It is interesting to compare different money exchange places to see which one is the cheapest one. Today I wanted to exchange 35 USD to EUR in Spain.

Today’s official exchange rate is 1€ EURO = 0,93$. In this case it would be 35$x0,93=32.55 €, but as exchange places they need to live too, they charge you some commission.

Before exchanging the money, I decided to go to few different places so I could compare the differences between them.

Here you can see what few of them were offering to me for 35$:

  • 29.10€ Universal de cambios 0,83 (11% commission)
  • 26.93€ Ria (one place) 0,76 (18% commission)
  • 27.60€ Ria (another place) 0,78 (16% commission)
  • 26.29€ Global Exchange  0,77 (17% commission)

My recommendation would be always to check at different places before exchanging the money, because you can save a lot of money.


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Do you wanna get 100€ for free in Spain?

There are millions ways how someone can gain some extra money. It could be for example by working overtimes, having a second job, investing or simply managing your money properly.

I am the one who prefers manage the money properly.

Few weeks ago I have discovered an amazing opportunity how to get 100€ (79€ after taxes) without working.

It is simple, you just need to receive your money monthly for the salary, pension or unemployment to the bank called Openbank during one year. The minimum is 600 euros monthly or 1000 euros if you are older than 31 years old.

How does it work?

  • Open your bank account and subscribe to the promotion at before end of March
  • Sing all the documents
  • Send it all by post or bring it to Santander’s offices
  • Transfer some money to your new bank account in order to very it
  • Receive your salary, pension or unemployment to your new bank account before end of April
  • They will transfer you 100€  (79€ after taxes)

What does happen if you just receive the money during 6 months instead of 1 year?

  • They simply will discount proportionally how long have you been receiving it. Example if you have received your salary for 6 months and you won’t received it anymore, they will charge you 79/2=39,5 €

Do you get anything else a part of those 100 € (79€ after taxes)?

  • Great bank account for free during your entire life
  • No commissions for national/international transactions
  • No commissions for card or bank account
  • Even if you won’t receive your money in the future it will be for free your bank account, card and transactions
  • There is an option to have a deposit, paid monthly, with 0,4% yearly. You can always have your money without penalisation

Don’t miss your chance!



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Are you ready for the interview?

It is interesting to reflect about interview process once you have been on the other side interviewing other people. Once you have been on the other side and others have interviewed you, you can get better inside of how to improve it.

Nowadays, when we have a bachelor degree or even a master degree, many times we are even overqualified with out studies for the position that we are applying for. I just reflect about my own degree, Economics. We learn so much about Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, but in many companies, we don’t use it in the same way that we have learnt it.

Normally when you are getting for the first time into the corporative environment you most probably will do simple tasks for some time, until you will know more about the company, position and so on…

How do you get ready for the interview?

I would start with some basics:

Before interview

  • Read carefully what you have applied for, some people are just applying randomly everywhere and then they just go and try to improvise.
  • You should know more or less about the products/services that the company is selling, because it could be that you even don’t like them.
  • Knowing what does the company do, reflect if you have used any of the products/services of the company. Which one did you like most? Why do you use it instead of other company’s products? Reflect a little more about it.
  • Read about the vision/mission of the company and try to see if you identify yourself with the company, this part could be crucial during the interview process.
  • Do you know anyone working at the company? If you know, ask them more about the company, perhaps even they know HR person who is going to interview you or they even know the manager, so they can give you some advice.
  • Try to identify what you have done during your life and how it could be related with the position that you are applying for.
  • Try to resume your experience, because they will ask you explain a bit more about it, also check if you can justify all of your experiences in CV with examples.
  • I would take with you some notes about the company, perhaps you could take some notebook which you could use during the interview (I will go through it too).

