Leaked OS 188.8.131.52 for the BlackBerry Bold 9900 with Wifi
Windows 10 Enterprise N Key.
I'm a 31 year old student, just moved to Spain, and make <15k together with my husband.
Last month I left my job as an ancillary health care worker making 65k in a low cost of living area. My husband D and I got married and then moved to his hometown in Spain a week later. He is doing his doctoral research here for one year and is paid. We decided to combine finances after our marriage. I am enrolled in an online BS program in computer science and will resume my fulltime class schedule this month. I have enjoyed my job, but I want a new challenge, something with more room for growth that could potentially pay more, and something that would offer me more flexibility in location if we decided to move to Spain again in the future.
I will be changing everything to USD. I am sure this will get long, so thank you for reading!
ASSETS AND DEBT
Retirement: $48,000 between multiple 401k accounts and my Roth IRA. Contributions are on hold this year.
Savings account balance: ~$25,000. The savings prior to our marriage were mine. I feel less anxious about our decision to live off his stipend together as I was able to contribute this emergency fund to our future. We hope to leave Spain a year from now with these savings intact. It will be a stretch.
Checking account balance: $0 We will not really be using our checking account. In the past I always put everything on credit cards and paid it off monthly. Here we will pay everything with cash since it is way easier and more common. (we are going to try and do a $220 allowance/month for each of us for food/etc)
Credit card debt (and how you accumulated it): $0. I do have 12 credit cards since I used to do some light churning for our annual trip to Spain and other travel, but since we’re not going to be spending much money this year, new credit card applications will be on hold, and we’ll only use one card with Lufthansa to pay our Airbnb rent and that should give us enough points to return to the US for free next year.
Student loan debt (for what degree): $0, D has no debt and I paid off my first undergrad degree ($30k) in health science a few years ago. However, I will be taking out new loans for my program. The total will be $24k over the next 2 years
Main Job Monthly Take Home: ~$1000-1500 a month from D’s university. Right now it’s $1500, but he has a couple months where he does not get paid, and from January – May he will make less.
Side Gig Monthly Take Home: $0 I don’t have a side gig right now. I may end up tutoring English, teaching kids English online, or trying to sell some of my sewn crafts in the touristy areas in Granada. In the past, D and I dog-sat/walked other dogs, but we don’t have a network here yet and our apartment doesn’t allow pets besides our current dog.
Rent: $621/month we are renting an apartment from Airbnb in the coolest historic neighborhood. We will be here for four months before we move to another part of Spain for D’s research. It’s a cute place with beautiful views and is very old. We have to light the stove every time we cook and the toilet flushes with a pull cord from the ceiling. The views are amazing, and I love it. We splurged a bit on our apartment; it is possible to rent a 1 bedroom in the center of town for <$300.
Benefits: $0 Since D is a citizen, I will get free health benefits also. We are in the process of working through the bureaucracy but should hopefully have this figured out in a week or two. If we can’t work it out very soon, I may need to buy private insurance which I have heard is not expensive.
Savings contribution: Probably none this year. I’m missing out on an important year of saving and the value of the compound interest.
Utilities: We will pay electric and water the four months we are here. I’ve heard both water and electric are more expensive in Spain. People are intense about how long your showers are if they are footing the bill. A few years ago, D’s parents asked him to have a talk with me about my long showers (I didn’t think they were that long!). Let’s say $200 to be safe.
Wifi: $0 we don’t pay this at the airbnb
Donations: $0 I was donating to IRC, PP, and Southern Environmental Law, but donations are on hold and I am currently looking for some volunteer projects.
Cellphone: $30 we got pay as you go Vodafone plans
Subscriptions: $15 Netflix – I am the Netflix mothership for my family and a few friends
Dog food/expenses: $60
DAY ONE, WEDNESDAY:
8 AM – I wake up before my alarm. We have an appointment today with the civil office to register our marriage. I splash some water on my face, moisturize and apply sunscreen. D wakes up and shows me how to turn on the propane tank for the day. It takes a few tries before we get it going. He takes a shower and the showerhead instantly falls off the cord so it’s basically like taking a shower with a garden hose, haha. We can’t reattach it, so we text the Airbnb host who will have someone come look at it in a few days. I put on some light makeup (concealer, mascara, eyeliner, light lipstick) and walk our greyhound, Willie, around the block. He can’t find a good spot to go to the bathroom. There’s no grass at all in the streets around our house and he’s a bit of a prince so we’d have to walk pretty far to find him a comfy spot. I’m sure he will adjust to going #2 in the streets like the other dogs here, but today we were in a hurry, so I’ll just take him when we return home. I eat a fig yogurt before leaving the house.
