Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Where are you and where are you going?
Frugalchicos
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos »

Alright, time for our monthly update:

APRIL INCOME –$10,619 + 9,461 taxes = $20,080
Amazing month with good income coming in plus tax return.

APRIL EXPENSES – 836E / $914 USD - Some of the stuff below is in Euros, we do the conversion of the total into USD.
Rent: $0
Gas (Car): $0
Groceries: $456 - Similar to last month, we are probably buying a little bit more than usual, but we have to stack up since we only go to the supermarket once a week due to Covid19. We also account everything we but in the supermarket as groceris, like diapers, toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc.
Cellphones: $10 - Chica's international plan with Lebara
Internet & Chico's phone: $45,27
Misc./Entertainment: $238 It includes the following:
- $93 - Some stuff we bought in Amazon and Aliexpress
- $39 - Chica's mandatory insurance (we had to get insurance in order to be able to apply for the EU residency)
- $105 - Some clothes that chica bought for herself and mini.

We saved 95,45% of our income.

CURRENT ASSETS: $434,214 ($51,162 increase from last month)
Cash savings: $113,548
Investments: $320,666

ACHIEVEMENTS/HAPPENINGS THIS MONTH:
- We hit another month with low expenses and high SR.
- We have been in quarantine for 51 days already. We are starting the deescalation phase, we are able to go out for 1 hour a day.
- We are both technically unemployed at the moment. Chica's last day at work was on 5/1. Hopefully, everything is temporary and we both get our jobs back when this is over and can resume our plan for early retirement.
- We got our taxes back along with a stimulus check. It helped a lot to get our NW bumped up.
- The buy of the condo is still on course. We are just waiting for life to get back to normal and be able to do the paperwork.
- We found a cheaper parking spot that it is a little closer to our home. It is just 7E cheaper a month or 77E a year, which would be like paying a month less than what we were paying before.
- Mini is doing amazing. She got a little tooth right in the middle. She is also trying to stand up on her own, I can see her walking in a couple of months.
- These days, I spend my time reading a little bit (read one book, Sarah's key), doing some mods in the car (I spray painted the front grill (yes, I covered the radiator) and debadged the trunk) and plasti-dipping some headphones I was given by my father in law. I spent some time in the garage working on the car since it was a good escape of the routine of the lock down since we can't get out.
- Planning in going back to running at some point in the next couple of weeks. I just need to get in the mood, it is hard to feel excited about sports after 51 days without being able of to get out of the house.
- I also cooked a lot and spent a lot of time playing FIFA on PS4.
- I am not sure I mentioned it before, but I got a gig of like kind of an influencer for a famous local gourmet canning company. They sent me a box full of stuff in exchange of me cooking yummy stuff and posting it in instagram. I think it is pretty sweet, I get free quality food for free and they only thing I need to do is cooking it, which I do gladly.

Attached are some pics of the projects I did, some stuff I cooked and a cute pic of mini:
Image
Image
Image
ImageImage
Image
Image
Image

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1121
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

You should be very proud! 13%+ in total net worth in a single month is outstanding. I'm quickly realizing that here in Portugal we are pretty much able to live a very comfortable life on $<2,000 USD/month, with $1,500 being possible as long as good deal on housing is found. That means you would be teetering on the brink of FI if costs in Northern Spain are similar to Lisbon.

Frugalchicos
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos »

@2B1S
Thanks!! the growth was basically because of the market being up these last days comparing to last month when we did our update.

Yes, life in Europe is superb. I am enjoying the weather, food (and its quality), social network (at least when we were able to hang out with people) and all the outdoor activities that I can pretty much do for free.

I believe Lisbon is about as affordable as Northern Spain. When I visited Lisbon, I thought it was pretty cheap to have lunch out, do groceries and such. Perhaps, real estate is getting expensive since it is becoming a hip place?

basuragomi
Posts: 139
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:13 pm

Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by basuragomi »

Great-looking food and great headphone recolouring! I've had the same pair for over a decade of daily use now, they are very repairable and perform great, except for the weird proprietary cable end.

