July and August 2021.

Here’s my very belated wrap-up for a real bummer of a summer. I’m going to put both months together to keep it as pithy as possible.

July and August 2021

LEARNING

I watched several money management webinars, started a Canva training course, and took a personal style webinar.

MAKING

I’ve been sewing a lot lately! I finally finished sewing my linen swimsuit cover-up, threw together an elastic belt, made a fantastic t-shirt for my Tee of the Month Club project, sewed a pair of linen shorts, and participated in Seamwork’s latest Design Your Wardrobe course. I already have a project cut out from the collection I designed for that, too. Despite being halfway through September, I haven’t finished my August tee yet, but I should catch up by the end of the month.

WRITING

My new newsletter project is coming along nicely. I even managed to send my old newsletter out once, but I’ve been itching to get back to my fiction writing lately.

CONNECTING

We had an outdoor brunch with the in-laws and took my Mom (safely masked) to an exhibit at the museum, but I’m staying home most of the time again. Lots of phone calls, lots of texts — but man, it’s so disappointing to feel like we’re right back where we were in terms of social distance. That little taste of early summer freedom really made this new phase of the pandemic extra hard from an emotional perspective. And like most people who have been as responsible as possible and got vaccinated as soon as they could, I’m furious.

HOUSEHOLD

I replaced the broken crank radio from our emergency kit with a new model with a small solar panel and connections to charge our phones. I also better organized our pantry and sent a bunch of canning jars back to my Mom. (Maybe I’ll get them back full of jam one day. That’s the hope!)

MONEY MATTERS

My Personal Spending
I mostly stayed within my budget both months, which is unusual. (I’ve combined books and audiobooks into one category from now on.)

July Budget / Actual Amount Spent
Books and Audiobooks $50 Planned / $46.37 Spent
All Sewing $30 Planned / $33.65 Spent
Clothing $50 Planned / $57.78 Spent

August Budget / Actual Amount Spent
Books and Audiobooks $60 Planned / $47.05 Spent
All Sewing $35 Planned / $44.71 Spent
Clothing $60 Planned / $44.19 Spent

Household Spending
The new grocery budget seems to be ample enough, and I have made some progress on reducing food waste. We did well on general household spending in July, then less well in August. I rarely mention utilities, but we paid less this summer than last summer, probably because it was cooler. I also think keeping the A/C a little higher during the day helped a bit.

How I saved money in July and August:

  • I downloaded four free Kindle books and an Amazon First Reads title.
  • I used a coupon code for $1 off a Redbox rental. (I’m so old school I still miss Blockbuster.)
  • I downloaded a few different sets of free images from Creative Market.
  • I redeemed survey points for a digital Amazon gift card twice. I used the first one to pay for a bargain ebook, then used the second to pay for half of a full-priced ebook.
  • I also got a $4 Kindle credit from their summer reading program, and used it on most of the price of another ebook missing from a series I’ve been reading from the library.
  • I downloaded a free sweatshirt sewing pattern.
  • I had a free drink on my Starbucks card.
  • I redeemed a total of $10 in Walgreens rewards on a couple of regular shopping trips.

How I made money in July and August:

  • I kept my monthly client current, even though we had to go back to remote work.
  • I did some Quickbooks consultation for an occasional client.
  • I’ve been working a couple of extra hours a week at my regular job to catch up on data entry.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I wish I had something hopeful to say, but I don’t right now. It has been a rough couple of months. I feel better physically (thank goodness), and I’m grateful that things aren’t worse. But it has been so disappointing to see delta take hold locally and watch so many people behaving as though the pandemic is simply over, no matter how full the hospitals are. I’m disappointed that my audition got canceled. It’s not safe to visit my family in Missouri, either. It simply didn’t have to be this way. Ah, well. Let’s hope the rest of September is kind.