9 AM – We are still adjusting to the neighborhood and want to check out a cute dessert/coffee place. We get 2 coffees with milk and a couple piononos, which are these tiny pastries special to Granada. It’s a spongey rolled cake soaked in syrup with cream on top, and I am absolutely obsessed with them. I practice my Spanish by asking for the bill and paying $4.30
10 AM- We arrive at the civil registration office. Our appointment does not go as planned. The employee at the desk found something wrong with almost all the documents that we brought and seemed annoyed with us. It was disheartening. We followed the packet we were given and brought the things on the list, but we were not aware that we were supposed to get permission from the Spanish government before we got married. The employee said no one knows about this permission form, but still seemed bothered that we didn’t have it, haha. We will have to get our certificate approved by a US embassy (we may have to drive 4 hours to Madrid), get my translated documents approved by the embassy, and get proof that I live here. On the way back we stop at city hall and talk to someone about what we need for this proof, and we learn that this will be an easy process at least.
12 PM – I take the bus back while D goes to a work meeting in the center of town. I still have some money on my bus card from a couple years ago. I get home, walk Willie and find a nice little dog park where he can do his thing. There’s no grass, just dust, but it’s quiet and he adjusts. I drop him back home, then grab a shopping bag and run to the store. We need some peppers for lunch and beer. I get ~1lb of peppers and an 8-pack of Alhambra Especial for $6.15
1 PM – I fiddle around for a bit, eat some crackers and cheese and have the last of the lemonade that D’s mom made us (from their lemon tree!), then I start reading ahead in one of my textbooks for class. The semester doesn’t start for a few more weeks, but I’ve heard that one of the classes I will be taking starts out with a bang, so I want to be ready.
2:30 PM – D gets home and we start cooking lunch. We each drink a beer and make potatas a lo pobre, which is especially common in the south of Spain. It’s green peppers and potatoes sautéed in olive oil. Typically there’s an egg on top, but I’m picky about eggs and don’t eat them runny so we don’t bother. D’s uncle has a small farm, and he gave us ~10 pounds of potatoes that he grew, so we’ll be eating this for quite a few lunches. We were staying at D’s parents summer house in a small pueblo up until 3 days ago, and his family was really kind and gave us some groceries to start out with!
3:30 PM – I do the dishes and tidy up a bit while I listen to Radiolab. Afterwards D is doing work in bed. I curl up next to him and read my little Spanish book. It’s from the 80’s and titled Panico en la Discoteca and it’s only like 50 pages, but it is at my level and I need to practice reading.
5:00 PM – siesta time! D had to work. It’s raining pretty hard outside which is unusual for Granada. I like it. As an introvert crafter, rainy days are always my favorite. I just don’t have any craft supplies or projects I’m working on right now.
6:00 PM – I eat a couple of cookies and watch youtube videos about some coding stuff. I want to start developing some interests and begin to create projects outside of what we are doing in class.
7PM – Airbnb host/landlord stops by to fix the showerhead without warning. He asks if my husband cut the cord to the showerhead (???) and seems to be blaming us for breaking it, though it could just be the language barrier. I hope this living situation doesn’t get weird!
8PM – I walk Willie again by myself since D has more work to do, but I can’t find the nice park from earlier. I get ready to go to a language exchange event. I am a little nervous, but I need to put myself out there and make my own friends in Granada. I’m wearing my favorite Aritzia crop top. It’s black so they won’t be able to tell if I am sweating**.**
9PM – I arrive at the language exchange. It costs $2.20 to get in. There are ~50 people at the hostel bar sitting at small tables. I meet a few people in line with my very nervous Spanish. One of the guys was there because his Tinder match told him about the event. I grab a beer $2.75 and sit at a table with 3 other English speakers and a native Spanish speaker. We mostly just talk about our lives, but it’s fun and I start to get more comfortable, especially as I have a couple more beers $5.50. We change tables several times and do some activities. Most participants are undergraduate students as I expected, but there are some people my age and older who live in Granada and want to learn English and some graduate students as well; it’s a good mix! I eat 2 tapas with my beers. Little toasts with manchego and pepper jelly.
