My spending for this past month, July 2018, was $2,711.
I spent most of the month living in Seville, Spain and, as anticipated, the cost of living is far less here than even in Portland, Oregon.
Expenses – July 2018
It was December 2014 and I was a month away from moving from San Diego to Portland. I remember looking at my YNAB budget towards the end of that month and being so happy that I had brought my spending down to $4,700 for the month.
This month’s spending includes my carrying costs for my apartment in Portland and $888 which I got swindled out of by AirBnb. Fortunately, I charged that money on my credit card and should be getting it refunded shortly.
Travel – $1,240
I spent $1,200 because I had to get a hotel. The AirBnb I booked in Madrid fell through – the guy never showed up to let me into the apartment. The hotel cost me $200.
I then had to take a train from Madrid to Seville for $85 which was a beautiful train ride.
Then I go to book a 6-month apartment with AirBnb and things are going great. The lady and I negotiate a great price and she even send me the offer which I agreed to. Then I get an email that she made a mistake and she didn’t want to offer it at that price.
No problem, I agreed to let her cancel it. But she wouldn’t. So I had to cancel it and that’s where that $888 came from. I haven’t reached out to AirBnb, kind of tired dealing with them. Instead, I reported it to my Visa credit card and they are great at handling these issues.
Work/Business – $280
My work/business expenses are my legal fees with my lawyer, fighting the medical board.
It’s also my web hosting for the blog and medical licensing expenses.
I write all of this off directly against my income so I’m a little worried about these expenses.
Groceries – $240
Food is cheap here. From the grocery store selection to the tapas at the bars.
I don’t buy organic because the produce here isn’t showered with the same pesticides in the US.
The only things I buy organic are spices, of which I don’t use much, and dates, figs, and raw nuts.
I bought a canister of olive oil from my new friend Julio, who owns one of the nicer organic shops here, for 6.50 euros. Great deal.
Housing – $170
This $170 is just my HOA dues for the month. I already paid the $600 for my Seville apartment rent last month. Moving forward my housing expenses should be around $800/month.
I am still looking for an apartment, hopefully I’ll find something with utilities included. I generally don’t use an A/C and shower with cold water – my utilities should be negligible.
I spent $35 on transportation which is my annual bike-share pass. You pay this money once and you can use any shared bike, anywhere, for up to 30 minutes at a time.
I could rent a car or use the taxi or rent scooters but that’s money that I would rather spend at a restaurant – or money I’d rather invest.
The easiest way to cut transportation costs is to move to a functional city. There aren’t many of those in the US but plenty around in Europe. Being carless in Portland was very easy but really hard in San Diego.
I get 7 GB with my current plan which is 15 euro for the month. I use Vodafone and it’s been very reliable.
That’s more than enough to not even need home internet. But since my current apartment here has internet, I use that. I ended up using 3.5 GB from my plan.
The rest of the money was my bill for my Ting plan back home for June.
I pay my financial advisor monthly. We check-in regularly when there are changes.
I haven’t checked-in with Andrew about this 30-day license suspension but I don’t anticipate any major income changes.
Just this morning I got an email from one of my old consultation clients and they will fly out to Spain in August to do a 2-week session with me. The work will be mostly Artificial Intelligence technical stuff so I won’t be using my medical degree or license in any way.
Spending $2,700 Per Month
I look at my investments and my income sources every month and I try to think if this amount of spending is sustainable for me as individual. Do I need to cut my spending down? Do I need to add to my investments?
If I continue practicing medicine a few hours a week then it’s very easy for me to earn around $5-7k/month, as I demonstrated in previous income reports. But … I’m not sure if practicing medicine long-term is my jam.
If I continue earning around $200/hour then I need to work 16 hours per month in order to have a net income of $3k. No doubt that medicine is one lucrative fucking field.
Of course I don’t have to work the entire $3k-worth. I could mobilize my investment portfolio instead. I could rent out the apartment in Portland and pocket about $600/month and earn another $1,600/month from my retirement portfolio.
I’m still too chicken-shit to live off of my investments. I’ll get over it eventually – that’s what one of my friends told me who retired early: “Trust me, when you need it, you’ll spend it!”
What I refuse to do is to inflate my spending to impress others. I won’t live a more grandiose life than I need because I can’t go back to suffering at a job I disliked. Doing so would be the first step towards my death, whether emotional or physical.