MMXX: Februarius.

Stolen Witcher Meme

MMXX: TWO

MONTHLY GOALS

Send one real letter.
I sent two birthday cards.

Sew at least one garment.
I didn’t sew anything again in February, dang it. I did cut out an Oslo Sweater, and I worked 2/3 of the way through Seamwork’s Design Your Wardrobe course, so there will be more sewing in the future.

Send newsletter at least once.
I sent a special Leap Day edition.

Make one “green” improvement.
I got a few beeswax wraps to try, but I was underwhelmed. One of the wraps got moldy the first time I used it and had to be thrown away. These were a bust for me.

Make one apartment improvement.
I didn’t manage to do this in February, but I did have a tea party, and that helped to improve my mental health.

Go on one outing with Lennox.
We went to see a National Theatre Live screening of “Cyrano De Bergerac.” It was fantastic.

Read one physical book I already own.
I read a paperback of O Jerusalem by Laurie R. King. It was a little more meandering than the other books in this series (at least the ones I’ve read), but I enjoyed it anyway. If you’d said to me a couple of years ago, “There’s this mystery series that’s basically Sherlock Holmes fanfic, where after retirement he marries a girl almost young enough to be his granddaughter, and they detect together,” I would have made a terrible face and avoided it like the plague. Not knowing anything about it, I stumbled on the first novel and loved it. Never say never, I guess! They’re really well written.

ONGOING PROJECTS

Combine websites, transfer blog, forward other domains, and install SSL certificate.
CodeNameSarah is gone now (though I set up an archive), and although I still have a few SSL issues to work out, this is almost finished.

Tidy and declutter all storage areas.
I didn’t get as far as I had hoped in reorganizing the closet, but I did finish culling all of the ill-fitting and worn-out clothes on my side. I have enough room for my tank tops now — that counts. There’s more work to be done in the closet, though.

WRITING

I wrote a blog post for every day in February and worked on my horror serial. The first chapter is set to be published this month!

MONEY MATTERS

Track personal spending on books, sewing, and clothing.
I had more realistic budget amounts for February and still managed to overspend somewhat.
Budget / Actual Amount Spent
Books $60.00 / $55.18
Audiobooks $25.00 / $31.14
All Sewing $60.00 / $69.27
Clothing $100.00 / $146.81
I had three Kindle preorders, so I knew that my book spending would be closer to normal in February. ($15.72 of that came from my remaining gift card balance, though.) I went a little over on audiobooks and sewing but spent 47% more than I’d intended on clothing. Ouch. I’m discovering that I’m a stress spender. I’m way more likely to click “buy” if I’m overwhelmed in some area of my life, and though I’m far from a shopaholic, I do need to reconsider shopping as a coping mechanism.

Track household spending on food.
2019 Monthly Average / Actual Amount Spent
Groceries $565.00 / $602.95
Restaurants $675.00 / $312.90
Savings = $324.15 / Cumulative Savings = $763.03
We somehow spent more than our 2019 average on groceries in February but spent less than half of our restaurant average. We fell $77 short of our monthly savings goal on food costs, which isn’t catastrophic but is a bit of a head-scratcher because I’m not sure how we managed to spend so much on groceries in such a short month. I’ll try to be more aware in March.

How I saved money in February:

  • I used a free WordPress template for my new website instead of paying for a new one.
  • I downloaded two Audible Originals and one Amazon First Read title for free.
  • I used a coupon on top of clearance prices to buy Hello Kitty picnic plates for $1.34 each at World Market. Coupons don’t usually work on clearance items, but this one did.
  • Lennox used $45 in credit card points to greatly reduce the price of a replacement for our broken bedroom TV.
  • I had a free drink on my Starbucks card.
  • I trimmed my own bangs and gave Lennox a haircut.
  • I read four physical library books (including two interlibrary loans), three library ebooks, one Prime Reading title, and one free Kindle book. I only read one Kindle Unlimited title in February, and though that only cost me $0.33 due to the promotional rate, it proves that I need to cancel the service before I get charged full price.

All in all, February wasn’t a terrible month. I have been really stressed about work, but things will hopefully calm down in March when I’m more caught up. Onward!