The Cold Reality of January

Jared contemplates this month's budget

While Whitney and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in France, there’s just something about Spain (and Sevilla especially) that touches my soul. It’s a small big town, if that makes any sense. There is a big city vibe here, but you can walk across most of it in about thirty minutes, so it feels small. And the place where we are living has an East Village vibe, with lots of cool little stores, tapas bars (LOTS of tapas bars) and bodegas where all the people from the neighborhood hang out. Basically, all the people here stand around tables and drink these tiny beers all day. I don’t think anyone actually works. My kind of place.

A few complaints (to keep it real): while it’s warm here, as soon as you get out of the sun, it’s pretty damn cool. And our apartment is almost impossible to heat up, so I always seem to be cold. It’s like a San Francisco cold: there are definitely colder places, but the cold here kind of gets in your bones.

Also, we are having problems with our bed, so we don’t seem to be able to get a good night’s sleep. My head and neck are killing me (I think it’s the cheap pillows we have), so that’s been a bit of a drag.

All that being said, Sevilla is one of my most favorite places in the world. Just walking around here brings a smile to my face, and since I came here five years ago with my family, it’s been a dream of mine to come back, so I’m happy I have the chance to really get to explore it with Whitney.

On to finances. There’s no sugar coating it, January was a tough month for us financially. There were a couple of reasons for that. First of all, the south of France is simply not cheap, so it really shot a hole in our budget. Second, we have had a really hard time coming up with other sources of income, so my one part-time job had to cover us completely. I was able to get a few small jobs the past few months which really helped bridge the gap in our budget, but everything we had hoped would come through this past month (friends and family renting out our spare bedroom, Whitney babysitting, various other schemes) didn’t happen.

I’m not going to lie, it’s been frustrating, because I’ve been so close to picking up another remote job, only to have all of them fall through my fingers. We can make it on my one part-time job, but it really limits what we are able to do on this trip, and we’d both love a little breathing room at this point. I’m waiting to hear back from two jobs, so cross your fingers!

So here’s the financial breakdown, for those of you who are interested:

Our income this past month was $3340.

Our expenses were as follows:
Travel Expenses:

Total Expenses: $4531

So we were over by about $1200 this past month. Fortunately, we broke even the first two and half months here, so after three and a half months, we’re only over $1200. Food and rent we’ve been able to keep under a grand each. The harder part is keeping everything else to under a grand. No matter how much you keep to your budget, inevitably there are things you don’t know about, or haven’t planned for. Such is life.

The good news is that if I don’t find additional work, our plan is to stay in southern Spain, which is probably the cheapest place we’ve been yet. Food and wine is half the price it was in France, and we know we can find another cheap place to stay.  We’d like to go to Barcelona for a few days and then Paris for a week, so hopefully our budget will allow it.


3 responses

  1. Can’t believe this is the first post I’ve caught. Can’t wait for the next. Miss you guys and know you’re having unrivaled experience together. Don’t come back soon but once you do, come to Missoula or insist that I come visit Seattle.

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