Once you will be having an interview with HR, some of the questions are always out there so you can get ready for it too:

  • Tell me more about yourself/experience: here is where you will summarise all your experience, studies, try to connect everything, no one likes to see people who are really lost and are doing things randomly.
  • Why did you apply for this company? I would focus on what do you like most of the company, also find relationships with vision and mission of the company, perhaps you are using their products/services and you really like it…
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? Here is the one no one likes to talk about, strengths it is always easy, but strengths weaknesses it is always more difficult… You should reflect this one in details beforehand. Imagine that you are applying for finance position and you are really don’t like math, but you can handle it… so don’t say it because it could affect the outcome of the interview. Don’t forget relate your weakness/strengths with examples and how you can solve it. Example: I am really bad with names, what I normally do I write them down and check the list from times to times.
  • Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years? I always would recommend looking into long term. If company is interviewing you, they are spending resources, most probably they like you and perhaps if you do it well they would like to hire you in a long term. Looking from this perspective, you should try to relate your future with the company. Imagine you are taking 3 months internship after graduation (during the summer) and company is planning to hire you afterwards. If you tell them that you are applying for master or you just want to get professional experience, most probably they want hire you, but if you would relate the future it with the company, you probably could get the internship.

These are few questions that most probably all companies will ask you about. In general, it is about getting ready for the interviews so you know better the company, position and yourself.

During the interview

Some people get stressed others don’t but try to be the best of yourself. I like to say it, if you are bad at interview, I try to imagine how you will be at work… It is difficult to find the relationship because some people they really get stressed, but this is about knowing how to sell yourself. Try to think from this perspective, company is spending resources to get to know you, spend some time beforehand to get to know them and get to know yourself.

  • Make it easy for the interviewer: be extensive in your answers, explain yourself because they are trying to know you. Don´t just answer with yes/no.
  • Smile: it is a simple thing but it helps, everyone likes to work with friendly people…
  • Be positive, confident, don’t lie… It is all about being nice and polite.

As I said before, it is really important your personality, because most of the things you will learn at the company. Imagine that you are having interview for cold calling position, where you need to be really patient and polite, also persistent and at the same time convincing. In this case, you should have some clear examples for each quality, so they can see directly that you can fit perfectly. As I said, make it easier for them so they don’t need to think that you are good at it, but you show them some examples from your real life.

Would be really good that during the interview you would have some notebook, where you could take down some quick notes, it looks really professional and shows your interest in the company/position. At the same time it could help you to remember few things… But don’t write all the time or don’t look at it all the time, practice at home.

And for me these two are the most important as I am purpose driven person:

  • Once you have identified yourself with clear examples with the vision and mission of the company, you should transmit that to HR and later to the manager.
  • Also it is really important to get a little “emotional” or let’s call it “talk from your heart”. I had few friends of mine asking me for some advice for the interviews and I always highlight it. A friend of mine was engineering and she wanted to get an internship, which was about improving the efficiency of car’s engine. She was doing the interview and she felt that it was not going so well as she would like and at some point in time she said something like this “if I would have a chance, I know that I would do amazing job, I don’t give up, I know that I can make it, I always wanted to have this chance and here it is the opportunity to prove it”. It is like inspirational speech or elevator speech… You should go inside the heart of other person with emotions.

I like to say in this way, HR should get in love with your personality.

At the end they will ask you always if you have any question, you should always have something ready, be curious about the company. Perhaps you will have some questions after the interview otherwise you can have few questions ready like:

  • What is the retention rate for people who are doing their internship?
  • When I am going know if I am selected?
  • I wouldn’t recommend asking about the salary… I think it is not professional unless you are applying for some higher position and it could be really relevant.
  • What do you like most of the company from inside? It could be really good way to become closer to the person that is interviewing you

I am not sure if I forget anything, but there are some basics which really work.


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NEW car, OLD car or Emov option in Madrid?

Today I had some free time and I decided to reflect a bit more about all the costs involved once you have your own car and also compare it with Car2Go or Emov option that we have in Madrid, which is more environmentally friendly. I wanted to know daily, monthly and yearly expenditures in each case.

