Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Where are you and where are you going?
User avatar
Frugalchicos
Posts: 182
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Wed May 31, 2017 11:33 am

@ Bryan

Hi Bryan!

I am glad you like it! That place seems very interesting! I never heard of such a thing. Did you get to visit Biarritz or Saint-Jean-de-Luz? they are probably my favorite places across the border. Can't wait to go on vacation in August and spend a couple of weeks back home (especially eating fish, seafood and drinking cider and fresh txakoli)

And yes, I think it is a great place to retire. Awesome social lifestyle, great food and landscapes and amazing health system.

Perhaps one day we meet in the Basque Country and have some pintxos together!

Txotx!

P.S next time you need to get in a Txoko - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Txoko

User avatar
bryan
Posts: 1010
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:01 am
Location: mostly Bay Area

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

Post by bryan » Wed May 31, 2017 12:28 pm

That spot was the only place we went near France; though we were tempted to go back as one of the nearby towns was having an annual accordion festival a few days later. My sister says the French Basque country is much less in demand (real estate, tourism, etc) than on the Spanish side of the border.

Other excursions from Donostia were a Sagardotegia (txotx!) near Ataun, a great fish restaurant in Getaria, and a dirty old bar in Pasaia at the end of a lengthy hike.

I'll be sure to check if you are living over there next time I visit! Hurry up and ERE :)

User avatar
Frugalchicos
Posts: 182
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Wed May 31, 2017 1:20 pm

@ Bryan

It sounds like you had an amazing trip!

Man...those cod omelettes at the Sagardotegia...and walnuts, cheese and quince paste (membrillo) for dessert!

I better hurry up!! Spring 2020 seems to be the time though...

User avatar
Frugalchicos
Posts: 182
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:09 pm

Time for some updates!

Like every month, we do a meeting and see where we stand. These are our numbers from May:

MAY TAKE HOME INCOME - $7,840
Chico: $3,994
Chica: $3,496
Chica's Babysitting: $350

MAY EXPENSES – $3,670.26
Mortgage: $1,944.89 (note: $1,122.61 went to principal, counting that as a savings)
HOA: $244.83
Car Insurance: $68.94
Gas (Car): $112.13
Groceries: $241.80
Cellphones: $21.74 (note: Chica’s work pays her cellphone bill, this is just Chico’s phone plan with Lycamobile)
Internet: $48.88 (convinced RCN to lower our bill by $20 each month- BONUS!)
Gas (House): $67.52
Electricity: $30.46
Chica’s Gym: $39.99
Chico’s Gym: $10
Chica’s Spanish Classes: $240 (last month!)
Misc./Entertainment: $599.07 (note: this month includes $328 for 2 nights of a hotel for a wedding)

This month, we saved 67.51% of our take home salary. Note: this doesn’t include any 401K contributions.

Current Assets: $180,198.61 - Increase NW $7,526.35
Cash savings: $3,646.09
Investments: $47,155.59
Chico’s Retirement: $6,021.46
Chica’s 401K: $33,614.16
Home Equity: $89,761.31

My favorite part, the graph:
Image
Last edited by Frugalchicos on Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Frugalchicos
Posts: 182
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:12 pm

Some of the achievements from last month include:
- We lowered the internet bill $20 a month for a year. That's a win in my books.
- We are half way of getting a companion pass in Southwest (a companion will travel for free for a year)
- Airbnb reservations for June will make a profit of about $1,450
- We didn't buy a single piece of cloth in the past 6 months.


Challenges and ongoing projects for the month of June:
- Continue eating more veggies
- Work on a sustainable source of happiness, calmness.
- Continue working out hard and go for runs during the weekends.
- Chica's Spanish classes are over, freeing $240/month. We also lowered our weekly allowances from $60/each to $40/each and save/invest what we don't spend. All these extra savings will allow us to double our investments every 7th and 21st of the month (we used to invest $400/month, now will be $800/month).

Summarizing, we are pretty excited we got to the 180K. It means we are halfway our FI goal. We can also observe the increase in savings due to adjustment in budget, continuing cooking at home and Chica's babysitting jobs.

User avatar
Frugalchicos
Posts: 182
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:32 pm

As I mentioned before, we want to eat cleaner and healthier. Not that we eat bad by any means, but we just want to try to make an effort to have vegetables as the main ingredient instead of animal proteins.

