Frugal chicos journal - ERE in The Basque Country

Where are you and where are you going?
Frugalchicos
Posts: 566
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in The Basque Country

Post by Frugalchicos »

@theanimal
Yes! it was great being with family and supervise the reno of the condo.

The reno is being completely renovated by professionals. They are about to be done. Unfortunately, i will not be able to practice in my own house haha. Most likely, if I decide to go that route, I would probably do something like car mechanics since I really enjoy being able to repair my own car.

So, for the surf board, we bought a storage room close to our condo that will pretty much be our toys room. I plan to keep my surfboards, mountain gear and bikes in there. And the surf board I will buy in the summer will be stored there after our trip. I would love to surf around the US but I guess it makes more sense to rent in the spot than carry the board around and pay for checking.

Who knows, maybe I am able to rent a surfboard in Cancun in a couple of weeks. Not sure if there is waves there though :)

Frugalchicos
Posts: 566
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in The Basque Country

Post by Frugalchicos »

An another month comes along!

Update for the month of May 2022:

APRIL INCOME –$26,237 - Chica got a bonus of 25K (16K net)

APRIL EXPENSES – $4,582.16

- Rent: $1,150
- Groceries: $584 (daughter is stopping using diapers, we will save some money in the future)
- Cellphones: $0 - both chica and I are using our work phones.
- Electricity: $23.27
- Internet: $68.89
- Misc./Entertainment: $1,283 (includes $183 for turbotax, $300 buying a new bed, mattress and linen...I will explain later)
- Day care: $1,473 (it is nuts how expensive daycare is in this country)

CURRENT ASSETS: $833,268 ($38,713 decrease from last month)
Cash savings: $21,890
Investments: $560,897
Chico’s 401K: $7,317
Chica's 401K: $20,964
HOUSE EQUITY: $222,200

We saved 82.53% of our income

Happenings this month:

- Chica got an impressive bonus of 25K (16K net). There is also a potential raise in August.
- I am probably changing accounts at work, will probably mean more challenges. I am excited for it and looking forward to keep learning and growing (which will translate into more money in the future)
- Thanks to Chica's bonus, we got our finances back in order. We put 11K aside for emergencies, transferred $2,700 to Spain to pay some details of construction and paperwork and also invested 10K (which evaporated right away because of the shitty stock market we are into rn)
- All the paperwork for the condo has been submitted to the city hall. Next steep is finishing the build in closet and finalize some details. The condo is fully livable at the moment.
- We went to an amazing trip to Mexico with points. Chica is doing an impressive work with all these CCs and points. She was able to book the flights and hotel nights all for free doing travel hacking. The hotel was astonishing, beautiful location, amazing restaurants and bars (all inclusive) and great service. I felt like a celebrity :) - Very well needed real time off enjoying good weather with the fam.
- Got bed bugs and had to throw away mini’s bed, mattress and sheets…had to buy everything new again and spend some money in sprays and bug killers. Hopefully, we will be done with the infestation soon. Apparently, Chicago is top 3 city in the country for bes bugs. Amazing
- I picked up running again. I am very excited for the improving weather in Chicago. I went out for a 3 mile run this morning and some push ups and some chi ups and felt amazing. Goal for next moths is getting back in shape and continue with the habit.
- I don't know if I mentioned it before, but I am looking into buying a longboard. I already contacted a couple of shops and will most likely get a 9'6" epoxy. Pretty stocked about it. I will enjoy it during our trip in August in Spain. I will store the longboard in our storage room by our condo in The Basque Country.
- I read The Martian and now I am finishing The Midnight Library. Both of them pretty recommended.

Some pics of our trip to Mexico, the condo and the style of longboard I want to buy in the next couple of months or so.
Image
Image
Image
Imagepicture hosting

Nicolino
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:16 am

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in The Basque Country

Post by Nicolino »

Please tell me that plating is from the resort and not something you did at home, it would really make me feel ashamed of my cooking skills.

Nice pictures of Mexico and the Condo!

Frugalchicos
Posts: 566
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in The Basque Country

Post by Frugalchicos »

@nicolino

Oh no, that was the from the resort! After becoming a father, my cooking skills got reduced to crock pot and oven meals.... I got everything over-simplified and minimalist! haha

Thanks for your comments!

