Monday, December 15, 2008

rolling with the punches

The good (at least financially):
The maid said she is leaving on Dec 31st. I guess she heard so many of you wanting her to go that she is actually leaving, LOL. Didn't have to fire her and there won't be any more rationalizing to do :-)
After that my wife told me to buy lunch somewhere near work or come home for it because I left so early in the morning. It's going to affect her more that it will affect me. On second thought I guess I will have to help more around the house than now. Oh well, 3000 bolas is 3000 bolas!  
The bad (also financially):
I gave my wife 3,000 lps and told her that was money to spend on christmas stuff like clothes for her and my daughters and the materials for the tamales and stuffed chicken. She paid money to some people she owed money to. She bought gas, bought groceries, got her hair done, helped a friend who had her car stolen and gave her money, etc, etc. Nothing christmas related.
We got into a strong argument over the phone as to where the 3000 lps had gone. She had to buy the christmas food materials with the regular monthly money, and I now have to buy my girls jeans and shoes from some money that I was going to save. She is pissed off that i'm trying to track her expenses and I'm upset that I gave her money for one thing and she spends it for another thing and doesn't think it's "wrong" in any way. She says I didn't give her enough. In other times I would've just said "fine, I will get some more" but this time I talked to her some more, even as she was still upset.
I told her that I didn't really want to know the minute details of her spending but that the money was supposed to be spent on christmas stuff.Yeah I should've actually tracked down the spending but I could imagine the bigger arguments we would've had if I had done that. She would take it as a lack of trust.
In any case, in the end she felt bad about it and she is trying to make up for it by cutting down on the food she is preparing. I told her I would be ok with only tamales and no stuffed chickens. Instead of doing 6 chickens she cut it down to 3 chickens which I hope will last until new year's too!
The News
Today has been another financial-emotional roller-coaster day for me. Started bad with calls from my credit cards that I was past due on payments. I had the sinking feeling again that even with the new job I would only make enough to make minimum payments on all of them and just stay above water, not really a way to get out of debt. Then I got another call from another credit card in the afternoon
I was so fogged by the feelings of desperation about the thing that I just couldn't put the mimum payment numbers down on paper. I put them on a sticky note on my laptop and just stared at the big numbers. In between calls I had the argument with my wife as I mentioned above.
Eventually I realized that not all were due soon and I would probably be able to pay most of it with one "quincena's" pay from the morning job, leaving the other quincena to do some debt payment on the money I owe. Not as fast as I thought I would be repaying debt but I feel better now than I felt during the afternoon today.
Now that my dad is paid I'm going to focus as La Gringa says on the higher interest rate cards. Actually they all are abou the same rate and it's easy to see it since it's printed on every statement. I will check it again but i'm sure they are all pretty close so that leaves tackling the smallest debt first. Again LG was quick to figure out that I have my Cr2 card with the lowest balance and I plan to pay that one first if the interest rate difference isn't that big.
Morning job is doing ok. My boss there is very VERY happy with my work. I was able to clock about $952 that I will invoice tomorrow and will get paid for it probably next monday. That money will go to paying minimum payments and the rest (if there is left) will go to the Cr2 card.
I might even go back and ask my dad for another extrafinancing loan from his credit card. I hope he wants to help and doesn't ask me why I can't get one myself.
And yet today the secretary at the office was able to make me laugh because she was using a typewriter and making jokes about it and her younger years (she's in grandmother-age).
At least this blog is free. As are some of the best things in life.


Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear that you have been arguing with your wife. I think she should be more supportive about the financial situation you both are in but I am also glad that you will not have the expense of the maid for now. As a wife myself I can tell you that I cook extra everyday for my husband to take the next day to work. I put the food in a special tupperware type dish in the refrigerator so he can take it himself the next morning. It is no extra work for me and he prefers my cooking that buying food out and not just for the cost but because he know how it is prepared. I am also mostly in charge of paying all the household, mortgage, food, etc. expenses and also of saving some every month.
Your wife needs to undestand what you are trying to do and help you out more. Have you tried to consolidate all of your credit cards into one monthly payment with a lower interest rate? It seems that at this rate it will take years to pay all because of the high interest rates you are paying plus you are working a lot of hours per week and in the long run it may hurt your health.
Wishing you the best during the holidays and a more prosperous new year.
MIT from San Pedro Sula

Kristi said...

I think it is a wise decision to pay off the smallest loans first. you can create a snowball effect by applying the minimum payment from that paid off loan to the next. It will increase the size of your payments for the next loan on the list after each loan is paid off.

Did that make sense?

Anyway, Dave Ramsey (have you heard of him?) suggests this. He also says there is a psychological boost when you pay off a loan that gives you courage to attack the next with a vengence! So he says to start with the smallest and work your way through to the largest.

With each one paid off it gets easier. Now if you could just get your wife on board....hmmm....with both of you swinging at that debt you'd be free in no time.

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you and follow your blog. Don't have much to say; Cindy and LG are much wiser and succint than I.
Keep on the way you are!
Sam in Panama

Anonymous said...

Wow..I came upon your blog since I owe a couple of credit cards myself and sometimes feel overwhelmed..Una pregunta...tu esposa trabaja? I'm just asking because I feel as if she is not supportive. As a woman myself, I feel that we need to help our spouses out. I work full time and do not have a maid. I get home and clean my house, make dinner, do laundry everyday. I think sometimes we need to prioritize what we need to do in life, especially in our financial issues. I got rid of a couple uneccesary luxuries and am paying more on my credit cards and so far I'm doing great on the balances, Thanks to God...Wish you the best, God bless.