top of page

Living Under $300 a Month in Poland

So it all basically started when I had to move back to my Grandparents place. I was low on money, low on self-esteem, and life had fatigued me to the point that I needed a break from everything and everyone. It didn't really go as I expected though, living with my Grandparents was an emotional roller coaster, but I survived and eventually rented a room in a bigger city nearby. The rent cost me around $300, that's including the deposit. But as soon as I made the transition I knew that money was low and I had to be very careful with where and how I spent my money.

With around 150 USD in my account left I knew that I had to be very frugal with my spendings otherwise I wouldn't be able to pay next month's rent, but living in difficult situations in the past gave me some courage though.

So the first step was to figure out what I needed money for, I kind of had to design my life based of my current financial situation.

"First thing, I want to eat healthy, so I'll probably stick with a Vegetarian diet, I also want to go out to Cafes once or twice a week for a coffee, and maybe travel on the Weekends. I got to pay 150 USD for rent every month, and I make around 250 USD every month so that means I got $100 to spend for the whole month - meaning $25 for each week. Now... how the fuck can I do that?"

I knew that living this way was going to be tough. First thing was that I needed to cook in bulk that way I would be able to feed myself for the entire week and this way I could save money by not eating out. There were already pots and pans in the house so that save me a bit of money. And I might have to push back the Weekened trips for now until I find more work.

So "Week One" began. I bought in bulk, only buying essentials. I figured out that I could probably cook a curry dish for cheap. Just needed a bunch of vegetables, curry powder, few other spices, tomato sauce as the base, and maybe throw in some beans or chikapeas to get those proteins. I also bought a few cans of tuna bc they had olive oil in them, and eggs so that I could get my meat nutrients covered. So did all of that, had the groceries all in my basket. I was expecting to buy food for at least 5 days, but I'm sure I had more, or it just felt like it. Some guy in the line commented

"ohh you're buying food for the whole week, huh?"

"yeah gotta eat man"

Lady started scanning the items, I was hoping to pay under 40 usd.

"What is your biedronka card number?"

"blah blah blah blah blah blah"

"It will be 96 zl"

'oh shit. that's pretty good' I thought to myself. That's like 20 usd dollars.

"Alright I will pay with card"


I loaded all the items into my backpack and an extra bag I bought, Jesus it was heavy, and went off home.

"See you later"

I had about 5 usd left, which could be used for coffee or tea. Coffee where I live cost usually around 2 - 3 usd, so twice a week I could go for coffee.

Came home, cut up the vegetables, threw them in the big orange pot (like those ones that your Grandma has), popped the tuna and drained the Olive oil in the pot, I let it cook for 10 minutes, then I threw in the tomato sauce, the beans and the spices. I let it simmer for a good 20 to 30 minutes and it was all ready. I also forgot to mention that I bought rice, which only cost about 1 dollar for a pound. Washed it, put it on the stove and also let it simmer for a good 20 minutes.

I realised that I had a whole pot of food. It was HUGE. Enough for at least 5 days, but it lasted me 6 days. I had a small breakfast, and two medium sized meals for M, T, W, Th, F, and Sa, which was perfect for me. On Sundays I would just eat something light, maybe some fruits or whatever was left over.

I followed this routine for a few weeks, buying just the essentials. After the third week I started to make a bit more money because I was working as a freelance designer, so sometimes I get a project that pays a bit. So now my groceries cost me just under $30 (per week) because I buy maybe some extra tuna or some snacks.

Let's not forget that I wanted to travel during the Weekends so that I wasn't too bored where I lived. The city that I stay in is a fairly populated city, with just under 200,000 people, but lots of these people are kids and old ladies. It's a very family oriented city, you can walk one block and you will probably see a mother with her stroller.

Now that I'm making a bit more money online, I still don't splurge. When I travel I pay around 10 usd for a round way ticket to a bigger city nearby called Krakow, and adding accomodation for a night or two costs me around 10 - 20usd, and when I travel I try not to eat out, maybe I grab a coffee here or there, but I try to be frugal.

So in total, nowadays I'm spending under $300 for a whole months of eating really good homemade meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner, having a coffee once or twice a week, and getting to travel on the Weekends to the bigger city for free events or meetups that interest me. And during some Weekends my friends travel to Krakow so I just crash on their couch to save a bit on accommodation. This seems pretty low-budget to me for the type of Lifestyle I'm living.

And people might ask

"Why are you doing that?"

Well my perspective in this moment is I don't want to be stuck in the rat race, I'm at a point where I had enough and it's time for me to get out and actually build a company of my own. I see it in a way that we're given these two resources of, energy and time. And if you're working a regular job yes you'll make money, but you'll be spending a lot of your time doing something repetitive and 'most likely' something you don't like doing, and so you're trading your energy and time, just so that you can make a bit and get by. And that 'bit', the money, can be used as a leverage to pull yourself out of the rat race, or it can be something that just digs you deeper into the rat race. So I try to use the money that I make (and even though it's not so much at the moment) as a resource to invest into my feature, rather than spending it on temporary pleasures like alcohol or such things. But I'm not saying "don't spend at all", you should definitely reward yourself for hard work, I do.

So that's all I got for now. Hope this was useful to you.

If you got any questions please let me know, leave a comment below this post, or send me a message via the Contact Form.

bottom of page