4 days to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Frugalchicos
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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:15 pm

Achievements:
- Hit the highest saving rate, 79.62%, I got paid 3 times and we made $747 selling crap on eBay and Craigslist.
- We decluttered like crazy, and continue doing it. Pretty much everything we own is on sale. We even sold Chica's wedding dress. :lol: - Our philosophy is that whatever we don't need/use and don't want to take with us to Spain, has to go.

Goals:
- Get Chica pregnant
- Keep miscellanious at less than $650.
- Spend less than $350 in groceries
- Enjoy our parents visits in town.
- I started to go for walks right after I get home from work. It helps to clear up the mind and I want to continue doing it.
- Gain some weight/strength. I noticed I have been pretty lean lately, lost some weight and I feel less strong and exhausted pretty quickly at the gym. I need to eat more and recover my strength.
- Continue selling stuff. All the good items have been sold already, but there is still 33 items active on eBay and 2 more things on Craigslist.
- At this point I feel a lot of things must happen for us to achieve the 350K by the end of the year. However, I feel we are working hard towards our goal and things will fall on place sooner or later.
Last edited by Frugalchicos on Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by prognastat » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:28 pm

Good job on both the savings rate and making good progress to declutter. It'll make moving so much easier. Keep up the good work.

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

Post by jacob » Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:06 pm

It's quite a feat to juggle 33+ listing on eBay, so I'm impressed with your dealings. I try to aim for 10, so if something sells, it means I have to find something else to list. It's a given that you'll eventually end up with a bunch of dross that won't move even if the price drops to $0.01 (try auction style and be prepared to be disappointed first) because shipping exceeds the value of the stuff.

One way to speed things up or get rid of the dross is to assign a part of your home for "things to do" and lay them out in a presentable style. Then when someone from craigslist comes over, mention that you're moving and that you also have this other stuff you're selling. Some deals can be made right there. This works for household stuff, even dinner plates or bottles of dish-detergent---a half-empty tube of toothpaste might be stretching it though.

PS: To drop your grocery bill, just start shopping out here instead. Price differentials are high enough to experience some reverse sticker shock.

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

Post by Jason » Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:48 pm

Frugalchicos wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:15 pm
- At this point I feel a lot of things must happen for us to achieve the 350K by the end of the year. However, I feel we are working hard towards our goal and things will fall on place sooner or later.
I feel you on the strictly quantitative goal shortfall. But you've obviously made tremendous progress and you and Chica seem like an unstoppable 53 foot trailer barreling down the ERE highway. I don't know what it was exactly for you. For me, like many, Mr. Market decided enough of this shit and took this year's gains and hit the fucking town hard.

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:14 pm

@prognastat

Thanks for the comment buddy

@Jacob
Yep, I can tell few of the items among those 33 (mostly books) wont sell. What it is fine, I would just donate them. However, we were able to sell 36 of the other items we posted :) - You are right about the Craigslist strategy. I always send pictures of other items to buyers who are coming to pick up stuff, and it always works.

In regards to groceries, I checked prices around where I work (Southside Chicago) and some things like veggies and fruit can be cheaper than Aldi. But for the average weekly grocery list, Aldi is the winner and more convenient (just about 1/2 mile from home).

@Jason

Yep, Mr. Market hit us and slowed our progress. However, we will keep doing what we are doing!

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:28 pm

Time for an update, and this time comes with big news....Chica is pregnant!!!

Excited to announce that mini Chico (or Chica!) is expected to arrive July 2019. Everything we’ve been working toward and planning for is finally falling into place. We haven’t had one ounce of worry or concern because we’ve set our life up in a way that we can be confident that our child is coming into a safe, secure home and family. Our current plan is to have the baby here in Chicago, enjoy Chica’s 3 month maternity leave and then move to The Basque Country in early November 2019. We feel happy and excited about it.

Back to numbers:

NOVEMBER INCOME – $9,830.97
Chico’s Salary – $4,315.14
Chica’s Salary – $5,225.16
eBay/Craigslist Sales – $120.25
Chica’s Dance Teacher Salary — $170.42

NOVEMBER EXPENSES – $4,464.35 ($3,294.52 if subtracting principal payment)
Mortgage: $2,152.86 (note: $1,169.83 went to principal, counting that as a savings)
HOA: $247.83
Car Insurance: $62.17
Gas (Car): $168.87
Groceries: $606.40
Cellphones: $21.74 (note: Chica’s work pays her cellphone bill, this is just Chico’s phone plan with Lycamobile)
Internet: $56.94
Gas (House): $62.12
Electricity: $33.67
Chica’s Gym: $39.99
Chico’s Gym: $29.99
Misc./Entertainment: $981.77 (includes Christmas gifts, Chica's $100 speeding ticket :roll: , a $165 hospital bill, etc.) Our misc was a little higher due to our family visits and some other purchases for Christmas.

