Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Where are you and where are you going?
theanimal
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Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by theanimal »

I'm sorry to hear that things have been rougher. I definitely find that my mood gets gloomier when paying attention to the news of the world outside my community so I try to avoid it. Maybe something similar would help? Gratitude also goes a long way, whether that be some type of journal acknowledging things you are grateful for each day, a letter to someone appreciating them or just noting it mentally. I've found it to be a great tool to get me out of own head/way.

Viktor K
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Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by Viktor K »

I also am gloomy on average day lately. Hyper positive pre-covid.

Found texting old friends, “Hi Xyz, how are you” has led to a lot of spontaneous, helpful (depends how vulnerable you are), and reminisce-full interactions @theanimal

Frugalchicos
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Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by Frugalchicos »

@theanimal & Viktor

Thanks for the comments guys. Sometimes just getting stuff out and talking makes things better and sets a better mood. Thanks again.

Monthly update:

AUGUST INCOME –$4,978

AUGUST EXPENSES – $1,525 USD - The expenses below are in Euros, we do the conversion of the total into USD.
Gas (Car): $149,57 - Still have a full tank from last refill.
Groceries: $358 - Still need to do a better planning
Cellphones: $10 - Chica's international plan with Lebara
Internet & My phone: $66 - a little higher due to a personal hot spot. We are cancelling it for next month.
Misc./Entertainment: $627 - We spent about 300 on a trip to Galicia. It is a beautiful region right above Portugal. We saw Santiago de Compostela (where the camino ends and A Coruña). It was a fine trip. Not sure if it was worth the money (perhaps like 500E counting groceries + gas + housing. Almost half of what we spent this month)
Parking: $80

We saved 69.36% of our income.

CURRENT ASSETS: $525,065 ($22,641 increase from last month)
Cash savings: $134,345
Investments: $390,720

ACHIEVEMENTS/HAPPENINGS THIS MONTH:
- We have been vegan for 4 days. We will give it a try. My motivations are mainly curiosity and wanting to try something new and see if the benefits are real.
- We went to Galicia with some friends. It was an ok trip. Quite a long drive, 6:30 hours. Weather was straight up winter and we spent half of our money this month on it. I don't really have a lot of interest in travelling for the sake of travelling.
- Chica and I are working through some stress derived by the Covid pandemic. We had a good talk the other day and are trying to be nicer to each other and see things as positively as possible.
- I bought two books: the Freedom manifesto and You can retire early. I bought them on ebay USA, so I will not get them until November when chica goes there (if she is allowed to fly)
- I had a great session of surfing today. Amazing big waves. I was very scared at the beginning but I feel confortable after catching one and being slammed twice. Love surfing, it definitely makes my day and I really enjoy remembering the waves I rode before falling asleep.

GOALS FOR THE MONTH:
- Maintain a vegan diet and be healthy. I am loading up on veggies and fruits. No processed or extra carbs to fill up. I will eventually incorporate fish whenever I feel like. I just like it too much. As i said last month, I want to try to live this time as if I was retired. To be honest I am having a blast surfing every day and hanging out with Chica and the baby.
- I would like to pick up some jogging on top of the surfing. I want to get super fit.

Some pics of the town in Galicia where we spent some days.
Image
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1taskaday
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Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by 1taskaday »

Your photos and talk of Santiago de Compostela brought back my memories of my week on the Camino.
It was the best holiday I've ever been on.
Northern Spain is so beautiful and the food is amazing
I was just talking to my DH about it today saying..."Imagine some people can take a whole month out of their lives and do the whole thing... imagine a whole month away from everything in the real world..."

I would so love to do the 30 day full Camino some time.

Has it closed down now due to Covid?
I see the numbers are rising again.

A lot of people who do the Camino are abosolute Camino fanatics...going back every year...I can't see something like the Covid deterring them.

Nicolino
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Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by Nicolino »

Beautiful pictures, thank you! On the stress side, I know this are rough and confusing times for everyone. But maybe focus on the positive and reflect on what you guys have achieved, it is no small feat!

Jason

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by Jason »

Posting pictures of a rainbow and contemplating a return to Kansas is just begging for an economic interpretation of The Wizard of Oz which is readily available on-line. But as an impartial observer, a few flying monkeys does not warrant a return to that dust bowl bullshit. Hang in there.

