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Friday, November 13, 2009

Frugal Mom, Frugal Son: Report from France

Frugal Son turns out to be more pathological than his pathological mom. Perhaps the paternal genes exacerbated the pathology factor. He does spread sheets. In fact, he offered to send a spread sheet that is even more detailed, separating cash from credit card etc. Here's his email.

Just to shock you and keep you updated on the massive amounts of your 401(k) I've been blowing through here are the latest stats up to and including Nov. 13th.

Including pre-Nantes expenses (plane tickets, visa cost, hostel in Paris etc.): 3,900.32 euros (~$6,240.51)
Excluding rent, flights, week in Paris, health insurance: 1,468.32 euros (~$2,349.32)
Total cost minus my stipend (so I guess this is the "actual cost"): 1,820.32 euros (~$2,912.51)
Average cost per day (including everything): 45.89 euros / day (~$73.42 / day)
Average cost per day including stipend: 21.42 euros / day (~$34.26 / day)

My average cost per day has fallen from 73.63 euros / day (~$117.81 / day) on Sept. 15th (day 26) to 45.89 euros / day (~$73.42 / day) as of today (day 85).

These recent figures are a little bit inflated because my Amsterdam trip happened so recently (347.84 euros over the course of five days).

At least I'm not paying $25,000 a year in tuition somewhere!

So, Readers, is this TOOOOOO frugal for a 20 year old?


Funny about Money said...

Considering that over at Get Rich Slowly, J.D. recently held forth on the question of whether young people are saving at all, it's pretty amazing.

Duchesse said...

From reading this e-mail, my inference is that Frugal Son likes to compile data and use it to make decisions. I think that's a laudatory quality.

I confidently predict that one day he will look back on being able to live and study in France for $35/day (the real cost) and say, what a bargain!

My wish is that FS moderate his careful counting and frugality with the occasional treat, so as to experience a range of food or cultural enjoyments.

The careful days made me appreciate the treats more.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Funny--I urge my kids not to be self-denying at this stage. At least not on the important stuff. My daughter is appalled at what her friends spend on clothing.

@Duchesse--It's not as low budget as it may seem. His home school scholarship included a room/board stipend and that transferred to the abroad program, along with his tuition scholarship. But your point is well-taken. He has a pal who is eating croque-monsieur sandwiches 2x every day to save money. FS thinks that is crazy.

SLF said...

I think I have been doing a pretty good job balancing frugality with treats. The things I like to do--drink coffee in the student union, shop for ingredients at the market--I do almost every day. Traveling is a rarer occurrence but that's more because of time rather than money. The spreadsheet is more to keep me from over-drafting my debit card than to remind me to not spend money!

--Frugal Son