Frugal chicos journal - ERE in Spain

Where are you and where are you going?
mooretrees
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Re: 2 months to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by mooretrees »

congrats! She's adorable! Everything must have gone well with the birth which is excellent! Enjoy this time, it really does go fast.....

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Ego
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Re: 2 months to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Ego »

She is absolutely beautiful!!!! Congratulations.

rube
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Location: Europe (NL)

Re: 2 months to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by rube »

Congrats to both of you and enjoy your time with her!

Nicolino
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Re: 2 months to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Nicolino »

Congratulations, she looks beautiful!

Frugalchicos
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Re: 2 months to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos »

Thank you so much to all of you guys!!

Little chica has been at home for a week already and life is good. She is a great baby, only cries when diapers needed to be changed and/or she is hungry.

It is also time for a monthly update.

JULY INCOME – $7,982.64
Chico’s Salary – $2,136 (I got fired after giving my 7 week notice. Therefore, I got paid for the week I worked plus 3 days vacation and $405 unemployment)
Chica’s Salary – $5,764.69
eBay Sales – $82

JULY EXPENSES – $3,510.61
Rent: $1,400 (includes $1,250 for rent + $150 for parking)
Car Insurance: $62.17
Gas (Car): $24.54
Groceries: $360.75
Cellphones: $21.74 (note: Chica’s work pays her cellphone bill, this is just Chico’s phone plan with Lycamobile)
Internet: $71.90
Electricity: $20
Chico’s Gym: $29.99
Misc./Entertainment: $1,540 (includes $500 hospital bills and a couple of dinners out with my parents showing them the city.)

We saved 56.2% of our take home salary. This doesn’t include any 401K contributions or retirement plans.

CURRENT ASSETS: $398,243.87 ($6,816.36 decrease from last month due to a good dip in the stock market and a $3,000 surrender fee to cash out my life insurance.)
Cash savings: $160,996 - We have been accumulating cash for quite some time
Investments: $178,849
Chico’s Retirement: $0 - I cashed out my life insurance from my previous employer.
Chica’s 401K: $58,398.87

Image

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: 2 months to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Maybe you covered this somewhere but I didn't read the whole journal. Why so much cash?

Frugalchicos
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Re: 2 months to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos »

Achievements July 2019:
- Mini chica is here and this was her first monthly meeting she attended. She is thrilled to be part of the board.
- I got approved to receive unemployment benefits. Very happy about it. I feel it is like the cherry on top of the cake.
- We are moving on in life and getting things done. It is pretty amazing how our plan has developed and see how we achieved pretty much every goal we set along the way. We are where we wanted to be, around the 400K and feeling safe enough to move across the Atlantic.

Goals August:
- We need to tighten up the miscellaneous. We spent some money going out and showing the parents around. But now that chica is here, I honestly prefer to stay at home and do picnics or something along those lines.
- Sell the car. I can't wait to get rid of it. I feel it is the last thing that somehow ties us up (it is the most expensive thing we owned at the moment). I put it on sale on Ebay and Craigslist. Please, let me know if any of you have any other recommendation (other than carmax, etc...)
- Grow a healthy, little chubby baby :D .

Frugalchicos
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Re: 2 months to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos »

@ Gilberto de Piento

The cash is from when we sold our condo and received our principal payout. We invested some and put the rest in a money saver account (yielding 2.41% return) since the stock market was very high at the time, and still is.

We've kept it as cash for now because we want some liquid assets to have flexibility to potentially buy a condo in Bilbao (in 2-3 years), invest in a business or purchase rental real estate. Among all of the $160,000 we have in cash, only $15,000 is truly considered cash that we plan to use for the move, furnishing our apartment and funding a year or so of expenses.

Frugalchicos
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Re: 2 months to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos »

Good news, just sold the car for $5,200. A little lower than expected, but happy it is gone. We will also save the parking rent and insurance from now on ($200/month).

Planning in investing $1,500 and keeping the rest in cash for future investments.

Frugalchicos
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Re: 6 weeks to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos »

Life is good and it is time for a monthly update!

