Frugal Accomplishments Archives - Simple Is Good For You

Weekly Life and Frugal Update

We’ve been enjoying the last two weekends in Long Island. Thanks to our dear, very generous friend, we always have a place to stay in one of the most charming areas of the Hamptons, Sag Harbor. We make sure to never come empty handed so we always pack up a full bag of foods and goodies to basically cover most, if not all, of everybody’s meals. I love escaping the city for a weekend once in a while. I find it incredibly helpful in recharging for a week ahead. Very blessed to have friends who always welcome T. and me into their homes with open arms.

At the local bird sanctuary. Spring is finally here.

A little koi pond nearby. We are taking the spring in today.

We are just driving around the hood this weekend enjoying nature time.

April has been a bit of a hectic month for me and while I have been making an effort to do some ‘self care’ activities, I haven’t been able to do many of these. My boss is working from our NYC office this month (he has another office in Miami) so I have been on a very unpredictable schedule. Let me tell you – not knowing what time you leave work every evening makes it very difficult to make any plans. So, to avoid being a super flaky friend, I decided not to make any plans, until I know I can actually stick to them.

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Weekly Frugal (and Life) Update

Long time no see. Or rather, long time no write.

Busy, busy at work but you will not hear me complaining (well, at least not tonight). The spring has finally come and even though the evenings are still on a chilly side, the days are sunny and gorgeous. We are actually waking up to birds singing, which in my book, does not get any better than that.

April has been great so far, basically on all fronts. I had my 6 month MRI check up and all looks good and stable (I have acoustic neuroma if you are wondering what I am referring to). Nothing too scary but definitely not pleasant to have. I am very happy to have received the good news of no progress and no check ups needed until November. Praise the Lord.

I am also on track to max out my 401k by end of April. Since I am not loving my job and hoping to get a new one sometime soon, maxing out 401k for the year has been my biggest priority so far. Once I switch to a new job, I know there is usually 6-12 month waiting period before being able to contribute again.

More books to read for absolutely free. Love my local library.

I’ve been trying to bring more variety to our cooking and break the cycle of the 4 dishes we usually stick too. Pasta, beef chili, quinoa risotto and some sort of soup is all we have been having. T.’s cousin convinced us to try Hello Fresh which she has been using for the last few months. She loves it, so we are giving it a try too. I got $40 off the first box (It costs $60 per box for 3 dinners for 2 people) and will see how we go. It is a weekly delivery service but you can skip any week or cancel any time.

This is what we are cooking this week. Even though the service we chose is for 2 people, the portions are rather generous so easily could serve 3. So far I made the shrimp dish and it was delicious. Even if I choose not to continue the service after a few weeks, at least I will get some more ideas on what to cook.

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Keep on Keeping On – Saving Money One Day at a Time

I fell off the wagon for a bit, spending money left and right, coffee here, pad tai there, then another take out and some more coffee. This happens every time I break my routine. During the last three weeks, when I was making an attempt to get a new job, my days were all over the place. Thankfully T. played along and picked up the pieces, namely did the dishes, picked me up after work to shave 25 minutes off of my (subway) commute, practiced the interview questions with me and overall stayed peaceful and kind when I was taking my long days out on him. I honestly think I deserved to be put in a dog house at least a couple of times.

Somewhere near Nosara in Costa Rica. T. travelled to CR a couple of weeks ago and flooded me with hundreds of awesome photos 🙂

I am winding down a bit now. I requested a few books from my local library, and I am next one in the queue so I think I will have them ready for pick up on Saturday. While reading is one of my most favorite pastime activities, I don’t read much, due to my ever favorite excuse of not having enough time. I am actually still working on my 2016 Reading List. And I am not even half way through. I requested 5 books from the list, let’s see how I do.

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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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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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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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Frugal accomplishments and No Spend Month – week 4

January came and went (well, almost). To me, it was a long month, on one hand, and a super quick one on the other. I am literally counting days till spring already so I do not mind that the weeks are literally flying by.

My sister is giving birth on Tuesday so we are all on pins and needles. After three girls, finally a baby boy is joining the family. Everyone is thrilled and cannot wait to meet the little guy next week. And me? Well, since I am a few thousands miles away, I am extra thankful for WhatsApp and Skype!

I am still going through a bit of a ‘down’ time but trying to lift my spirits with small things that give me pleasure. Whether it is a bubble bath, hot cocoa, yoga (to the tunes of YouTube) or re-organizing my fabric stash again – I am doing all I can to get myself out of this winter rut. I am also trying to be a bit more social, although all I want to be doing is literally cover myself head to toe with a blanket and veg out on my couch watching Gordon Ramsey. I do have a bit or crush on him though so I guess that’s fine, right? 😉

This is the winter rut I am talking about. This is what NYC has looked like for the last 3-4 weeks. This is a view from my desk at the office.

Money wise, I am not sure if I did well by all the frugal standards. I surely have been trying to literally buy nothing (except groceries) but had some not so frugal expenses regardless.

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No Spend January Update – Week 3

I am going to say this week has been semi-successful as far as no spending goes. Of course within our frugal community only, because as compared to a ‘regular Joe’ next door, I did absolutely amazing, basically I have been a super star.

On my way to work, while on a subway, I am giving myself a ‘frugal boost’ by reading morning posts from my favorite bloggers, getting myself motivated and excited about living life to the fullest, all while being joyfully frugal. It does not hurt to remind myself occasionally that the frugality is not just about saving money, it is a lot about happiness and contentment as well as the art of ‘stopping’ and not searching for more. I am 80/20 at the moment. While being more aware than most of the human population, I have my weaknesses and once in a while I am not able to resist a good sale or buy something totally unplanned (or needed), but that’s ok. This is an ongoing work in progress, I am blessed to be able to make mistakes while reaching for ‘perfect frugality’.

Frugal Living - Enjoy Free Art!

Let’s enjoy some free art. No ticket purchase necessary.

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No Spend January Update and my Weekly Frugal Recap

Seven days into January and I am going strong. I mean, not a big deal. The bills are paid, the fridge is full, the one kitchen cupboard that I use as a pantry is bursting at its seams. It would literally be a shame if I started complaining now that no spending money on unnecessary crap is depriving me of living the ‘good life’.

Can you tell yet that I am motivated to make the ‘No spend January’ a total success? I bet you I am!

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