I'm finally starting to feel settled in now, both at my office and in my new apartment. K and I moved during the last week of October, and it took another week and a half to finish buying new furniture and assembling it. I must say, it is very nice to go from a studio to an actual one-bedroom. Our new place is great. One of the big selling points is that the building has a good-sized and not particularly busy 24-hour fitness room with a good selection of dumbbells, weights, and your basic cardio machines. We're both really happy that it is now very easy to get in a workout.
I had a brief business trip to Chicago last month, and I thought it was a lovely city. It was too bad that I didn't really have time to go out and explore, but I did get the chance to snap a few photos of the skyline. I was staying near the Magnificent Mile, but didn't get to browse any of the shops there.
In other news, I'm continuing to struggle quite a bit with potential lifestyle inflation.
I think I'm starting to get the food spending under control, but it's also still a work in progress, especially when it comes to (not) cooking dinner. I think I have a good routine down for breakfasts and lunches. I bring my breakfast half the time by making a large batch of hard-boiled eggs at the start of the week, and I buy oatmeal at the subsidized office cafeteria for around $0.75 the rest of the time. For lunch, I'm perfectly happy to eat the same salad every day for around $4.00 (sold by weight) from the cafeteria. From past experience, I know that I generally can't buy and use up enough variety of vegetables to prepare my own salads with the variety of ingredients I get from the cafeteria. I bring lentils to make the salad a bit more filling, to prevent myself from getting too hungry and buying snacks in the afternoon. The afternoon snacks are probably not a habit I can break completely, but I do my best to buy from the grocery store rather than from the overpriced delis near work.
When it comes to shopping and my wardrobe, though, I've had a harder time. Spoiler alert for this month's budget post: I'm going to be over budget again, though I don't think it's enough to bust my budget for the year. I've been in the market for a trench coat because I feel like a need a mid-length or long coat for spring and fall due to this long stretch of unseasonably warm weather we're having, and I have a review of the new Everlane trench coat coming up very soon. Also, although this won't go into my shopping budget, I'm planning to buy a fabric steamer because I have a lot of things, like silk shirts, that get wrinkly. I'm averse to using an iron due to lack of experience.