In order to calculate all the numbers I took into account previous experiences from my father and few other cases:

  • 2nd hand car from 1986, bought in 2001, aprox. 1500€, taken to scrapping in 2005
  • 2nd hand car from 1988, bought in 2004, aprox. 1500€, taken to scrapping in 2006
  • 2nd hand car from 2002, bought in 2o04, aprox. 15.000€, still working
  • 2nd hand car from 1988, bought in 2004, aprox, 1000€, taken to scrapping in 2016
  • 1st hand car from 2015, aprox 15.000€, still working

In this case we don’t take into account inflation, which could make more expensive having your own car. For the estimation we need to take into account different expenditures:

  • Car price
  • Insurance. Average of 300€ per year, perhaps it could be a bit lower or even more, it depends on you accidents rate
  • Yearly car taxes, paid yearly in Spain, this amount increases yearly
  • 5 years warranty for the car, when you buy a new car, they force you to take the car to official place in order to change oil, filters and to check other main issues, we paid 300 € las time for the car which cost us 15.000€ and I am expecting similar amount for that next years too
  • General maintenances, which is defined as extra cost that you have once you have no warranty (changing battery, something gets broken/old, engine belt, light bulbs and other parts, mechanics’ salary, some accident where you need to fix your own car…), I have estimated with 110€ for the 6th year and this amount would increase each year by 10 €
  • Tires, which we are changing once in two years
  • Oils/filters/refrigeration liquid, during first 5 years this cost is covered by warranty, but later you would need to pay for it close to 70€ per year
  • Also we have to pay for mandatory car inspection called ITV in Spain, new cars don’t need to have it until 5th year, then you do it every two years and once the car is older than 10 years you need to do it every year
  • Selling price, I would go for average market price, it is some estimation made by my previous experiences

In this case we are going have few cases:

  • We buy new car for 15000€ and sell it after 10 years for 1500€

Screen Shot 2017-03-04 at 09.00.18.png

In this case we can observe that daily cost would be 5,7€, we don’t take in consideration:

  • Inflation
  • Selling price could be lower as technology is changing really quickly
  • Parking places costs
  • We are supposing no major damage to the car, but it looks pretty low the expenditure for general mantainance
  • Insurance companies are talking about increasing prices soon as it is not sustainable to have each year lower cost on insurance…

Let’s make some numbers. If someone is using his car just to go to work, one way 25 min, both ways would be 50 min and during 5 days per week. We could estimate that for 100 km needs 6 liters for 1,2€ which makes a total of 7.2€. If you go and come back to work by car you would spend on fuel close to 2 euros per day, which would be 10 euros per week.

Finally we would have:

  • 6,1 euro daily cost for the car and if we don’t use the car on Saturday and Sunday, the car still costs us some fixed money, which would be: 5,7*7=39,9€
  • Fuel 2*5=10€
  • Parking? Do we need to pay extra? Garage? Parking at work?

Let’s exclude the parking and we would have a total of 49,9 euros per week.

What would be if instead we would take Car2Go or Emov, electric car that you can rent in the city and you pay for time that you use it. I used it in Madrid once and for 24 min I paid 4,56€. If we would take that in consideration we would be able even to have it cheaper than to use our own car. 4,56€ one way, both ways 9,12€ and during 5 days: 9,12*5=45,6€.

Taking your own car in this case would be 7% more expensive than Emov or Car2Go.

Imagine if you would have even more expensive car…

Here are few other examples:

  • We buy new car for 15.000€ and sell it after 20 years for 500€

Screen Shot 2017-03-04 at 09.02.39.png

  • We buy new car for 15.000€ and sell it after 30 years for 0€

Screen Shot 2017-03-04 at 09.03.43.png

  • We buy 2nd hand car with 10 years old for 1.500€ and sell it after 10 years for 500€

Screen Shot 2017-03-04 at 09.04.31.png

  • We buy 2nd hand car with 20 years old for 500€ and sell it after 10 years for 0€


If you would like to have an access to the excel file to improve or change some estimations, here you can download it, let me know if you see some errors or some points of improvement:

In this case with my estimations, it looks like the best option is to buy 2nd had car with 10 years and sell it after 10 years, but of corse, there is a risk that it could have some hidden damaged in the car.

I hope it is useful this information in order to compare your alternatives.


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Save money on your car insurance

Like a month ago, I have started looking into my parent’s cars insurance. We had two cars in two different companies, because last year was the best deal to have it in this way.

This year, one month before our insurances has expired, we contacted the insurance broker to see what we can do. We had one incident with our old car, which had third party insurance and another one with our new car, which had comprehensive coverage, where someone else damaged our car. Both insurances were at the same person name.

