finance, friday favorites, Spain

Friday Favoritos: Big Spending in March

Well, March is behind us and spring is full bloom. Everything outside is green once again and I’m constantly mesmerized by the changes in nature when I head out for a run.

Looking back at my budget for March, whoa! I spent quite a bit more than usual! My clothing category was way higher than a normal month, as was self-care and even groceries. It was all worth it though! March was pretty great in a lot of ways, despite (or because of?) the big expenditures.

Shopping

I purchased my first Patagonia product, a running jacket. I’ve been eyeing their products for quite some time, but the price points always felt too high to justify. But I admire their commitment to long-lasting products that can be repaired, and many of which are made using recycled products. And then I read this article about the former CEO, which intrigued me even more. It’s one of the most expensive pieces of clothing I’ve ever bought, but it really is incredible! The Patagonia Houdini Air is extremely lightweight, it folds up nicely inside its own pocket to make travel easier, and it’s so comfortable! It’s the type of jacket I can wear all year in a variety of situations.

Modeling Patagonia with some nice tulips

I bought a couple of makeup products as well from Bare Minerals. I used to buy the brand a lot more, but since I came to Spain I’d forgotten about it. I bought a powder and an eyeliner. I know, working from home, but I’m starting to want to look nice when I go out.

I ran out of peanut butter too, so it was time to make my order of 2 kilos of peanut butter on Amazon since my local “supplier” moved their store to a shopping center that’s really far away.

Activities

I ran 10 kilometers for the first time ever! On March 5th, I took off running through the Parque de Agua and just kept going…and going. I had no idea where I’d end up. Then once I started noticing myself getting tired, I turned around and ran the rest of the way back. 10.4 kilometers in total! And a couple of weeks later I ran 9.5. I’m increasing my mileage (kilometreage?) but I may be ramping up too much too soon, as I’ve ended up with shin pain. But I’m still proud of my accomplishment! Cost: 0 euros, thankfully.

It may not count as an activity but I did go to the physical therapist twice in March! Once for my back and once for my legs. So worth the cost! Cost: 80 euros.

Also, I went horseback riding. Because when your friend calls you up to say “hey, there’s this horseback riding event tomorrow” you say “sure why not?” We did a one hour trail ride which included some light trotting (scary for me!) and just hanging out with the horses, followed by a light dinner served for us. Though I wouldn’t necessarily do it regularly, it was a cool experience! Cost: 20 euros.

This was one sassy lady

I participated in a rollerblading class during February and March. I’ve signed up for what the teacher jokingly calls Iniciación Plus Plus. We had a great beginner group, and most of us wanted to stay for another round because we were having so much fun! Cost: 40 euros for 5 classes of 1.5 hours each.

In other news, I started an online certificate course on Data Analytics through Coursera. I’m on the third of nine units to complete a professional certificate and I’m learning about data visualization (love!), and soon will be learning about Python and R. Cost: 32 euros per month.

Food and cooking

I somehow spent way more than usual on food in March, but I’m happy with the things I cooked and ate! I’m still eating mainly plant-based during the week and having meat on weekends.

Best thing ever: this tofu tikka masala. Go make it immediately. I let a can of coconut milk sit for a long time, which made the water and the cream separate. The thick cream is the perfect consistency for the tofu marinade! I can’t wait to make this again. It’s so good I ended up eating the entire block of tofu in one meal… pretty sure I wasn’t supposed to do that! 😬

Another discovery to add to my shopping cart: How about these awesome toasted soybeans from Mercadona?! Protein for the win!

And for those days when I am cooking/eating meat, this Honey Lime Chicken recipe is wonderful.

Now that restaurants are slowly opening back up again, I’ve been out for lunch a couple of times on the weekends. Otherwise I do get takeout at least once on the weekends – including McDonald’s one day, for the first time in almost a year. You can take the girl out of America, but you can’t take the America out of the girl. 🤷🏾‍♀️

May your beer be ever cold, and your fries be ever hot

Reading

I bought one book on Amazon in March: Americanah. It’s the tale of two Nigerians who go their separate ways as they migrate to the US and the UK, their experiences, and observations of the three cultures. Highly recommend this one!

Otherwise, I had signed up for a free two-month trial of Kindle Unlimited so all the rest of my reading was free! Total books read in March: 4.

PS: Ever wanted to buy me a book? Here’s my reading wishlist! 😉

In summary

March was a fun month and April has started off nicely too with Easter holidays and a day of local travel. Ironically, travel was one of the cheapest things I’ve done recently. S and I took food from home on our day trip and didn’t spend any money in the places we visited this time.

How’s your spring starting out?