Here’s a quick list of top people I follow in the crypto space. Their work (articles, videos, tweets, interviews etc) are essential for anyone doing a deep dive on Bitcoin and other cryptos.
Who are you currently following?
Two-factor authentication or 2FA is a way of making your logins more secure, by not only requiring a username and password when signing in, but also a special extra code that can either be received as an SMS or else generated by an app or device. I like the Google Authenticator app and have used it for 2FA purposes. If you are using the 1Password software, an even better way to do 2FA is to replace Google Authenticator with 1Password itself. It has the ability to generate one-time passwords for 2FA purposes. If you wish, you can use both apps at the same time and see which one you like best, they will generate the same number so they are interchangeable.
Most of you will already have used 2FA, perhaps without knowing so, when you log in to your internet banking. Most banks give out a 2FA device or card which stores some codes you are required to enter when logging in. This ensures that if someone guesses or cracks your password, they still won’t be able to login unless they are also successful in robbing your physical 2FA device.
I would use 2FA whenever it is possible, but I especially highly suggest using it on websites which contain sensitive information that can be used by a hacker to damage you or steal assets.
Here are a few popular sites to use 2FA on:
For a bigger list check out this site.
Here’s a website that serves as a guide to setting up 2FA on the most popular platforms and websites.
If you’re living in Spain you are spoilt for choice when it comes to deals and discounts websites. We have a wealth of choice for getting great prices on travel, house decor, experiences, clothes and much more. Let’s have a look at my favorite websites.
You will find a very wide array of choices here. Do remember that if an offer seems too good to be true, there’s probably a catch. For example, a photography studio might offer a €19 photography session, but at the end, they will tell you that you have to pay another €40 in order to choose your own photos. I recommend sticking to the offers that don’t involve a 1-1 interaction; in that way you are minimizing the risks of being served differently from others who are paying the full price. Some examples of the offers that you can find here:
Before you buy anything, always do a quick search in Google and check the reviews. If you suspect that the original price and discount appear to be inflated, phone the service provider and ask for prices directly, that way you will identify and fake prices on the Groupon site.
Privalia is an online fashion outlet, with daily flash sales as well as other longer-term offers. They also have home & decor sections and the quality is generally good. They might have limited sizes available, but that’s just about the only downside. The delivery cost is a standard €6.95, but many offers include free or cheaper delivery options. Returns are also €6.95, and the items are picked up right on your doorstep. You have 14 days to return the products for any reason.
While not really a pure discount store, Zalando is our favorite online fashion store. The fact that they offer free delivery and free returns is really awesome and takes away most of the hassle with shopping for fashion. Delivery is right to your door as is the collection service for any returns. This site also has an extensive offers section, which is why I’m listing it here together with the other discount websites.
Do you have any other favorite discount and deals websites that are available to Spanish residents? Let me know in the comments section.
In Spain you have many options for buying food, but as you can imagine, there are significant differences between the options. Let’s have a look at these sources.
First up, you have the traditional supermarkets. The Spanish market is dominated by a few big supermarket chains:
The closest version to an organic food store chain in Spain is Veritas, which is a very limited version of Whole Foods in the USA.
You then have the local markets. You’ll find several within the cities and usually bigger ones outside the city.
The cheapest prices are to be found at the supermarkets or local markets outside of the cities. You’ll have to drive to these markets typically as they are not so easily accessible by public transport.
Another option is neighbor cooperatives as they are called. Basically, a number of neighbors will group up and order products directly from the suppliers. These suppliers will then come once a week and deliver the products to one point after which they are distributed amongst the neighbor community.
I’ve found the prices in the markets found within the city to be significantly higher than those in the supermarkets, even though the produce is sometimes identical (for example imported bananas of the same brand). On the other hand, I prefer buying fish and meat from the local market or meat/fish shop rather than from the supermarkets.
I’m still learning about how to find the best sources for healthy and organic produce, so if you have any insight I’d love to hear from you.
Thinking of buying a new car VS a used one? In many countries, you now have the option to buy officially reconditioned used cars that may be less than a year old and in superb condition, practically like new. In any case, the biggest con of buying a new car is the depreciation you will be hit with as soon as you walk out of the dealer with the car keys in your hand.
Let’s take a look at some statistics on how cars depreciate. Keep in mind that some models and brands depreciate less than others. For example, Audi and Mercedes cars keep their value much more over the years than, say Opel and Citroen cars.
