I have a very important agenda for when I return to the states. I need to hold a training session for all the little crazy kids out there, whether they be minority or with parents who are bad with money, or from a poor neighborhood, all those kids who don’t know anyone who has ever traveled to another country and go to schools where the powers that be aren’t all that interested in educating them about the intricacies of going to and living abroad for any particular amount of time. That is my mission, and by golly ya’ll better start calling me Armstrong.
When I received the money for this trip, I did a budget. I was very proud of myself. I sat down and wrote out all my expenses, factored in spending cash, travel money, my program money for next semester, etc, etc. I even got an expense tracker on my palm. I was able to deduct every expense from the appropriate category before I even left the store.
But like all things with me, this wonderful organization didn’t last for long. But that’s another story.
The real reason I am being screwed with a splintered broom and inflamed to the point of fire breathing at this whole idea (and perhaps it’s my own fault for not taking this into account, but hell, there’s no conversion rate when I go to Flint!!) I did my budget in dollars. Here in Spain, they use … you guessed it! EUROS. Anyone know the conversion rate? It’s horrible. Our dollar is spit in the face of the Euro. Entonces, when I withdrew money for my first month here, I lost $150! I don’t know about ya’ll but that’s a whole lot of money!
And not one soul in my program educated me about the fact that there is a 3% fee every time you take money out of the ATM ON TOP OF the conversion rate. Or that you can use your credit card, but there’s also that fee and that damn conversion rate. Or that you can open a bank account here, but navigating just how to get your money into that account is like trying to figure out the best way to cross the Atlantic Ocean on stilts. Stilts made out of salt.
So here I am, sitting at my desk with my excel spreadsheet burning a hole in my computer, my palm working overtime and my brain sore from conversions and transfers and math and…. Ugh.
Frankly, I just want to say you know what to it all, head out for some Sangria and peace of mind. My butt hurts along with my head. Hopefully, I can save the next kids from this severe splinter pain. Ya’ll might be seeing me a little sooner than anticipated unless I get a job selling churros on the side of the road.