Frugal chicos journal

Where are you and where are you going?
2Birds1Stone
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Re: 6 weeks to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:54 pm

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 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:02 pm

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 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:26 am

@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!

Nicolino
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Re: 4 days to go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Nicolino » Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:49 pm

Hey I guess you guys are in Bilbao already? Excited to see that goal finally coming to fruition. Also excited to see how those first months of readaptation go!

Frugalchicos
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Re: Finally Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:11 am

Pretty crazy month with a lot of updates:

OCTOBER INCOME –$7,872
Chico’s Salary – $2,204
Chica’s Salary – $5,668

OCTOBER EXPENSES – $15,077.74 - It includes everything we needed to start a new life from scratch back in The Basque Country
Rent: $00000
Car Insurance: $494.71 - We paid the full year at once. We are good until November 2020
Gas (Car): $71.15 - The car only spent a little less than a full tank in 600kms driving it back from Barcelona
Groceries: $213.59 - Enjoying the higher quality produce at a discounted rate. Also, we have been eating a lot at my parents :)
Cellphones: $25 - Chica's international plan with Lebara
Internet: $42 - It includes my phone with 20gb and unlimited calls/texts, 500mb internet and cable.
Electricity: $25 - Last bill from Chicago
Misc./Entertainment: $6,596 - It includes $4,787 in Ikea, $245 Clothing rack (European style that is placed off the kitchen window), $700 Amazon (TV, small house appliances, etc...)
Car Purchase: $7,290 - We bought an Audi A4 Avant from 2006 with 66K miles. I love it, it is just what we wanted.


We saved shit, we actually spent double of what we made this month. However, it was very well planned and expected.

CURRENT ASSETS: $420,932.05 ($1,783 increase from last month)
Cash savings: $160,406.79 - We paid the car in cash
Investments: $194,508.89 - Incredible bump which helped to balance our expenses
Chica’s 401K: $66,016.37 - Same as above

ACHIEVEMENTS:
- We moved and are settled in our house
- We are ready to start enjoying! We bought all the furniture we needed and a car. It was kind of stressful to get all this done in 2 weeks, but i am glad we are done with it and feel settle.
- Mini got her dual citizenship and holds 2 passports. We are almost done with Chica's paperwork.

GOALS:
- Let's start living and spending as a local. No more vacation for us
- Enjoy our new home and city
- Chica starts working on the 20th. Aiming for an easy transition and hopefully she starts making a lot of $$$$$!!!
- I applied for few jobs already. I am feeling excited to try new things. Let's see how it goes
- Get my workout plan figure it out. I bought a new winter wetsuit to start surfing again.

All in all, these last weeks have been a little bit more stressful than expected. It is not easy to wonder around Ikea with a 3 month old crying and pooping like crazy. However, we are starting to feel more like we live here now and we don't have to pack up and go back to Chicago. It is kind of a weird feeling, but we will start getting our emotions in line.

We are already making some friends and getting to know new people. I am very optimistic that our lives will be very rich and fulfilled in here!

classical_Liberal
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Re: Finally Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by classical_Liberal » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:55 am

Great update! The years of planning paid off, a very hearty congrats! Hopefully I'll get a chance to visit your area of the world someday.

SavingWithBabies
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Re: Finally Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by SavingWithBabies » Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:29 pm

Congratulations on the successful move! I'm curious about the clothing rack -- I assume for drying in sun, right?

McTrex
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Re: Finally Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by McTrex » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:45 pm

Congratulations!

Seppia
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Re: Finally Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Seppia » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:15 pm

Fabulous!
Que aprovechen!

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Finally Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:58 am

Ah yes, been waiting to hear an update on how the move went! Congratulations on all you've accomplished thus far, and look forward to hearing about how the future unfolds for your new family.

Frugalchicos
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Re: Finally Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:00 am

Thanks for the encouragement guys!!

The last three weeks have been pretty hectic and we didn't really have time to do what we usually do in one day when we came here for vacation. However, in such a short time we figured out all our set up, like house, car, etc... I noticed I need to step back a little bit and focus more on things that make me happy. I also applied for a few jobs in the same field I worked in the last five years and did some investigation of other kind of jobs that have nothing or little to do with what I did in the past. I kind of feel that this is one of those times when life can take me to an unexpected turn... I am also ready to try new things. However, I need to figure out what exactly I want, but I also need to understand that it doesn't happen overnight. i definitely think I could do something on my own in the future with Chica, like running a few Airbnbs, an English academy, coffee shop...

Anyways, just a little mix of feelings what I described above. In the meantime, I think I need to hit the mountain and the beach!!

Frugalchicos
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Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:53 am

These past two weeks have been very fun. We went to the mountain, I went surfing, we meet two very nice couples we made friends with... Everything is actually turning the way we wanted. Oh, and I even have an interview for a cool job!!. Here we have some pics of the mountains we can see from our home that are just 15 mns away driving :D

Image<a href='https://postimg.cc/D8kRGWH8' target='_blank'><img
ImageImage

Seppia
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Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by Seppia » Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:12 am

Beautiful!
So you're just ERE'd and already want to go back to work?

*Bill Simmons voice*
WHAT IS HAPPENING!!!!!?!?!?!?!!?

