Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

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Frugalchicos
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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Thu May 04, 2017 12:32 pm

bryan wrote:
Thu May 04, 2017 11:35 am
> - Chica will stop taking Spanish classes at the end of May. Even though they were helpful, they were the biggest expense and the easiest to eliminate. (this change will help us to save $240 x 7 = $1,680 in 2017)

Nice savings! Does she plan on learning through some other method? Curious as I wouldn't mind picking up Spanish in a frugal, lazy way. Couldn't even be bothered to use free smartphone apps to learn vocabulary..
Good to see you again Bryan!

Yes, cutting the Spanish classes was a tough decision but necessary for the goal. Chica has it easy since I speak Spanish myself. We committed to speak in Spanish at home more often. I will also try to download a teaching guide or something like that so I can teach her the grammar accordingly.

My recommendations for learning any language are:
- find a girlfriend/boyfriend who speaks the language you want to learn (probably the most passive and fun way of doing it)
- Duolingo to learn some vocabulary ( I find it somehow limited once you start advancing)
- Read a book of a movie you already watched in your language so you can follow the story (only when you have some basic grammar)
- Watch a show or short clips in youtube with captions in the language you want to learn...

Those are some of the free ways I can think of since I did them when I was learning English... Will keep you updated since I have to find a way to teach Chica!

Cheers!

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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Fri May 05, 2017 8:30 am

Happy Friday!

Apart from numbers, I would also like to use this journal to take notes of myself and see how I evolve over these years.

- Things I currently like / enjoy doing:
- Being with my best friend (wife)
- Cooking (yes, I will definitely post some kick ass recipes in here)
- Traveling
- Hanging out with friends and family (sometimes challenging when it comes to those spender friends... have been eliminating them from my agenda over the years)
- Watching soccer (only the team I support, don't waste time watching any other games)
- Movies and documentaries
- Reading about economics and finance
- Lifting weights
- I love walking
- Camping and hiking.
- Riding my bike to the beach.
- Playing play station, Mostly online Battlefield and Fifa

- Things I want to start picking, doing and learn in the near future:
- Thinking in start reading books only in French. I want to get back to it and become fluent again.
- Learning new recipes and become a bad ass chef (got an associates degree in culinary while I was in college)
- Learn more about economics and investing (already had a peak at the recommended reading list).
- Learn how to be more patient
- Start going to the gym for 1 hour/ day, 5 days a week instead of 30 mns a day as I am doing now.
- Learn more about car maintenance. I guess youtube has all the answers.
- Practice yoga at least once a week. Will help with the patience and stretching.
- Learn how to teach Spanish to Chica

That's all for now, I bet I will come up with more things shortly. But for now, it is a good start.

Wish you all a great weekend!

Jason
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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Jason » Fri May 05, 2017 11:06 am

Frugalchicos wrote:
Thu May 04, 2017 12:19 pm
Jason wrote:
Thu May 04, 2017 8:46 am
I don't know about your personal stuff but the Pintxos look delicious.

Hi Jason,

Thanks! yes, pintxos are out of this world... and good comment, I realize I didn't really tell much about myself. I will post more about interests and things I like to do shortly!
Are they like nachos? I love nachos. I once had these nachos on vacation in New England that gave me so much gas, my wife told me that if I farted one more time in the hotel room, she was going to go home. The problem was that we were on the second floor and the balcony overlooked the hotel courtyard, so if I went outside to fart I would gas up everyone eating in the courtyard. It was like the Sophie's Choice of farting. Ultimately I decided to save my marriage as opposed to the good will of the other guests.

Anyway, back to point. I have never heard of these pintxos, but maybe you could sell them here in America. I'd test them out.

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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Fri May 05, 2017 12:27 pm

Jason wrote:
Fri May 05, 2017 11:06 am
Frugalchicos wrote:
Thu May 04, 2017 12:19 pm
Jason wrote:
Thu May 04, 2017 8:46 am
I don't know about your personal stuff but the Pintxos look delicious.

Hi Jason,

Thanks! yes, pintxos are out of this world... and good comment, I realize I didn't really tell much about myself. I will post more about interests and things I like to do shortly!
Are they like nachos? I love nachos. I once had these nachos on vacation in New England that gave me so much gas, my wife told me that if I farted one more time in the hotel room, she was going to go home. The problem was that we were on the second floor and the balcony overlooked the hotel courtyard, so if I went outside to fart I would gas up everyone eating in the courtyard. It was like the Sophie's Choice of farting. Ultimately I decided to save my marriage as opposed to the good will of the other guests.