We paid last year:

  • 450 € for almost new car with comprehensive coverage at Mutua Madrileña
  • 240€ for older car with third party insurance at Zurich

After we have spoken with broker, he said that there was nothing to do, no one wanted  to insure our new car at the same name and as my mother never had insurance was going to be almost +150€ more expensive… About the old car, he said that there was nothing to do, we must to stay at the same company for +70€ as we had an accident and we were guilty for it…

Then we called to Mutua Madrileña and they told us that we will need to pay +10 euros for renewing our new car insurance and Zurich wanted me to pay 310 € for old car, which would be a total of 770€.

We have checked some other companies, at some website where you can compare different insurance companies and we got some attractive prices. New car for 370€ and for the older one 270€. It looked like a good deal but we though, let see if we can get something lover. By the way, were the same insurances, with same advantages.

Then we called to Mutua Madrileña again and we told them that we are considering leaving the company because they are increasing the price for our new car. They told us that it is normal that the price is increasing, because each year everything is more expensive, but she will see what she can do. After a while she said, what about you would pay the same amount but you will have lover insurance franchise (the amount that you need to pay, so they can fix any damage you have in your car even if you are responsible for the accident) for the new car, lowering it from 200€ to 150€. We said no. Then she said let me see again. She said what about you pay 460€ but she gives us 90 € in fuel, we said no because it would cost us the same like in other company (460-90=370€) and the she told us that she will give us 120€ in fuel, which would be like (460-120=340€). Then we agreed with her because it was even lower than in other companies.

After we signed the deal, we asked them about our other car, where we had an accident and we were responsible for it. She told us that they could offer 280€ but we said that is too much, last year we paid 240€ and now you want to charge us more… now we would have two cars with Mutua and so on… Then she said, let me look to it again… After a while she said, ok, I will give you 280€, but next month I refund you back 40€ which would be 240€ in total like you paid before and finally we agreed on it.

In total the broker told us that we would need to pay:

  • 600 € for new car for comprehensive coverage with 200€ insurance franchise
  • 310 € for old car for party insurance

If we do nothing, we would have paid:

  • 460 € for new car for comprehensive coverage with 200€ insurance franchise at Mutua Madrileña
  • 310 € for old car for party insurance at Zurich

The last option is doing it ourselves:

  • 450 – 120 in fuel = 330€ for new car for comprehensive coverage with 200€ insurance franchise
  • 240 € for old car for third party insurance at Mutua Madrileña

Looking at all numbers and comparing with previous year when we have paid total of 690€, after having one accident where we were responsible for it and another one where we were not, broker told us 910€ (32% more), if we did nothing 770€ (12% more) and if we negotiate by ourselves is 580€ (16% less).

Again, it is all about being nonconformist. We got the same services after having two incidents for even lover price…


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Save money on your electricity bill

Few months ago, I have started to check all the bills that my parents are paying monthly, because I though perhaps there is something that they are paying too much.

I have realised that we are paying a lot for electricity and it has already been for a long time. I never stopped to look into details what were we paying for, but looking at it, I have discovered interesting things.

This is an example of electricity bill in Spain from Iberdrola:

Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 16.11.17.png

Where we have “Potencia contrata” it means “Contracted Power”.

This is a fixed part of the invoice, which one you are paying even without using electricity at all. Why are we paying this? It is simple to understand, this is maximum power that you can use at home at the same time. Let say you connect microwave, computer, oven, ceramic hob and other devices. Sometimes if you connect to many things at the same time, all electricity turns off, because you have reached the maximum of “Contracted Power” at home and you need to switch on manually the power at home and disconnect some devices.

When I understood it, I wanted to see the maximum that we have, because we have never reached it. Then I have connected microwave, computer, oven, tv, 4 ceramic hobs and smoke abstractor, suddenly everything disconnected.

