4 months 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 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:45 pm

@ Jason
We got very close but never got to achieve 350K...and yes, it is a bit frustrating...

@2Birds
Corrected!! i did it all the way around. Thanks man!

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

Post by Nicolino » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:51 am

Good job on the networth increase, enhorabuena about the baby, that sure is a great bonus to the overall achieving theme.

Here´s rooting for you guys to kill it in the (literal) home stretch till November!

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:26 am

@Nicolino

Thanks!! Excited for the good times we have ahead.

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

Post by ItsALongStory » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:27 am

Excellent journal, super accomplishment and dedication all around.

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:38 pm

@ItisaLongStory

Thanks man, good luck to you too

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:16 am

A bit delayed with this month’s update because because I just came back from my trip to The Basque Country.
We have lots to update on! First, and most excitingly, WE SOLD THE CONDO!! It was on the market for a whopping ONE DAY, we received two offers and sold it for $6K over asking price and $21K more than what we paid for it just 3.5 years ago. We were very surprised at how quickly it went but are very excited to move on to the next phase of our exit plan. It is a very quick closing – we have to be out by March 4th, so next steps are selling most of our furniture and finding a 1 bedroom apartment to live in for the next 8 months.

It was also a great month financially – the market finally recovered a bit so we saw a major increase in net worth – we are just shy of our $350K FI goal! Here are the numbers…

JANUARY INCOME – $9,943.39
Chico’s Salary – $4,333.72
Chica’s Salary – $5,225.16
eBay/Craigslist Sales – $282.24
Chica’s Dance Teacher Salary — $102.27

JANUARY EXPENSES – $4,242.83 ($3,067.83 if subtracting principal payment)
Mortgage: $2,152.86 (note: $1,175.20 went to principal, counting that as a savings)
HOA: $247.83
Car Insurance: $62.17
Gas (Car): $133.68
Groceries: $376.92
Cellphones: $21.74 (note: Chica’s work pays her cellphone bill, this is just my phone plan with Lycamobile)
Internet: $67.90 (bastards raised the price on us – they will be getting a phone call from Chica)
Gas (House): $101.40
Electricity: $50.09
Chica’s Gym: $39.99
Chico’s Gym: $29.99
Misc./Entertainment: $959.12 (includes $200 in mountain clothes, a hospital bill, the entry fee for the Chicago Half Marathon, etc. )

We saved 69.15% of our take home salary. This doesn’t include any 401K contributions or retirement plans.

CURRENT ASSETS: $349,922 ($20,324.19 increase over last month)
Cash savings: $19,529
Investments: $154,446
Chico’s Retirement: $11,672
Chica’s 401K: $51,519
Home Equity: $112,756 (not counting appreciation)
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Frugalchicos
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Re: Let's go Back Home - Frugal chicos journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:21 am

Achievements:
- We finally reached the 350K that we set as our FI mark living in Spain.
- We sold the house in record time and for 6K over asking price.
- I signed up for the Chicago half marathon. I will start training next week once I pass the post trip jet lag and go back to eating normal.

Goals:
- Close the sale of the house with no hick ups.
- Sell all the furniture quickly. Note: we are selling everything except our bed and dresser.
- Find a nice 1 bed apartment for less than $1,200

Very excited to see things happening. I can't wait to move on to the next chapter!

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

Post by jacob » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:37 am

That was really fast and beyond break-even too. Good show!

For reference, 1bd/1ba apartments rentals out here are ~$600 and up and the general COL is maybe 20% less than your area.
Also the Spanish speaking population is large(*) so it would be an opportunity for Chica to get additional practice before the big move.

(*) Large enough for supermarket signs and pretty much everything else (shops and people) to be dual language.

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

Post by Jason » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:50 am

Congrats on $350K.

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

Post by Nicolino » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:20 pm

Congratulations on selling the condo, I guess that´s the point of no return then? Great to see you guys also got some nice appreciation money and a buyer to pay over the asking price.

Curious about what your budget projections are to consider yourself FI with 350K in Spain? I know Spain has a very reasonable COL and lots of good quality services provided by the state, but still I can´t get my head around being FI with a relatively low capital...

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:49 pm

@Jacob
Thanks for the tip. But I think we will stay in Lakeview for the 8 months we have left. We have all our friends around and some of Chica's family.

@Jason
Thanks buddy!

@Nicolino
Thank you! - In regards to 350K being our FI point, we consider that having 350K gives us enough room to risk more, be more adventurous in our careers and it will also be enough money to not being poor in a future (at least in a country like Spain where there is plenty of services provided by the state). However, reaching our FI point doesn't mean we feel we don't have to work. It just gives us more hope to dream for the life we want to live.

Also, keep in mind there is plenty of families living with 1,250 euros a month...

