March 16, 2008

Frustration!

Every day that the American dollar sinks a little lower, my hopes sink with it.

We live on a small fixed income in dollars, so every day we lose a bit more.


Ok, let's do a little math. Students, are you ready? You won't need your calculators for this one.

If diesel fuel costs €1.29 a liter and our little New Beetle holds about 10 gallons of fuel, how much does it cost us in dollars to fill the tank?

1.29
x 1.56
-------
= $ 2.01 a liter

OK, so a liter of fuel is $2.01. There are 3.785 liters to a gallon which means a gallon of fuel is $7.60.

It is FREAKING $76 dollars to fill up our car!

And that is just one example of how much things are costing these days. It also doesn't help that the prices of goods in France are going up at an alarming rate.

I am applying for citizenship which, if granted, means I can work here. (Thus far, I've been denied the right to be employed in France) The only catch is that it takes up to 18 months for an answer.
Doesn't really solve our immediate financial crunch, now does it?

We're trying to stay positive. We're trying to hang on. Sometimes it's just not easy.

Chez Loulou: A Taste of Life in New Orleans - It just doesn't have the same ring to it. Pin It

20 comments:

Samantha said...

Oh man, I hear ya - it's really getting rough!

Alison said...

You should hear all the Americans whining about the price of gas. The paper actually quoted a woman the other day as saying "We're Americans. We shouldn't have to put up with this."

I KNOW, RIGHT?

Anyway, hang in there. I don't know why the citizenship thing takes so long now. It took me 10 months. And you're not the only one lamenting the demise of the dollar.

cara said...

we are totally in the same boat as my husband earns US $. our car is 65 EUROS to fill it up so i don't even want to do the exchange. it's not like i drive a freaking SUV. gas here in Corse is around 1.42. eeeeek.

Loulou said...

sam
Yeah, it is! Dammmit!

alison
I remember people complaining when I was there in February. I had to bite my tongue a few times!
Our sous-préfecture seems to take much longer than normal, so when they say up to 18 months, we expect about 18 months.
we're surviving, I just needed to vent, you know?
I wish I had some great yoga class (and the pain to go with it) to take my mind off of such things! :)

cara
Yikes! even worse fuel prices!
You hang in there too.

katiez said...

Me to - but having everyone understand - and be in the same boat isn't the least bit helpful, is it? ;-(

bleeding espresso said...

Ugh, I hear you. I took out 250 euros from my American account (ATM) yesterday and then checked online...400 freaking dollars. Ouch.

Loulou said...

Katie
What would be helpful would be the right to earn money in France!
Selling our house would help too. Then we could buy something cheaper and have some money in the bank. It will happen, I just hope sooner rather than later.

Sognatrice,
Yes, that is definitely an OUCH!

amy said...

Wow, Lou Lou. I really feel for you. Even living in America on American dollars is difficult these days. My husband is British and going home to visit his family twice a year is becoming so, so hard. In fact, he's in a wedding in July and we have to go, but there's no reason to go just for a few days, but at the same time I feel that we can't really buy much while we're in England b/c we really are paying double for everything. It's not getting better, either! Don't get me into politics!! I'll write forever. All I can say is, hang in there. It's just GOT to get better! - amy @ http://www.weareneverfull.com

Linda said...

I feel your pain too, being an American living in France. It's scary. I think I'm glad I'm not in the States though. Looks like it is all going to tank.

Betty C. said...

Ken in St. Aignan calculated that gasoline (as opposed to diesel) was up to about $10.00 a gallon here in France.

I have a friend in the States complaining about gasoline going over $3.50 a gallon -- if you apply the current exchange rate to the euro, that seems practically free, LOL!

Function of Time said...

I am not looking forward to this aspect (working for my US employer while in France given the $ to Euro rate).

I intend, quite agressively, to pursue a job in France.

Betty C. said...

The exchange rate might make a job in France sound a bit better. But salaries in France, especially in big cities, are generally much lower than in the USA. Actually, the exchange rate situation might just about balance out that difference in certain professions.

wcs said...

Oh, depressing doesn't even begin to cover it. I can't put into words how absolutely disgusted I am with every aspect of the Bush administration and the greedy, idiotic, selfish, stupid mindset of the people that put him in office.

Twice.

Loulou said...

amy
Going to England must be painful!!
No, don't even get me started about politics either.
It is too depressing!

Linda
The state of the dollar and the economy is looking a bit worrisome.
If we continue to lose much more though we cannot afford to live here.

Betty,
Yeah, at least we have a very fuel efficient, diesel car or else we'd be paying even more for fuel!

colleen,
Do you know what kind of visa you're getting? Will it allow you to work right away?

Betty,
I would be thrilled to even earn a few hundred Euros a month! It would make our lives so much more comfortable. We don't need a lot.

wcs,
In my opinion, he wasn't legally elected the first time, so he should be there at all! It is truly disgusting and I can't tell you how many times I've been asked by our French friends "why did you (meaning Americans) elect him?" They just don't understand. Nor do I! It is embarrassing.

Function of Time said...

I'll be getting the long stay (no work)visa. This is a must even though I will be working for my US company. However, when I am there I will look for a company to sponsor me for the work option. (you can stop laughing now, *hey* it could happen)

Loulou said...

Colleen,
Yes, it could.
(I'm not laughing. Really I'm not)

spacedlaw said...

Ouch! I was happy to find the dollar so cheap when I went to Minnesota last month but for you (and other Americans working in Europe with a dollar salary) it must be truly devastating. No chance of getting your salary indexed to follow currency fluctuation? That much decrease must be akin to hardship, surely.

winedeb said...

I checked out our gas station the other day and it was $3.59 a gallon. Luckily I live on a flat island so I have been riding my bike instead of using the car, but I know not everyone in the world can do that. It is a mess and I am afraid it is not going to get any better soon:(

Brenda said...

Hang in there sis.....I love you and Barrie and will keep you in my prayers. I wish I could do something....ARGH being far away SUCKS sometimes!

Loulou said...

spacedlaw
The money we live on is a pension so no possibility of raising it for currency fluctuation.
Good idea though!

winedeb
We don't have to drive far for most things so we stretch our fuel Euros as much as possible!

Brenda
Thanks for your kind thoughts and prayers. I just had a stress day and am feeling better now.
I love you! You still coming next spring?