AUGUST INCOME – $13,565.09
Chico’s Salary – $2,706
Chica’s Salary – $5,585.4
eBay Sales – $73.69
Car Sale: $5,200

AUGUST EXPENSES – $4,021.43
Rent: $1,250 We don't need to pay for parking anymore since we sold the car. And this is the last month we pay rent in the US.
Car Insurance: $14.60 Last month of car expenses
Gas (Car): $0 hell yeah
Groceries: $521.77 Higher because of my parents living with us
Cellphones: $17.96 (note: Chica’s work pays her cellphone bill, this is just Chico’s phone plan with Lycamobile)
Internet: $54.23
Electricity: $57.88 It was freakin hot in August and we live on the top floor with the sun hitting the roof and coming through the windows all day.
Chico’s Gym: $29.99 last month I pay for it too
Misc./Entertainment: $2,075 (includes $100 medical expenses, $94 temporary health insurance, $216 mini chica's passport application, $500 in checked luggage fees to send to Spain.)

We saved 70.35% of our take home salary. This doesn’t include any 401K contributions or retirement plans.

CURRENT ASSETS: $414,776.94 ($16,533.07 increase from last month)
Cash savings: $169,784
Investments: $182,316
Chica’s 401K: $62,677

ACHIEVEMENTS:
- We sold the car fairly quickly for $5,200
- Mini chica is doing great. She is gaining weight and looking awesome.
- My parents were able to take four luggages of 200lbs total to Spain. I had to pay $500 for it. We will only have a couple of luggages with us for when we move. We can somehow say that the whole moving was done for $500.
- Got a raise on unemployment benefits because of mini chica (dependent), and was confirmed that I am eligible for benefits until the end of the year :D
- Half marathon training has been going pretty well. I have been running well, I run 9 miles last Saturday in like 1 hour and 30 mins, my longest run ever. I am also hitting the gym for weight lifting at least 4 times a week.

GOALS:
- Not much to say here. I feel pretty happy with how things have been going. We are where we wanted to be in every aspect of our life.
- Complete the half marathon strong on 9/29. I just signed up for another half marathon in Bilbao on 10/19.
- Enjoy the rest of the stay and make sure mini chica is doing great.
Last edited by Frugalchicos on Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: 6 weeks to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Digging how you managed to hack your moving expenses by using your parents as mules =D

SO and I will be in Spain next April/May, we should link up!

Frugalchicos
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Re: 6 weeks to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos »

Anytime man! Let me know if you stop by The Basque Country. I’m actually from Bilbao, the best city in the world ;)

Frugalchicos
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Re: 2 weeks to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos »

I feel pumped! Half marathon training is coming along pretty well. I run 10.56 miles on Saturday in like about 1:20 hours, at about 7.57" average pace. Today I run 4 miles in 31 minutes and 52 seconds at an average pace of 7'56" (yeah, it feels amazing passing by the bus stop where everybody is staring at their phone screens waiting for the bus to go to work :D ).

All this is awesome if it wouldn't be for the huge feeling of buying all the gear... I already got an apple watch 3 series for $65. It has a broken screen (I think I can cover up the crack on one corner with a case) but everything is fully functional... We can call this a moment of weakness.

I guess picking up a sport, or few, is a great hobby with immediate and future rewards. Basically, it is the only active hobby I have at the moment, and I think it could be a great tool to meet cool people with similar interests than me.
Last edited by Frugalchicos on Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

Frugalchicos
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Re: 2 weeks to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos »

Finished the Chicago half marathon in 2 hours and 2 minutes. I think I underestimated myself and could have run it at least 7 minutes faster. It was kind of hard at the beginning since I was stuck in a corral with a much slower pace than mine. I could barely move or pass anybody until mile 3-4. I finished the 230 in my age group of 35-39.

It was a great experience and I feel accomplished I completed it in almost the time I wanted. I will keep training for the next half I am running in Bilbao in 19 days...not bad for somebody who didn't run at all in his life (other than when playing soccer)!!!

Nicolino
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Re: 6 weeks to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Nicolino »

Congratulations, that´s a great time! Finishing your first full in your new (old) home will be quite a celebration to the start of this new great stage in your life!