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1456
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in The Basque Country

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Your Mexico trip sounds/looks incredible. Would you mind PMing me the name of the property?

Frugalchicos
Posts: 566
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in The Basque Country

Post by Frugalchicos »

Alright mates, I pulled the trigger and bought the longboard. This beauty is a 9'2" Noserider. It has the perfect measurements and it is made of epoxy, which means it is more durable. I got it at the fair price of $700 (other shops were selling them for close to 1K)

I can't wait to surf with it in the summer when we go to The Basque Country. I will store it afterwards and use when we visit during these next couple of years.

I am planning in buying all my toys while we are her in the States, so I don't feel bad spending so much money at once when we go back for good. Next thing will probably be a cycling bike. I am looking into a second hand Decathlon Van Rysel. Nothing fancy, just something good enough that is of good quality to have all the fun cycling around to the beach or nearby towns.

I am planning in having a retirement life full of activity :) - surfing, cycling, running...

Image
Image

Western Red Cedar
Posts: 720
Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:15 pm

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in The Basque Country

Post by Western Red Cedar »

Congratulations on the new board! Surfboards, bikes, and guitars are the gifts that keep on giving.

Frugalchicos
Posts: 566
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in The Basque Country

Post by Frugalchicos »

@WRC
Thanks! Wholesome activities 😊

Also, would like to recommend some books:
- The Midnight Library. Good book that makes you think about all those “what ifs” you had in life.


- Azucre: Based on a true story. 2000 Spaniards from Galicia were lured to emigrate to Cuba to work in the sugar cane fields in the 1850s with the false promises of making money. However, they ended up being slaved by another Spaniard. I learnt there are more slaves now than ever.

Frugalchicos
Posts: 566
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in The Basque Country

Post by Frugalchicos »

Time for our monthly update:

MAY INCOME –$9,857

MAY EXPENSES – $4,589


- Rent: $1,200 (it went up $50/month)
- Groceries: $664
- Cellphones: $0 - both chica and I are using our work phones.
- Electricity: $25.40
- Internet: $95.83
- Misc./Entertainment: $1,131 (includes $455 for taxes for tickets to fly to The Basque Country in August and $200 for Chica's new bike)
- Day care: $1,473

CURRENT ASSETS: $838,876 ($5,608 increase from last month)
Cash savings: $12,982
Investments: $571,421
Chico’s 401K: $7,997
Chica's 401K: $23,476
HOUSE EQUITY: $223,00

We saved 53.44% of our income

Happenings this month:
- We are setting a weekly meeting to adjust our expenses. It seems that somehow we inflated our life expenses. We used to be closer to the $3,700/month in expenses. However, it seems like the new norm is the $4,500s.
- We are setting a budget of $450/month in groceries and $300 for miscellaneous
- We would like to be completely done with the condo reno by the end of the month. There is a couple of details left, but feel pretty ready to stop being the Project Manager.
- We got new bikes. Chica got a fixie on Amazon that looks pretty nice and rides fine. I got a new Specialized Allez that I will bring back to The Basque Country when we move. I am very excited to ride it along the lake.
- I have been for a couple of months back and forth about buying a bike or not. I wanted to start cycling when moving to the Basque Country. The only reason I wasn't buying it earlier and enjoy it here in Chicago in the next two years was because of monetary reasons. However, I believe these kind of expenses are what make your life richer. One thing is being frugal, another thing is being cheap (and sometimes miserable). I got the entire kit (bike and equipment) for roughly $1,150. I hope to enjoy it for many years to come. Decided to buy the bike new because the prices of the second hand bikes are just ridiculously high. I bought the bike on eBay though and saved close to $250.
- I see myself cycling once I am retired and perhaps doing short triathlons. I believe in working now on being the person you want to be in the future. My idea of a great future is being as wealthy as healthy.
- Chica's parents are coming to Chicago this weekend and will stay around for 2 months. Pretty excited to hang out with them for the summer.
- I read the Kid who wanted to build the world with blocks and the Midnight Library.
- Would like to make more friends who have interests and are active. Looking for something more exciting than only "kids' parents friends"
- Goal: continue being active and eating healthy. Invest as much as we can. Finish the freakin reno condo. Enjoy my summer rides and runs

Image
Last edited by Frugalchicos on Wed Jun 08, 2022 5:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1456
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in The Basque Country

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Sweet bike! May you indeed enjoy it now and for years to come.

