My total expenses for August 2017 was $3,329 which is on par with what I normally spend every month. This is important because I just had an additional $1,675 rent-expense along with my move to Barcelona in the same month.
Below, I have pretty chart from YNAB of what my monthly expenses have been for every month this year. August is similar to other months because I cut out my entertainment and dining-out expenses and replaced it with rent and other moving costs.
So, budgeting does work! I can plan for major expenses (travel) by cutting back in other categories (entertainment). I’ll delve into each category and discuss my expenses in more detail. I do this every month with every one of my monthly budgets.
Rent – $1,675
I got murdered in this category. I was expecting to spend no more than $900/month. However, finding a 3-month rental in Barcelona is quite hard since rental properties are in high demand.
Most units are also listed by realtors who don’t like doing short-term rentals. On the bright side, all my utilities are included in this ridiculous price. Looking back, I should have joined the Facebook groups for Barcelona. I don’t have FB so wasn’t aware of it but people on there list jobs, used items, and rental properties for both short-term as well as long-term.
I wish that my housing expenses stopped here but I still have my own condo in Portland, Oregon to pay for.
Portland Condo Expenses – $512
Right before leaving I spend $340 to have the bathroom painted and have some drywall repaired. I knew I wanted to be able to rent it out for however long I’m going to live abroad.
My HOA dues are $172 and I don’t pay taxes until the end of the year, so those aren’t accounted for. But I always leave room in my YNAB budget for taxes by breaking down the 1x annual expense into monthly amounts and budget for that.
I enlisted my friend V. to be my co-host on AirBnb and we successfully were able to list the unit for rent. I have a tenant living there and will continue to rent the unit out for 1 month at a time. In my upcoming August-income post I’ll discuss the earnings from AirBnb.
Groceries – $288
In a recent post I was talking the reader through how I handle budgeting close to end of the month. My goal was to make sure that I didn’t overspend my groceries budget, but I failed. I saw some vegan hot-dogs at the store which I had to buy and try – delicious.
My grocery spending is usually in the $400 range in the USA – ridiculous for 1 person, I know. However, food is a bit cheaper here. And at $288 I still spent quite a lot more than I needed to.
Health Insurance – $228
My 4th largest expense, accounting for nearly 7% of my budget, was health insurance premiums. I decided to get Kaiser which I’m happy with. I had dental as well but after a tiff with them, I decided to cancel the dental.
Now that I have had KP health insurance for a few months, I’m realizing that I really don’t need to spend $228 and get away with far less. However, when I was first making the move from leaving my part-time work, I needed to feel the security of having the kind of health insurance that wouldn’t kill me in costs should I need to actually use the doctor.
Unexpected Expenses – $140
I brought my electric trimmer but it wasn’t compatible with the high voltage outlets here in Barcelona. I didn’t know where to go locally for a razor so I ordered one off of Amazon and it was terrible. The hassle of returning it wasn’t worth the $70 I spent on it.
So then I searched locally and found a good electric, cordless razor and spent another $70. Now that I’m more comfortable with my Spanish and surroundings, I’ll attempt to return the first razor.
Personal Finance – $125
This is what I spend on my financial adviser every month. It’s been a very worthwhile expense because he has helped me design a solid plan for my money and Andrew is who I go to with any financial questions.
For now I have retained control over my investments and do all my own asset allocation adjustments, after running it by Andrew of course. However, in the future I expect to hand that task over to Andrew’s company as well.
Having a competent financial adviser means that I don’t have to second-guess my financial decisions. I have someone to run things by and I can address potential problems long before they can cause a dent in my finances.
Looking Ahead to September 2017
I don’t expect September to be an expensive month but October will be a bit pricy since a few friends from the US will be visiting. We’re planning on a few local trips which I’ll have to budget for.
The only expense I might have in September is paying for a long-term visa. I haven’t decided yet where I am going to settle down so that remains to be seen. I have kept more than enough cash on hand for this and I’m excited to figure out my next steps.