Sunday, October 12, 2014

64 meat patties and a broken deep freezer

My small 3-drawer upright freezer died a couple of weeks ago. Luckily the freezer section of my fridge could hold everything in it. There were stacks of frozen tomato puree only.

I looked up the freezers and the prices seemed to be a bit inflated due to a religious holiday coming up. That was a week ago and as I figured, the prices starting coming down. For the moment the freezer section of my fridge is full. I just shoved in 64 meat patties I made today. I like to buy fish in season and freeze them for summer months. This is an unexpected expense and I am still contemplating whether I should get a new freezer. What to do, what to do?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Credit Card Annual Fee refunded just by asking

I have been using a credit card from a bank for the last 22 years. I have been very happy and to this day I did not care that they charged an annual fee. However, looking at my bill I noticed that they upped my annual fee by 50%. Also, recently many people are filing complaints about annual fees and they are getting refunds due to some new regulations.

I decided to ask nicely and wrote them a message. I told them that I have been a very good customer for so many years and that the current fee is not something I would like to pay. I also asked them not to tell me to commit to spending a certain amount to lift the charge because I have no reason to spend more than I do now.

This was two days ago and I got a message from them telling me that the annual fee is lifted after a close inspection of my records.

Super nice! Isn't it? The fee was 150 TL, about 66 USD.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Crossing Continents each day

I live on the Asian side of Istanbul and my current project is on the European side. My options of going to work are as follows:

1. By car, through either of the bridges
2. By car to the nearest Subway Station, Subway, Ferry, Funicular, Subway
3. By car to the Ferry, Ferry, Funicular, Subway
4. By car to the Sea Bus, Sea Bus, Subway
5. By car to Marmaray (under the sea), Marmaray, Subway

I do not like the idea of travelling under the sea so, number 5 is not a real option.

Options 2-5 take at least an hour and a half and they all require me to walk long distances to connect carrying my laptop case and heavy purse.

I get up at 5:30 a.m. and if I leave home by 6:30 a.m., it takes me only a half hour to drive. So, I started getting up early each day, reaching the office very early. I do my usual online banking, reading the blogs and what not which I used to do at night. My living hours have changed.

If I leave home any later than 6:40 a.m., the traffic becomes a nightmare.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Too busy, too tired

I am very busy these days and too tired. Nothing to talk about...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

New Customer = Too Much Work

I was MIA for sometime. Well, there are some new stuff going on...

During the summer, business was slow and I was not bringing in any extra income to supplement my passive income. That was not a big problem because, my passive income covers my basic expenses and frugal budget. However, I need to save money for the future. So, 80% of the extra money goes towards savings in my book.

We just started consulting on a very big project and the customer wants us five days a week! That is a full-time job I was not looking forward to. Besides, usually we have to stay until 8-9 p.m. for meetings.  I need to cross either of the bridges to get to work and the morning traffic in Istanbul is plain crazy.

Today it took me an hour and a half for 25 Km or about 15 miles! So, I must get up very early. If I leave home by 6:30 a.m., I can get to work in about a half hour but going home late, sleeping very little and getting up early in the morning is a killer. When I made the conscious decision to leave a full time job, this is not what I had in mind.

However, I do not expect this to go on forever. I work with two other people on this Project and we are pretty much on very different pages. I like a direct approach and taking on responsibility and acting because I come from Operations and my colleagues are very conservative and they like to keep a distance and create lots of pretty much unnecessary outputs just to show that we are working. (!?) Typical Consultants, I must say... The guys who hired us had made it very clear that they needed our experience to steer the project on their behalf. This is not what we are doing thanks to my colleagues. So, I am assuming the guys who hired us will soon fire us. That will make me feel terrible but, if the owner of the company whom I work with wants to run his business the way he does, he may as well be my guest.

While we are working on this project, I will give it my 100%, tell my colleagues what I think is right but, I will not stress over this.

If we fail as miserably as I think we will, I will review my decision to work with these people. I will most probably;

Either look elsewhere
or,
Try to figure out doing something by myself

However, in order to work alone, I will need some cushion in my savings so that I can do some business development. Hope, we can survive about 6 months or so...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

What am I? A tightwad, a miser? Or just plain frugal?

Today as I was folding laundry I noticed that one of my T-shirts had a hole under the arm.. The stitches came off and since it is a stretchy fabric, I cannot fix it properly. So, I decided that the T-shirt would be going to the rag pile for house cleaning. As I was walking to the balcony, I suddenly decided that the T-shirt was still good for exercising at home. After all, I am using a recumbent bike for all of 25-30 minutes 3-4 times a week and tossing the t-shirt and the shorts that I wear to laundry.

So, now, that T-shirt has become exercise clothing.

Do I need to wear a T-shirt with a hole? No... I have many other T-shirts to wear. Besides the nightgown I am currently wearing has a hole too. Nightgowns are coming out of my ears, I own so many of them and yet I stick to this raggedy one because it is oh.. so comfortable...

Why do I do this? Am I a miser?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Financial Update

With just 4 months to go before the end of the year, I have reviewed my financial status and things are not looking pretty.
I lost some of my savings because I needed to help a family member. I do not expect to see that money coming back. I do not resent this since, it was something that had to be done.

The friend I loaned some money last year told me that she would be paying me back in October, so that is a good thing.

The business was extremely slow during the three summer months but the months ahead look somewhat better.

I will not be able to meet my year end savings goal with a big probability but oh well...

I have enough so, that is a big blessing. I would have liked to save more though...