As far as the expense, I can't judge picking this bad boy up for $4300 in December =D

Image

Nicolino
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:16 am

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in The Basque Country

Post by Nicolino »

I've also seen my own expenses rise by 10-15%ish, and while I have dug deep and tried my best to find opportunities, inflation is a real thing now (and I feel it's much more than the ~10% informed all across the board), so be careful to not get frustrated if you can't get those expenses back to where you feel they should be...

Also, congratulations on the bike. I used to agonize a lot about spending money on this type of things, but I have came along to the what Ramit Sethi says. "Don't skip that Latte" in the sense that if there is something you absolutely love doing (in my case homebrewing, cooking, running, etc...) and if spending 100-200 bucks a month will make it more enjoyable or take you to the next level, just go and buy the gear you need. In your case it makes even more sense because the bicycle will get you some exercise, so probably even a net positive after the expense...

Frugalchicos
Posts: 566
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in The Basque Country

Post by Frugalchicos »

@2B1S @Nicolino

Thanks Guys!!

@2B1S - That bike is sick!! I bet it feels like a Ferrari going up and down the hills of NY state.

@Nicolino - Totally agree with you. As an inflation example, a bag of 4-5 small avocados at Walmart just to cost few months ago like $3.65 and now is closer to the $5.60.

In regards to these purchases. Yes, I am a consumer (in the sense that I purchase stuff), I like owning good quality things that make me happy. I spend a lot of time and mental thought about what I am going to purchase, from where and if I really have a usage for it. I do a lot of research before buying anything (literally anything), I compare specs and prices, check reviews and watch videos... I also only buy good quality products from usually renowned brands. Mostly everything I buy is second hand and usually purchased from eBay (including my clothes). I do all this research because I only want to buy that product once, or at least, I want it to last for as much as possible. I always take good care of my things and try to fix everything myself.

I believe in buying things because they help me being happy or just simply because they make my life easier and more enjoyable. I don't feel ashamed of saying it and I don't think it is weakness. I think it is important to recognize that we all need things. Some of them might be essential and some of them might just be things that we want to have, and that is ok.

I also used to buy lower quality things in order to save money (and probably because I was cheap). There is a say "cheap/poor buys twice"

Life is to enjoy, we only have to make wise decisions and be conscious of our expenses and posses only "enough". I feel that during my journey I have gone through different phases. From a regular average consumer person, to semi-minimalist, to living off a luggage, to be extreme when started this journal to feeling more "relaxed" and happier with my life and situation.

I consider that now I have a very curated wardrobe full of classics that will never go out of fashion, I own just enough electronics (all of them purchased second hand) and I know more what I like and want. I also feel this also comes from experience and age and the phases mentioned above where necessary to get where I am now.

Frugalchicos
Posts: 566
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in The Basque Country

Post by Frugalchicos »

Moving season is on and I already scored the treasure of the year. I just found this Fuji mtb on my way back from swimming in the lake. It was sitting by the dumpster but it was in such a great condition that I asked a guy who was around if the bike was his. I only had to clean it and pump the tires. I really doubt it has been used more than once. It doesn't have a single scratch and the tires are even clean. Impressive, only in Emerica

Image
Image
Image
Image

Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1859
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in The Basque Country

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Great find! If you don't have a use for it you could sell it and mentally use the money to discount the price of the road bike you bought.

Frugalchicos
Posts: 566
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in The Basque Country

Post by Frugalchicos »

Thanks!

I was actually thinking in using it to go to the beach and such. I feel a little scared of using my road bike to go to the beach, lock it and walk away (Chicago man…) even if it doesn’t get stolen, it would probably get ruined being scratched by other people’s bikes when locking them close to mine.

