for her online. Now she's even gone to politics, she's doing voluntary work for a congressman seeking reelection.
She knows him from high school so we hope that eventually he will help her get a paying job somewhere. So she's had to go to rallies and meetings and just last Sunday we had primary elections here and she had to be all day out near a polling station handing out fliers to people. With so many congresspeople in the ballots the vast majority of people just voted for faces they recognized so fliers help.
He got to pass to the general elections now so there's some hope with that. However we are still looking for a job for her in the private sector. She has a college degree in business admin but her age and relative lack of experience work against her in most jobs. Usually they want someone younger or someone with experience. Her sort experience has been in human resources and she likes that but those positions are hard to find.
Anyway, that's the reason we have a maid. If my wife does find a job eventually it will be easier for her to start knowing that things at home are taken care of. I would feel relieved too. Plus my wife can't stand being alone so the maid is good company for her.
Yes my wife is a considerable source of the debts I have. However I don't totally blame her because I let her loose with a credit card and didn't supervise her shopping and she was used at my higher income and lower debt that I had on a previous job. That job I think was the starting point of my debt mountain.
Strangely though because that's when I earned the most. It was my lack of planning that caused it. She and I would spend on our credit cards knowing that I could pay them with my next check and months later it was too much to pay the whole balance, so I started carrying a balance. After that company closed it was hard to adjust to a much lower salary. Then one of my daughters started school. That was a big thing. Then I got a better job (this one) but still not as good at THE one I had at first. The bad habits had stayed with us and it was downhill from there. Life things happened around me and we were always helping people, housing people with us etc, etc. It was all stuff that meant more money spent than earned.
AM advised that I let my wife handle the house finances. I did thought she would be better at handling my money that I was, so for several months during that period I gave her all the money I earned and she was supposed to pay the bills and buy groceries etc. It didn't work at all. She eventually gave up on that and we had a big argument about that.
Now that I'm being frugal we have mini-arguments about money almost every day. It's almost like a crusade.
I'm keeping a record of my spending for this month and I guess that will help me build a budget for next month. Jeremy, aighmeigh, LG and other commenters wrote about it several times so I'm writing down where my money goes for this month and I'll let you know next month, or many next "quincena". At least the fuel has gone down a lot so that's less pressure on my finances but most of the other stuff is still at the same price as before or higher. I'll let you know.
Well today is my fourth week with the second job. My boss there says I'm doing a great job and is planning on flying me over to Phoenix to do some on site work that I definitely can't do from here. There's about 15 PC's that have different problems and need fixing. I can't do that from here and they think I could just go there for a week or two and fix as many as I can since they are all the same model. Also I would get to know the rest of the equipment and the team to which I talk to every morning at 9am on our daily meeting. That's how happy he is with my work and obviously with my pay-rate. My friend in MO and I agree that he probably couldn't find an part time IT support guy for $1600/month . Specially since i'm basically a contractor so the company doesn't have to give me medical insurance, working space, utilities, Sick time, vacation time, etc. They only pay for the hours I actually spend working for them.
Out of the 800 I know that my dad's balance is about $450 so I will pay that and avoid the 22% interest rate on that extra financing. The other thing I want to kill with that is the fact that it's a dollar-based line of credit. I've managed to convert my other debts to lempiras and so if the lempira to dollar rate goes up (more lempiras to buy one dollar) it will actually be easier for me to pay them. I have some other dollar debt but I will get to that soon too.
Health-wise I'm doing OK. My cold is totally gone, I just have some cough left but it's flushing out too. I took my 7-days of antibiotics since I had already started when some people online and here in Tegus told me about remedies for my sore throat. My twitching eye is gone but yesterday I had a tiny muscle above my lip that would twitch uncontrollably for a few seconds every hour or so. My wife is a bit concerned so later tonight I'm going to a clinic to get a doctor's opinion about it.
My "day" job just credited my account with my Christmas bonus. Most of it is going to paying my girl's school since I had made an arrangement with the school to do that. my bonus is 45,000 lps and the total I owe for school tuition for my two daughters is about 40,000 lps up to December. They have good grades on a school that I know is teaching them well in English and Spanish. If there's anything I can pass on to them is the education and the values. I give them the values and the school educates them. So even though it's a lot of money I think it's money well spent. Besides, with the 15% alumni discount I get there and the payment arrangements it would be difficult for me to find another bilingual school that would be cheaper even if it's a lower quality of education.
I know I could put the other 5,000lps towards debt. But it's December and I know my wife and my girls will want at least something for us to spend on celebrating Xmas, a nice dinner at least, one set of new clothes for each. Lucky for me most of my friends and family don't expect presents from me and even if they did I am not buying any this year. I didn't get any last year either.
Personally I would have NO problem not buying anything Christmas-related. Actually we already spend a few lempiras buying Christmas lights. But we reused the tree and the ornaments from last year. I could spend Christmas eating the same beans and rice I eat every day (OK chicken too). I could wear the same pants and shirts that I wear every day. I presume I could convince my wife of doing something similar. However, how do I tell my daughters that they won't get presents this years or even new clothes?
So here's a question? how frugal do I have to be on the holidays? Maybe you have ideas on how to not spend money and still have a nice dinner and make my girls happy.
I feel that either not spending any money or splurging it all is bad. But where could I find that middle ground ?
Thanks and I hope you remember to be careful with your own spending on these holidays.
Well at least I know I don't spend money on this blog, because it's free.