Dear reader, I must confess something to you before I continue with this article. I am, sad but true, fifty percent Dutch. *Sigh* I hate falling into stereotypes. I try to break the typical 'Calvin Dutch Girl' mold. I'm 5'3 (too short to be 100% Dutch), I love spicy food and I don't really understand the hype about almond-flavored things. However, there is one aspect of me that reeks of my Dutch roots (that is, besides my blonde hair): I’m ridiculously cheap.
While I like to consider myself 'economical', if you ask any of my friends, they'll straight up tell you how cheap I can be. There are times I won't go out because I won't want to buy food or coffee, which drives my friends crazy. However, in my defense, I'm trying to save up for the endless amount of debt I'll have post-graduation. You can expect, then, in my cheap mentality, I asked my friend how much she thought I should bring to spend during my semester in Spain. I foolishly asked her, “Do you think $500 is enough?” She. Straight. Up. Laughed.
And now, almost two months in, I’m laughing too. Studying abroad is expensive. Seriously, I had no idea how expensive it was, especially in Europe. Spring break is knocking a huge dent in my bank account, plus day-to-day necessities, fun activities and occasional weekend trips. As I see my bank account deplete daily, I try my hardest not to weep.
It’s hard for me to know that, while I’m here, I’m also barely bringing in any income. For the first time since sophomore year in high school, I’m practically unemployed. It’s hard to see money vanish from your account and only a slow trickle enter back in.
However, each time I look at my bank account, I try to remind myself what an incredible opportunity this is. There’s no guarantee I’ll ever come back to this place, and I’m trying my hardest to live it to the fullest. Though the Dutch side of me is dying internally, I need to remember that I worked hard to save up for this, and it’s okay to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor every once and awhile. Try not to freak out if it seems scary, because know God has your back and is going to provide what you need to make it happen.