Friday, June 28, 2013

Inspiration

I have tons of old photos in many albums and box of black and white photos dating back to my grandparents' childhoods. These take up way too much space in my library. Besides there are some photos that I would not mind getting rid of.

I just got inspired by this blog Noho'ana Hau'Ole to scan them and store them digitally. The blog owner is planning to move to Hawai after her husband's retirement so they are currently de-cluttering and down-sizing.

 Before, I have the apartment painted, I would like to downsize a little bit as well. My library is a good starting point. I would like to get rid of some old books, some knick-knacks and some old documents such as expired insurance papers and etc.

Getting rid of unwanted stuff has a nice side effect of leaving you feel accomplished.

My bathroom cupboard is another project and so are my towel and sheet drawers. I do not know what is wrong with me but, I just cannot stop myself from buying new towels and sheets whereas I probably only need two sets. Mom and sis have the same problem so it may be genetic.

When I used to live in the US, I had two sets of sheets, 4 towels, 1 set of bathroom towels for guests and a bathrobe. I now have 5 sets of sheets for myself, two sets for the guest bedding and an infinite number of towels. I also have 8 cotton blankets. What I currently have in the bedding and towel department can probably last me well into my 70's... Should I keep them or should I get rid of them? Some are reminders of a past life and that is probably why I cling to them but, past is past and may be I should just get rid of them. Don't know what to do...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Debt, debt! Go away, go away!

My Rental Propert Debt will look like this by July 5th, 2013. Blue portion is the amount of debt I have paid, the reddish portion is the remaining debt. I am thrilled to see this little graph. This debt will go way completely by May 2014. When I took out the 36 month loan, I thought it was such a long period of time. I cannot even imagine a 30 year mortgage. To me debt is very depressing...





The bathroom re-modeling and the paint job will cost some money and I am already torn between paying them right away or in installments with 0 per cent interest. Common sense tells me to take advantage of the 0 per cent interest but my heart tells me otherwise.

I was supposed to find out how much those would cost but, the company who would give me an estimate drove me crazy by not showing up at the specified time zone, I cancelled them and made an appointment with another company. Hopefully, this new company will show up on time next Thursday.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What is my "number"?

Today's post at "Punch Debt in the Face" made me think about my Net Worth calculations.

I do not include the value of my residence, my rental property, my car and my retirement account when I am looking at my Net Worth. May be I shouldn't call what I calculate my Net Worth. 

At the end of each month, I calculate my liquid assets: TL Cash, USD Cash, Gold and Individual Stocks. There has been a slow yet steady growth since September 2011. I was sitting on a large chunk of liquidity prior to March 2011 when I purchased my rental property. I lived in it for about a year and a half then I moved back to Istanbul to my primary residence and the day I moved out, my tenant moved in. I paid somewhere between 65-70% down and borrowed the rest on a 36 month loan. By May 2014, my debt will be gone. I am itching to close it now, but since I am going to re-do the bathroom and have the apartment painted, I do not want to be cash short.

I keep looking at my numbers and I still do not feel comfortable about them. How much of a stash is enough? When can I be more lax about spending money? When can I take my dream vacation? I guess before May 2014, I will not be able to answer most of those questions. 

Whenever I think of "the" number my mind starts telling me: What if a big health problem occurs either with me or with family members? What if a disaster strikes and insurance will not be enough? What if this, what if that?


Monday, June 24, 2013

Losing...

I stepped on the scale today and noticed a 1.1 kg (2,42 lb.) loss in 17 days. I do not think I will be able to lose as much as the dietician is expecting but, still it is good for me. I am hoping to lose at least a half kilo in the eleven days before my dietician appointment.

I no longer drink soda, eat dessert with the exception of ice cream (allowed by the dietician 3X a week), eat pasta and pastries.

Well, I am happy. I just tried on a pair of jeans that were a 20 Tall and looks like I shall be able to wear them in a few months. I do not need to be shopping any time soon.

I miss my friends in the US and I also miss New York. I have decided to plan a visit next summer. In the past, I used to go every two years and the last time I was in the US, it was 2010. I went to Las Vegas and Chicago and did not have a chance to see my friends or New York.

I am hoping to lose at least 15-20 Kgs. by next summer. Going to the US will be my gift for losing so much weight to myself. At that weight, I will need some serious shopping. Woodbury Commons is one of my favorite places to shop and it is only a half hour away from both of my friends' homes.

Starting on August 1st, I am saving for a trip in the US. My rental home debt will be gone in May and if I can save up enough money, this will be a totally guilt free trip. 3-4 weeks would be very nice. Even hoping for these makes me feel good:)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Attempt on feeling normal...

I worry sick about where my country is headed; not a day goes by something worrisome happens so every day is depressing. Meanwhile life goes on as expected. In an attempt to start feeling "normal" again I finally bit the bullet and signed up for an estimate on re-modeling the bathroom and painting the whole apartment. I was thinking of postponing this to September but, I need to keep my mind occupied.

I have set aside a budget of 10,000 TL for all of it. I can afford to spend more but, I do not want to. Tomorrow they will call me to set up an appointment for Tuesday and I am trying to come up with my set of questions.

I am going to have them change the piping and the electrical infrastructure as well. My bathroom is very very small so, I need a good design to utilize all of the space wisely. I want to get rid of the tub and have a walk-in shower stall. I have seen some really nice ones but they were a bit out my price range.

As for the paint job, I have two walls damaged by water. Outside of the apartment building is now fixed (hopefully) but the painting and the base were damaged so, those walls may need some extra work or different base paint. I will find out about that soon.

My diet is going well. I think I lost some more weight last week. Tomorrow, I will weigh myself to see what has happened. The weigh-in at the dietician is on July 4th. Hope celebrations will be in order for me too...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Update!

Good article that explains the situation and the reasons of resistance.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/19/opinion/friedman-postcard-from-turkey.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

I still do not feel like writing much else... Hope to be back to blogging soon...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Nation's Quest for REAL Democracy

I normally do not write political stuff here but, 13 days ago a peaceful resistance was started to save a small park in Taksim Square in Istanbul. It has been met with police violence and all of a sudden my nation woke up. The small spark turned into a big yet peaceful resistance against the oppressive Prime Minister.

The resisters/protesters are not throwing stones or vandalizing anything but the police is and so are the provocators of unknown origin. IT IS A PEACEFUL CIVILIAN RESISTANCE against an increasingly oppressive Government.

I would be very subjective if I wanted to explain what is going on because I despise him and his politics. Therefore, here are a few links explaining what is currently going on in Turkey.

While these things are going on, I do not feel like writing much. I do not have many followers but, if anyone reads my blog that is what we are dealing with.