My life here has hit the pause button or maybe just the slow motion button, unfortunately I can’t seem to find the ‘where’s the adventure, give me something new button.’ Luckily I don’t have long to wait, in a couple of days we’ll be in June and that’s when life gets a little wild.
In the meantime we’re going to focus on finances. I know – yawwwwn.
But it’s one of the more important aspects to living and travelling abroad and for the first time since arriving here in Spain I’m starting to struggle with only having a minimal income. Let me explain.
As part of the EVS program I get given 105 Euros a month for food and 150 € for living. So in total €255 month. Now my boyfriend at home in his small factory job gets this amount every week. Considering that I have no savings whatsoever as before I came to Spain I had to survive a month unpaid in Manchester and a month in Africa which wiped out all the funds I possessed, I literally have this money and this money only.
Now I have been trying to keep track of what I’m spending but it’s harder than you’d think. I have no house bills and any travel costs get reimbursed. So where does all my money go I wonder?
If you haven’t guessed already, shame on you.
Food. I will literally throw my money at the cashier when it comes to buying food. I can’t help myself. I tried having a set plan but my eating habits don’t coincide and I end up throwing more food away then I do actually eating it. Of course if this way works for you then it is by far the best way to keep track of your spending. I tend to just experiment but I’m still alive so I guess I’m not doing too bad.
Now summer is starting to be a problem because it means guests and guests mean eating out. Eating out at restaurants and other expensive locations. Including cocktails on the beach. Again, because I can’t help myself. But you have to allow yourself to splash out on these things otherwise your life will consist of staying in your bedroom and watching Netflix. Not even your own Netflix, your boyfriends Netflix because you can’t afford to pay monthly for such luxuries.
But not everything has to cost money. Have a look at where you are in relation to other locations. I am within walking distance to a lot of the places I catch the bus to, so why not walk? The fact that I hate exercise and the unbearable heat may be the answer to that question. But it’s okay because it only costs €1.65 to get to the majority of places by bus here so as long as you keep an eye on the bus timetables to avoid missing the last one home and having to fork out for a taxi, then it’s okay.
Unless you’re going for the experience try to avoid getting drinks from cafe’s and instead take your own. Recently me and my boyfriend had to cough up nearly €10 for two small orange juices at a quick pit stop. It’s unnecessary spending. Try to take food with you and have a picnic. Not only is it more romantic and scenic but it will cost you half the price than it would eating at a restaurant.
The other thing I want to make a point of is, don’t be afraid to spend your money. Money is there to be spent and if you see something you want to do but question whether it’s worth the money. Just do it. You can always make more money when you get home. Simply, you need to know your own situation and you need to spend your money based on that. Some people have €50 and some people have €500 but I know that if you spend it wisely, it won’t matter. You’ll all have a fantastic experience.
Research is key, lots of museums and natural parks are free and ideal for both family and solo ventures. Check out trip advisor and make a plan, it never hurts to be organised. If you’re more into improvisation then just walk, walk in one direction and see what you come across not only is walking free but it is a great way to discover hidden local gems.
We’ll have to see what the rest of summer brings but with the support of my parents and other family members I am lucky to know that I won’t go without for too long. (Just long enough to teach me a lesson in how never to waste my money ever again). Hope your future adventures are cheap and cheerful!
Lots of love, Lottie xoxo