The use of mixed methods to deal with the complexity of remittance motivations is still infrequent. This paper uses statistical and qualitative data and provides evidence on the conceptual framework for understanding remittance behaviour proposed by the scholar Jørgen Carling. Carling's ‘remittance scripts’ understand remittances as multifaceted transactions and enrich the assessment of the relationship between remittances and development at origin. We use quantitative and qualitative data, both extracted from an ethnosurvey conducted in Spain, to shed light on the situation of transnational Bolivian immigrants after the economic crisis of 2008. We argue that the transactions are best represented by the necessity to provide for the recipients' basic needs.