Monday, May 26, 2014

To all the bloggers I've loved before...

In my previous post, I mentioned that I was sorry to see some of my favorite bloggers gone over the years. I wish them all the best. Here are some of them whom I used to follow religiously:

Boston Gal's Open Wallet: Jane Dough was my favorite blogger at one time. I read how she had invested in solar panels, bought a new car, how she was a landlady. She was (and I am sure still is) a very sensible person. I enjoyed reading her very much. I am so sorry that she is now gone. I wish I could hear about how she did after she quit blogging.

That's udy with a J: She recently quit blogging all of a sudden. I was actually happy that I had found her after she had to change her blog for some reason I do not know. I am so sorry that I couldn't even say goodbye to her. I admired her strong will and the wonderful kids she has raised. I loved the way she was attached to her family and her determination in eliminating debt.

Wealth is Good: The owner was a smart young lady who did not have any money issues but rather blessed with wealth. Still she was careful with her investments and how she handled money.  She openly shared how she handled her income and windfalls. It was a pleasure to read her. She got into a serious relationship and apparently her significant other did not want to so openly share finances. So, she quit blogging.

My Open Wallet: Madame X is a New Yorker. She still posts some updates but very few and far between. I miss her very much but I think she has a happy and busier life now so, I am happy for her.

Moneyapolis: This was a blog where the owner moved to a new city and started a new life with her spouse. I miss her blog too.

Northern Living Allowance: This blog is still active but after the owner moved to England, she posted only a few times. I am really curious about her new life and wish her the best. I was intrigued about her life in North America as well. It felt like we were long time acquaintances.

Blogging Away Debt: This blog is active with new bloggers but I am so curious about the old bloggers and how they are doing, especially Tricia and Beks.

There are many more that I miss and wish all of them well.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Articles Worth Reading

I am an avid reader of many PF blogs. I got heartbroken many times when my favourite bloggers decided to call it quits. However, there are still many blogs and web sites out there with good content. Here are some  I came across lately:

Moneystepper: 6 money saving tips – great ways to spend a little less!

Wisebread: 21 Decisions You'll Never Regret Making

The Dollar Stretcher: Living seasonally



Saturday, May 24, 2014

Outlet Shopping

There is an outlet mall between Istanbul and Ankara. As we were returning home, mom said she wanted some towels so we headed into a store that she bought some towels at a decent price. Then I told her I wanted to look into the Nike outlet store. The prices were pretty good though nowhere near US prices. We tried many pairs on. I ended up buying two pairs, she bought one. We also bought a t-shirt each. It was a good chunk of money spent and a splurge but, I believe it was worth it. I do not need to buy anything else this summer except for a couple of shirts and may be a pair of pants.

I wear sneakers all the time and especially when my tendons are causing me trouble like now. I even wear them to work. I always apologize for wearing sneakers and explain that I have some feet issues. Never met a customer who was not understanding. The customer in Izmir is a very casual place so, they do not mind at all. The customer in Ankara is a formal place but they are nice and understanding people. Besides, I dress formally except for the shoes.

I love outlet shopping in the US. The prices are amazing but I know one needs to be careful since not all merchandise is good quality. I remember picking up Crocs at 5 dollars for my sister. That is a price you can never find in here. My favorite outlet mall is Woodbury Commons Outlet Mall in NY. I am so looking forward to going back next year.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Staples

I had been traveling a lot lately so the amount of time I spent at home was minimal. I am now back home with mom and I realized that I was out of many staples around the kitchen so I had to hit the grocery store twice in three days. I got whole wheat flour, crackers, meat, fish, olive oil, onions, fresh green beans, eggplants, salad greens, coffee, bread, cheese, fresh apricots, milk, eggs and yogurt

We cooked some stuffed peppers and tomatoes and froze them in portion sizes. Also, three meals worth of meatballs went into the freezer. We eat one dish per meal due to our diet plan. One meal is always a veggie with plain yogurt and a slice of whole wheat bread. The other is a big salad, some type of meat with a slice of whole wheat bread.

Now that we have enough meat dishes in the fridge, we only cook fresh veggies usually just once or twice a week. Sometimes we cook beans instead of consuming meat. Today I am going to start a home-made whole wheat bread and tomorrow I will make yogurt. I normally do not bake bread much. I make my own yogurt whenever I have a good starter and whenever I have time.

We are feeding ourselves rather simply and in a healthy manner so I am very glad. I use only olive oil in my cooking.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Back Home!

After my mini vacation I worked for two days and then headed for my 30th High School re-union. It was absolutely fantastic!

I arrived at the hotel on the 17th and headed to the pool side where my friends gathered. We had a jolly good time till after the midnight.

On 18th, I spent some time at the beach and some time at the pool side until it was time to get ready for the ball. It was nice formal evening that I ended much earlier than others. I cannot drink as much as most others and I cannot stand loud music. Besides my right foot was killing me.

In the morning of the 19th after a small breakfast I swam for about half hour, gathered my things and checked out. I spent another couple of hours with friends and then started for Ankara to pick up mom.

Today, we returned to Istanbul with mom. I have absolutely nothing planned for the summer. I am not in a hurry either.

Home sweet home!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Need a Savings Ticker

Now that I am debt free, it is time to concentrate on savings. I have three things to save for:

Long vacation in the US (2015-2016)
Kitchen renovation (2018-2019)
New car (2018-2019)

I must decide how much money I will need for each category and put up a new ticker.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Our mini family vacation is over...

We spent the last week at Alacati, Cesme with mom. Sis was with us for a few days but she had to fly back early due to her job. My BIL joined us for dinners since he had to work.

We swam only on one day and the rest of our mini vacation, it was windy and cold. We drove around quite a bit and satisfied our curiosity about the area. All in all it was nice.

Back to work tomorrow for two days. Next weekend is a long one with my 30th High School Graduation.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Debt Free!

As of today, I have no consumer debt! I paid of the loan I took when I bought my rental property back in 2011. No mortgage, no car payment, no credit card debt!

Yay me!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Net Worth News

My Net Worth steadily dropped from August 2013 till March 2014 but, I am happy to report a nice increase as of today.

Many people have a different approach for calculating their Net Worth. I do not count my residence, my rental property and my car in my net worth calculation. The market price for property in my opinion is not a valid estimate. Their worth is very much dependent on how fast you need to sell them, how many buyers are out there to buy them at the prevailing market prices, luck and many other variables.

I tally up my cash, checking account, savings accounts (TL and USD), gold coins and my retirement account and calculate my net worth. If all goes well, I am planning to keep on working part time till June 2023 when I will be 56. After that I can retire for good. I do not know if I would like to do that though. Seems to me it is rather early but you never know what your health will be like.

I know people are surprised that I am already semi-retired. This is due to two reasons: First, there aren't many full time jobs out there for me anymore. I am both expensive and too experienced. The job market in this country is cruel. After 45, one is considered old. Second, I am single and I have no dependents by choice. I have always loved my independence and my flexibility and made some OK decisions during the first 24 years of my career so that I can now work part-time and be happy with what I earn. I am thankful for my life. I feel blessed.