We do all our groceries in Aldi, and buy seasonal produce. We pretty much have staple items and work our meals around them. These are some of them:

- Zucchini: We make zucchini cream all the time (sautee a couple of potatoes, 2 zucchinis and an onion, poor water or a stock and blend). We also sautee zucchini and mixed it with squash and rice with some soy sauce, great side or base for a main course if you put some fried egg or chicken over it.

- Mushrooms: We use them for stir fries and to put them over pizzas (the pizza dough from Aldi is phenomenal and crazy cheap $0,99). I also cook rice with mushrooms or pasta.

- Peppers: same usage as the mushrooms. We also use them to make veggie tacos.

- Celery, carrots and onions: the base for any good rice, soup or stew.

- Rice: we make either white rice, or a good paella.

- Spinach: we use them for smoothies, salads, pastas, soups, or just saute them with garlic as a side.

- We always have beans, lentils and garbanzos. We use them usually for soups or stews, especially in winter.

- Tomato sauce: this is something we use quite often. Mainly for pastas and pizza, or just to make things a little yummier.

- Eggs: I can't think of anything you can't make without them.

- For animal proteins, we usually buy chicken thighs (the ones that come with skin and bones, they are at $0.69/lb) or ground turkey (we can use it for bolognese, meatballs, hamburgers, tacos...). We also like to buy half a salmon, portion it and freeze it for when we need it.

We always have cheese, wheat bread, milk, oats and a ton of seasonal fruit like bananas and mandarins.

We managed to work around all this and limit the budget to $240/month for 2 people.

This weekend we will try to make a meal plan for the week with more veggie based plates. We will update with recipes and hopefully some pictures!

Cheers and catch up soon!
Last edited by Frugalchicos on Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jason
Posts: 1251
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

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

Post by Jason » Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:53 pm

My wife made me a salad with lentils and garbanzos and an hour later I power booted that shit a country mile.

George the original one
Posts: 4537
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

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

Post by George the original one » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:46 pm

Frugalchicos wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:32 pm
- For animal proteins, we usually buy chicken thighs (the ones that come with skin and bones, they are at $0.69/lb)
Dang it, our local prices just don't get that low! Too far away on the supply line.

User avatar
Frugalchicos
Posts: 182
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:22 pm

George the original one wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:46 pm
Frugalchicos wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:32 pm
- For animal proteins, we usually buy chicken thighs (the ones that come with skin and bones, they are at $0.69/lb)
Dang it, our local prices just don't get that low! Too far away on the supply line.
Not even at Aldi? Aldi rocks here! I must say, it is contributing we are speeding up the achiviement of our goal. Prices are like 1/3 of Jewel and below Walmart. Meanwhile, quality is still pretty good.
Last edited by Frugalchicos on Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

wolf
Posts: 588
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

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

Post by wolf » Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:56 pm

Not even at Aldi? Aldi rocks here! I must say, it is contributing we are speeding up in achiviement our goal because of them. Prices are like 1/3 of Jewel and below Walmart. Meanwhile, quality is still pretty good.
It is great that with Aldi, we as Germans, have a good company abroad who make ERE-customers happy. :-)

User avatar
Frugalchicos
Posts: 182
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:47 am

MDFIRE2024 wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:56 pm
Not even at Aldi? Aldi rocks here! I must say, it is contributing we are speeding up in achiviement our goal because of them. Prices are like 1/3 of Jewel and below Walmart. Meanwhile, quality is still pretty good.
It is great that with Aldi, we as Germans, have a good company abroad who make ERE-customers happy. :-)
I am also a fan of Lidl in Europe!

User avatar
Frugalchicos
Posts: 182
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:47 pm

George the original one wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:46 pm
Frugalchicos wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:32 pm
- For animal proteins, we usually buy chicken thighs (the ones that come with skin and bones, they are at $0.69/lb)
Dang it, our local prices just don't get that low! Too far away on the supply line.
Actually, it is at $0.99/lb :? . Just bought them this morning, what is still pretty good though

sky
Posts: 815
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:20 am
Contact:

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

Post by sky » Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:31 am

How are you doing with minimizing your stuff? That will be key in moving across the Atlantic.

User avatar
Frugalchicos
Posts: 182
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:49 pm

sky wrote:
Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:31 am
How are you doing with minimizing your stuff? That will be key in moving across the Atlantic.
Hi Sky,

We have been living off a couple of lugagges for the past 4.5 years, every piece of furniture we own is Ikea or Target (based on our experience, much easier to sell on Craigslist).

We previously sold pretty much all our stuff a couple of years ago and it only took us lile 5-7 days to have our condo empty. That was kind of a good experience getting to know how easy and quick you can make everything dissapear :D

We have also been conciously downsizing our stuff, not buying clothes in 2017, getting rid of wathever doesn't have a real use for us, and selling wathever we can on ebay.