Frugalchicos
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos »

@Basuragomi

Thank you, I have been experimenting with plasti-dip lately. That product is incredible. I feel I gave a new life to the old headphones. The sound and quality is great, I hope they last another 10 years! :)

Nicolino
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:16 am

Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by Nicolino »

Following you now on instagram, ha! It is inspiring that you are doing well and setting out to do all the things you intended to do when this return home was an objective on an Excel spreadsheet. Hope you guys continue to make the most out of your new life!

Frugalchicos
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos »

@Nicolino
Ha! just saw it. Thanks for your words, you are very kind. Hopefully, all of us can go back to "normal" soon and continue enjoying our lives to the fullest extent.

Frugalchicos
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos »

Time for an update

MAY INCOME –$6,515.16

MAY EXPENSES – 1,636E / $1,728 USD - Some of the stuff below is in Euros, we do the conversion of the total into USD.
Rent: $0
Gas (Car): $0
Groceries: $546 - Similar to last month - Covid boredom and being in the house as one of the only options translated into a bigger grocery list.
Cellphones: $10 - Chica's international plan with Lebara
Internet & Chico's phone: $44,97
Misc./Entertainment: $850. It has been a special month in this department since we had a couple of one time expenses. It includes the following:
- $144 - City sticker to be able to drive the car around. It has to be paid every year
- $39 - Chica's mandatory insurance (we had to get insurance in order to be able to apply for the EU residency)
- $480 - Longboard, bag and leash
- $32 - Amazon - Bought a Casio w800h 1aves - Water resistant, needed it for surfing
- $29 Chica's cosmetics
- $102 Fun
Parking: $80

We saved 73.48% of our income.

CURRENT ASSETS: $484.461 ($50.247 increase from last month)
Cash savings: $117,402
Investments: $367,461

ACHIEVEMENTS/HAPPENINGS THIS MONTH:
- Stock market is recovering, our NW went up again like crazy
- We were in quarantine for over 70 days. Now we are able to walk around anytime, go to bars and restaurants and drive to different towns in our province. Most of the people wear a mask in public spaces and it is mandatory in public transportation and indoors like supermarkets, shops, etc.
There has been 27K deaths in Spain, about 1,800 happened in the Basque Country.
- It seems I will get my job back soon if everything continues the way things are going over here. Pretty excited about it but happy to still have some days to enjoy for myself.
- Mini chica has two teeth, crawls super fast and already stands up by herself for a few seconds.
- It seems that my parents divorce is happening anytime soon. It is kind of weird to navigate through those feelings now and it will definitely feel awkward seeing them living separated.
- I got an amazing longboard that I am enjoying a lot. The other day I had an amazing day at the beach. We were just 5 guys at the peak and I pretty much caught every wave. Quite an amazing feeling of freedom and excitement when you are riding a wave in a beautiful beach surrounded by mountains! I can even see banks of fishes swimming in the water when the wave is forming.
- Chica is making some new friends. She got to meet an American girl who happens to live right by us. She also hanged out with some of my sister's friends who are very nice.

GOAL FOR THE MONTH:
- Do a better planning with our grocery list.
- Continue improving surfing while having a great time doing it.
- Chill, relax and do some day trips around if weather permitting.

These are some pics of the highlights of the month. Day trip to a castle nearby. My new watch, the longboard and me paddling with the longboard :
Imageurl=https://postimages.org/]
Image
ImageImage
Image

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1121
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

You are living the dream my friend! Does chica surf too?

Frugalchicos
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos »

@2B1S

Thanks man, can't complain to be honest. Just came back from a wonderful bbq in the mountains and tomorrow morning I am going surfing with my sister.

Chica is planning in taking some lessons next week or the next. It is good to have more surfing buddies.
Image
Image
Image

Frugalchicos
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos »

Today has been a year anniversary of funemployment/year gap/break/whatever you want to name it. Time flies!! Looking back I can name a few highlights, like becoming a father, running a half marathon, moving back to my home city, going through a pandemic and relearning how to surf.

