January 2021.

I’m posting this a little later than I’d intended. Time is still weird. You’d think I would have adapted by now, but I haven’t. After cramming my busiest work month into three weeks (due to a poorly scheduled dental surgery), I found February’s lack of frenzy so pleasant that I forgot to post this!

January 2021


I finished my first pass through the wardrobe course I started last fall, but I haven’t worked through all the activities yet. I’ve also been auditing an online vegan cooking class.


I sewed an Elliot sweater, but that was about it. (I love the sweater, though!)


I think the only thing I wrote in January was half of an unpublished blog post. I was seriously busy with work, though, so I’m not going to feel guilty.


Lots of phone calls and texts! I may be a shut-in, but at least I talk to people most days.


I tackled some weird spot-cleaning, like scrubbing the burner pans from the stove and deep cleaning the microwave.


My Personal Spending
I didn’t overspend very badly, though I spent more than I’d intended on sewing stuff. None of my clothes fit again, so I will likely spend an even larger amount in February. I can’t go around naked, and I don’t feel comfortable in stores right now, so thrifting is off the table. (All clothing spending is coming from my savings.)

January Budget / Actual Amount Spent
Books $25 Planned / $22.34 Spent
Audiobooks $20 Planned / $19.41 Spent
All Sewing $75 Planned / $87.86 Spent
Clothing $75 Planned / $78.49 Spent

Household Spending
We financed my dental surgery. I hate having any debt, but it’s interest-free, and the payment is manageable. I didn’t want to take such a large amount from our savings when everything feels so precarious. I had to rearrange our budget to account for this new payment and an additional cut in pay. (Yeah, another one.) We’re not in dire straits by any stretch, but things are a little tighter.

How I saved money in January:

  • I downloaded a free planner printable.
  • I used a Penzeys gift card I got for Christmas to make a substantial spice order. I already shop there, but that’s money saved on groceries! I love a practical gift. Also: If you’re cooking all the time, herbs and spices just seem to disappear.
  • I downloaded a free Kindle book.
  • I had a free drink on my Starbucks card.
  • I redeemed survey points for an Amazon gift card, then bought a bargain ebook with it. That makes it a twofer, right?
  • I downloaded free sewing patterns for a beret and a fanny pack/bum bag.
  • I used a $1 reward from my Walgreens card on my favorite unscented lotion.
  • I finally got a library card for our county library system. I hadn’t had one since the mid-1990s when I lost my borrowing privileges for a dumb mistake. (It’s a long story! I was young. I guess I got amnesty at some point?) The county library has different electronic resources from the Houston city system, which will hopefully allow me to check out ebooks and audiobooks that aren’t available through my regular library. I had three library cards as a kid: One through school, one for my county library, and one for the neighboring county where my Grandma lived! Even as a child, my reading habits could not be supported by a single institution. I’m just returning to my multiple-library roots!
  • I used my accumulated eBay Bucks for a discount on a spring cardigan.
  • I read 14 ebooks and 2 physical books from the library. I also read a free Kindle title and a couple of Kindle Unlimited books (for about $0.25 each). I remembered to cancel that Kindle Unlimited subscription before it renewed at full price, too.

How I made money in January:

  • I just plain worked more hours. January is kind of rough for bookkeepers!
  • I raised my hourly rate for new clients and will transition older clients to the new rate for 2021.

I’m glad to have the dental surgery out of the way — and I’m healing up nicely, thank goodness. I should have more health news to report in my February wrap-up, as some things are finally happening there. (Finally!) One of these days, it will even be safe to go places again — even indoor places. I can’t wait.