12AM – part of the language exchange is that you get free entrance to a huge club down the road. Not my scene but I am having fun so I decide to go. I get handed a beer from the program leader and a free little square of pizza and then find a place to settle in. I speak mostly in English now with some other women working/studying here. I don’t spend any money at the club, but I do enjoy some more free pizza and ice cream.
1:30AM – I’m ready to go home. One of the guys I met offers to walk with me halfway. I try to decline, but he says he has to work early and is leaving anyways. When we get close to his house he offers to smoke and I surprise myself by saying yes. I don’t really like smoking weed; it makes me anxious and paranoid, but I do it anyways. It turns out to be fun and we have a nice conversation in Spanish.
3:00AM – I start to walk home alone. I know I should get a cab, but I don’t see any on the streets. I get lost a few times. No one is out since it is 3am in the middle of the week. In total tonight (home to hostel to club to home) I walked about 7 miles. My feet hurt.
Day 1 total: $18.15
If I spend $18 a day, that’s $540 a month. Twice my allowance. I’m going to try and do a no spend tomorrow. It should be easy since I probably won’t feel well.
DAY TWO, THURSDAY
11AM – I get up with some difficulty. I feel stupid for walking home alone last night but I resolve to stop beating myself up about it and make smarter choices in the future. D walks Willie while I cut up melon and make coffee. We have prune yogurts (sounds weird but they’re delicious!), melon, and coffee from the French press. Our neighbor is watching extremely loud pornography that we can hear from the street.
12PM – I decide to start freecodecamp for HTML. I think I’ll go through this to get a basic understanding of web development before doing some other free online classes. I’m not quite sure what direction I want to take with my program. I suppose in the beginning I should just be throwing code spaghetti at the wall and obtaining foundational knowledge of a lot of different aspects of CS before diving into more depth in the coming year.
2PM – I buy two greyhound coats as a wedding gift for my friend. A little random, but she wanted them last year and this company in the UK doesn’t ship to the US, so I will bring them to her in October. They are so stinking cute. $130. I call the US embassy and discover that we can’t even go to Madrid to get our marriage certificate legalized. Instead we actually have to mail it to the secretary of state in the state we got married. This will take longer than we expected. I send the SOS an email and look into private insurance.
3PM – We make a creamy super mushroomy garlic pasta sauce with gnocchi. This is the kind of thing we’d normally cook in the US for dinner. Here we eat a much larger lunch late in the day. Dinner is smaller and eaten around 10pm. I have a lunch beer and it makes me feel better. After lunch we fiddle around some more, then watch an episode of The Sinner and take a brief nap.
6PM – We walk with Willie to our new vet’s office to get his nails cut. It costs $3.30, but they didn’t even charge us. At home we used to sand down his nails ourselves with a Dremel, but he was traumatized by it and would sulk for hours afterwards. Then we tried clipping his nails, but we hit the quick one time and it was horrifying. So. Much. Blood. The vet works much better for everyone. Afterwards, we drop off Willie and choose to walk to the sports complex instead of drive even though it is 40 minutes away.
8PM – We meet up with some of D’s friends for a game of soccer. I played in high school and have been on coed teams for the last 5 years. In Spain women don’t seem to be encouraged to play as often, which sucks. D’s friends are cool, but I would still like to find a group of women who play pickup here. I played a good game! I assisted a couple goals and stole the ball from some of the better players a couple times (including D since he was on the opposite team). In the first couple games that I played, a lot of the guys wouldn’t pass me the ball and seemed afraid to hurt me, but it is getting a lot better. After the game D and I walk home most of the way but manage to hop on a bus for a portion of it. I still have money on my card.
