Money Diary – Lux Edition

What’s it like to live and work in Luxembourg?  I got inspiration from reading Refinery29’s Money Diaries, which I think is a great way to expand on the sometimes taboo topic of money.  I decided to write my own money diary for a week and present it here, excluding my salary information.  Everything that was in Euros has been converted to USD at a rate of 1.23, which is where it’s been around for the last 3 months.

Occupation: Business Analyst
Industry: Operations and Transportation
Age: 28
Location: Luxembourg

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $879.45  (Monthly total of €1,430 including water, trash, and heating is split in half with my boyfriend)
Student Loan Payment: $0  (I am extremely lucky to have generous parents)
Cell Phone Bill: $40.58
Internet: $23.92  (Monthly total of $47.85, split in half with my boyfriend)
Electricity: $19.47  (Monthly total of $38.94, split in half with my boyfriend)
Public Transportation: $22.79  (My company subsidizes roughly 50% of an annual pass that allows for unlimited travel throughout the country)
Spotify, Netflix, Adobe, iCloud: $26.41
Gym: $25.82
Charity: ~$50, to various organizations

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Luxembourg – 6 Month Recap & ACL Surgery

It’s been a little over 6 months since I moved across the pond.  I had a blast being unemployed for most of that time, as you can probably tell from all my previous travel posts 🙂  But now I’m settling back into being a real adult.

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The Alzette River in the Grund

Did I do anything other than travel during my time off?

I took an intensive French class.  I’m still terrible at French.  As a native English speaker, there is not enough incentive to learn French, German, or Luxembourgish because most people in the city speak English as a second (or third or fourth or fifth!) language.  Even if I attempt to speak French, I either leave the conversation not quite understanding everything that was said, or I end up slipping back into English.  Thankfully, everyone is usually quite friendly, and they accommodate my lacking language skills.  Here, English is the lingua franca where 47% of residents in the country and 70% of residents in the capital city are foreign nationals coming from 170 different countries.

I learned how to drive stick.  In Europe, most people drive stick.  If you want to rent a car, it’s at least twice as expensive to rent an automatic car than a manual car.  And that’s if they even have an automatic available.  I know like 4 people total in the US who own a manual car.  Poor N had been responsible for driving both of us everywhere we went, until I rented a car for a week and asked him to teach me.  That wasn’t fun either.  I might have cried after stalling in the middle of an intersection and getting honked at by a bus driver…   Aaanyway, it took me a good few days to get the hang of it, but now I’m capable of driving stick on the left as well!  I still stall here and there, but at least I don’t freak out anymore.

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Hints of fall in the Grand Duchy

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Luxembourg – 60 Days In

Moien!  So it’s been 60 days since I moved to Luxembourg.  It’s flown by so quickly!  Here’s the lowdown of what it’s been like so far.

Luxembourg Fast Facts

  • Official languages are French, German, and Luxemourgish, but most people speak English, as they learn all four in schools
  • Luxembourg is one of the founding members of the EU and the world’s only Grand Duchy, but wait, what is that?  According to Wikipedia, “a grand duchy is a country or territory whose official head of state or ruler is a monarch bearing the title of grand duke or grand duchess.”  So there you go.  Meet Henri.
  • Yes, Luxembourg has an airport AND its own airline.  Luxair flies to 64 destinations across Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean and Middle East with a fleet size of just 17.  That’s efficiency.
  • Things aren’t as expensive as I thought it would be, what with Lux having the highest GDP per capita in the world.  I think it’s quite comparable to Austin, except that on every corner, there are Ferraris, Maseratis, and other fancy cars that I don’t know the names of.

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