Frugality is a Work In Progress

I am pretty sure that I am saying it on behalf most everyone – money-wise December is HARD (Holidays expenses being the main reason for most). Even with having all MY FRUGAL ON money is literally flying left and right. Out of the wallet of course, not into it…

While one could say if $$ is budgeted properly then all shall be staying under control, it does not seem to be the case here this month. In this Queens household we have decided NOT to budget, instead, we simply live on frugal autopilot. It has been working well but this month we surely ARE feeling a pinch. Since I qualified for 401k at my new work sooner than expected, we are taking advantage of that, trying to put away as much as possible before the end of year. It is a blessing, of course, to be able to do that.


I got hit from the other side though.


I need to see an endodontist for a root canal (to be followed by a crown). With my crappy dental insurance basically covering nothing, we are looking at spending approximately $2200-$2500. Add to it upcoming Holiday travel and fix expenses for this month and you have me in a pinch. Funny how in the face of having to spend serious money, small everyday frugal accomplishments seem meaningless… It almost feels discouraging and depressing to be making an effort to save a dollar here and there, while having to spend thousands on something else, right at the same time. It somehow seems like it is OK and justified to spend money on things I would normally not spend money on. Since I am already spending so much anyway. Do you know what I mean?

That’s how I’ve felt this week.

My wallet was itching and I had some very strong urges  to check out sales at several stores. Not that I needed anything. And yet I managed to stick to my normal self. I still brought all my lunches to work, still searched for best deals and tried to recognize a need vs. want. I am proud of that. It all may seem so small compared to a big expense, but in the big picture it all matters. Frugality is a work in progress, it is the ability to recognize, understand and accept.

This is how I saved money last week:

1. T. and I got a free weekly pass to a local NYSC (Atlas Mall location, which is super nice). We went 3 times getting a great work out which also included a yoga class today. We packed our own bottled water as well as a couple of bananas to avoid the urge of purchasing snacks if we got hungry.

2. I stocked up on toilet paper, dishwashing liquid and dinner napkins using a store credit (Bed Bath and Beyond issued us store credit for returning our old vacuum cleaner). Bed Bath and beyond has an amazing return policy, by the way.


Not many things are as relaxing as organizing my sewing supplies on a Sunday evening.

3. T. returned a gift of 4 oddly shaped bowls (purchased at the gift store at MoMa). $42 will be used to purchase a couple of moleskin notebooks to be used as gifts. I am a big advocate for practical gifts and I always assume that everyone loves receiving nice stationery and notebooks 🙂

4. Found a hat on a pavement right in front of our house. It is still in the laundry hamper but it has potential to clean up real nice.

Here is to a frugal week. x



  1. Becky says:

    I’m so sorry about the root canal. Yuck. Still, it’s a good thing you can get that taken care of. My husband had a bad one years ago, and I well remember how serious and painful that was. Hopefully, it goes easy for you.

    • SimpleIsGood4U says:

      Thank you, Becky. I am not sure if I was more upset because of the fact of having to have the root canal done or the fact of it being an expensive procedure. I am getting over it though, I will be able to afford it with my FSA funds early in the year so feeling much better now a week after. 🙂
      Trust you are doing well and having a great holiday season. Looking forward to catching up on your posts tonight!

  2. Tina says:

    For me, part of the point of being frugal is to have the money to pay for the unexpected things that life throws at you. A couple years ago, I needed three root canals and three crowns within the space of a year. I quickly maxed out my dental insurance and ended up paying more than $5000 out of pocket. Not fun, but I was extremely thankful we had the money to pay for this. I know many people that don’t.

    You are doing a great job in being frugal – look at all the things you are able to do: save money for retirement, visit your family abroad, help pay your father’s expenses, and buy things for your sister and nieces. I think that’s something to be proud of. 🙂

    • SimpleIsGood4U says:

      Thank you so much, Tina. Yes, it is something that needs to be seen only as a blessing. All these small emergencies coming up and I am here able to pay for them all!
      Glad to hear that you were able to pay for all your root canals as well, with no debt. This is what frugality is all about. Being smart about money so we have it when we need it. #Freedom

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