10PM – We get home and take showers. I am restarting curly girl, so I co-wash my hair with an almond conditioner, do a leave-in conditioner, and then put in gel. In-between showers we make little sandwiches of brie and caramelized onion. We use are these mini discs of salted bread, called saladillas, which I think are special for Granada and are usually eaten in March. they turn out very tasty (though unfortunately a little burnt). We have evening post-soccer beers.
12AM – We curl up and watch another episode of The Sinner. We’re on season 2; I didn’t expect to like it as much as the first one, but I am totally hooked.
Day Two Total: $130
I compartmentalize the wedding gift and consider this a successful no-spend day when it comes to my monthly allowance.
DAY THREE, FRIDAY
10:30AM – I wake up slowly and find that my whole body is sore. We play soccer on a cement field, so it can be hard on my knees and back. I receive a Whatsapp message from the language exchange event I went to about playing pickup soccer as well. It would be nice to play some more games! They are making plans for a game tomorrow, but we are supposed to go to D’s pueblo this weekend instead. D walks Willie and I tidy up and start the coffee. My hair looks weird today. I think the leave-in conditioner was too much, and I also need to find a different gel. He gets back and we eat pastries he picked up from the bakery and some prune yogurts.
11:30AM – I fiddle around some more with freecodecamp. After D leaves for his meetings in the center of town, I take the laundry out of the washer and hang it to dry on our balcony. We are on the 3rd floor and I hope that my underpants don’t fall into the street. I walk Willie again and buy some summer squash from a street market for $0.80. A guy on a bike stops me to ask if I’m a student and then offers me free Spanish classes at his language school next week! I save his card and plan to take him up on it. We also talk about me possibly teaching English classes once I get my work permit. I’m not planning on working in Spain, but it would ease some of my money anxieties (or lack of contribution anxieties), and I have considered it a few times. I stop by the ferreteria by our house which a small hardware/home store. I say that I need an iron and ironing board and then ask the cost (all in Spanish!). They are $26 and $23, and I would like to find some cheaper or used ones, so I tell them thank you but that I am going to wait.
2:30PM – D returns and we start to cook lunch. It’s summer squash with thin pork cuts that his dad gave us and some more saladillas. I am not a vegetarian, but I don’t eat a lot of meat usually and especially don’t like to cook it, so he handles that part. We have our lunch beers and afterwards I clean up the kitchen.
5PM – Another episode of the Sinner and then a brief nap
7PM – D leaves the house to pick up his parent’s car. I take down the clothes (none ended up in the street! [that I know of]), walk Willie, and then get ready to meet D for a little date. I put on more makeup than I have since our wedding: concealer, blush, a lil contour, mascara, cat eye, and mauve lip. I use a mix of NARs/UD and cheaper brands (princess lash mascara and Nyx for brows and blush ftw!). I try to be frugal with my fancy stuff, but I will probably need to find some more dupes while I am here. I talk to a few friends over messenger. It’s been an adjustment being 6 hours ahead of everyone.
9PM – D picks me up and we go to Tedi which I thought was going to be a craft store like Joann’s, but instead it’s more like a homegoods/random stuff store with a small craft section. I want felt fabric to make some masks and coozies, so I’ll have to look for a different store. I do buy an oven mitt, power strip, and some bobby pins: $7.15. We go next door to a pet store and D buys a buffalo horn for Willie.
10PM – We go across the street to D’s uncle’s restaurant. We’ve been wanting to eat here for the last 3 years, but never made it over since it’s on the other side of town from his parents’ flat. D used to work here 13 years ago when he was 18; many of the staff still work at the restaurant, and they give him lots of hugs and joke about his grey hairs. We eat some ribs (his old favorite) and a spicy chicken burrito with a few beers. I wanted to try Mexican food in Spain. It’s different than what we’re used to, but still good. D’s uncle was sweet and gave us a slice of cheesecake that his wife made also. I think the total cost was $35.00, but D paid most of the check. He didn’t have enough cash, so I gave $5.50
12PM – We get back home and walk Willie, then check out a nearby lookout with beautiful views of the city. When we return home, we watch another episode of The Sinner. We only have one remaining; it’s gone by so fast!