As soon as you buy the car, its value decreases by 18%. From then onwards, it depreciates around 10% a year during the first six years of its lifetime. Following this period, cars will depreciate at around 5% per year, and from the 9th year onwards the change in value is very little since the car would have already lost 84% of its value.
If you want to retain the maximum value when buying a new car, you need to consider which cars are most popular, including colors, type of fuel used, extras etc. In Spain, the cars that retain value best at the moment are diesel compact cars. This might change in the coming years as many European capital cities are implementing circulation restrictions on diesel cars and want to eliminate them completely in the near future.
You can calculate the value of a used car in Spain using the Supertasador tool.
If you’re looking to buy or sell a car in Spain, these are the best web portals to look at:
Keep in mind that certain towns also have a used cars market on a regular basis, and cities like Barcelona have a yearly used car fair. They are good occasions to try out many different cars and see which ones you like best. If you’re just starting your search for a car and you’re not sure which one you like best, this can be a huge time saver.
If you want an experience that comes very close to buying a new car, you can visit the major brands’ used cars showrooms. These cars would have been given a thorough cleaning and sprucing up and are guaranteed by the manufacturer. They are typically cars that have been previously used by car rental companies or management and would have up to 20,000km on the clock. It is quite common to find the latest models on sale, so you’re effectively getting the latest model at a significant discount. Keep in mind that car rental companies tend to stick to particular brands and models of cars, so while you will find lots of Audis, BMWs, and VWs, the offer for Mazdas will be scarce since they don’t tend to be used by car rental companies.
Another consideration is whether to buy a new car VS a similar car in the premium category in a used state. Some examples could be a new Seat Ateca vs a used (20k on the odometer) BMW X1 or Audi Q5. When buying a new car you get the car in a perfect state, with a longer guarantee, and you can configure it exactly the way you want to. You will also probably have fewer maintenance costs and the latest technology.
On the other hand, you will be hit with strong depreciation and perhaps you won’t impress that many people. With regards to a used luxury car, the points in favor are lower depreciation, better aesthetics, and less risk in the sense that the car has already been in the market for some time and kinks ironed out. You will also know if that particular model had a significant flaw or not. On the negative side, maintenance costs will be higher, technology will be older, worse fuel efficiency, and a shorter warranty period.
Buying a car brings with it a yearly bill even if you don’t use the car at all. Here’s the typical breakdown of costs on a yearly basis for moderate to regular use, assuming a new or fairly new car:
One of the most unexpected costs can be that of maintenance and repairs that have nothing to do with accidents but a lot to do with the construction quality of the car and its engine/accessories.
Here are the most reliable cars in each category, according to one of the most recent surveys:
If you want to buy a used car in Spain, you have several options, and it’s getting more convenient every year. You can go the traditional route and visit a used cars dealer or even buy from individuals. This is perhaps the preferred way of buying if you know how to haggle and know how to check a car properly. It’s also the riskiest way of buying a car as many cars have their odometers tampered with and harbor hidden issues that the vendor won’t tell you about.
Another option is to go to an authorized brand showroom. For example, you will find Audi dealers that sell both new and used cars. These dealers can’t afford to ruin their reputation by tampering with the cars’ odometers, and they also perform a standard refurbishing procedure.
Vehicles purchased from these dealers tend to come with more information, such as the previous use of the vehicle (typically rental or management personnel). They also don’t sell vehicles which have been involved in accidents, as these are sent back directly to the manufacturer. The reason is of course that these cars are more likely to develop serious issues down the road and possibly harm the reputation of the dealer and the parent brand.
Note that going for this option of buying cars will be around 1,000 to 3,000 euro more expensive than buying the car from an individual. Of course, if you buy from an individual, you don’t get any warranties nor the peace of mind that the car has been refurbished before being sold on to you.
The most modern option is to buy online. I know this might sound strange, but there are some new startups that are trying to change the way we buy used cars. By operating purely online and having no showroom and salespeople, they are able to pass on the cost savings to the customer, thus they can offer the best prices without the need for haggling. I personally hate the process of haggling with a salesperson, and always come out of such deals feeling that I made a bad deal. Thus I am more inclined to use one of these websites when buying a car.