As a brief summary of the month (I have limited access to the internet since we are spending a couple of weeks by the beach), but I believe our NW is about $482,000. It is a little less than last month because of the stock market slipping a little bit.

It has been a good month. Quite amazing to be able to walk to the beach barefoot with my wetsuit on.

theanimal
Posts: 1587
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: AK
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by theanimal »

Oh man! What a beautiful area! You've had a great year. I'm looking forward to reading about many more like it.

Frugalchicos
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos »

@Theanimal

Thanks man, it was a good year indeed and I am glad we moved before the covid

Alright, we are back from the beach and now it is time for a monthly update.

JUNE INCOME –$8,368

JUNE EXPENSES – $1,534 USD - The expenses below are in Euros, we do the conversion of the total into USD.
Gas (Car): $46.29 - Still have over half the tank.
Groceries: $463.44 - Will do better planning from now on
Cellphones: $11.34 - Chica's international plan with Lebara
Internet & My phone: $44,90
Misc./Entertainment: $713.35 - We bought all the surf gear for Chica, she is picking up surfing. ($453 was the total including a full week of classes)
Parking: $80

We saved 81.67% of our income.

CURRENT ASSETS: $487.246 ($2,785 increase from last month)
Cash savings: $126,514 - We almost have enough cash to pay for the house plus renovation
Investments: $360,732

ACHIEVEMENTS/HAPPENINGS THIS MONTH:
This month has been pretty good. These are some of the highlights.
-I made $23,170 this year so far.
- We saved $57,814 this year.
- Chica took surfing lessons and enjoyed it a lot. We got her all the surfing gear. I am very excited to become a surfing family!!
- I finally got laid off and will start collecting unemployment again. It is impossible to operate the business with the current restrictions. They want me to be part of the team in the future, but they can't guarantee when that is going to happen. I am going to take some time to figure out what I want to do next. More about that in a future post.
- My birthday was yesterday. I am 38 yo. I feel great and I think I am doing great. I feel I have a good (uncertain) future ahead.
- I would like to think more about what I want for this next year and how I see myself in the near future.
- I might consider to finally take the English proficiency test. It could open up some opportunities, like becoming an English teacher.
- I will continue surfing like crazy. The ocean cures you :)
- I feel the closing of the house is happening some time soon. Perhaps by August.
- Chica is back at work! she is getting some projects for the next couple of weeks. We hope it lasts for a while.

GOALS FOR THE MONTH:
*Pretty much like last month.
- Do a better planning with our grocery list.
- Continue improving surfing while having a great time doing it.
- Meet more people. Grow a good community we can hang out with.
- No more extra expenses or expensive purchases. We already have everything we need to have a great life.

These are some pics of the highlights of the month. The beach and landscape of the town we went by the beach, an amazing rice with mussels I cooked, fishing boats in my town and enjoying life after surfing :
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

rube
Posts: 667
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by rube »

If you, C40, ffj, the animal (and some others) all continue posting these beautiful pictures here, all the others will feel eh like we're on Instagram!!! (I don't have Instagram btw).

Enjoy the good life frugal Chico's!

Nicolino
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:16 am

Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by Nicolino »

All pieces falling into place it seems! Those beaches looks gorgeous

Frugalchicos
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos »

Today we reached a milestone - We passed the $500K mark. I guess we are half millionaires.

I feel pretty accomplished and ready for the next goal. We would like to have a house paid off and about $600K in savings to totally retire.

The other day I fantasized about winning the Euromillion (it was 33 million euros). I came to the conclusion that my everyday life wouldn't change much than the current one. I would most likely continue doing the same, surfing in the morning, cooking, taking naps, spending time with friends and family and some reading. I would do the same but fancier, in a nice house and driving an Audi RS6 :lol: . I guess you can only reach certain level of happiness/contentment.

We celebrated the day surfing early in the morning, going for a walk to the beach through the forest, spending time with family at the pool and cooking a beautiful homemade dinner.

