Oh, hi there long lost internet friends. Isn’t summer glorious?
I have been very much unplugged. In fact, I just spent two and a half weeks on vacation.
That said, I came back to a crisis situation at work, which has made life interesting. Unfortunately, my spouse is going through an unrelated, but also extremely crazy workload. By Wednesday night, we had both already worked nearly 40 hours (my spouse had a few more hours than me).
I am proud that we stuck to our food plan and have therefore been eating healthy and nutritious food despite the challenges in the way. On the converse, our plan to not have any alcohol following the vacation full of fun went out the window. Wine is extra delicious when you’ve been at work for 12 hours my friends.
I am working out of a different location than I normally do, and it is fancy! They have things like fresh creamo (that’s half and half for the Americans) instead of coffee whitener (nondairy creamer), and when you open the cutlery drawer (flatware), it actually contains forks, not just two stray butter knives. My friend has decided we should call this office Narnia, due to all of the little things that make it wonderful to us.
Do you have access to such wonderful things where you work? Cutlery, milk for your coffee, a dishwasher you don’t have to run?
City Life Financials
Back to the topic at hand, though this is still quite a rambling, life update type thing.
Cities can be quite expensive. Sure, the groceries cost less (thank goodness!), but the CHOICES of places to spend money!
Everywhere you turn, there are restaurants and stores and events.
It was wonderful, and it was also quite tempting. We met up with a friend for dinner and hit the bars one night. Bye bye a few hundred dollars. Bye bye.
Living in a small town has allowed me to put some of my frugal behviours completely on auto pilot. For example, I can basically tell you what I will order at all of the restaurants in my town, so the temptation to go out is significantly reduced. It isn’t even that it is a temptation, it’s that the desire to do so has basically disappeared after several years of living here. Couple that with the allergies and most of the time I just can’t be bothered.
I have never struggled with spending more than I can afford in restaurants or bars, but it was quite interesting for me to analyze how I reacted to spending a ton of money out. Of note, I am not really a fan. I balked at the prices of the cocktails at the bars. Sure, they were good, but I wasn’t keen to drink to my hearts content for $13.95 a pop. I am relieved to know that my frugal tendencies are still alive and well.
Affordable lunches, on the other hand, are fun. I met up with The Asian Pear for lunch one day and you can get a huge variety of Pho and vietnamese cuisine for under ten bucks.
When it comes to restaurants, I look for balance. I want to go out every once in awhile, and I thoroughly enjoy good restaurant food, but kissing goodbye to hundreds of dollars is not what I want to do either.
Going out with friends made me remember how easy it is for people to get caught up in a lifestyle that leaves them living paycheque to paycheque. You can always, always go out, and it can be a new place every time if you would like. There are food festivals and bars and food trucks and market stalls galore. Just because it is there does not make it an option, though. Save your pennies, my friends, save your pennies.
The Google Maps navigation talking lady? I love her. I had to drive in downtown Toronto during rush hour while it was raining. She was fantastically helpful.
I wish I had all you can eat sushi in my town. Mmmmm.
I still manage to drink too much on occasion and wind up wickedly hungover. My apologies to those that came to hang out with me the day after the wedding. (The wedding was excellent fun though!)
I am glad I had a lot of cottage time to get deep into the book I am reading, it is not a light read! Forthcoming will be a post of books I want to read this summer.
Housing in cities is offensively expensive. One day I will finish the post I have which compares house prices across major Canadian cities, to incomes. It is not a pretty picture, my friends.
Sleep. So much glorious sleep!
I learned to drive the speed boat while I was away, having very, very recently finally finished my Pleasure Craft Operators licence.
My whole province is trying to burn down. Don’t flick cigarettes out of windows, people.
Commuting in my own car makes me realize why my spouse has decided a satellite radio subscription is worth it. Bloomberg, CBC, NPR and BBC make for a fascinating start to the day, I’ve been learning something every morning.
Sorry for the rambling, but I wanted to say hello again!