Frugalchicos
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Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by Frugalchicos »

@1taskaday
When we were in Santiago we saw a ton of people doing the camino. The city wasn't crowded at all though. Galicia has not being doing great with the Covid, they had a lot of outbreaks in the last weeks.

I really liked Santiago, the old city was incredible, very large and well kept. I also thought it had a good mix of trendy and traditional. It remind me in a way to Barcelona. I guess it is because it is a college town and it has a good ambiance.

@Nicolino
Thanks for your kind words. It is always nice to hear from you!

@Jason
You are totally right about the dust bowl of BS...and it gets freakin' hot and cold! It makes me feel depressed only thinking about it :lol: - I will hang in the Basque Country until I ran out of options

Frugalchicos
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Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by Frugalchicos »

Monthly update:

SEPTEMBER INCOME –$11,020

SEPTEMBER EXPENSES – $1,596 USD - The expenses below are in Euros, we do the conversion of the total into USD.
Gas (Car): $0 - Still have a full tank from last refill.
Groceries: $327.13 - Still need to do a better planning
Cellphones: $20 - Chica's international plan with Lebara
Internet & My phone: $56.11 - a little higher due to a personal hot spot. We cancelled it and will start paying $10/month
Misc./Entertainment: $878 - Chica bought her flight for November ($426) with a different company with better and shorter connections. She kept the Iberia voucher for a future trip. The rest was some going out money ($140), new carseat for mini ($75) and other minor stuff.

Parking: $80 - will be the last month. I am currently parking in my mom's parking spot. She doesn't have a car, and doesn't need one either.

We saved 87.64% of our income.

CURRENT ASSETS: $543,020 ($17956 increase from last month)
Cash savings: $162,974 - It is a little tricky, we got a $20K free interest loan from Chica's parents to pay for all the reno of the condo we are hopefully closing on next month. We got the loan because we didn't want to sell stock. We are planning in paying for it by the end of the year or beginning of 2021.
Investments: $380,046 - Dropped about 10K since last update.

ACHIEVEMENTS/HAPPENINGS THIS MONTH:
- We have been mostly pescatarian for the last couple of months. I feel good, lost some fat but kept my strength. We ate meat just a couple of times when we went out. We don't want to be that typical person who is always saying "I don't eat that", "is that croissant vegan?". We are eating vegan/vegetarian at home and whatever when in social settings or when we are out.
- Big event: My parents finally got divorced. We moved out of the condo where we were living since we moved (it belongs to my father now) and moved in with my mom until we get our condo (hopefully in 6-7 months). It was quite stressful at the beginning but we are good now that we are a little bit more settled.
- Chica started to work full time again, 35 hours a week at least until January then hopefully beyond
- I started Basque classes Mon-Fri 2 hours a day. Very excited about it. It is something I have been wanting to do for a while.
- I deleted the Instagram account from my phone. I deleted everyone who wasn't close or related to me too. I also set a 1 hour screen time limit. I used to use (or look at) the phone for like 2 hours a day.
- Mini can talk, she can say dog, cat, caca (rubbish), car, aita (dad in Basque), ama (mom in Basque), night-night, agua and hola.

GOALS FOR THE MONTH:
- Study Basque like crazy. I want to get a good conversational level asap. I am planning in studying when Mini is sleeping and when Chica is working at night.
- Close the freaking deal of the condo by mid next month the latest. Very excited about that. We will get a beautiful condo in the nicest part of the town and custom renovated for about 130,000E. That is hacking the living situation on my books.

Some nice pic from the beach where my mom has a beach apartment and veggies that I got from my uncle's garden:
Image
Imageimage upload account
Image

theanimal
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Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by theanimal »

Nice garden bounty and view! Best of luck with learning basque. You're in the perfect environment for practice.

Frugalchicos
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Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by Frugalchicos »

@theanimal

Thanks! Always a pleasure hearing from you. It is also very exciting how your home project is progressing. Best of luck!

classical_Liberal
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Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by classical_Liberal »

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Last edited by classical_Liberal on Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

Nicolino
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Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by Nicolino »

Wow, look at those beach pictures! Amazing. Hope you get to close on that condo soon and that everyting continues to go as planned!