Image
Image[/url]

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1907
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

Man, those are some beautiful pictures! It reads like you've reached great flow with your life. Don't give it up. Happy belated B-day!

Frugalchicos
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos »

@ Nicolino & CL

Thanks! Yes, things are going pretty well. We are just enjoying our time without big worries. Living simple and enjoying little things. Sometimes, I feel I don't really think much about the future or anything in particular (as much as I used to do before). Surfing, cooking and the baby keep my mind busy.

I am also making some friends through surfing and we are discovering new beaches together. I will try to go to one or two different beaches in the next couple of weeks.

On another note: Covid continues being strong in Spain and it is making quite difficult to navigate politics and social etiquette when it comes to celebrations and such. We are opting to meet outdoors for a coffee or just skipping the event at all.

Frugalchicos
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by Frugalchicos »

Time for monthly update:

JULY INCOME –$8,692

JULY EXPENSES – $1,192 USD - The expenses below are in Euros, we do the conversion of the total into USD.
Gas (Car): $42.71 - Still have 3/4 OF the tank.
Groceries: $364 - Will do better planning from now on
Cellphones: $11.23 - Chica's international plan with Lebara
Internet & My phone: $59.58
Misc./Entertainment: $454.75 - Nothing in particular.
Parking: $80

We saved 88.34% of our income.

CURRENT ASSETS: $505,126 ($17,880 increase from last month)
Cash savings: $131,916
Investments: $373,210

ACHIEVEMENTS/HAPPENINGS THIS MONTH:
Not much going on this month...
- We finally hit the 500K NW. We are half millionaires
- Chica got more work for this month. Keep it coming!
- The dollar is pretty weak vs the euro. Hopefully, we don't have to sign the condo any time soon.
- Mini chica turned 1! we had a mini party at home with my parents and sister.
- I am considering in signing up for Basque classes. It is something I wanted to do for a while. I always felt pretty jealous of parents talking to their kids in Basque. I would also like to be able to help mini with her homework in a future.

GOALS FOR THE MONTH:
- Exercise at least 5 days a week. I surf as much as I can and I would also like to run a little bit to build endurance.
- Eat less sweats. Introduce more fruit into my diet
- Take it easy. Try to enjoy the moment and don't think too much about the future. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed due to the lack of direction or clear goal... I guess sometimes the best you can do is nothing. Sit, enjoy and wait.

Frugalchicos
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Post by Frugalchicos »

These last couple of weeks have been a little rough. The underlying stress caught me. I found myself thinking too much about the future and worrying about the uncertainty of the economy, work situation and my parents' divorce (happening next week). I also feel that the move has not gone as planned (pandemic, economy collapsed, lost two jobs, parents divorce, unable to meet/socialize much). All this stress projected itself as feeling irritable and having too many arguments with Chica... not everything is flowers and rainbows in the Frugalchicos household.

I also saw myself looking for houses in Kansas City (where chica is from, but barely has family there). I guess I do it as an escape, thinking that everything is easier there and I don't have to deal with personal and family issues. It is true that work would be much easier to find there, but would I be happy there? I could make it work, but I think I would be happier in the Basque Country.

I came to the conclusion that I need to go back to my past Stoic principles. I can only control so much and I need to enjoy the day as it comes and make the best of it. At the end of the day I am a very fortunate person and I don't really have serious problems in my life. Everything is circunstancial and temporary. We just moved and things might take more than expected, but we will make a successful story of it. Somehow, I don't know yet, but I am determined to make it happen.

My goals to overcome this crisis are as following:
- Work on and strengthen my relationship with Chica.
- Be more compassionate with others
- Listen more, talk less
- Try to work on my inner happiness. Not depend on others.
- Do more of what makes me feel good - Surfing at the moment. Perhaps pick up running again.
- Read less about Covid or any other fk'd up story going on in the world.
- Continue eating healthy and not drinking much.
- Act/behave as I am early retired and taking a gap until I find something fun or interesting.

Post Reply