Thursday, February 27, 2014

96%! and Some health issues

Please check out my ticker above: 96% of my debt is gone!

Come March 5th, it will be at 97%...

On May 5th, the debt will be gone, gone, gone and I will be doing the happy dance, if my feet are healed by then that is...

Yesterday I went to have my eyes checked and the doctor told me that everything was fine. She told me not to use my glasses while I read and that I did not need reading glasses as long as I can read without my glasses. Fine by me!

I then went to an orthopedist and he ordered some blood work and X-rays and told me that I had Plantar Fasciitis and heel spurs which explained my feet pain. I will be taking a pill for 10 days and will be using some kind of a cream for 6 weeks. I will then go back to see the doctor. If the problem persists, he will resort to other types of treatments. He told me to take it easy and rest my feet most of the time. You should have seen my mom's face when I told her that the doctor told me to rest. She already thinks I am too lazy:)


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

One down, one to go! Cataracts Procedure

Mom had her first cataracts procedure done this morning. We went in around 8:00, they took her to a room and she had to change her clothes with operating room clothing. They have administered various drops of three different kinds during a half hour period. We waited for about an hour and they took her to the operating room in a wheelchair. She came back in exactly 37 minutes.

She said she did not feel a thing and the whole time she conversed with her doctor. The procedure itself seemed to have taken 5-7 minutes according to her. They used a US made lens. After she was brought back to the room, she was served a light breakfast and discharged. Her eye is covered and no drops or anything is given. Tomorrow we will go in for a check and they will probably prescribe some drops then. She did not complain of anything so, I guess that is a good thing but we will know for sure tomorrow. The doctor told her she would not need glasses from now on except for reading glasses but she has been nearsighted for the last 61 years and she wants to keep on wearing glasses in order not to feel naked. Lol! The doctor told her there are many patients like that.

I paid about USD 200 out of pocket since she had the procedure at a private hospital and Social Security covered only a part of it. Had it been a state hospital, it would be free but, we like to have the option to choose doctors and sure glad we have the funds to do so at least for these types of smallish expenses. May God keep us (and everybody else) from bigger health issues where we could feel helpless.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Semi-busy day

Today is my last day at home for at least two weeks so, I decided to take care of some stuff and enjoy it as much as I could.

I vacuumed the entire apartment in the morning, folded all the laundry, had a light lunch and washed one last load of laundry. Then I went for a short walk, bought a book by Paul Auster and had a Grande Misto at Starbucks. I walked back home and worked on my budget and future forecasts, long term goals and etc. That is a never ending task:)

Now I need to pack my suitcase, put away some stuff in my bedroom and the washed dishes. I also need to work on something work related. Dinner will be a big, rich salad since I need to use up all salad material. The dirty dishes in the sink will go into the washer, get washed and I will be all set for tomorrow's bus ride.

One of my mom's cousins is terribly sick and is hospitalized due to a heavy case of pneumonia. Her sisters went to Ankara to be with her. Mom and sis visited them all and took the two cousins who were visiting out for lunch. They had a good time especially given that the sick cousin is doing much better. My sister dropped everyone off and was on her merry way home when I talked to her.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Taking care of health...

I have had myopia for the last 39 years and now due to my age my vision is getting better so I am going to need new lenses. 

I have also been having some foot pain issues lately.

I have scheduled doctor visits for both issues next week. I also need to see a dentist and may be I should schedule an appointment for that too. Something to think about...


As time goes by...

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of my dad's passing. It was a pretty emotional day for me. I cried a couple of times as if he died yesterday. I was 27 when he suddenly passed away due to a ruptured aorta. My mom became a mess for quiet a while and my sis was a 20 year old still at college. It felt very heavy for me to attend to every detail and go through the funeral and all that.

Luckily mom emerged from the situation stronger than ever and claimed her place as the head of our family.

20 years is a lot of time and looking back, not much has happened. Yes there were job changes, city changes, my sister's marriage, death of my grandparents and two of my three uncles, but it was just life you know? We all fell into our own routines and yet kept a tight family bond and life just happened without us realizing.

Mom is now getting old although she is still a baby when compared to her parents. My grandmother passed away when she was 81 and my grandfather when he was 89. Mom is "only" 71 this year:)

However, I also realized that I am afraid to lose my own life too. After all my father's father was 49 when he passed and my father only 54. Here I am almost 47!

I think I am getting weird as time goes by...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Frugal eating and sticking to a meal plan

It is official that I will be home till Monday. That is when I will go back to Ankara. I am not going to be working at all next week but mom will go through a cataract surgery on Tuesday and she will need help for the first few days. Her other eye will be scheduled for the week after next.

When I am home alone, I tend to order food and that is neither a healthy nor a frugal choice. I need some discipline.