Day 3 total: $13.45
Another day that I spent more than I should. If I want to make the $220 allowance work, I need to try and stick to ~$7 a day.
DAY FOUR, SATURDAY
9AM – we wake up to an alarm. I feel groggy and it takes me awhile to get out of bed and start getting ready. My hair still looks weird, so I throw it into a struggle bun and put on some moisturizer and sunscreen.
10AM- we meet D’s sister at a garden/museum close to our house. It’s a special day for our neighborhood, all the carmens (house gardens) are open to visitors. We walk around the first garden and basement of the house which used to be a giant cistern, and we learn about the city irrigation system. We visit a church and then a house filled with some lovely paintings by the previous resident, and then we take in some beautiful views of the city from the garden.
12PM – Part of the neighborhood festivities is a workshop at the overlook near our apartment. It is a short print-making workshop to learn how to make cyanotype prints. We take a watercolor sheet painted with chemicals, put a negative photo on top, and then leave it in the sun. Our first print turns out really bad, so we stick around and do a second one. Second one is much better. The workshop is free, and we get to take our prints home! We pass by a little craft market and I buy three tiny watercolor prints from an artist for $5.50
2:00PM – D’s sister leaves for her parent’s house to eat, and we run by the bakery to buy some more saladillas and a beer $0.66. We make the little sandwiches of brie and onion again with a plate of cut tomatoes in olive oil. Afterwards I read some of my Spanish book while D does work and then we take a nap with giant Willie snuggled in between us. He gradually sprawls out until we have no room and are clinging to the opposite edges of the bed.
7PM – We have a little tiff. D sometimes makes plans in Spanish without explaining to me what’s going on. I knew we were going to go to his parent’s house in the pueblo, but I didn’t know we were supposed to leave at 6. He is annoyed that I’m taking too long to pack, but I want to be sure I don’t forget something important.
9PM – Willie jumps out of the car and races to D’s parents. He’s so happy to see them! Willie is usually very timid, like a lot of greyhounds. When he first meets someone, he does not let them pet him and instead shies away from their hand and hides behind us. He only wags his tail and gets excited to see us and a couple of our friends back home, so it makes us so happy to see him like this. He is overcome with emotion and does a bunch of zoomies in their yard between the fruit trees.
10PM – D’s parents heat up some pizzas. We have a beer and catch up on our last week. His parents are really sweet. They speak very little English, which is one of the many reasons that I wanted to move here and improve my Spanish. It’s been nice learning more and getting more comfortable so that I can have more substantial conversations with them. The first few times we met I couldn’t say much at all.
12PM - D and I watch the final episode of the sinner. We knew one of the characters was hiding something, but it was a bigger shock than we expected. I like Bill Pullam's character; he does a good job of appearing uncomfortable all the time. Now we don't know what to watch next!
Day four total: $6.16
That’s more like it
DAY FIVE, SUNDAY
10AM – I wake up and try to shower first thing, but the hot water isn't working, and I have to wait for D's dad to turn it on. In the meantime I send some emails to different organizations about possible volunteer opportunities and eat a yogurt and coffee that D's mom made in the mocha pot. I co-wash my hair with my almond conditioner. I don't have any gel. I wrap it in a t-shirt and hope for the best.
12PM - We take Willie for a walk in the pueblo. They are starting their festivities this weekend. Festivities are a big deal in all the pueblos. There are religious processions with the virgin (a giant litter-looking caravan that people carry on their backs), people dressing up like it’s Halloween, fireworks all day, bands that play in the town plaza all night until 7am, bumper cars and other rides, churros everywhere... This is just the first day out of 10, and the fun stuff isn’t even ready yet, but there are a lot more people out than usual. In the town square, they are selling produce and crafts. D buys some peppers to contribute to lunch today. My hair actually looks okay, maybe at its best for the last couple months. After the wedding I had to take a break from curly girl and just use whatever I had on hand, and my hair suffered. It will take a little bit of time to readjust and find the right products again.
1PM - I didn't bring my computer to the summer house. I use my phone to apply for an online English teaching website. A girl told me about it at the language exchange and she gets paid $20/hour. She says it's like being an English Dora the Explorer and does it for a few hours every couple days. It's worth trying.