Anyway, back to point. I have never heard of these pintxos, but maybe you could sell them here in America. I'd test them out.
Hey Jason,

No, they are not like nachos, they are more like high cuisine in miniature that usually goes on top of a slice of bread. They won't give you gas :), just happiness

And yes, I thought about the pintxo/wine bar multiple times. Basque don't really have a lot of representations here in the US with the exception of Boise and some parts in Northern California. I am proud to say that Basque cuisine is among one of the best in the world (being a Michelin Star heaven with 19 stars in the region)

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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Jason » Fri May 05, 2017 12:42 pm

I think you should try it. I know its easier said than done but in a foodie-tourist town - like Portland Maine where people just walk around all day looking at and occasionally buying overpriced shit, something like that would be a hit. Especially if its guaranteed fart free so people won't be afraid to go in there if they are at that stupid stage in a relationship where they are actually trying to impress the other person. Because if that nacho episode had taken place at that stage, I would not be married, at least to my current wife.

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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Fri May 05, 2017 1:10 pm

Jason wrote:
Fri May 05, 2017 12:42 pm
I think you should try it. I know its easier said than done but in a foodie-tourist town - like Portland Maine where people just walk around all day looking at and occasionally buying overpriced shit, something like that would be a hit. Especially if its guaranteed fart free so people won't be afraid to go in there if they are at that stupid stage in a relationship where they are actually trying to impress the other person. Because if that nacho episode had taken place at that stage, I would not be married, at least to my current wife.
It can be a plan B if the entire thing of moving back home doesn't work out....

Stay gas free bro and enjoy your weekend!

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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Sun May 07, 2017 7:34 am

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Some plans for today:

- Sell some crap on eBay that has been sitting around for quite some time or we don't use anymore. This includes:
* 3 play station games
* Some books we already read.
* Some clothes I didn't use in years
* A messenger bag
Hopefully I make $60-80 from it. However, I get more joy seeing things go and freeing the house of items that have no use at all for us. We have a certain minimalist approach in life. We only buy/have stuff we really need or makes sense having.

- Cook some great food for the week. We like cooking few things on Sunday, so we have food prepared that can last until Thursday. Some of the plates I am thinking in cooking:
* Zucchini Cream (sauté onions, 1-2 medium size potatoes, zucchini, olive oil, salt & pepper. Once they are golden, add water or stock, let it boil until soft and blend)
* We are grilling skirt steak (will marinate with some garlic, soy sauce, pepper and oregano) and will eat with French Fries. We will make some tacos if there is some leftovers of the meat.
* And the star...Marmitako!!! Delicious Basque fisherman plate consisting in potatoes, tuna, onion, green pepper and some paprika.

Image

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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Sun May 07, 2017 7:48 am

It is also time for the Frugal Chicos Hotel to open its doors!!

Last year we were Airbnb hosts for the first time and it was a great experience. We rented our second bedroom from June until October. Not only did we meet some cool people but it helped us to make quite a good profit. We managed to make about $5,200.

We already opened for reservations in June and so far we have 3 bookings. We are currently monitoring the prices and daily views of the posting since we want to make the maximum profit (why not!?). We set the night at a minimum price of $79 and a maximum of $250. We have it set up with smart price (it automatically changes the price for you depending on demand).

That being said, we can forecast a busy summer making beds and cleaning sheets...but it is a great experience that makes us feel we are doing the maximum we can to make this journey a success story!

Cheers!

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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Jason » Sun May 07, 2017 12:02 pm

I'm starting to see why you are so determined to get back to Basque county. Beautiful country, fine cousine.

Good luck with the Airbnb. Do you cook for these people? If not, you should and charge extra. It would give you an experiment in seeing people eat your food.

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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Sun May 07, 2017 12:11 pm

Jason wrote:
Sun May 07, 2017 12:02 pm
I'm starting to see why you are so determined to get back to Basque county. Beautiful country, fine cousine.

Good luck with the Airbnb. Do you cook for these people? If not, you should and charge extra. It would give you an experiment in seeing people eat your food.
Happy Sunday Jason!

