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Two Weeks from a Life of a Frugal Lady

My hubby boy has been traveling for work for the last 2 weeks and I have been the so called ‘slomiana wdowa’ meaning a ‘single lady on a loose’ ;). Oh the social plans I had, oh the 7 page long ‘to do list’ that I was planning to accomplish. Like organizing, purging, cleaning, eating donuts for dinner, binge watching Gordon Ramsey till the wee hours of 1am. You know, the regular things one does when her husband leaves for a few days or longer.

Just trying to stay calm

Well, let me tell you, all my planning was for nothing as literally the day T. left I got sick. Not sick with a flu or a sore throat or not even with a broken finger. I got some pretty heavy symptoms of a chronic disease that I have been dealing with for quite a white now. Quite frustrating and definitely very bad timing! Short story even shorter – out of my seven page ‘to do’ list I accomplished only a few things. And needless to say all my social plans for after work went down the drain turning into me running directly to subway to get home as soon as I could.

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Saving Some, Spending Some – Weekly Update

I definitely feel like a bit of a different person when the temperature hits 50 and above. I truly feel new, positive energy circulating in my blood. Even though it’s cooling off again, the recently sunny and warm week in NYC was exactly what I needed to start getting myself together and out of the winter slumber. It felt awesome leaving a winter jacket at home, strolling the streets just wearing a hoodie and a light scarf.

My hood in Queens 🙂

I spent a bit more money this week than I usually do (on top of the set expenses). I am just going to say it how it is – I got myself some retail therapy. Gulp. But fear not, I did not go too crazy or anything, and did not break the bank but I do feel I am all ‘spent out’ for this and possibly the next month. I got myself two tops at the Crossroads Trading shelling out $18, I also spent more than I usually do on household / personal care. This included a bulk purchase or dishwashing liquid and toothpaste that I wrote about yesterday as well as a ‘nicer’ bottle of sunscreen and a ‘fancier’ make up. On top of it I missed to bring lunch to work one day (too tired the night before to even think of it) and spent $11 that day, and last but not least T. and I went to Samurai Mama today and spent $35 on (oh so delicious) udon lunch deal. We called it our monthly date day and just enjoyed it.

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When Spending More is Sometimes not an Obvious (but Best) Choice

I enjoyed a couple of more peaceful days at work this week. My boss has been in back to back meetings which accounted for much more relaxed (and more productive) staff. My colleague Jenny stopped by at my desk a few times and we chatted about personal life, past vacations and plans for the weekend (both of us will ‘play it by ear’). Jenny showed me most recent photos of her children and I pulled out some shots of my nieces and a brand new, two week old nephew. Jenny also shared with me a super cute story about a five inch long, flying cockroach that she saw in our kitchenette area. Well, it actually flew out of one of the disposable cups as she attempted to make herself a cup of coffee.

As we enjoyed our rare chit-chat, another colleague stopped by –

“hey guys, have you seen that video about the Chinese fake rice? It’s all over Facebook”

“Huh”?

” You know, when they put plastic bags into a rice making machine and make fake rice out of it”

“Wow, great”

At which point I had to pick up a phone call, temporarily missing out on the fake rice story.

Well, since I remembered it later that day, I googled it and it seems like other countries are guilty as well, not just China. I am posting if below for your convenience so you do not need to search for it.

Enjoy –

Anyway, it’s just another fiasco adding to all the GMO, fake Chinese eggs (yep, you’ll find them on YouTube as well), fake green peas and fake sweet potato noodles. It actually turns out that all of these is just a GMO and pesticides loaded corn.

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Another Frugal Week Behind Me

Working long hours definitely goes hand in hand with frugality. The later I leave office, the less money I spend. Last week was out of control and I am seriously looking for a new job around April. I know if I don’t, I will absolutely go crazy. What’s a girl to do? Save herself, I guess. So please keep me accountable here, OK? 🙂

I just spent an amazing, frugal day with T. We biked from Queens to Greenpoint in Brooklyn, sat in the Grumpy’s Café for a couple of hours splitting a cup of coffee, working on our laptops. After that we sat on a bench in the nearby park, enjoying 65 degree weather, where we ate a couple of ham sandwiches and drank a thermos full of hot ginger tea that we brought with us. That’s how we roll.

