Wednesday, August 22, 2012
August Update (WITH Formatting)
After using blogger for so long I thought I understood it. Turns out it removed all paragraph spacing that I had included. Here it is again as I wanted it. I presume this time it will display properly.:
I could go into the details but it's pretty much boring. I'm still holding to my day job, and at the same time I have the other job with the company in the US. That pretty much has helped me continue to make payments towards ending my debt. Right now I only hold active credit cards with HSBC and BAC.
The card with HSBC is the next in line to be canceled once I finish paying the extrafinancing they provided me. Their interest rate is lower than the one from BAC but they way they calculate monthly payments always confuses me.
With BAC I have two cards, one that I feel I should keep because it gives me 7% discount on my daugther's school payments which is a significant amount on top of the 15% discount I get from being alumni and having 2 kids at the school.
Even with that, paying for their education is my biggest continuous struggle as I haven't yet managed to balance my monthly income to enable me to pay school from those funds. I pay school from my 13th and 14th month payments and my vacation bonus. On the positive side my daughters are constantly on the honor roll so I feel that all this effort is worth something for them.
My oldest one was in a regional math competition recently and after that she was approach by a local university with a 75% scholarship, however they wanted most of the 25% up front and now. They did not have the field my daugther wanted to study so we turned them down for now although we have that door open for later in the future before she finishes high school. I'm researching scholarships for the university that does have her field of interest, and i'm an alumni of it too so it's nice to go to familiar territory.
I've managed to pick up a small extra job watching over some 10 computers at a local wine distributor company. It's not much pay but it's $250/month that I didn't have and requires only a few hours each week. I plan to put most of that towards savings or debt. I've also managed to include a long distance relative that is very good with computer hardware and I feel that connecting more with him and with the wine company general manager might open more door for me for other types of business opportunities.
Wife still doesn't have a job and is still looking for one, today she told me she will enroll in a 15-week course to train as a university teacher. That should allow her to bid for teaching positions in high-schools and universities. However I don't think it will work for her as she is not the kind of person that could do presentations easily. I just hope she proves me wrong. Either way it doesn't affect my thoughts on how our relationship will end as there are bigger issues around it.
I'm also trying to teach my daughters the value of money by having them save for big things they want, like cellphones. They've both reached their goals and have been happy with their purchases. They take good care of their phones and value them as something they bought with their own effort. I also make them participate in the decision process of school supplies and they seem to understand it and provide opinions and compare as we shop around. I was glad to see them telling me of the many things they could reuse from last year and of the things they did needed new but not the fancy stuff.
As I struggle each month to reach the next paycheck, I know i'm in a better situation each month because of automatic deposits on savings accounts I have that I can't access easily. However it's very difficult to keep focused on the long term and notice the small improvements.
My next big action will come when I can request a loan from the company coop at 12% (of which we get back 5% in dividends in January). That money would go towards paying up either HSBC or the Gas card I have with BAC that is practically useless.
There's another area i've dedicated some time. It's been researching and actively supporting a twitter group that provides important information for people in my city. In relation with that i've also research text messaging services and how to educate people thru text messages.
It's amazing that almost 90% of Hondurans have a cellphone and how it could be a great platform to deliver content and evaluate learning thru it by a smart use of text messages. All of this research probably won't net me any income and I might even have to throw in a couple of dollars a month to run some things. However it fills a spiritual need of helping others just for the pleasure of helping. Sure it's cool that the twitter account has 8,000 followers and it's a very active account but my main motivation is to help the most people I can with simple things that make their day a little better. I hope you can relate to this and understand this need I have.
That's it for now, I hope to report again soon. I appreciate your comments and keep them in mind for longer than you might thinkg.
Posted by AJ at 9:52 PM