We also have access to a condo where we can live rent free for the first couple of years until we settle and figure things out. I will also be eligible to a government help in The Basque Country for being a returned immigrant (about 600 euros a month for up to 18 months) . I wonder if the republican party also gives money to foreigners who are willing to leave the US :lol:

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

Post by Nicolino » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:01 pm

Thanks, it totally make sense, I agree and feel the same way, my drive for FI is not to stop working but to enjoy more freedom regarding life choices. Also good to keep in perspective that indeed, many families live with 1,250 Euro a month and if you add familiy help regarding housing you do have much more freedom to choose what you do for a living that most people...

Nice to see that help for reptriating vascos... it appears the Euskadi government is a good steward of tax-payer´s money, at least I was impressed by the social housing scheme in San Sebastian and the efforts to help young families.

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:12 pm

Yep, The Basque Country is a very organized territory. Schools and universities are good and basically free (I have fond memories of the food they gave in the cafeteria). Health system is also decent and free (except a tiny co-payment for medicines). The Basque Country is also building a ton of social houses (do not be confused with the projects). They are houses built by the government to give young people and families the opportunity to buy an affordable house. Most of them are small 2 bed condos with a storage room and a parking spot for about 120,000 euros.

I feel the only negative aspect I find about my hometown is the unemployment rate. However, everyone I know is working and I always had a job when I lived there.

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

Post by wolf » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:15 am

Congrats Frugalchicos for achieving this milestone! How long have you been in the US then before moving back to good ol Europe?

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:52 am

@wolf
Thank you!! I arrived in August 2011 (with $2,800). Before that I spent about 6 months in Chicago as a student in 2008.

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

Post by wolf » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:24 am

wow. What amazing 8 years then!
Do you expect difficulties with the culrural shift (US->Spain)?

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

Post by prognastat » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:24 am

Congrats, definitely keep us up to date as to how you're enjoying this shift.

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:38 am

@Wolf
Not real cultural difficulties forecasted. I believe I will adapt right away since all my family and friends are there. Chica might need to adapt to the language (she actually speaks Spanish pretty well though and I can see her being totally fluent within 6 months). The only thing that we will need to do is making more friends with similar thinking and liking, and find a job. However, it is part of the excitement of starting a new life!!

@prognastat
Definitely!! exciting times ahead!

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

Post by Frugalchicos » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:47 am

March 4th meeting notes:

February was a crazy month – we sold our condo in a record 2 days, sold most of our furniture, found a new apartment to live and moved in! We are fully settled and the sale on our condo closed yesterday! Everything in just 2 weeks... We are very happy in our small apartment and look forward to enjoying our new neighborhood once stupid Chicago weather warms up. Everything is walking distance, gym, park, lake, supermarket...

With the sale of our condo we now have $108K in cash — the plan is to invest 30% slowly, depending on the market and put the rest in a money market account in case we decide to purchase investment properties in the Basque Country or open our own business. It will be nice to have a decent chunk of cash to play with should the opportunity arise.

In more exciting news – we find out the sex of our baby today! We are so excited about the path our lives are on and look forward to enjoying the next 8 months left in Chicago.

Now let’s look at February numbers…

FEBRUARY INCOME – $11,394.82
Chico’s Salary – $4,333.73
Chica’s Salary – $5,214.79
eBay/Craigslist/Furniture Sales – $1,676.73
Chica’s Dance Teacher Salary — $169.57

FEBRUARY EXPENSES – $4,524.24 ($3,349.04 if subtracting principal payment)
Mortgage: $2,152.86 (note: $1,175.20 went to principal, counting that as a savings) – LAST MORTGAGE PAYMENT EVER!
HOA: $247.83 – LAST HOA PAYMENT EVER!
Car Insurance: $62.17
Gas (Car): $147.62
Groceries: $416.39
Cellphones: $21.74 (note: Chica’s work pays her cellphone bill, this is just Chico’s phone plan with Lycamobile)
Internet: $67.90
Gas (House): $112.75
Electricity: $40.90
Chica’s Gym: $39.99
Chico’s Gym: $29.99
Misc./Entertainment: $1,179.11 (includes Chico’s trip to Bilbao, Chica’s trip to Denver, birthing class ($350), tax filing fees ($100), etc.)

We saved 70.6% of our take home salary. This doesn’t include any 401K contributions or retirement plans.

CURRENT ASSETS: $360,540 ($10,618 increase over last month)
Cash savings: $129,827.15
Investments: $164,663.89
Chico’s Retirement: $11,987
Chica’s 401K: $54,063.71
Home Equity: $0 (condo sale payout counted as cash)

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

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:31 am

Congrats on cracking the FI line! It may have happened in January, but there's a little buffer there where it's obvious even with the low resolution graph =)

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