2PM - D leaves to pick up his grandma from her house in town and bring her to his parent’s. His friend A also arrives for lunch. We have potatas a lo pobre, fried eggplant with molasses (my absolute favorite), and a rabbit and mushroom stew. We sit at the table and talk for a while. I mostly listen, since I understand far more than I can say.
4:30PM - D plays video games with A while I take a nap and then FaceTime my sister. It's the first time we talk in a month and we have a lot to catch up on. We also discuss her potentially visiting next summer!
6PM - D, A, and I want to grab a beer and a tapa. It rained earlier so all the bars are empty. We head to a local restaurant with beautiful views of the mountains. We each have a couple beers which come with tapas: a spicy garlic cole-slaw followed by baked potatoes with aoli. It’s $14.30, but D picks up the tab. Afterwards we help his grandma back to her house in the pueblo. She is struggling with some health issues, so D’s dad and his sister take turns staying the night with her. The grandparents on his mom’s side are in their 90’s, so they are also requiring more help recently.
8PM – We go to the town square for another round of beers for $6.60, but A gets this one. It comes with a tapa of meat in sauce. Not my favorite but I soak up some of the sauce with the bread and then the bread soaks up some of the alcohol in my stomach. We see a lot of D’s cousins and old friends in the town square. More Spanish listening practice for me! Afterwards we go to one more tapas bar and have a couple cañas, or half beers. They’re my favorites because you get the same amount of tapa without having to drink so much beer. Our tapas are sandwiches with saladilla bread and ham and the second is meat kabobs. I am eating a lot more meat here; it’s hard to say no when you are getting free food. This bar was $11.00, and I think D paid. I didn’t have my wallet, but I plan to pay for stuff the next day to even it out.
12AM – A goes home and we crawl into bed. We’re playful and giggly but crash quickly.
Day four total: $0
DAY FIVE, MONDAY
10AM – we wake up in the pueblo. We eat a couple yogurts, get ready, and head to the supermarket. Our grocery store in our Granada neighborhood is very small, so we want to take advantage of more choices and having a car to pick up some groceries. We spend $62.70 which includes stuff for salads, spices, and produce, and some home items including razors, detergent, and a new toothbrush. I pay for the full haul and am disappointed to spend so much money.
2PM – After we bring the groceries into the apartment, D drops off the car and I stay to prepare lunch. I make salads with grilled onions, pomegranate seeds, pecans, and manchego, and then a side of green beans with garlic. We have some lemonade that his mom made for us.
4:30PM - after lunch we do a few administrative errands. I call the secretary of state of the state we were married in as well as the one I was born in to get info about getting apostille stamps. We’ll need to send our documents there and it will likely be a few weeks before we have everything together. I message the school with the free Spanish classes that the guy had told me about, and I discover that I was declined by the online English-teaching company because I didn’t have previous experience. That’s a bummer. I’ll keep an eye out for more stuff I can do to contribute. I know I shouldn’t feel weird about not bringing in any income right now, but I do anyways.
5PM – siesta time.
7PM – I hear back from the school about the free Spanish classes. I can go to a couple next week, so I am excited about that. I also schedule another language exchange event for tomorrow and a soccer game with D’s friends for Wednesday. I start freecodecamp again. I’m really looking forward to starting my CS classes in a couple weeks. I’m ready for vacation time to be over and to get some more structure in my life.
8PM – we take Willie on a long walk to a new park with beautiful views. I ask D if he is going to resent me for not contributing financially and he jokes that he is going to resent me if I keep asking him that. He reminds me that I helped him a lot when I was making more money and that we are a team.
10PM – At the grocery store earlier we got stuff to make one of our favorite meals: sweet potato tacos. Sweet potatoes aren’t common here, so we were happy to see some at the supermarket. We improvise with grilled onions and peppers instead of my favorite Trader Joes refried black beans. I am thinking about bringing some cans back with me in October. What will the TSA think when my carry on has nothing but beans and a couple pairs of underpants?
11PM – I wash the dishes and listen to Revisionist History. It’s alright. I’m looking for new podcasts if anyone has suggestions! My favorites are Radiolab, Invisibilia, and Planet Money. I was a big MFM fan for a while, but I realized that true crime was giving me nightmares and I was also cursing a lot more in my day-to-day speech.
