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Breaking down my NALCAP auxiliar de conversación budget

A photo of a pale, cluttered desk. A notebook lies open on top of a piece of paper titled "Monthly Budget". There's a pen, a bowl of paperclips, and a paperweight.

Since beginning work in October as an auxiliar de conversación in Sevilla, I have had the best months of my life, aside from a few very stressful weeks. I came from the southeast United States working around 45 hours a week on average in management, and now I work 14 hours a week working my dream field in Spain. I don’t do any tutoring on the side like most auxes do. Other than interest received from my savings account, I make no extra income in the month.

Puppet raises a single euro coin. He says, "Hier, nen euro". Translation: Here, a euro.

NALCAP auxiliares de conversación are paid from 800 to 1000 euros a month for 14 to 16 hours a week depending on their location. As a Sevillian aux, I get paid 800 euros a month for my 14 hours a week. You might be thinking that 800 a month sounds like absolute crumbs! But luckily, it’s a comfortably livable wage. In this mini post, I want to break down my auxiliar de conversación budget. This is how I manage my salary!

For a more detailed guide to budgeting an aux salary for yourself, check out another of my posts:

Related reading– How to: Budget as an auxiliar de conversación

Rent & Utilities

No matter what career you are in, having a roof over your head is probably going to take the biggest chunk of your paycheck. At the time of this post, I live on the border of the Macarena area and the city center, paying 350 euros a month. This covers both rent and all utilities. I am pretty blessed to have found a room in this area for this cost. Because all of my utilities are included, I don’t have any variable costs for the month. My utilities are fixed in the rent cost, so it’s 350 euros a month exactly each month.

A gif of a cartoon bear taking a bite of food off of a spoon and smiling. Hearts and sparkles surround the bear. There's 3 bowls off food on the table that the bear is sitting at.

Eating Out

I am extremely lucky to have met my wonderful Spanish boyfriend here in Sevilla, so we eat out or get drinks together at least once a week. Sometimes he pays for us, and sometimes I pay for us. My average per month for eating out prior to us meeting was around 25 euros. Now it’s about 60 euros a month on average. We each had a birthday recently, so that raised our costs a bit, but otherwise 60 euros a month is a safe average.

Groceries

This category is something I keep separate from eating out. This is so I can carefully monitor how much I am leisure spending versus cooking at home. My average grocery bill a month is 105 euros a month. I make soup, chicken, pasta, and veggie dishes, but I have also been lazy and eaten pre-made dishes like canned soups and packaged ramens to save energy when I come home from work hungry. The pre-made meals have made my bill more expensive, but it’s a welcome thing to not have to cook when I get home. I save the cooking efforts for dinner!

Transport

I commute an hour to get to my school in Tomares, a small town within Sevilla’s province limits just on the other side of the river. I have an annual subscription for Sevilla’s public bike system “Sevici” which has saved me money in my bus costs. You can learn more about Sevilla’s Sevici service in the following post below this section. Outside of Sevici usage, my bus card typically gets used for an average of 15 euros a month in bus fare. I usually ride a Sevici bike to and from Plaza de Armas from my apartment further north. Then, I get the bus to and from Tomares back to Plaza de Armas.

How to use Sevici, Sevilla’s public bike system

Medical

Part of working with children is getting sick almost every week! I also have two different prescriptions that I am on daily. Due to the free private insurance provided by the NALCAP program, I owe nothing except for prescription costs. On average, I spend 35 euros a month on things I pick up from the pharmacy for my occasional illnesses and my prescriptions. Common purchases include Frenadol, paracetamol, and Halls cough drops. :’)

Phone

I use Orange’s Go Run plan for 50 gb. It’s a prepaid plan so my costs are a fixed 15 euros per month. No surprise fees, and sometimes Orange randomly gifts me extra gigs! For more information on getting a Spanish phone plan, check out my other post:

How to: Getting a Spanish phone number & plan!

Miscellaneous

I track everything not categorized above as miscellaneous. This means trinkets, clothes, toiletries, accessories, gifts, and other things. Averaging out my past budget records, I usually spent about 90 euros a month on this stuff.

What I do with the rest

Adding up the averages, I spend about 670 euros of my 800 euros pay per month. Any of the remaining budget is saved for emergencies, like unexpected medical costs, and as a padding in case I suddenly have to fly home.

How I keep track of my expenses

My auxiliar de conversación budget is quite fun to log! I use both Excel and Notion to take care of my budget. I use a custom Excel workbook of my own design to log every individual expense. Where it was, what it was, and how much I spent.

Check out the ‘Aux Life in One Look’ template on Gumroad here!

Each sheet within the workbook has a different month. Each month totals automatically at the bottom of the sheet using automatic totals from each individual day. The monthly totals are sent automatically to the main page of the worksheet where it divides things into graphs and charts, and shows the year at a glance. Currently I do not offer a public template of this detailed Excel budget, but I might in the future.

Then, as the month progresses, I keep the total from each budgeting category in plain view in a small widget on my Notion life home page. I have an aux version of this Notion template on my gumroad! Link above.


Interested in other NALCAP posts? Check out the NALCAP category here.


Bring it all together!

I log my auxiliar de conversación budget in both Excel and Notion. Excel is more detailed while Notion keeps things simple. I spend on average about 670 euros a month of my 800 euros salary and save the rest for emergencies. I currently don’t have any extra income from gigs like tutoring or translation, but that will change in the future once I start planning my time better.

I don’t do any traveling except for the occasional visit to my boyfriend’s hometown, so I have no extra travel expenses. Most auxes supplement their income with private classes so they can afford their travel habits. So if you plan to be an aux with a travel life, consider adding a travel category to your own budget!

I hope this gives you an idea of how you might be spending your money as an aux in Spain. Thanks for joining me! Happy reading and see you in the next post!

Beka

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