Frugalchicos
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Re: 6 weeks to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos »

Thanks Nicolino! I am actually trying to run the half though. It will be a celebration for sure, I can't wait for the beers after the run!!

Frugalchicos
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Re: 5 days to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos »

It is about time for a monthly update:

SEPTEMBER INCOME – $8,266
Chico’s Salary – $2,204
Chica’s Salary – $5,668
eBay Sales – $54
Furniture sale: $340

SEPTEMBER EXPENSES – $6,154.99
Rent: $1,250 This is actually the last month we pay rent in the US.
Car Insurance: $0
Gas (Car): $0 hell yeah
Groceries: $654.88 - Higher because we have been cooking for chica's friend as compensation for living free in her house for two weeks
Cellphones: $17.96 (note: Chica’s work pays her cellphone bill, this is just Chico’s phone plan with Lycamobile)
Internet: $74.23 - I have no idea it is higher than last month, but this is the last month of internet in the US
Electricity: $34.02 - no more hot days in Chicago
Chico’s Gym: $0
Misc./Entertainment: $4,124 - $250 had to buy a new laptop for chica to be able to work remotely
- $2,084 Medical expenses for mini chica's birth and stay at the hospital. This is last bill...yep, babies in the US are
ridiculously expensive
- $628 Chica's flight back to the US in April

We saved 25.54% of our take home salary. This doesn’t include any 401K contributions or retirement plans. I am just happy that we saved something this month... those freakin medical expenses...

CURRENT ASSETS: $419,148.5 ($4,372.5 increase from last month)
Cash savings: $168,584 - Started to slowly invest in stocks our bonds
Investments: $187,522
Chica’s 401K: $63,042.5

ACHIEVEMENTS:
- I run the Chicago half marathon in 2 hours and 2 minutes.
- Mini chica is doing amazing. Her eyes are turning green and her hair like brown/reddish. She also got her 8 week shots and is ready to fly internationally.
- only 5 days left to go back home. It is crazy we are so close!!!
- All our paperwork in the US is done and the first week and a half in Europe is organized to get everything in order.

GOALS:
- Have a smooth move. I hope Chica adapts quickly and enjoys it as much as I will.
- Move to our condo in Bilbao by 10/25
- I already checked a couple of cars I like. I might buy it on 10/22. More to come about this.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: 6 weeks to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Frugalchicos wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:44 pm
Anytime man! Let me know if you stop by The Basque Country. I’m actually from Bilbao, the best city in the world ;)
So we are going to be in Spain around second week in April, and due to weather and travel route in Portugal, likely hitting southern Spain. How is it up there in early spring? Are there cheap flights from Seville to Bilbao? I tried to batsignal you in my journal =D Looking for advice on Spain in general. Looks like we will fly into Lisbon mid March, and spend ~3 weeks in Portugal before moving further east to your homeland.

EdithKeeler
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Re: 5 days to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by EdithKeeler »

Great update!! “I love it when a plan comes together.”

Frugalchicos
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Re: 5 days to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos »

@2B1S

Hey man, sorry, I saw it but I've been kind of busy these days with friends and family. Just 4 days to go!!!

Weather in Bilbao is similar like in Seattle. Precipitation in the Basque Country during April is usually abundant (the most rainy month according to wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_Bilbao). Bilbao and San Sebastian are amazing, very cultural and food is amazing. You can also cross the border and visit Biarritz and St Jean de Luz. However, April might not be the nicest month to visit because of the rainy days. For cheap domestic flights, you might want to check Vueling, it is the low cost company of Iberia, tickets can go from 35 to 100 euros.

Long story short, April can be tricky in the north, you can have amazing sunny days or maybe 7 days raining straight. I would recommend to stay in the south or Mediterranean, like Malaga, Marbella, Ronda, Granada (in Andalucia) and Valencia, Alicante, Barcelona, Sitges in the Mediterranean. Weather will be super nice almost guaranteed.

@EdithKeeler.
Thanks!! and yes! everything is coming together very nicely!

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