I love Peter Tunney’s art. This must be one of my faves. Spotted in Long Island City, Queens

Since I’ve been catching a cold since yesterday I will be taking it easy for the rest of the long weekend. I was just actually watching some random videos on Facebook and stumbled upon a quite interesting one on motivation.  Namely, motivation is a bunch of BS. We will never feel ‘motivated’ to do something we are scared of, something that is new and unpredictable, something we feel uncomfortable about. We just need to do it, that’s all. Motivated or not. We’re only a step away from change, and yet we find ourselves stuck for days, weeks or even years in an unhappy situation. I’ve basically hated my ‘new’ job a week after I started but here I am eight months later still going there every single day. I am literally finding it a joke at this point. I am paid almost $85K per year (which is a big upgrade from my previous job) but I deal with daily disrespect and I dare to say emotional abuse. It’s pretty awful. Or pretty laughable actually, I think I am going to start drafting a comic book on my work life. I mean, some of the things going on there, one can’t even make up.

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We Are Travel Monsters

This weekend we are away in Florida celebrating T.’s birthday, our anniversary, and me getting US citizenship last week 🙂 Normally we celebrate locally, most of the time at home, but this time is different. T. has a few meetings and his employer is paying for a hotel here in Palm Beach. Spouses can tag along so we are making a weekend out of it. 🙂 And while we had to purchase our own flights, it’s turning into the most frugal vacation we’ve ever taken.

Let me start from the beginning. So we are sitting on a plane on Friday at 8 AM at JFK and hear the announcement that our fuel tank needs to be refilled. Then, an hour later we hear that there is an issue with the engine. After that, the wings needed to be de-iced. To make a long story short, we got to sit six hours on a plane without moving. Frustrating?  Sure. But after we called  Delta and complained, we got $400 each to make up for it. I shall also say that we only paid $97 per person per ticket. We made $606 right there in flight credits and still made it by 4pm not missing a thing. :)! This will be a return flight somewhere for the both of us.

If you ever get delayed for more than 3 hours (or possibly even less, depending on airlines), make sure to check what compensation you are entitled to.

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Keep Calm and Frugal On

I am determined to make this year the biggest year of savings for us. T. and I are a good team and although there is still a bit of room for improvement ‘to be on the same page’ I have to say he’s definitely become much more aware of ‘where the money is going’. Well, in case of doubt, it should ALWAYS be staying in a wallet, rather than leaving it.

We did well in January. I did my own version of a non-spend month and will continue to do my best each month this year (and beyond). T. goes along and is pretty easy to keep happy, I am thrilled that he has been giving it his best effort to embrace the frugal mentality. Unlike in the past, while reviewing our finances, I no longer feel I want to literally shoot him.

Walk on a Long Island Beach? Free. Although we did not last long because it was freezing today!

It is T.’s Birthday today. Starbucks offers a free drink (any drink, any size) on your birthday. You need to use their app (sign up a month before), but even if you don’t have the app and show the ID they will honor it. That’s what we did today. T. was not even able to log into his app account. He showed the ID and got a giant size, delicious green tea latte. We got an extra cup and shared it. Yum and free. 🙂

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On Humanity

After the ban of migrants from several countries was issued by the Presidential Office, I have been distraught this entire week. After a few days I literally had to stop watching heartbreaking video clips, that were posted all over the web, of the family members waiting for their loved ones at the airports only to hear they will not be re-uniting with them. Especially one, of an older man from Iran, awaiting for his brother, crying, stack with me. I am thrilled to hear that the ban has been lifted at least for those who hold valid green card and visas. I am full of hope that those brother and thousands of other families will reunite soon.

This week I am spending more time counting my and my family’s blessings. We have shelter, stocked fridges, healthcare, full wallets and no fear of being bombed, raped or killed overnight. We are safe. We have won the ‘ovarian lottery’ as Warren Buffett has said it. None of us chose where we were born and yet we are the lucky ones. I am feeling guilty, like tonight, so cozy by the fireplace, spending time with T. and our friends, full bellies, about to watch a movie. There are children out there in the war zone who are about to lie down and sleep on the ground, hungry, scared. They will not be waking up knowing that another day will be different, they know the moment they wake up, they will live another day in hell.

How can we enjoy a day knowing what’s happening? How are we going to look back sometime from now knowing we let this happen? It’s crashing my heart and soul that these who have most power, instead of empathy and shelter offer rejection and just close the door. Uncaring. Instead of compassion, they’re building ‘the wall’.

I will never ‘get over this’.

 

Cries From Syria

It is very far from what I usually write about here, on this little blog of mine, but I am urged today to share how I have felt about the latest atrocities by the newest Mr. President.

I am an immigrant. I guess I lucked out being born in Poland rather than Libya, Iran or Syria. But we also all know that none of us had any say in choosing where we were born. It should not defines us who we are or if we deserve freedom and safety or the right to fight for better future for our children.

I am disgusted by President’s actions.

It personally touches me as an immigrant and as a human being.