12AM – After some hemming and hawing we decide on The Leftovers as our next show. I’ve watched the first episode before but didn’t stick with it. We watch the first one again.
4AM – Speaking of bad dreams, I have a long, terrible dream and wake up because of the violence. I don’t sleep well afterwards.
Day 5 Total: $62.70
DAY SIX, TUESDAY
9AM – Wake up with Willie curled up next to me in bed instead of D. He has a big day of work ahead, so he is in the living room planning out his schedule. He already made coffee because he is the best.
10AM – Need to walk Willie so I throw my hair into a bun with a silk scarf and take him to the dog park. He meets some other dogs including one we’ve seen a couple times already that looks exactly like Willie but stockier. He must be part greyhound and part lab or something else. I excitedly text D “FAT WILLIE” and want to talk to the owners, but I am too shy and they seem busy. Another time. I return to the house and showecowash my hair again. I read up on D’s gel and it is not curly-friendly, so I’ll have to pick up my own gel at some point. I eat a blackberry Greek yogurt that we had picked up at the supermarket and it’s delicious, like Noosa but with less sugar.
11AM – I clean up and start laundry. I love having a small space. It feels cozy and safe to me, and I find it easier to keep tidy than the much larger house we rented back home.
12PM – I want to go to a fabric store. I find two that are about a 20-minute walking distance from our apartment and head out. My hair is still drying and looks gross, so I am glad I’m in a big touristy city where I don’t know anyone. The first fabric store is not a fabric store at all but a clothing store. Bummer! I run into one of D’s friends, E, in a plaza. So much for not knowing anyone, haha. I pet his dog and we have a conversation in Spanish about his recent trip to another part of Spain and when we will get a chance to meet up again. There are several misunderstandings in our conversation, but I don’t know how to correct myself or explain better. By the time we depart, the second fabric store I wanted to check out is closed and I head back home up the steep hill.
2PM – I hang the clothes to dry and eat some snacks: cheese and crackers, a kiwi, and a cookie. I start to make some salads and leftover pasta for lunch.
3PM – Lunchtime! The salads are so big that I can’t finish mine. I’ve never been so full of salad in my life.
4PM – D records me telling stories/speaking in Spanish. We want to do recordings before and after my time here to see how much I improve.
5PM – I do some more freecodecamp.
7PM – we take a walk with Willie up to San Miguel Alto. This is a large old church on the highest hill in town. People walk up here to get beautiful views of the Alhambra, watch the sunset over Granada, drink a few beers, smoke, and apparently listen to dubstep. We stay for a few minutes admiring the view before we head back down.
8:30PM – D’s friend E stops by along with his girlfriend who I really like and his mom and aunt who I meet for the first time. I talk to them for 5 minutes or so before I head out for my language exchange. I would probably learn just as much Spanish staying around and hanging out with E’s family, but I reserved a spot at the exchange and had already planned to go.
9PM – I arrive at the hostel, it is $2.20 to get in. I talk to a few people in line in English. One is a digital nomad type guy who is required to take at least 4 hours of Spanish classes in Granada every day to maintain a student visa so that he can stay here. Another teaches English to kids in China like the program I applied to (but wasn’t hired for). He tells me I should get a TEFL certificate off Groupon for like $30. I get a beer $3.30 that comes with a delicious tapa of tempura cheese and peppers on a kebab. There are ~50 people here again and we sit at different tables and speak in Spanish. I am at a lower level than my group and don’t make as close of connections with people as I did last time, but it is still good practice. I have another beer $3.30 which comes with a baked potato tapa, but I think it has tuna on it and maybe a fried ham meatball and I don’t feel like eating it.
11:30PM – I meet up with D, his friend E, and E’s mom and aunt at a tapas bar that I like. They’ve been here awhile, but we order one last round and it comes with a tapa of toasts with crab salad on top. I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten crab, but I am starving and eat it anyways and it’s fine. E’s mom covers the tab. Typically the most senior person at a restaurant pays.