I only prepared breakfast for guests a couple of times. But it is true, I thought about some short of service where anybody could cook homemade meals and have guest over that would pay for the service (not sure how the food and healthy regulations would work). But it would be interesting to see the concept in a country like the US with such a variety of cultures....being able to taste real homemade food from India, Thailand, Mexico...just to name a few.

And yeah, my wife is kind of the official taster and so far is quite delighted with my cooking :D

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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Mon May 08, 2017 8:17 pm

So....beginning of the week and even though I always try to find motivation to keep it cool everyday, sometimes it is hard to not feel a little anxious and complain about how terrible things are (weather, traffic, boring job, neighbors, etc).

I am totally aware the mentioned before "issues" are first world "problems" and I consider myself very fortunate to have what I have (what the hell, I'm writing a journal about saving crazy money in 3,5 years and perhaps not needing to work again if I don't want to). So I decided to take a challenge of not complaining about anything in 21 days (that's supposedly the time it takes to create a habit). I will also try to wake up every morning and be determined to have a great day when I will be grateful for what I have in my life and for what I have waiting for me in the future.

I believe positivity is a habit that needs to be trained and perhaps, it is as important as compound interest in a journal like mine.

I will let you know how it goes!

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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Jason » Tue May 09, 2017 5:42 am

I had a shrink who helped me try to develop the following habit:

The "awful, terrible, horrible" test. When thinking of a situation think "Is it so awful, terrible, horrible" (say it in Middle-Eastern accent and it sounds more erudite). The point its to grade the feeling on a scale of 1-10. Assign it a number. A rational human being has to be able to establish degradations of experience i.e. "I am being herded into a cattle car to be exterminated in a gas chamber" vs. "I burnt my Pinxtos." I will let you decide which is worse.

These are other tools"

(1) If you are a natural pessimist like me, look for negative aspirational role models. Watch People Court and realize most people are fighting over less than 1000 which means they desperately need 1000. Plus its fun to watch people fight over trivial shit like "Wanda is suing Charise for $400 for using her birth control test and the abortion she needed due to the fact that she couldn't test herself the morning after she fucked Charise's boyfriend. Charise is counter-suing and seeking to have Wanda kicked out of her apartment for being a fucking ho. Wanda is now seeking further damages for Charise calling her a fucking ho." If you are a luddite like Jacob Lund Fisker and don't have a television, just go to your local bar at 11:00Am. It will be on.

(2) Reward yourself for incremental improvements in attitude/behavior.

(3) Remember what John Bogel said. The goal is to get as far away from 0 (or less than zero) as possible. So if you don't have 0 anymore, think of the shit you don't have to put up with anymore like pimping out a crew of lazy, good for nothing, back-talking bitches.

(4) There is an addition by subtraction effect, but eliminating bad behavior/attidue is not enough. It has to be replaced. For instance, if your going to eliminate lap dances with the Brazilian stripper with the ass forged before the foundations of the earth, you can't just sit there and think about getting a lap dance from the Brazilian stripper with the ass forged before the foundations of the earth. Go out and read "On Revolution" by Hannah Arrendt or something of that nature.

(5) You are not dead. So your negative thoughts are really a luxury when you think about it.

(6) Most people, either don't care or want you to fail. Don't give them the satisfaction. They are assholes.

(7) Don't watch Tony Robbins videos. There is seriously something wrong with that pituitary freak. He fuckin creeps me out and everyone I know who has ever watched one of his videos is all kinds of crazy.

(8) Work in a soup kitchen to see people even worse off than you. Not that I would ever do it as I'm way too fucking selfish plus I don't want to place myself in a position where I might take advantage of poor chicks. Nothing good comes from that.

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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Tue May 09, 2017 8:46 am

Good Morning Jason!

Thanks for sharing those tips. I will totally apply the one about rewarding myself (trend to by quite self critical)

I consider myself optimistic and an overall happy person. However, I think these next 3.5 years are going to be more a patience exercise than a financial one. However, I can tell you we are DE-TER-MINED to achieve the goal and finish it strong (and please, don't burn my pintxos!!). :lol:

Things that I personally did over the years to eliminate negativity and proved to be helpful (they are also along the lines of the tools you mentioned):

- Eliminated TV completely (I'm almost positive I haven't watched TV since I am 15 years old). We don't even have cable and only watch selected stuff like movies or documentaries.

- Eliminated stupid apps like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and other similar stuff. The only thing they did was sucking my time and making me think my life was garbage since you only see people's pretty stuff (like wtf are you all day at the beach and hiking mountains...or mannnn, that person is always drinking amazing Caribbean cocktails)> You can't help to compare yourself to others.