Frugalchicos
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Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by Frugalchicos »

@ CL
I know, that's why I couldn't wait to leave freezing Chicago and be able to enjoy this landscape all year round!

@Nicolino
I hope so too! Very excited to start the reno and plant roots

Frugalchicos
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Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by Frugalchicos »

Monthly update:

OCTOBER INCOME –$10,688

SEPTEMBER EXPENSES – $1,669 USD - The expenses below are in Euros, we do the conversion of the total into USD.
Car annual insurance: $526.84 - They gave us 2 months for free due to the Covid.
Gas (Car): $46.57 - Still have a full tank since I only used it twice to go surfing at the beach.
Groceries: $293.9 - We stacked up in fish
Cellphones: $10 - Chica's international plan with Lebara and my plan.
Internet & My phone: $24.89 - last internet payment since we are using my mom's
Misc./Entertainment: $512 - We went out a couple of times and invited my mom for lunch for her birthday. I got a teeth cleaning. Some basque books to study, 2 PS4 games and a new pair of running sneakers.

We saved 84.4% of our income.

CURRENT ASSETS: $551,952 ($8,932 increase from last month)
Cash savings: $167,044 - We already paid back 5K of to Chica's parents, still 15K to go. We will pay 5K more this month.
Investments: $384,908

ACHIEVEMENTS/HAPPENINGS THIS MONTH:
- I have been enjoying my Basque classes and making friends through it. I am loving it and already feel my improvement.
- I have been running early in the mornings with a Basque classes friend.
- I am studying hard getting ready for a Government exam. I would like to get a job in the administration or the public Health. They are very secure and highly paid. The Government announced they are planning in renovating the staff and will hire 5,000 people in the next 2 years.
- Chica has been working hard and making a ton of money.
- Mini is growing like crazy, already talks a little and says words in 3 different languages.
- Not surfing for a while. There has been crazy big waves and we also got locked down since last week (we can't leave the town).
- I bought two PS4 games. The last of us and Red Dead Redemption 2. Chica and I had fun the other night. They might come handy if we get confined again.

GOALS FOR THE MONTH:
- Keep studying
- Get back on running shape. Would like to start running longer distances.
- Not get sick. We might get locked down again soon.

Nicolino
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Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by Nicolino »

Everything going swiftly then! I am feeling the challenge myself on getting back on "running shape" since we had gym reopen a couple of weeks ago here (I prefer running on the threadmill than on the street)

Frugalchicos
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Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by Frugalchicos »

I just got a pair of Saucony Jazz 21 for 58E (had to return the Nike, too tight unfortunately). I can't wait to use them tomorrow morning!

Yeah, I used to like it more on the treadmill since it is easier to set the pace. However, the more you run on the street, the more you like it. I didn't join a gym in a little bit over a year.

Flurry
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Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by Flurry »

Amazing pictures and amazing savings rate.
I didn't read all old posts, you don't have any housing expenses?

Frugalchicos
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Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by Frugalchicos »

@Flurry

Thanks! - We didn't have housing expenses since we moved to Spain. We lived in one of my parent's condos and now we are living with my mom until we get our condo renovated (still waiting to close down the purchase. The whole process of buying and reno can take like 9 more months). We will pay the condo and renovation in cash. So when we move in, we should have the typical expenses like insurance, electricity, gas, water and HOA (all together shouldn't be more than 250-300E/month).

Flurry
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Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by Flurry »

Okay, that surely helps a lot. :D
I never realized northern Spain is so beautiful (I have relatives in Madrid but I don't think Madrid is that nice to live), I'd really love to travel there some time when Covid is finally gone but I also don't want to support mass tourism, pretty crowded there I guess?

Frugalchicos
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Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by Frugalchicos »

Yes, it definitely helped to get settled. However, my parents got divorced during this time which was a little traumatic for everyone.

Madrid is totally different to The Basque Country. IMO Madrid is ok for visiting but I would never live there. It lacks green and open spaces, has no ocean or mountains close by and the political inclination of its people is quite different than mine (1 out of 2 voted right wing, including a big % of uprising far right wing). The Basque country doesn't really get crowded with the exception of San Sebastian in the summer. Bilbao is where I live and it is pretty nice too. Biarritz and Bayonne in the French area is quite impressive and beautiful too.

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