Taking in consideration everything, before we were paying without using electricity at all 18,33 €/monthly (4,4 KW x 30 days * 0,1148€ * 1,21 (taxes) =18,33 €/monthly)

Then I called them and lowered first time to 3,45 KW, but I have realised that it was still too much for two people living at home and using electricity normally…

At the end, we ended up with 2,3 KW, looking at all numbers we can see:

  • Before: 4,4 KW x 30 days * 0,1148€ * 1,21 (taxes) =18,33 €/monthly
  • Now: 2,3 KW x 30 days * 0,1148€ * 1,21 (taxes) =9,58 €/monthly

I have spent few hours of work doing some researches, but now we are able to save more than a 100€/yearly. What are you waiting for? It is all about being nonconformist…


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Movistar VS Vodafone

It is all about being nonconformist… At this point in time I was paying almost 700 euros for 2 mobile phone lines with 200 free minutes + unlimited phone calls from fixed phone nationally to fixed and mobile phones + internet.

Few days ago, Vodafone had an offer for new clientes, by having internet and two mobile phones for close to 500€ per year. I called them asking why I don’t have any discount, saying that is unfair, but they said that there is nothing to do, it is just for new clientes…

Then I call to the competition, Movistar, which at the same time they had almost the same offer, in total I would have paid close to 500€ per year (cartel??). I have fixed everything with them and decided change the company.

Today Vodafone has called me by giving me another offer, saying that they just can lower me the price to 450€ per year by maintaining everything and even by giving me more services.

By being nonconformist you can save close to 35%. You should spend 30 min of work for 250 euros… I think’s worth it!

Screen Shot 2016-12-27 at 12.34.36.png

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Fighting for change

Few years ago, I came back to my home city (Alytus, Lithuania) and I have decided to visit my teacher from childhood, after almost 10 years. We had an interesting discussion about a lot of things and at some moment she told me “you know what, I feel something there is inside of you that hasn’t changed since you were really young”.

She told me, that since I was really young, I was “fighting for the justice”. I have never stopped to think about it, but after reflecting a little more, I have realised that a lot of things were really related.

As I want you to understand better about what I mean, let me share with you an example that has happened to me recently. I was taking some course at my university and I had a teacher, who let’s say is thinking that everything that he is saying is going be okay, because no one is going confront him as people are “scared” as it could affect their grades. One day, teacher told us to print over 70 pages in a room of close to 100 people, which would be a total of 7000 pages. I asked him, if we could we have it in PDF file instead of printing, so we can save some trees and as we are at economics university and we are talking all the time about cost of opportunity would be more appropriate…  He replied to me in front of 100 people “Nothing is going happen if you will cut few more trees…”I was a bit in shock about his comment, so after the lecture, I have approached him and asked him if he realised that he is at higher educational institution and those comments are not the best in front of 100 people who are learning there. He has apologised and he has promised that it won’t happen again and he will try to find a way to do it for the next year in digital format, because it was not enough time to change it this year.

The idea behind is not that I wanted to have his apology, but I wanted to change his way of thinking that no one is going complain and by quiet, so he should be careful with those comments in the future. Moreover, it is not about just the way he is thinking, but also is about how is he treating the environment by printing that many pages when there is an alternative.

What I want with this post is mostly make you to understand that it is in your hands to change the world that we live in. Don’t be conformist, if you see something wrong somewhere, call attention about it. We are here in this world for making these positive changes, it is not just complaining, it is about changing the society in good direction.

My recommendation: be careful about the way you will transmit those advices, a lot of people don’t like be corrected.

Change your thoughts and you change your world – Norman Vincent


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1 year with FuckUp Nights Zaragoza

Time flies and it is already one year that FuckUp Nights Zaragoza exists. I won’t forget when I was starting this project in Zaragoza, a lot of people were saying, this is not going work in Zaragoza, people have different perception about failure… It is like tabu… but then I said, I don’t care. I like fighting for something that I believe in, even no one believes in, which is the most important.

I still remember when I got an email from Yannick (coordinator of FUN international) saying that I could start, by giving me few guidelines how it should work and then everything was on my shoulders. So I checked how other cities were working and I have started reflecting what I needed.

As I had some experience from previous projects, so I have decided that we were going need some more people as I couldn’t do everything by myself. Then I looked in my past and I remembered some friend of mine who worked with me at AIESEC in Zaragoza, who was really happy to join the initiative. The most important thing is having local people who know the city. We had someone who helped us a lot finding sponsors, speakers and places where to host our events.
At the beginning we had no funds, so we had to invest our own money, but after all year we recovered all losses, finishing the year with slight profit.

