June 2021.

I’m pretty sure it was May a minute ago, and now it’s July. Where did June go? I’m not altogether sure, but at least I got a lot done.

June 2021

LEARNING

I took a short course on designing printables, participated in a Substack webinar, and started learning a new song for an audition that will hopefully happen in August (if all goes well locally with the virus).

MAKING

I sewed a t-shirt dress for my ongoing tee of the month project. (I’ll post it and May’s tank top on the blog as soon as I get some photos of both.) I also made some delicious experimental cherry pancakes* to use up some frozen fruit. I’ll definitely make those again. (*I make “pancake squares” by baking pancake batter in the oven rather than making them one by one on a griddle.)

WRITING

I finally wrote something! I launched a new newsletter project in June. I’ll make an introduction post here on the blog within the next month or so.

CONNECTING

I had lots of phone calls this month from relatives and friends. We had lunch with my partner’s family one weekend, and I met my Mom and Aunt Jeannie one morning at my favorite diner (where I can no longer eat, so I watched them eat and talked their ears off while doing so). It’s so amazing to see people in person again!

HOUSEHOLD

I deep cleaned the living room and finally changed out the sofa cover. I made some progress on decluttering kitchen items and linens, and I replaced half of our bath towels.

MONEY MATTERS

My Personal Spending
I didn’t spend anything at all on sewing in June. I don’t think that has happened in years! I ended up using that budgeted amount on clothes, though. But $43 isn’t $200, so I’ll take it as a win. (I’m so grateful I can more safely visit thrift stores now. I found a pair of casual Ann Taylor trousers for $5 at Goodwill last month!) I overspent a bit on audiobooks, but overall it was a successfully restrained month.

June Budget / Actual Amount Spent
Books $30 Planned / $26.81 Spent
Audiobooks $20 Planned / $26.96 Spent
All Sewing $25 Planned / $0 Spent
Clothing $25 Planned / $43.20 Spent

Household Spending
We overspent on groceries again, even with the increased budget. We have made a little progress on reducing waste, but I will focus more on that over the next couple of months. I also feel safe enough to venture into grocery stores again (as long as I’m masked up), so visits to Aldi once or twice a month should help to lower this line item. We were exactly on target for spending on general household items, though — and spent only half of our allotted restaurant budget. Not too shabby.

How I saved money in June:

  • I re-evaluated my personal spending. I trimmed my Patreon contributions and canceled my Zoom subscription (which I only used a handful of times, as most of my clients preferred other virtual meeting platforms). These are small savings, but they’ll stack up over time.
  • I spent 45 minutes waiting on a customer service agent in an open chat window to change my Sirius XM subscription. I was able to get a special deal by paying a year in advance last spring, but it had reverted to full-price monthly payments. I was prepared to cancel the service (though I use it almost every day) because it simply costs too much, but they gave me a discount, as I’d hoped. The new deal isn’t as impressive as last year’s offer, but I suspect that was a pandemic panic special. I’m paying $5 less a month now, and I’m satisfied with that.
  • I downloaded four free Kindle books and two free Amazon First Reads.
  • I found my favorite unscented hand soap on clearance at Walgreens, so I stocked up and saved $10.
  • I had been waiting on a good sale to replace our oldest bath and hand towels. I finally found some for 66% off at Macy’s.
  • I downloaded some free graphics from Creative Market.
  • I finished downloading the first volume of the “Legion” soundtrack from the library’s Freegal service. It takes a while at 5 tracks a week, but it’s definitely free music.
  • I cashed in survey points for an Amazon gift card that I used to buy an ebook missing from a series at the library. I can’t stand it when they have all but one book available! I only paid $1.32 out of pocket, so at least my Pokemon-style “gotta read ’em all” problem was solved at a rock-bottom price.
  • I downloaded a free printable planner for my new writing project.
  • I only took advantage of a single Prime Day special: I got a set of photos printed for free.
  • I had a free drink on my Starbucks card.
  • I downloaded a free piano accompaniment track for a Schumann song. (Just for fun.)
  • I read 13 ebooks and 2 physical books from the library, and a title from the Prime Reading collection. I also re-read an old Kindle book I already had.

How I made money in June:

  • I caught up on a stack of lingering data entry at my day job.
  • I saw one of my personal clients for the first time in almost a year and a half! It was so much easier to do her books in person than the remote way we’d cobbled together during the pandemic.
  • I worked some extra hours to fill in for Mom while she vacationed again.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I’m spending a lot of time on my new writing project and have a few sewing projects lined up, so I assume July will be just as busy (assuming my health remains stable). It still feels great to be out in the world a bit more. Vaccination rates are decent in our county, but they could be better, and some of the surrounding suburban areas are really lagging. I could definitely see another isolated winter happening again if the varients get out of control here, but I’m hoping for the best.