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August 2018 Spending

Nothing sexy to report for expenses in August of 2018. I spent a total of $2,900 for my living expenses in Seville, Spain. I’ll break it down further in this post. Not much different from last month.

I am living between the US and Spain so, naturally, my expenses will be a little higher. Fortunately, cost of living is low in Spain and I have the option of renting out my condo in the US if I need the income.

Housing – $1,999

My condo in the US costs me around $470/month just to pay for HOA and property taxes. You won’t see prop taxes on here because I pay those just once a year – around $2,100.

In Seville, I am paying $600/month for rent but have since upgraded and will pay $1,100/month moving forward. I haven’t decided what my housing plans will be here long-term. Will I move back to the US, by a condo here, or keep renting?

Utilities are always included with these short-term rentals which is why you don’t see WiFi, gas, or water bills on here. The only thing I pay for is the electricity bill for the condo in Portland – that’s only $13/month.


Food – $198

August 2018 was a hectic month so I was eating out a little more but still managed to prepare a lot of meals at home. I ate out $31 worth and bought $167 in groceries.

Groceries are cheap in Spain. And eating out at a cafe can cost very little. I could eat out at a cafe every day and spend $10 for 2 people, comfortably. Of course, I am not referring to the tourist cafes.


Entertainment – $211

Most of this entertainment expense was having drinks with friends. I’m exploring new parts of Seville and nearby cities.

I also took a trip to Cadiz, a nearby beach city, which set me back a little as well. Train tickets, however, aren’t too expensive. 30 euros gets you a roundtrip ticket.


Clothing – $163

Clothing is also cheap in Spain but for $160 I bought only 2 articles of clothing from a sustainable, organic cotton boutique. I don’t mind paying the premium.

I am still looking for shoes so that’ll be the next big purchase – it should cost me 40 euros for the pair I’m looking at.


Personal Finance – $125

Many of you ask me why I still have a financial advisor. It’s the same reason I still exercise even though I am in good shape. Having a financial advisor helps me make the right decisions.

I pay relatively little because my situation is simple and I handle the majority of my own asset allocation rebalancing. But the feedback I get, the future planning, and the risk mitigation, is all worth much more than $125/month.


Overall Spending


On the graph above I only track my basic spending. The extra money I paid in rent, for example, isn’t included on that graph.

You can see my spending has fluctuated a lot over the past few years but it is starting to stabilize. At the same time my passive income keeps growing from my investments – it’s somewhere around $2,200/month.

If you keep a similar spreadsheet then you’ll know when you’re financially independent – it’s when your passive income line on the graph (blue) goes past your monthly spending (in red).

Should I be using 3% instead of 4% as my passive income rate? Maybe. But I’m looking at trends and care less about the exact values. I anticipate earning money for a long time to come, so, why stress myself out over minutia.

2 replies on “August 2018 Spending”

Hi Dr. Mo, my good friend Dr. Marcus ran across your info as he’s considering telemedicine. I am “retiring to Spain” and starting a consulting company based out of Madrid to assist other expats interested in moving to Spain. If you are ever in the Madrid area I would love to meet you and interview you for my blog. My WhatsApp is +19709461182 . Thanks! Jennifer

That’s fantastic, thank you for the connection.
I’ll send you a WhatsApp message. I’m hoping I’ll be back in Spain in January and surely will land in Madrid.
I know that service is highly sought after since many expats, often rich, have trouble navigating Spain. It’s just so different than other European nations. Excited to see what you do with it – so many ideas, awesome!
What’s your blog? Post it here.

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