Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Blessings

Earlier this year, things were not looking good. We had a health scare due to an autoimmune disease my sister was diagnosed with. My previous part-time gig as a consultant was not going well. I thought money would be tight and a nice vacation was out of question.

Today, we know that my sister's condition is under control. Her lab tests have improved and her doctor is not concerned. Thank God!

I now have a new job which is paying real well and I was able to plan a nice vacation in the US.

A health scare, a job loss, income reduction, major repair bill, anything unexpected can happen anytime... This is why I like to be financially secure. So, first my sister's health improvement, then my new job are true blessings and I am so thankful for them.

Monday, June 15, 2015

A surprise for my beloved Sis!

I am going to start working full time in July and I will not be able to go on a vacation with mom this year. She is not coming with me to the US this time.

So, I was thinking of going to Izmir to visit my sis and BIL with her this week. I am not working on Thursdays and Fridays and I thought a long weekend would be nice. I wasn't going to share my plan with my BIL either but, I needed his help to find out if they had other plans for the weekend. So, we partnered up in crime and found an echological new hotel not too far from Izmir and I made reservations for all of us. Mom and I are going a day earlier. They will be joining us on Friday night. My sis thinks that her husband reserved the place to surprise her and she has no clue that we will be there. Heh heh he! I love surprises! Planning and executing them even more...

Friday, June 12, 2015

Came to get mom back!

I had taken mom to her home in Ankara a couple of weeks ago so that she could vote in the Turkish General Elections. Now it is time to get her back.

Yesterday I took my own car which I had left in Ankara to the car service. There is a bit of work to be done before taking it to TUV for inspection on Saturday. My car is 5 years old and there is no point in selling it since my uncle goes to Ankara on a weekly basis and needs a car. Besides, when mom is at her home, he runs her errands too.

Today, I have a work related meeting. There will be errands for mom in between all these tasks. I am planning to drive back on Sunday. Good thing that I had a relaxing weekend last week. This one sure looks busy.

Starting in July, I will be working full time. Mom will stay with me till mid-August. I will take her back and then leave for the US for three weeks. I am kind of sad that we haven't been able to take a vacation together this year. I asked her if she wanted to go to Rome and she declined this spring. She loves the US but when she is with me I cannot stay with my friends and get to see them as much as I want. Also, she slows me down. So, although I had asked her if she wanted to go to the US, she declined. I must think of a nice vacation with her next spring. I know she wants to go to Greece or Italy.

I am planning a small getaway to İzmir to see my sis and BIL next weekend with mom. Details on that, later.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Rental Apartments Fiasco

Yesterday, I met two brokers and saw 7 apartments in the area  where I work. I am no construction expert or an engineer but, most of the places we saw had problems. There were cracks on the walls and when I asked about them the brokers shrugged it of by saying that the buildings settled since the area was earlier a very arrid place (read swamp). That's not good.

I know mom wants to access shops and everything easily but, the apartments in that area are built rather poorly, despite the fact that they are luxury apartments with very expensive rents and maintenance fees. They are built on former river beds apparently.

Istanbul is very close to a fault line which is expected to produce a large scale earthquake anytime so, the strength of the construction is very important.

It looks like there are only a handful condos out there which are sturdy enough and their prices are extremely high. May be I will have to get used to the traffic...

Also, most of the apartments had open kitchen plans which I truly dislike. I cook a lot and use sauteed onions and garlic. I also bake fish quiet regularly. Open kitchen is a bad idea for Turkish Cuisine.

The master bedrooms were mostly OK but the second/third bedrooms were extremely small.

So, I will keep on looking around and learning about condominiums. I shall see if I can find something that is both sturdy and comfortable. Bah!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Personal Financial Decisions and Income

I have worked for 25 years with full time jobs and fixed incomes. Then I switched to a consulting career and had to deal with a variable income scheme. Even then, some portion of my income was fixed so, it was not too bad. The fixed part was and still is enough to cover my fixed expenses.

I am back to what will soon become a full-time job. I will still have my passive income so, this truly is a great opportunity to save like crazy. I am determined not to cave in to an inflated life style with the exception of a rental apartment.

My current residence is too far from work so, I am planning to move closer to work. My apartment will not generate enough rent to cover my new apartment's rent in this new area. There will be a significant difference. It doesn't have to be that way but, as my sister and her husband had to relocate due to work, I like to have mom with me. We are practically living together 9 months out of a year. She needs to be able to go out and walk around a little bit and do some shopping in order not to be bored. Therefore, I am obliged to rent a place within a very specific area and that area is expensive. I consider this a small sacrifice though.

This year I am taking a 3 week vacation in the US. I have planned and budgeted for this for a long time so, no it is not a mindless splurge. I will be staying at some friends for some of the time so, my hotel costs will not be a budget buster. I have a set budget and will stick to it.

Although, our lifestyles inflate with the increase of our incomes, this doesn't have to be. I promise myself that, I will not be splurging and that I will be making wiser choices to tuck away as much as I can. I am not suddenly going to become tight-fisted either. I think moderation is the key in every aspect of life.