12AM – E wants to meet up with some of his friends, so we go to a street with a lot of popular bars. We choose one called Wall Street. I haven’t been here before, but I’ve heard of it. The prices of liquor change on a board so you wait until the drink you want is cheaper before you go up and buy it. I am maybe the oldest person here. They’re blasting reggaeton, people are smoking hookahs (which give me the worst headaches), and there is foosball in the corner. D and I win a round of foosball and then lose to his friends.
1AM – My beer to food ratio is off so we stop by a Shawarma place and I get a chicken pita $3.30 that I wolf down as it falls apart in my hands during the walk home. We end up taking a cab and D pays $6.
Day 6 Total: $12.10
DAY SEVEN, WEDNESDAY
11AM – I snoozed all morning. When I zombie-walk into the living room, D teaches me a new phrase, cuerpo escombro, for when your body is feeling awful (and often hungover)
12PM – I take Willie on a walk. Now we have a routine to go to the dog park where he can run around freely, meet other dogs, and do his business with more comfort.
1:30PM – I put on a light layer of foundation. I’m stingy with this since it’s the only foundation I like and it was $40. I add some mascara and eyeliner and put on one of my favorite outfits which is monochrome beige: linen high waisted pants and a crop tank from Aritzia, beige pointed flats and a brown leather jacket I got at a vintage store in San Francisco. It’s one of the only outfits I have that makes me feel modern and fashionable. We leave to go to D’s parent’s flat for lunch.
2PM – As we are walking, I remember that I am out of contact solution. We pop into a pharmacy, and it costs $6.90 for 60ml. I typically purchase a bulk amount for waaaay cheaper than that. I think this is the good stuff that I never buy at home. I hope I can find some more affordable saline solution here and this can just be my travel solution for our honeymoon trip to Italy next week.
3PM – D’s mom makes some amazing rice with seafood: boiled calamari, octopus, shrimp in the shells, and a giant crab on top. I’m not big on seafood, but it’s delicious and I eat everything but the crab.
4PM – While D is at the dentist, I go to the supermarket near their flat to check out the contact solution and beauty products. I end up purchasing shampoo and gel (curly girl friendly), a large container of contact solution, and top/base coat for my nails as I have been biting them again these days and painting helps $13.31
6PM – we go to a UPS affiliated store. There are no official UPS or Fedex locations in the city. We have to send documents to both the state we got married and the state I was born to get an official stamp so that we can proceed with my residency. We are not excited to pay $179.30 to send them (includes their return label), but we had to do it and it is a small price to pay to have my visa. I also had to write two checks to the states, totaling $13 to get the stamps.
7PM – we play and early game of soccer with D’s friends. I am not playing as good as usual, but honestly no one is. We are all dragging a bit today. I score one goal on D but miss like 7 other opportunities. I pay $2.75 for our share of the field rental.
9PM – Willie missed us so much. I love seeing him wag his tail like crazy and do little half jumps around the house. We take him on a long walk to the park and then get home and eat crackers and cheese for dinner. I have 2 lemonades and 2 beers.
Day 7 Total: $215.26
Food + Drink: $100.91
Lastly, reflect on your diary!
I am going through a lot of transition right now, between living in a new country, being newly married and sharing finances, and going from being the higher earner in our relationship to a more dependent role for the time being. I wanted to do a money diary to monitor how I adjust to changing my mindset about money during this time. Back home if I would go out and spend more money than I intended or make an impulse purchase, it wasn’t a big deal since I would just make more money to cover it and I would think “I’ll do better next time!”. Now money doesn’t go up, it only goes down, and I have to be much more conscious and careful of my spending.
That said, I spent $136.62 in one week on food/supplies, which is more than half of the “allowance” I set for myself to stay on track and not touch my savings. Even though it’s much cheaper than in the US to go out here and grab a beer and a tapa for dinner, I’m spending too much money and need to reign in my drinking especially. I assume part of this is that I am still on vacation and adjusting to Granada life. Once classes start, I am not going to want to go out all the time.
Thanks for reading and I hope it wasn’t too boring! I wish I would have started reading money diaries back when I had a job, haha. I used to read TheBillfold blog all the time and loved their “Doing Money” series, so I’m happy to have found something similar that fills that void for me.
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