I will never forget this “logo”, which I made with my father, in order to save some money. Now I am an expert at making them, so if you need some help, just let me know!

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 18.35.01.png

After few months working on the project, we had our first event. We end up with over 7o people attending the event and we got published at different newspapers, thanks to our team member who knew the press in the city.


After our first event, everything looked much easier, we saw the impact and people congratulated us for our efforts, idea and everyone saw big future for FuckUp Nights Zaragoza. We ended up 8 people working on it as volunteers, in order to make this positive impact in the city that I was looking for from the beginning. We had some difficult moments during the year with volunteers, which were related with motivation. Sometimes you need to think about all the team and if someone is not dedicating enough time, that can affect everyone, so you need to find someone else more motivated or with more free time.

In general, it is amazing to see how powerful is the idea of FuckUp Nights, how the culture that I saw in Sweden, having afterwork and learning at the same time, was established in Zaragoza.
It is funny to remember, but before starting this project I was talking with my ex teacher and I was complaining that I miss this networking way that we had in Stockholm and she said, why don’t you start it yourself? So we did it!

Talking about the recruiting, my recommendations would be for any job: identify clearly if people really like what they will do at the project as a team members. All of our members were working at the same time at their own jobs, but they were looking for something else to get involved. The most important is that they were working on something that they really liked it, within the role that they identified by themselves.

Some of them said that it was not work, it was a pleasure. Recruiting it MUST be done with clear job description and responsibilities.

After one year, it is time to go to another place, I need to move to another city but I am happy to see that my team is willing continue with this project even without me. It is nice feeling, coming to a city bringing the idea and letting it go with someone else. It is a bit sad, but also you feel proud about it because the impact will continue even without you.

Here is a picture of my team, which was like my family during the year. I had so many nights without sleeping, worried that things won’t go forwards, but after few events, I totally could trust my team and things were going forwards smoothly.


Anyways, life is continuing, new projects will come and I know that my team will do their best with the project. The last thing, this was possible only because my team, without them, I am no one.

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Abilities for successful dialogue – Rotary Club’s Leadership Academy – Git Guldare

Few weeks ago, I had a chance participating at one of the workshops delivered by Git Guldare, during one of the Rotary Club’s Leadership Academy events. It was about Successful Dialogue.

What is Dialogue?

It seems like an easy word but in reality is pretty complex as it is defined like: an exchange of ideas or opinions on a particular issue where people are trying to reach an amicable agreement or settlement.

Now it does not sound so easy like it did before. In order to make it successful it is necessary to have certain abilities:

Listen: It is not easy task when you stop to think about it, it is not just listening but also understanding what other person is trying to transmit.

Respect: In order to be successful you are going need respect and debate different opinions, otherwise the dialogue won’t be successful, because as we said, you should end up with amicable agreement.

Wait: Give some time to reflect, in order to be able follow up, understand people’s ideas. Not just giving impulsive opinions.

– Talk genuinely and sincerely: well that is the key of success also, if you are not sincere you are not going be happy with the final outcome.

The model which shows different stages of dialogue is:

DialogueAt the beginning we start with monologues, where people express their opinions about some topics, but there are normally some conflicts on the way to successful dialogue, which can turn into mutual reflections in order to agree on something at the end.

The interesting thing about this model is that you can go back and forward from stage 1 to 3 until you really reach 4th stage, where we can agree that the dialogue has been successful.

This model is really simple, it is general overview of what we need to have in mind, but there are other external factors which could make it more efficient like previous preparation, experience in dialoguing, time availability that you have, really willingness to achieve this successful dialogue and much more.

I would like to reflect a bit more on time, willingness and previous preparation

Timing: how much time can you spend on this dialogue? As we said, it could go back and forwards from 1 to 3 until finishing it, you can spend a lot of time, so it is really important that you are no in rush, because you could not achieve this successful dialogue otherwise.

Willingness: How much do you want to have it successful? If you don’t really want it, you will never achieve stage 4.

Previous preparation: This is my favorite one! If you know who are you going debate with, then you can prepare yourself better, analyse what are the +/- aspects of the dialogue. Knowing who are you going debate with, imagine that you know that he could have difficulties to reach this successful dialogue, you could guide him through the process or even show the process to him in advance.

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