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