December 2021.

We made it to 2022! Hooray? Who knows! I think we’ve all had some lessons in staying flexible and avoiding expectations, though. Let’s wrap this up.

December 2021

LEARNING

I continued my Norwegian practice on Duolingo and took three short, free webinars. (I love how many people do free webinars these days. Most of them are pitches for a paid product or longer course, but there are plenty with excellent information before the sales pitch.)

MAKING

I baked some mediocre oatmeal cookies and a mediocre carrot cake, but I also made some delicious banana bread and Funfetti cookies. I’m still behind on wrapping up my t-shirt of the month project, but I hope to have everything posted on the blog in February. (January will probably be too busy to get pictures.)

WRITING

I sent out A Little Better every week and wrote a 55-word nanofic from a prompt on Ello. I always forget how much I enjoy nanofiction when I go too long without writing one.

CONNECTING

We recorded the tiny holiday show early in December, and it streamed later in the month. My partner and I had dinner with his family before Christmas and spent a couple of days with my family at a beach house in Galveston the week after Christmas. I also had tea with my BFF Thumper, who I had not seen in person since 15 March 2020.

HOUSEHOLD

I picked up a set of cloth napkins and a tea towel at World Market that featured prints from an artist I admire.

MONEY MATTERS

My Personal Spending
I stuck to a reduced personal budget pretty well in December! I did overspend on books, but only because I had forgotten about a Kindle pre-order.

December Budget / Actual Amount Spent
Books and Audiobooks: $25 Planned / $29.90 Spent
Sewing: $20 Planned / $20.91 Spent
Clothing: $30 Planned / $21.64 Spent

Household Spending
We spent less on groceries than I budgeted for in December and spent about as much on gifts as I had anticipated. I felt like I was wildly overspending in both cases, but the numbers told a different story. That’s why adding everything up is so important. I’ll be examining last year’s spending and re-evaluating the household budget when I have the time later this month or early next month.

How I saved money in December:

  • I downloaded a couple of free graphics sets from Creative Market.
  • I redeemed survey points for several small Amazon gift cards, then bought ebooks with each. I’ve been getting more surveys lately, which helps to support my book habit.
  • I downloaded three free Kindle books.
  • I downloaded a free sewing pattern for shorts.
  • I used credit card points to order our annual Highly Professional Business Cats calendar.
  • I used a free holiday Audible credit to get a title from my wish list.
  • I read ten ebooks from the library. I also read a free Kindle book and listened to an Audible title I already owned. (Is “re-listened” a word?) I read or listened to 275 books in 2021 — and 164 of those titles came from the library. That’s a vast, cumulative amount of savings!

How I made money in December:

  • I worked extra hours at my regular job to catch up before our busiest period in January.
  • I brought a particularly late client up-to-date. (This wasn’t due to my procrastination for once; they hadn’t sent me their work since last spring!)
  • I sold some clothing on eBay. These sales are more a sustainable fashion thing than a money-making endeavor, but I did make $37.00, so it counts.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

This January feels like less of a blank slate and more of the same old slog. I mean, anything can happen in 2022. I simply need to keep reminding myself that “anything” could include good stuff, too. We’ll see.