We saved 66.5% of our take home salary. This doesn’t include any 401K contributions or retirement plans.

CURRENT ASSETS: $328,048.46 ($5,777.46 increase over last month)
Cash savings: $16,485.80
Investments: $139,862.32
Chico’s Retirement: $11,071.43
Chica’s 401K: $50,214.92
Home Equity: $110,413.99

It’s looking like we will definitely not be hitting our $350K goal for 2018 which is a bummer but it’s how it goes. I am confident we could have saved more money here and there, but we did try our best for the most part We’re still thrilled with our savings overall and feel good as we wrap up the year.
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SavingWithBabies
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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by SavingWithBabies » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:51 pm

Congratulations!

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

Post by prognastat » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:07 pm

Congrats on the pregnancy.

The market downturn definitely isn't helping you reach your goal, but keep up the good work.

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

Post by wolf » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:15 am

Congrats. Exciting times ahead of you!

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

Post by Jason » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:37 am

Frugalchicos wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:28 pm
Time for an update, and this time comes with big news....Chica is pregnant!!!...Chica's $100 speeding ticket :roll:
"Frugalpapa, why is my name Benjamin?"

Congrats.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:13 am

Congrats! Loving your plan. Wonderful seeing these things unfold in real time =)

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

Post by Nicolino » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:36 am

Congratulations!

Posting to follow since the Basque Country is a place where we think we would love to have an extended stay when we reach FI (hopefully within the next 10 years).

Last year we spent time in Bilbado and San Sebastian and absolutely loved it! The food, the nature and the culture are amazing.

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

Post by Nicolino » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:37 am

BTW, IMHO having a child with a US passport is probably one of the best gifts you could ever give a son / daughter...

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:59 am

Thank you All!! :D

Definitely, very exciting times ahead. And the countdown starts...just 10 months! Hopefully, we achieve the goal of 450K by then (let''s see if the market helps).

Timeline will be as follows:

- December:
Enjoy the good times and Christmas with Chica's family.
- January:
Chica's 3 month pregnancy, hopefully everything goes well
- February:
Planned short trip back to the Basque Country. Moving as much as I can fit in the luggage (few thick sweaters, receiver and sound system. The sound system came with the house and it is worth $600. I would never buy anything that expensive, but I enjoy it, so it is moving with us)
House will be on sale after the Super Bowl.
- March:
I guess we will know if we are having a mini Chico or a mini Chica by the end of March.
- April:
We hope the house is sold by then and we are moving to a small 1bed apartment. Aiming for a $1,200 max around the area we currently live. We will reassess what to do with the moneys we get from the sale. It depends on the financial situation.
- May:
Terrible weather is over in Chicago and we can start wondering out of our caves.
- June:
Not much planned or expecting here other than being sunny and nice outside.
- July:
Baby is born at the end of the month. Chica will start her 3 month maternity leave.
- August:
Crazy and happy times with the new baby. My family will probably visit for a month or so.
- September:
Getting things ready to move. Start selling whatever furniture or stuff we don’t need at all.
- October:
I will probably give my 1.5 month notice early in October.
Put the car on sale.
- November:
We are moving.
Sale/donate whatever we have left.
Hopefully we have 450K
Peace and Love to everybody, bye bye 8-)

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

Post by jacob » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:22 pm

Frugalchicos wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:59 am
- February:
Planned short trip back to the Basque Country. Moving as much as I can fit in the luggage (few thick sweaters, receiver and sound system.
I have a giant suitcase you can borrow if you want. It's about as big as they come. It might even exceed transatlantic maximum these days (it was max regs in 1999 when I bought it). I'm not enough of a flying expert to figure it out anymore. You're welcome to try though.

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:43 pm

@Jacob

Thank you so much Jacob! But British Airways gave me a massive luggage last time they broke the wheels of my old luggage.

I appreciate the offer buddy :)

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:42 am

December was a month of ups and downs – there was lots of fun and excitement around the holidays, especially since we had such great news to share about our future addition to the family. On the other hand, we had to say goodbye to my pup, Rex. He was like a brother to me and he will be missed.

Our finances were pretty flat this month — we didn’t reach our goal of $350K for 2018 but we did a great job this year regardless.

