Goals and Resolutions 2016 – January Update

 I am excited to share with you how I did this month on my goals and resolution. I surely could have done better but considering that last year by end of January I did not even remember what my resolutions were, I think I am doing well so far. Rather than being hard on myself for things that I wish I had done better, I am going to enjoy the things that I did manage to accomplish.
Goals and Resolutions 2016

1. $100 per month in spending money

I knew this was going to be the hardest one. And not because I am a big spender but mostly because all is so freaking expensive in New York City. Also, any plan with any friend usually comes down to ‘let’s grab a bite’, ‘let’s grab coffee’, ‘let’s grab this’ and ‘let’s grab that’. Otherwise it is actually really, really hard to see friends at all. So I need to come up with some golden rule here. While I definitely went above $100 overall I feel I am much better with tracking what I actually spent this month. I also really tried to spend the minimum, and while doing so this is what I ended up with:

  • 10x deli coffees – ($1.25 each = $12.5) –  this cannot get any cheaper. My coffee machine broke and I just HAD to had a coffee before getting on a subway in the mornings
  • Bagels –  $5 – I may have mentioned the bagel trip already
  • Thank You cards – $3 – I am really bad at DIY anything so I got 6 cards from Deals Store to have on hand (at 50c each)
  • 1 glass of wine – $20 – Whoa! That was for just ONE glass of wine. I went out with a newly met girlfriend and this is what happened. NYC Friday night reality
  • Inspirational stickers – $4.5 – I had some stickers on my mac computer and after I removed them, the glue left some pretty horrible marks, so I came up with the idea of getting some nice stickers to use to hide the current ‘glue disaster’
Inspirational Stickers

I will love these stickers much better than the ‘Angry Birds’ stickers that I previously had stuck to my work computer **Image Source: EBay

  • I purchased ‘The Happiness Project‘ and 2 copies of ‘Better Than Before‘ for gifts – $32
  • BlueHost Domain $142 – Sometime mid January I realized I had to renew my BlueHost domain if I wanted to host my blog myself rather than rely on free wordpress. I do prefer to own my own content so I sucked it up and paid 🙁 I used up all my paypal credit that I accumulated by selling on eBay so it was less painful but still
  • New Domain purchase – $24 – I paid that for new domain after I decided that my old blog’s name just don’t work for me anymore

So there you go: In January, out of the $100 I planned to spend, I spent $243

Out of that amount I would say I spent $77 for personal expenses and $166 for blogging expenses (for which I currently have no other category rather than ‘personal spending’). Since, thank God, these blogging expenses are a ‘once a year’ happening I think I did well.

2. Continue to be generous

This one is easy and comes naturally to me. I am so very lucky and I have an abundance of all I can possibly ever need. My dad would always say ‘Jak dasz to i masz’ which I would translate as ‘you’ll give, you’ll receive’. It has proven to be very true on multiple occasions.

I gave:

  • I included $20 in the envelope together with a greeting card and a few photos that I sent to my dad. This will cover one month of his prescriptions.
  • I sent my sister $53 for my niece’s birthday + $53 for her upcoming birthday (this may seem like a random number but after a conversion $53 becomes an even 200 zloty)
  • I gave a few single dollar bills and a $5 to a few homeless elderly men that I saw near my office building
  • I brought an extra lunch to the office twice. I shared it with a co-worker who did bring any on those days so she did not to have to spend any money

At first I was not sure if I shall include this category as, to some,  it may seem like I am bragging. If it sounds like it, it is not my intention at all. It is mostly for me to put a list together so I see that although it may seem small in a moment, all the acts of kindness add up. I want to see this list grow and I think that putting it in writing will make me more aware not only of what I am already doing but what else I can do to serve others.

3. Reading

I have successfully finished ‘The Happiness Project‘.  One book per month? Done!

All jokes aside, I absolutely loved it and recommend that everyone shall read it too. Check out your libraries, you will not regret it. Out of most of the ‘self help’ books that I read, this one stands out.  I don’t often re-read books but I will this one. This one and whatever else Gretchen Rubin has ever written. I actually ordered ‘Better Than Before’ just a few days before and cannot wait to put my hands on it.

The Happiness Project

The Happiness Project

4. TLC for dad
I was hoping to send ‘something’ whether it is a card, a letter, a few photos, etc, every two weeks but was only able to get to it once in January. I ordered some prints from the last few months that my dad has not seen yet. That included some amazing photos from my trip to California over the Holidays.  I also ‘tucked in’ the above mentioned $20. I hope it will get to him safely! (There was a time or two in the last few years that while a letter or a card got to him, the money from the envelope magically disappeared..) Well, I shall see in a few days.
5. Meal Planning

T. was traveling quite a bit in January, spending only a week at home (out of 4). Rather than meal planning just for myself, I practically cleaned out the entire fridge, freezer and whatever else I could use from my mini pantry. In January I spent only $200 or so on groceries which is great if you live in NYC. I will start with the meal planning this weekend. So, yes, long story short, I have not succeeded much with this resolution.

4 out of 5 😉 Not bad.

Are YOU still sticking to your New Year resolution?



  1. Laure says:

    Sounds like you had a great month! You are inspiring me to track my goals, as well. As you say, it can feel like you’re only doing little things, but if you track them, you can see how it adds up.
    I really enjoy your “generosity” category. I’m going to add that to my resolutions, as I feel I can never afford to be as generous as I would like, and this will help me to see what I am doing and try to do more.
    I have that book on hold at the library, and am now really excited to read it!
    For my personal spending, one rule is that I NEVER buy food out or get takeout if I’m alone. I only do it to be “social” and spend time with friends. It’s a lot of $, but, as you pointed out, it’s hard to see friends otherwise. I have scouted out a few interesting activities that were free and invited a friend. Perhaps you could invite a friend to go to MOMA with you on your free work passes?

    • SimpleIsGood4U says:

      Laure 🙂 You are so good. I can’t believe you remember the MoMa card. Yes, I still have it (until May) which give s me 5 free passes whenever. I actually let my friend use the card a couple of weeks ago and she took a few other friends with her (totally missed to add it to my summary above). My husband’s aunt & uncle are coming to NYC in 2 weeks so we will use the card then as well, I need to remember!
      I am looking forward to hearing from you what you think about the book once you’ve read it. I am ‘kinda’ pushing it on all my friends. I think it really is helping me with making some positive changes for myself.

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