New York City, You’re No Paris

Jared checks in with our finances for this month

I’ll admit it: it took me a while to succumb to Paris’ charms. I spent most of the first week thinking how much Paris was like New York, and I have barely missed New York at all on this trip. I just didn’t get why everyone said how great Paris was. It was okay, but I didn’t get what the fuss was about.

But then we went to Montmartre, and I was smitten. Since that time, Paris has snuck up and kind of slowly seeped inside of me. And now I could stay here another month. Hell, I could move here and be totally fine with it. To me, Paris is like New York in that it looks a lot like New York (actually, Brooklyn, to be more specific), except it’s more charming, friendlier, and more laid back. In fact, it puts New York to shame. It has the same vibe as New York, but it’s just easier to hang out here. There’s not so much noise and chaos.

People who haven’t been to France won’t believe me, but the French are so much nicer than New Yorkers. Sorry New York, but it’s true. No one pushes you on the subway, no one shoves you walking down the sidewalk, and people are respectful of each other in a way that they simply aren’t in New York. I didn’t think I’d ever find a city that I like better than New York, but lo and behold, it’s gone and happened.

I loved Spain, but I feel much more myself in France. And I can’t speak a lick of French. Something about the French culture just makes me relax. Spain is nice too, but it doesn’t have the same level of charm and (dare I say it) sophistication. I don’t feel like a foreigner in France.

Paris, you have my heart. I hope to get back here soon enough.

Moneywise, we had another tough month, but we expected it. We went to Barcelona and Paris even though I never found another job. Whitney and I just decided to go for it, because we wanted to experience both places before we went back. And we knew both places were going to break the bank.

That said, we made out better than last month, and are only about $1000 over for the month. We were over by $1300 last month, so we will go back home $2300 in the red. For almost five months, that’s basically $500 over a month. All in all, that’s not too bad, considering I’ve had so much trouble finding any other work.

A breakdown of our incomes and expenses is below:

Income: I made $3550 in February.

Expenses: Below is a breakdown of our expenses.

Food/Household/Shopping: $1161
Entertainment: $651
Rent: $1475
Travel: $791
Misc: $512

Total Expenses: $4590

So we were over by just over a grand. Again, with all the obstacles we faced this month and with all we traveled and saw, this isn’t too bad.

We’re returning to the states a little poorer in money, but richer in experiences. We faced obstacles we hadn’t planned on facing and together learned how to deal with them. Yes, the trip would have been easier in many ways had we had more money, but we knew going in that money was the big question mark and decided to go for it anyway. I have no doubt we made the right decision.

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