• general updates

    August 2018 Expenses

    On the surface, it looks like August was another expensive month (full report here); however when you look closer we actually had 2 exceptional costs pushing us to a total of €2557 for the month. We are starting to make improvements to the house (and prepare for winter; costs in Aug: €850.2) which included buying a wood stove. We can expect these costs to increase from now on with the house renovation really starting in earnest over the next few months. The other large expensive this month was our baby (coming in at just under €300). We are trying to keep these costs to a minimum by buying second hand,…

  • general updates

    July 2018 Expenses

    July has been quite an expensive month, due in large part to the costs associated with Patricia getting her driver’s license (€208 for the registration and the book, it’s truly a scam here in Spain) and our holiday for a few days to Portugal resulting in higher groceries bills (€338) and some eating and drinking out expenses (€250). The full breakdown can be found here. We really tried to keep the costs to a minimum on our trip though and have been thinking about writing up our experience (and tips) in a blog post. The keenly eyed will also have noticed a new category in the graph below labeled ‘Baby’.…

  • 5 year plan

    What is a rough plan, why does it matter and how to create one?

    In a previous post I shared a rough plan for our first few months here at Finca Bravo. In this post I want to talk a bit more about the benefits of having a rough plan and why and when it can be useful to create a draft plan even when you don’t have a lot of information to go by. When to use a rough plan When you are planning something substantial, be it a holiday, a move (career or physical), a project, etc it is tempting to try and immediately create a detailed plan that you can then use to guide you along. However I find that you…

  • general updates

    May 2018 Expenses

    We are back on track! May is the first month where we don’t have a large set up cost to deal with. This means expenses are much more in line with where we want them to be. We have spent a total of €1,336.52 this month, with living expenses now coming in at a reasonable €778.58. Here is the full overview of all our expenses and some takeaways below: Standing at €778.58 (down from €1,169.75 in April), I still believe our living expenses can come down further next month. We have spent about €200 on DIY due to the works on the outside kitchen and some equipment needed to set up outside taps…

  • general updates

    April 2018 Expenses

    Last month I explained that our costs were running high but that it was caused by us getting set up and included the large expense of buying a new car. Well, it seemed the trend has continued into April and we have spent a total of €5005.88; this means we are still waaay above what we want to be spending or even what we can afford to spend. Here is a full breakdown of everything that took our money this month (link) and an overview of the top categories below: There are some factors that make me optimistic about our expenses coming down in the future: We spent €1696.56 on…

  • 5 year plan

    5 ways you can save money when living a simpler life

    How to live a simple life with little money? This question came up a lot when Patricia and I were discussing our plan to move to Spain to live a simpler, cheaper and more fulfilling life. But choosing a simpler life doesn’t mean you have to cut back on everything or that you need to choose between living your life or saving up money. In this blog post I will go over 5 simple ways we have used to save money but that are also fun (and healthy!) in its own right: 1. Growing our own fruit, vegetables and flowers We really enjoy gardening and part of the attraction of living an…

  • general updates

    March 2018 Expenses Update

    I wanted to give you an update on how we got on here at Finca Bravo in our first month. We want to do this every month to tell you what we are up to and how much we have been spending. Moving here will require us to live a simpler, more sustainable life and spending less is definitely going to be a crucial part of this. By tracking all our costs we’ll get a clear view where we are spending the most and where there is a potential to cut back. You can view the complete overview of our expenses here. The first month was a little bit out…

  • motivation

    How to retire to the countryside in Spain

    Giving up your day job, moving to another country, changing your life around; this was all quite daunting at first for Patricia and I. But over time we got more and more used to the idea of moving to Spain. Here are the 9 steps we followed to make our life changing move to Finca Bravo:   1. Make a plan About 3 years ago, I brought up the subject of what we wanted out of our lives with Patricia. At the time, we were both doing well professionally but something was missing. So we started to do some research and came up with a plan. We would remortgage our house…

  • 5 year plan

    A rough plan

    We certainly haven’t got a complete plan for the coming years but sometimes it’s good to force yourself to put your ideas to paper. So here is our rough plan for the next 3 years or so, don’t be surprised if this all goes completed haywire after a few months of actually living at Finca Bravo: Spring 2018 Move and settling in Fix running water and shower Install basic electricity supply to run some appliances (fridge!) Plant some fruit and vegetables Plant some trees Get approval from the local authorities for our build Get a dog Summer 2018 Set up tents to provide rural B&B Start creating our outside space…

  • general updates

    We have a move date!

    After months of waiting and then weeks of delays, we finally have our move date: the 9th of March. It’s a good time to move, the weather is mostly sunny and warm at this time of the year and yet it’s still not too late to start growing our fruits and vegetables. We can hardly wait!