The main two online used car sites in Spain are Clicars and Webycar. Both these sites also offer a very convenient way to sell your car. You only need to enter some details about your car and upload photos and these guys will send one of their people to your house to inspect the car and make you an offer. If you accept, they will come to your house and collect the car, which makes it an incredibly convenient service. They also take care of all paperwork involved. They buy cars that have a full service history, have not been involved in any serious accidents, are less than 10 years old and have less than 150,000km on their clocks. Of these two sites, Clicars is the most established and its growing very rapidly.
According to Clicars, more than 79% of their clients reserve the vehicle without having seen it in real life. That’s why they need to be very transparent with their offer. They employ a rigorous check of 230 points and also have excellent customer support.
When buying a car from this website, you get a trial period of 15 days or 1000 kilometers, whichever comes first. If the client is not satisfied, Clicars will return all the money. That’s an awesome offer and gives a lot of peace of mind when buying in this manner. Webycar offer similar conditions (10 days / 1000km). If you prefer to view the car before buying, you can also visit Clicars in Madrid and check out some cars there. You only need to contact them beforehand to set up an appointment.
In Spain you will find different types of second-hand cars, so here’s a handy breakdown of these types.
Used cars offered by dealers must include, as a minimum, the following details:
Buying from a dealer could mean you get a discount if you trade in your old car, also this is rarely a good deal and you’re much better off selling the car yourself if you have the time for it. Also, keep in mind that many offers you see online assume you will be financing the car. The price for settling the bill without any financing tends to be around 1,000 to 2,000 euro higher.
Let’s consider an example of buying a premium used car that’s almost new. The Audi A3 pictured below is being sold by a dealer for the price of 29,900 euro. If you configure the same car on the Audi website it costs around 36,000 euro, which implies a saving of around 6,000 euro when buying used. The car only has 1,000km on its odometer.
This particular car has been for sale since September, and I’m writing this post in January, so it’s been at the showroom for at least 4 months. My guess is that since it’s a premium class car, it’s tougher to sell.
In my opinion, if this is the car you are looking for, it makes a lot of sense to buy used and save 17% of the cost of the car. It’s the latest model of the Audi A3, so you’re not even getting an older model. In my mind, it would be very hard for me to justify buying new when I’d have the opportunity to get this car.
The biggest issue I’ve found in my search is that most cars tend to be diesel and not petrol. This is due to Spanish people’s love for diesel cars, so, for now, there’s nothing to be done about that. In the coming years, I hope that this will start to change. Another issue is that there typically are only a few colors available. The most common colors are white and black, followed by silver, light grey, red and blue. The white and black cars are by far the most common though, so for every 100 cars, I would say 80 of them would be either black or white, with the other 20 cars being one of the other colors I mentioned.
Every car has a set of different trim levels. In this case, the Audi A3 is sold in four different trim levels in Spain. They’re Standard, Design, Sport, S Line, and Black. I personally strongly prefer the S Line and Black trims, however, most of the cars available on the second-hand market are the standard model or come with the Design trim. So that’s another limitation to consider when searching for a used cars. You’ll either have to wait until the model you like becomes available (if ever) or adapt your wants to what the market is offering.
When buying a second-hand car in Spain from a dealer you’ll have to pay sales tax (IVA – included in the price).
If buying from a private seller you’ll have to pay the Impuesto de Transmisiones Patrimoniales. This tax will be calculated on the official value placed on the car (make, model, age) and NOT the selling price. Most regions in Spain have an online tax calculator, here’s the one for Catalunya.
As for the paperwork, buying from a company means they’ll deal with it directly. Otherwise, you’ll be responsible for the paperwork for changing the vehicle over to your name.
When dealing with a private seller always draw up a contract, even if you’re buying from a friend.
Keep all documents until you sell or scrap the car.
It’s usually recommended to get full/comprehensive insurance on new or semi-new cars and third-party coverage for cars that are more than a couple of years old. You can find the best deals on comparison sites such as Rastreator, Acierto or Rankia.
If you still want to buy a new car, I found the Carnovo site to be really useful. Instead of you having to visit various dealers and haggle with them until you get the best offer, you can do all that from the comfort of your living room.
Carnovo allows you to select and configure the car you want, then receive offers from various dealerships, who will generally give you a discount on the sticker price of between 7-20%. This is very much comparable to what you would get if you had to haggle with them at the showroom. For people like me who hate these kind of silly negotiations, this is a perfect solution to this inconvenience when buying a new car.
What do you think about buying a new or used car?