Simple is Good for You and Busy is Good as Well

I hadn’t stopped by here for 3+ weeks. You may remember me complaining over the summer about being a bit bored at work. Well, as of right after the Labor Day weekend, I complain no more. 😳

Well, being busy is good. Being busy is better than being bored.

Work surely has been plentiful this month; full time of it and more. Sadly, no overtime has been paid but what keeps me going at the office past 6pm (besides my boss) is the legendary bonus that I am due to receive sometime in December. I never had a job, before this one, that paid annual bonuses. I am very much looking forward to receiving it for the very first time. Since I do all my unpaid overtime with a smile on my face, I’d better be receiving a big, fat check when the time comes!

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Frugal Weekly Update

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This past week literally flew by. It was also last week of ‘summer hours’ for the year. I will surely miss getting off work at 3pm on Fridays. T. and I are spending this Labor Day weekend in Sagaponack in Long Island. Our ever generous friend is letting us stay in his beautiful home, using his pool and hot tub. What a treat. We are enjoying peace and quiet, lots of nature and being a bit lazy too. The evenings are getting a bit chilly so last night we enjoyed an outdoor fire pit too. Fall is definitely coming.

Weekly Frugal Update

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Things I Love About Fall

Just like that, with a turn of a calendar page from August to September, I start to smell fall in the air. It is absolutely my most favorite time of a year. In Poland starting mid September, for approximately two weeks, we would have ‘Babie Lato‘. Babie lato means a season when, on warm fall days a certain kind of spiders produces an unusually generous amount of substance used for producing webs. The substance gets released into the air, into a warm fall breeze, literally dancing in the air. Spiders’ nets in the air, long and short, a bit sticky, getting caught in fences, tree branches and hair. Growing up we used to sit on a porch, shelling beans or shacking corn, enjoying the view of the nets flying buy.  We would use sticks to chase and catch them; whoever catches more – wins.

love fall

Those times are never coming back, no more sitting on a porch with mom calling us to go back home. Dad fixing his motorbike rushing to wrap up before it gets completely dark. Aunt Marysia attending to the piglets and counting chickens before locking up the chicken’s coop. So much abundance, garden full of vegetables ready to be canned, pickled and dehydrated. Apples, plums and pears ready to be picked and turned into jams and jellies. The farm was full of life when I was 8 years old. Now, 30 years later, the world has changed.

love fall

My grandma’s town, in the Polish Tatra Mountains, where we used to spend all our summer and fall weekends.

Not for better or worse, just for different. The local farms deserted, old neighbors passed, young people left. The fall was always the best time. Time of refilling the pantries, apple pies and camp fire baked potatoes. The memories of those times will always stay with me.

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Caring for Dad

This week has been both so very lovely and so very worrisome.

On one hand the time T. and I spend together in a gentle and loving way that we do, playful banter, evening bike rides and laughter makes me so happy. On the other hand, there is a bit of a dark cloud that just does not seem to be going away, until it does, all on its very own schedule and terms.

My mind has been occupied with other things, my thoughts thousands miles away. My dad is not doing well, he is nearing 80 and while I want to believe he is in an ‘overall good shape’, his body is fragile and starting to decline. He has had a few check-ups lately and seems like not everything looks right.

I have an elderly, unwell parent and I am worried.

Caring for dad

I feel helpless when all I can do is give my dad a call to ‘check on him’, even if I do just that, a few times a day, I am still an ocean away. So T. and I started discussing a possibility of me having to go back to Poland for a few weeks or months, if need be, to help care for my dad. Everything is on the table now.

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Things I am brown-bagging for lunch

It is not a secret that brown-bagging breakfast, lunch and snacks and taking them to work saves an average person approximately one million dollars annually. Especially if one lives in NYC, just like I do. Around the Upper East Side area where I work, one can easily spend $13-$17 on a silly lunch alone. I am literally refusing to do it unless in extreme emergency*.

*Extreme emergency:

  • Preparing the lunch and then forgetting to take it
  • Not preparing any lunches the night before in hopes of waking up early and then hitting the snooze button 10 times until literally having to run out of the door. Without lunch

So far, so good. Since June 20th, which marks the day of me starting my not so new anymore job, I purchased only 2 lunches out. 9 weeks and 2 lunches. Compared to my co-workers who buy 4 lunches out of 5 each week – I am an absolute super hero.

The only issue I have been having is that my lunches lack variety. I tend to stick to 3-4 proven recipes and keep making them for months. Until I literally cannot swallow another bite. We are currently completely burnt out on chili and everything that includes pasta sauce. This lack of variety is surely not caused by the lack of cookbooks around the house.

brown bag lunch

I definitely need to take it up a notch, which I think will be a lot easier in the fall when the temperature goes down and spending time by the oven will no longer feel like hell.