So, here is an opportunity for me to save money till Monday. I have been ignoring my meal plan and it is also a good opportunity to get back on track with my diet too. I have checked my pantry and my freezer and here is what I plan to eat:

Tonight: Kısır (a form of tabouli) and tea
Wednesday: 
Breakfast: Egg and cheese on whole wheat bread, tomatoes and tea
Late Lunch early Dinner: Out with friends
Thursday:
Breakfast: oatmeal and tea
Lunch: Yogurt, steamed brussel sprouts, whole wheat bread
Dinner: Chick peas and salad
Friday:
Breakfast:oatmeal and tea
Lunch: Chick peas and salad
Dinner: Spinach and yogurt w/ whole wheat bread
Saturday:
Breakfast: Egg and cheese omelette
Lunch: Stuffed bell peppers and tomatoes from the freezer, salad
Dinner: Spinach and yogurt w/ whole wheat bread
Sunday:
Breakfast: oatmeal and tea
Lunch: Pasta
Dinner: Stuffed bell peppers and tomatoes from the freezer, salad

I need to purchase salad material and some fruit for snacks. I already have a banana and three oranges so, I will probably get a few apples to get me going till Monday.

I will use up all the oatmeal in the pantry. I think a budget of 150TL should be sufficient. 110 for tomorrow and 40 for the salad material and fruit.

These days there are some things I "want" to buy which are totally unnecessary so, I will try to be good.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

No it does not bother me to have an unpredictable schedule...

A friend of mine asked me whether it bothers me to have an unpredictable schedule because whenever she inquires about my whereabouts, I am at a different city and I am not sure where I will be a week from now.

For instance, I am home now and this coming week I have no customer visits scheduled but, my mom may go through a cataract surgery so, I will know tomorrow if I need to go back to Ankara. The week after next I will need to work for one customer on Tuesday, but I am not sure if that will be in Izmir or Istanbul. I may work for another customer on Wednesday but that is not fixed yet.

This way of living is not very easy and I cannot estimate how much money I will bring in each month, yet, this does not bother me because I appreciate the flexibility I have.

Once the rental apartment debt is paid off and once there is a new and hopefully a good paying tenant, I will feel relieved. Until I have a full years living expenses minus my passive income, I will stuff my savings account. After that, the rental income will go to my retirement fund.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

FOR RENT: 2 bedroom 2 bathroom entrance level apartment

Today, I got the keys from the tenant's wife, handed them over to the real estate agent and the apartment is FOR RENT.

As I was leaving the apartment complex he was already putting up the signs. Tomorrow he will take pictures and post them.

I am keeping my fingers crossed for a good tenant who will pay on-time and keep my apartment clean.



Sunday, February 9, 2014

Visiting a sick friend today...

Back in early 90s I met my friend through work and we became close friends. In two years she married one of our co-workers a really nice guy, good husband, excellent dad to their two daughters. Over the years I left that company, changed quiet a few jobs and even moved out of the city we all lived in. We kept in touch and stayed true friends.

They had some health problems mostly related with thyroid issues which I also have. However, lately the husband has been diagnosed with an early stage cancer. I am truly upset about this. Today, I am going to visit them and I am hoping to see him doing well. He has just started chemo and I do not know how many doses he will get. I am praying that he will fully recover...


Thursday, February 6, 2014

3 more payments before DEBT FREEDOM!

The payments on the rental home will be done with in three months! Woooo hoooo!

I remember looking at the payment calendar for 36 payments and feeling overwhelmed. Thank God those days are so over!

I will treat myself to a small gift once the debt is gone. May be something to go with my 30th High School Re-union outfit. I don't know yet.

On Monday I started working on the new project. It is crazy tiring but hopefully it will help me bring in much needed extra cash to build a cushion. Yesterday I was overwhelmed by it and ended up having nightmares. I woke up with a bad headache and high blood pressure. I calmed myself down, took a pill and rested sitting up the rest of the night.

Tomorrow will be another busy day but, there is a chance that the afternoon sessions may be cancelled due to an official visit. We do not know yet.

I am hoping to sleep well and get a good rest tonight

Monday, February 3, 2014

My Net Worth has taken a nosedive! Yikes!

Workwise December was a really bad month. On top of that the Turkish Stock exchange has been dropping ever since the corruption allegations towards the current Government has surfaced. The USD and Euro skyrocketed against Turkish Liras but alas, my dollar savings are rather small so I did not become rich:)

My retirement account and my individual stock portfolio have been dropping fast. I am just sitting tight and waiting for the bad times pass. They always do, so I do not think there is need for panic. Not yet anyway...

I had already declared this year as my savings year so, I will do my best to sock away every penny (kurus in my case) to build a cushion. 

My friend whom I have loaned some money asked me if I needed my money back and I said no because, when she had loaned me money in the past she never asked me how long it would take me to pay it back. Besides that money was sitting in my savings account anyway. If I had it, I would probably use some of it but since that I do not have access to the money, I had been a lot more careful than I would have been.

I am hoping to find a new tenant hopefully in a couple of months so, with money coming in from my rental, I will have a bit more breathing space. My rental property loan is going to be all paid in May so, after May, I am hoping to divert all my rental income to my retirement account.

Turkish economy is showing signs of weakness. There seems to be a crisis every 7-10 years so, I will just keep saving and spending carefully.