I can use this mtb for the next two years and sell it before we move.

macg
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:48 pm
Location: USA-FL

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in The Basque Country

Post by macg »

If there is such a thing in your area, it might be worth checking the bike index / bike registration - some towns & cities have databases that you can register your bike, in case it gets stolen and attempted to be resold.

Just thinking about the possibility that it was stolen and discarded.

Frugalchicos
Posts: 566
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in The Basque Country

Post by Frugalchicos »

This was more like somebody from my building moved out and didn't want to deal selling it. It is kind of common to see nice stuff in the garbage in affluent areas in Chicago (or I guess other rich areas in the US)

I have two updates:

- I just started a 3 month not buy anything challenge. This is mostly clothes, toys, videogames, etc.
- I've been eating a plant based diet for the last 2 weeks and it has been great so far. I am very excited to see the results, especially in running and cycling performance. I basically eat 90% vegan 10% a random egg or piece of white fish. My vision of veganism is whole foods, clean and colorful plates. I am not against the occasional beyond burger, but those kind of substitutes are not a staple in my diet. I will also reduce the alcohol intake to minimum, perhaps 1-2 beers a week.

I am turning 40 in a few weeks and for the last year I have been having more of a sense of longevity and realized I have an expiration date. I am totally determined to live my other half of life in the best possible way. I guess this is a mid life crisis but I believe it is a positive crisis. I am very excited to carry on with this changes in my diet and exercise habits. I feel I already figured out the money part and now want to make sure I have the health part as a priority.

Western Red Cedar
Posts: 720
Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:15 pm

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in The Basque Country

Post by Western Red Cedar »

Frugalchicos wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 12:02 pm
I am turning 40 in a few weeks and for the last year I have been having more of a sense of longevity and realized I have an expiration date. I am totally determined to live my other half of life in the best possible way. I guess this is a mid life crisis but I believe it is a positive crisis. I am very excited to carry on with this changes in my diet and exercise habits. I feel I already figured out the money part and now want to make sure I have the health part as a priority.
I've been focused a lot more on health over the last year as well. I think there are a lot of similarities between health and personal finance. Both require small changes (or sometimes radical/extreme changes) that add up over time. You often won't notice the impacts of small habits, but the cumulative effect over the course of 5, 10, or 20 years makes a huge difference. Jacob has a post about this somewhere on the blog, talking about how you really start to notice lifestyle choices at a 20 year reunion, but they aren't necessarily apparent at a 10 year reunion.

I think the most important parallel when it comes to both health and finance is to avoid feeling like it is a sacrifice to save, invest, diet, exercise, etc...Through ERE, I've come to enjoy home cooked meals with fresh herbs from my garden more than most restaurants. I also really enjoy the challenge of a long bike ride, or a resistance training regime. It is something I look forward to. Enjoying the process, whether it is growing wealth or improving your health, is key.

Good luck - health is wealth! :D

Frugalchicos
Posts: 566
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in The Basque Country

Post by Frugalchicos »

@WRC

Couldn't agree more about the similarities between finance and health. In fact, I kind of had the same realization when I was reading about veganism and its impact on top pro athletes than the first time I read MMM and thought Holly crap!! this totally resonates with how I feel and it is exactly what I am looking for!

I have never been unhealthy (with the exception of too much partying in my early 20s), but not necessarily I looked for the max health optimization. At this point I feel I already won at the money game and want to start optimizing and improving different aspects of my life. One is definitely health and try to achieve my top peak performance and another one is trying to be the best husband and father. I believe both of these goals are tied up since I can't be the best person I want to be if I don't feel well or energized. I definitely want to be more conscious about what I eat and drink.

Summarizing, I am very excited to turn 40 and tackle these goals in the best possible way. As you said, my motto has also been "healthy and wealthy"

AnalyticalEngine
Posts: 535
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:57 am

Re: Frugal chicos journal - ERE in The Basque Country

Post by AnalyticalEngine »

Frugalchicos wrote:
Fri Jun 24, 2022 9:04 am
In fact, I kind of had the same realization when I was reading about veganism and its impact on top pro athletes than the first time I read MMM and thought Holly crap!! this totally resonates with how I feel and it is exactly what I am looking for!
What is the impact of veganism on top pro athletes?

Post Reply