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Frugal Update and Some Splurges Too

Hello my friends, it is with pride and joy that I am announcing that my ‘readership’ grew to 26 subscribers!

What? I’ve had 26 people voluntarily sign up to get my newest posts updates delivered straight to their inbox  🙂 Please note that none of the 26 readers are my family or friends. I still have not told anyone I know that I have this little blog of mine.

Anyway, work has been a bit boring and slow this past week, but it surely is paying the bills and securing my retirement. I do appreciate it. While I am settling in (it’s been 9 weeks already) I am still open to other opportunities. I met with my headhunter last week and he thinks he can get me a couple of interviews in the next few days.

Professional napper

Shall I consider this as my interview outfit? * I do not own this image.

Lately I have been not as focused on saving money as I have been on NOT spending it. Since we still don’t follow any budgets, I am coming to terms with the fact that as long as we are spending frugally and 90% on our needs, we shall be in a good shape. The 10% of ‘wants’ is very much needed to keep us happy and motivated. For me that’s a cup of latte or an easy and inexpensive brunch out with a friend on a weekend. I don’t need new clothing or expensive cosmetics or spa treatments but I do need some ‘girl time’ over my cup of coffee. ☕️👈

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On Motivation – Simple Ideas to Keep You on Track

I’ve been feeling a bit uninspired lately. Like a LOT ‘lately’. I tend to put myself on an ‘autopilot’ and just do one thing all over and over again. That one thing being a ‘clump’ of things actually:

Coffee, office, back home, dinner, dishes, bike (sometimes), watch TV, dishes, snacking and more TV, dishes, sleep.

Basically leather, rinse, repeat it sort of thing.

Motivation

Here I am living in the greatest city in the world, and I feel like I should be taking more advantage of what it has to offer. And I have, to some extent, whenever I would get an offer for free Broadway tickets or a museum pass, I would surely use it. But this is not what I mean. I mean an activity, a hobby, something that would keep me excited and motivated on a daily basis.  Something that I would be happy to commit to and keep improving at.

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Frugal Accomplishments and More Free Goodies

Seems like I am writing nothing else here on this little blog of mine but the weekly updates on how I saved (or spent) money and what free stuff I got.

The last few weeks have been busy, the current NYC heatwave was not helping either. This past weekend we all were literally walking with our tongues out. Not a pretty sight.  The moment I got home from work I was literally passing out. I had absolutely zero desire to clean, dust or shop. Cooking and doing the dishes was turning into a task of the gods. Almost unattainable. Well, I still did it; and I was glad T. was the only person who was hearing all my cries and whines. Yep, I am definitely not handling the 90+ degree weather well.

Spotted in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Spotted in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

I feel good about settling at my new work. Although I am finding it quite boring to be honest, at times I literally feel like I wish it was super busy and crazy again. Funny how I left my previous work because it was too busy. I got mine; it is way too slow now! Believe me, it is almost as bad to be too bored than it is to be too busy. If one does not have much to do, she is fighting yawning all day long, each minute feeling more like an hour. I trust this is because of the ‘slow season’ as most people are traveling right now so I am hopeful it will change and feel more productive in the fall.

And as far as biggest frugal accomplishments last week?

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Frugal Accomplishments Weekly Update

This past week I managed to track every penny dollar we spent. Well, to my best knowledge as I cannot say 100% as far as T. is concerned. As I may have mentioned in some of my previous pasts, while I think we live frugally, we surely have a lot of room for improvement in certain areas, especially all the weekends’ ‘exceptions’ that we treat ourselves to. We also still don’t have a budget but generally try to stay aware of where the money is going, trying not to go overboard as far as personal ‘wants’ or ‘imaginary’ needs.

Frugal Accomplishments

Currently, regardless of all the budget related bellyaching that I have been doing, I actually think that T. is doing much better frugality wise (than I am!). Remember my $180 UBER fiasco? Or my totally out of control Saturday when I spent $60 just by casually hanging out with one of my girlfriends? I am sure I would have had as much fun if I drank 1 small cappuccino instead of 2 fancy lattes, a piece of cake and a smoothie just an hour later.

Gulp.

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Frugal Weekly Update

For most part my ‘frugal week’ meant just acquiring free stuff; some of the goodies literally landed in my lap while others I had to hunt for (with quite minimal effort). I continued to make all meals from scratch, brown bagged our lunches every day, made coffees at home. I was being a very good girl!

Well, that’s during a week.

The weekend is a bit of a different story – I lunched and brunched and drank latte like there is no tomorrow. I met with one of my girls and I went a bit overboard… $59 or so later… (each). Gulp. I feel a lot of guilt today :/

My mind is set up on doing a no-spend August, starting tomorrow. Perfect timing, as I surely loosened up a bit these past few weeks.

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