:lol:

Frugalchicos
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Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:10 pm

Hahahaha, Chica and I would like to build a little empire and fully retire in like 8 years or so :)

Frugalchicos
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Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:58 am

Few thoughts of the semi-ere life I am having right now:

- I still don't feel ERE. However, I do have a big feeling of safety and I know I will not have trouble living a good life.
- I have been interviewing for a job related to my field, and the whole process sucks balls...
- I am enjoying spending time with family, friends and little Chica. I feel less stressed and happier.
- I think we have a great set up here. We can live in a rent free apartment for at least 2-3 years, groceries are super cheap, everything is walking distance and there is plenty of things for free or at very little cost. We have a great opportunity to gear up and save enough to fully retire in a few years.

Ok, in regards to my working situation... I am currently collecting $2,204/month from unemployment (I think it ends sometime in January-Feb.) and I will also start collecting about 450E/month for 1.5 years for the returned immigrant help (it ends if I get a job). I really have no reason to worry about anything. However, I guess it is the working mentality that is tricking me into getting a job asap and do the "right thing"...However, I am having mixed feelings about it. I have mentioned before that I was kinda having a feeling that an unexpected turn could happen... So, I have been offered a job as a tour guide in the Basque Country by some friends we met a few weeks ago. Basically, I would be driving wealthy Americans around the Basque Country and telling them everything about our wonders and beauty. The pay is more than decent for local salaries, about 1,500E/month and it might be seasonal, which will give me plenty of time during the winter season to do whatever I feel, teach English or maybe starting a new business doing something similar on my own.

I guess I will have to decide what I want and what I see myself doing. If either I want a more traditional job, probably in an office or similar setting or if I want to take a risk and do something completely different and more exciting.

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Bankai
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Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by Bankai » Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:27 am

This kind of job usually yields decent tips as well.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:28 pm

How are you able to collect unemployment while out of the USA? Here in NY your benefits cease the moment you leave the country.

Frugalchicos
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Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:45 pm

Time for an update:

NOVEMBER INCOME –$4,420
Chico’s Salary – $2,204
Chica’s Salary – $2,216

NOVEMBER EXPENSES – $2,188.55
Rent: $0
Gas (Car): $59.39 - I filled up the tank and still have 3/4 of the tank.
Groceries: $475 - We bought 70 Euros of fish that still have most of it in the freezer. We also hosted Thanksgiving and spent like 80 euros on it.
Cellphones: $10 - Chica's international plan with Lebara
Internet & Chico's phone: $53
Misc./Entertainment: $1,152. It includes the following:
- $390 in stuff to restore the car and new front tires
- $366 Chica's and mini's clothes
- $76 mini's vaccination
- $179 rug for the living room
- $53 Chica's gifts for coworkers back in the US
- $22 Education
- $28 random stuff
Cash Withdrawals: $352 that have been used for going out, buying groceries and all kind of things since everything is very cash oriented.

We saved 50.5% of our income. From now on, we should spend $1,312 less than this month. Or, what it is the same, we should be able to live with $900-$1,000/month.

CURRENT ASSETS: $425,297 ($4,365 increase from last month)
Cash savings: $162,796
Investments: $195,292
Chica’s 401K: $67,209

ACHIEVEMENTS/HAPPENINGS THIS MONTH:
- Chica started work. It is going well. She will be paid hourly next year.
- We meet some friends Two very nice couples we hang up a lot with. I also reconnected with some old friends. Life is getting rich
- I had some interviews and have been offered a job as tour guide. I am kind of leaning towards accepting it and try out a more alternative line of work which doesn't have to be painful and freakin boring. Let's see how it goes
- Mini is the in the 3% of the tallest babies in the Basque Country. She also rolls over like crazy.

GOALS:
- Start living with 900-1,000 euros a month.
- Gear up and save enough to retire in a the near future.
- I want to start eating healthier, drinking less, doing more exercise and having more time to study. I am considering dropping the gym, run more and hit the beach to surf more. It is probably more fun and cheaper.
- I need to be more straight forward with what I want/need. I have plenty of everything and I don't need more stuff. I must stop buying shit on the internet.
- Surf at least once a month.

Frugalchicos
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Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:42 pm

Ok, an opportunity aroused. We always kind of dreamed about a condo in the old part of the city. So, a friend of us told us their neighbor was selling her house for 85K. The house is a complete gutter, but it has amazing potential and it is way below market price. Chica’s father is willing to give us a free interest loan for part of the price. The reno cost is somewhere between 35-45K...

Idk, I just feel like it is a great opportunity to hack the housing (right now we live rent free, but we will need to eventually buy/rent our own house). However, I just feel like we just sold a house and don’t feel like going theough the renovation project, etc

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Bankai
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Re: Frugal chicos journal

Post by Bankai » Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:49 pm

1) Well below market value, 2) on partially interest-free loan, 3) in the neighbourhood you like a lot, 4) in a place you want to stay for a long time (forever?), 5) with an opportunity for further savings by DIY renovation with help from family... what's the downside? I get you just sold the house, but looking 6-12 months ahead, you can have your dream house. And if you decide to move for any reason, you will make a profit on it anyway. So, why not?

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