14 June 2008

How Much Savings Is Enough?

(en) Based on a conservative estimate, it looks like Erika and I will have a little over 10k in savings once we finally arrive in Buenos Aires. I know that it would be ideal to have more so we don't feel under the gun while we look for jobs and sample the culture, but I'm just wondering if that's enough. My friend Mona arrived in Argentina with a 1,000 dollars. Of course she didn't come with a boyfriend, a shia-poo or any long-term aspirations, and we're planning on staying for at least two years, not three months. But I still think we're going to be just fine. Usually when I move to a new place (e.g. Seattle, Portland, New Haven, back to Chicago) I don't have any money at all and somehow it still works out. Of course I'm an incorrigible optimist, a stubborn survivor, and student loans have helped me avoid the inevitable collision with the labor market more than once, so I'm not sure I even know how to concede failure like that. But I still think everything's going to be okay, once we figure out how everything works and how to stop Porteños from ripping us off!

(es) Basado en cálculo aproximado, parece que Erika y yo vayamos a tener un poco mas de diez mil dólares en ahorros después de que llegamos en Buenos Aires. Yo sé que sería ideal si tuviéramos más guita para que no nos sentamos bajo presión mientras que buscamos puestos y probamos la cultura local. Sin embargo me pregunto si vaya a ser suficiente. Mi amiga Mona llegó en Argentina, armada con sólo un mil dólares. Por supuesto no llegó con novio, un shia-caniche, ni algunas aspiraciones a largo plazo, y nosotros, por otro lado, no nos proponemos quedar allá tres meses, sino dos años al menos. Sigo creyendo que todo va a salir bien. Normalmente cuando me mudo a nuevo sitio (e.g. Seattle, Portland, Nuevo Haven, regressando a Chicago), no tengo niguna plata en absoluto, y de algún modo u otro, todo sale bien. Claro, soy optimista incorregible, superviviente terco, y mis préstamos a los estudiantes me ayudaron a evitar el choque inevitable con el mercado laboral más que una vez, entonces, no estoy seguro de saber reconocer mi propio fracaso así. Pero sigo creyendo que todo sale bien, una vez que comprendamos como funciona todo y ¡aprendemos a evitar que nos timan los argentinos!


miss tango said...

You will need to get a job :)

Jackson Bliss said...

Miss Tango,

Of course. We have every intention of working, both of us. That was the plan all along. I was just wondering what other people brought with them and whether they thought it was enough and if they wished they'd brought more so they didn't worry about finding a job right away, or whether they wish they'd brought less to motivate them to find a job immediately.

miss tango said...

If you are frugal, yes it is sufficient. But things have gone up a lot with the inflation. In a year so many things have doubled in price! ca

Jackson Bliss said...

Okay. Thanks for the point of view. I appreciate it.

San Telmo Loft said...

The thing about is that you're going to want to see Argentina and traveling can be expensive. Seeing as you want to write, check with "The Argentimes" and maybe "Buenos Aires Herald." I don't know if they are hiring, but if you've got some pieces to sell, they might buy them. You can also teach English. I'd suggest you do it privately though. Schools here don't pay very much.

But if you take out traveling and live frugally, you can do it on $10,000. I budgeted $15,000 per year (I'm only one person, but I like good food and wine and didn't want to give that up). I don't get to travel as much as I would like, but something's gotta give.

I'm in a writer's group here with four other expats and a porteña. One expat teaches online. The other three live off of their savings and spend their time working at getting published. The Argentine has several jobs. Getting published is pretty much a full-time job. That's why I think teaching private classes might be the best thing for you. You'd have the time to devote to getting your work out. In the end, it will all work out, but you already know that :-)

Jackson Bliss said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate it. We'll have around 15k I guess, and a few credit cards which we're planning on using to pay for bus, ferry and plane tix to other places (and some tattoos here in chicago. . . ah yes, those), but we'll both be working, and I think the idea of private English lessons seems like a smart idea. I'm also going to try and explore copy-editing. Of course I'd like to write for some travel glossies, and I'm definitely thinking about applying for a job at the Buenos Aires Herald too. The best case scenario I guess is one where I could earn money writing, but since freelancing doesn't pay shit, and I'll be working on finishing my 2nd collection of short stories and starting my 2nd novel, you're right: I need time to write. And live well. Maybe I'll stop by your writing group sometime. Thanks again.