I think the biggest challenge for us will be by the end of 2019, beginning of 2020 selling the condo and car. The rest, like glasses, cookware and plates will be sold on Craigslist or donated to friends.

User avatar
Frugalchicos
Posts: 182
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:14 pm

Need to record this in the journal since I consider it important:

There has been always one thing that I feared most when living away from my family, and that is getting an unexpected call from home informing about a relative being ill or something along those lines.

My father had a minor heart attack last week. He is recovering and seems to be fine. Hopefully he realizes the importance and severity of the event, quits smoking and starts taking care of himself.

This unfortunate event brought up some mixed feelings and thoughts about what is really important in life. It makes me doubt about if somehow, I am wasting some precious time that I could be spending with my parents and raising my own family close to them. On the other hand, I also think that 3 more years into this journey and we will be better off back home. We will have more time and flexibility to take care of my parents and see our kids growing.

In fact, the number one reason we started this journey was because we wanted to have a more tranquil life and enjoy our time with family. We think about money as a tool that will allow us to have more options and opportunities. What I can say I learnt from this event is that we need to know when to say enough is enough and take the plunge when the time comes.

I am going back home for two weeks in August. I will spend some quality time with my parents and take over a condo renovation project my father was doing.

I know this entry is a little bit of mix thoughts here and there but that is how I've been feeling for the past couple of days.

Take care,

User avatar
bryan
Posts: 1010
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:01 am
Location: mostly Bay Area

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

Post by bryan » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:12 pm

Glad to hear your father came out of the episode OK and hopefully he will be able to improve his health.

I think in current times it would be useful to consider, moreso than in years previous, alternative investments to stocks/bonds. Basically I think the alpha strategy will do reasonably well into the future. This may mean beginning to invest in Spain before you are actually ready to move there? The tough thing to predict is if there is some poor performance in stocks/bonds, what it means for your alternative investments (e.g. will Spanish real estate depreciate faster?).

George the original one
Posts: 4537
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

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

Post by George the original one » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:11 pm

Frugalchicos wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:22 pm
George the original one wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:46 pm
Frugalchicos wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:32 pm
- For animal proteins, we usually buy chicken thighs (the ones that come with skin and bones, they are at $0.69/lb)
Dang it, our local prices just don't get that low! Too far away on the supply line.
Not even at Aldi? Aldi rocks here! I must say, it is contributing we are speeding up the achiviement of our goal. Prices are like 1/3 of Jewel and below Walmart. Meanwhile, quality is still pretty good.
No Aldi, no Walmart. We have Safeway (12 miles away), Fred Meyers (local brand owned by Kroger, 24 miles away), and Costco (not a member, 23 miles away). Such is life on the scenic Oregon coast.

User avatar
bryan
Posts: 1010
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:01 am
Location: mostly Bay Area

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

Post by bryan » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:30 pm

@George, not to co-opt the thread.. but what is it about the Oregon/north CA coast that resulted in no big cities? Suggest some reading for me? I know the winters are bad..

George the original one
Posts: 4537
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

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

Post by George the original one » Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:10 pm

bryan wrote:
Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:30 pm
@George, not to co-opt the thread.. but what is it about the Oregon/north CA coast that resulted in no big cities? Suggest some reading for me? I know the winters are bad..
Transportation in rugged terrain is the simple answer. Railroads didn't get put through to the coast until after 1900 for the most part, so sea travel was the primary route until then... explains Astoria (gateway to Columbia River), Coos Bay (sheltered port with good entrance) as the larger ports. The highway from Portland to Seaside wasn't put through until 1939. Primary industries were fishing, logging, and dairy; today we can add tourism. Tourism begins making a difference around 1900 as Willamette Valley residents are then able to take a train to the seaside towns. Outside of dairy, agriculture stayed in the Willamette Valley and the primary market in the 1800s was California, so things either went overland via the I-5 route or by sea out the Columbia River.

User avatar
bryan
Posts: 1010
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:01 am
Location: mostly Bay Area

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

Post by bryan » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:43 pm

I guess it makes sense.. I suppose Portland is basically a "coastal city" but not on the coast. But why isn't Astoria more populace than Portland (weather?)? If one wanted to live near the OR coast, what would be the best bet (I'm thinking proximity to airport, "big city"?)? Around Florence/Reedsport? Probably will have to take another coastal bike ride in the next year or two.

Post Reply