- Don't see or read the news. Only selected things I am interested in.

- Couldn't care less about other people's problems. Unless they are relatives (pretty much only first line relatives)

- Don't pay attention to problems of the world that I can't really help solving.

- Have things to look forward to, like a camping trip, good weather on the weekend (bbq for sure), stay at home on Friday and cook a Spanish omelette (a ton of potatoes, eggs and onion)...

- Join a challenge. This year we are not buying any clothes at all.

You might think I am a selfish bastard...but I think it is an adapted stoic mentality. I need to read more about stoicism by the way... And, I also recommend the Art of Happiness.

Cheers and I wish you an awesome day!!

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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Wed May 17, 2017 8:37 am

Not a whole thing to report these days...

On the social aspect, I attended a social event and had some cool conversations with other people about lifestyle and spending habits. Interesting to see other people's perspective of life, work and future. I had to keep some of my thoughts for myself since some people seem to be always struggling with life, even though they always had it pretty easy in plenty of aspects (in my opinion, any middle class person from a First World Country). This is one thing we both need to work on (shut up and don't mention much about our plans and how we are doing it), people don't really get it or think you are crazy.

On the financial matter, the Airbnb business is booming. It seems June is going to be quite busy. So far, we have few bookings for a total of $785. All the profit will be invested in Betterment. Based on last year, we can forecast a profit of $5,000 from June to October. On another note, we are thinking in getting a roommate after the Airbnb season and charge $800 a month. Looking for somebody we can trust, perhaps a friend.

Chica is also planning in babysitting on her spare time and contribute the profits to "our little empire" (the way she likes calling it).

Finally, we officially lowered the allowances from $60 to $40 a week, and invest what we don't spend. We will save at least another $100 a month, $1,200 a year.

Catch up soon!

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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Thu May 25, 2017 4:26 pm

Hello Everyone,

Today has been one of those days when I asked myself "what the heck am I doing? am I wasting my time and life doing something that I don't give a crap about?". I bet it is a very common and universal feeling out there...

But, then I realized that every day that we cross a day in the calendar, it is another win for us ( We also try to live the moment and enjoy every day as much as we can). I also realized that we are freaking killing it. Getting to save over 60% every month, our Betterment account keeps growing at an incredible pace, we have Airbnb reservations for the entire month of June and half of July and Chica has been a bad ass doing nanny jobs.

Nobody said it was going to be an easy journey, but we will definitely try our best every day. I can't wait to have our monthly meeting next week!

I leave a couple of sentences of a long quote I read today:

“Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.

To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.”

Cheers!

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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by knap82 » Fri May 26, 2017 5:43 am

Hola!

I really like your approach and specialfly your family ERE meetings caught my eye. Very inspiring and something I will suggest to my chi chica who is now ready to join the journey to FI.

So thank you and keep posting.

/knap

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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Fri May 26, 2017 7:12 am

@knap82

Thanks for writing, we are convinced our monthly meetings are what keep us strong and motivated. Taking notes and keeping track of our progress is an amazing source of joy and something to look forward every month.

The meeting time is also a place where there is open conversations about money and future goals in every aspect. It definitely help us to be closer and be a team with the same goal. We are planing in having our future kids joining us in these meetings so they are not foreign to this approach of life :)

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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Jason » Sun May 28, 2017 11:34 am

Enough of the idle chit chat, let's see some pictures of food.

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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Tue May 30, 2017 8:29 am

Jason wrote:
Sun May 28, 2017 11:34 am
Enough of the idle chit chat, let's see some pictures of food.
Morning Jason!

Soon man, I promise a summer of recipes! that's one of the things I definitely want to learn more about. Taking pictures of food and make them look appetizing is quite hard...Any suggestion would be much appreciated. Looking for some technique not too complicated neither requiring a million of instruments and gadgets.

Thanks!

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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by bryan » Tue May 30, 2017 1:10 pm

Figured I would just pop in to say I recently visited my sister again and this time spent some more time in the country and smaller towns. It really does seem like a great place to "retire." Some excellent bicycling roads, hiking, coastline, food, etc. I'm not sure what my favourite thing from this past trip was, but eating in a cave on the border of France/Spain was pretty great, unique: https://imgur.com/a/xsV4t

txotx!

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