DECEMBER INCOME – $12,027.69
Chico’s Salary – $4,323.74
Chica’s Salary – $5,225
eBay/Craigslist Sales – $694.90
Chica’s Dance Teacher Salary — $284.05

DECEMBER EXPENSES – $4,125.02 ($2,952.51 if subtracting principal payment)
Mortgage: $2,152.86 (note: $1,172.51 went to principal, counting that as a savings)
HOA: $247.83
Car Insurance: $62.17
Gas (Car): $110.28
Groceries: $324.28
Cellphones: $21.74 (note: Chica’s work pays her cellphone bill, this is just Chico’s phone plan with Lycamobile)
Internet: $56.94
Gas (House): $108.19
Electricity: $38.58
Chica’s Gym: $39.99
Chico’s Gym: $29.99
Misc./Entertainment: $932.17 (includes $120 for car battery change, $180 doctors bill, dinners out, a few Christmas gifts, etc. )

We saved 75.45% of our take home salary. This doesn’t include any 401K contributions or retirement plans.

CURRENT ASSETS: $329,597.81 ($1,549.35 increase over last month)
Cash savings: $18,944.83
Investments: $139,710.29
Chico’s Retirement: $11,363.23
Chica’s 401K: $47,992.96
Home Equity: $111,586.50 (not counting appreciation)
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Last edited by Frugalchicos on Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:52 am

2018 Recap + Goals

Another amazing year in the books for the Chicos. The themes for this year were travel, decluttering, baby and getting ready for our big move to Bilbao.

We went from $236,719.93 in net worth at the end of 2017 to $329,597 (Goal: $350K). That’s a $93,162.05 difference – a 28% increase which isn’t too shabby considering the market was NOT our friend. This includes slashing our mortgage by $13,897, an increase in $60,400 for our Betterment account (which currently sits at $139,710 – goal: $130K) and saving an average of 68.07% of our monthly take home.

Some other things that helped us reach this achievement include $4,125 in rental income, a $11,500 bonus, $816 from Chica’s side hustle as a dance teacher, $2,205 from my Ebay side hustle and Chica’s 37% salary increase she got in January.

2018 ACHIEVEMENTS
Our 2018 financial growth was not as strong as 2017 due in large part to the volatility of the market but we stayed the course and kept saving and investing as we always do. Our 2018 highlights include:

– January was pretty life changing when Chica got that job offer and her company matched the salary with a counter offer – that extra salary has been huge!
– When the market got real crazy we decided to sock away some cash as a “just in case” fund — that is currently sitting at about $19K which is plenty for us to live on for 1 year in Bilbao.
– We both became TEFL certified which is our back up plan job when we make the big move.
– We reaped the benefits of our travel hacking from the year prior – we went to San Francisco, Kansas City, Boston (x2), New York City, Las Vegas/Grand Canyon and Spain (x2) — most of which was completely free thanks to the Southwest Companion Pass.
– We found out Chica was pregnant! Chica is currently 12 weeks along. This brought more clarity to our future plans and we have officially set a date to move to Bilbao by November 1, 2019.
– As part of that plan, we have started to minimize our personal belongings – selling and donating things we don’t use or need.

2019 GOALS
We only have 10 months left in the US — 2019 is all about wrapping things up, saving as much as we can, having our baby and then making the big move to Bilbao.

Financial
– Reach our FI goal: $350K Net Worth by the end of Q1 (our retire early goal is $510K)
– Hit $420K Net Worth by the time we move to Bilbao in November
– Keep finding new CCs to build travel points – I'm currently working on the SW Companion Pass
– Sell our condo (going on the market in Feb.) and try at least to break even.
– Figure out our exit strategy for the big move in regards to how we will manage/transfer our 1 year "just in case money"
– Chica to try to keep her job in Bilbao

Personal
– Give birth to a healthy baby in July
– Have a stress free moving experience (good luck!) from our condo to an apartment and finally to Bilbao
– Keep the trend of minimalism, only buying what’s totally necessary
– Enjoy our last 10 months in Chicago/the US

Side-by-side comparison of our Net Worth from 2016 to 2018.
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Last edited by Frugalchicos on Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Jason » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:19 pm

Frugalchicos wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:42 am

Our finances were pretty flat this month — we didn’t reach our goal of $350K for 2018 but we did a great job this year regardless.
Good job. Did you ever cross $350k? I know how much that sucks -reaching a goal and then having it go away.

If I had to give an analogy, which I obviously don't have to, but I will volunteer nonetheless, 2018 was like taking a road trip. You start out in winter which turns to spring which turns to summer and then fall. Everything is looking nice and fresh and new. Everyone's happy, well behaved and prospering. Singing songs, playing games, getting tan. Then around October, you start asking asking "who keeps farting in the fucking car." November brings a slight relief but then December comes and you realize "that doesn't smell like a fart anymore" so you open the trunk and discover there's a dead body in it and say "man, I should have just stayed home."

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:24 pm

I don't think $90k increase is 70% increase, but that's an incredibly successful year!!

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