January is always the worst month for bookkeepers, and this month was especially trying. I may be wiped out for weeks to come, but I made it — and only had to extend one set of 1099s.
In January, I:
- Paid for my Seamwork subscription and one Patreon donation with money earned doing surveys.
- Had a free drink on my Starbucks card.
- Gave myself a haircut using an online tutorial, saving time and a little bit of money. (It looks perfectly fine, too.)
- Took advantage of a one-day-only coupon to stock up on $0.99 shredded cheese at Kroger. Also got a free Lara bar with a coupon on my card.
- Organized our tiny above-the-refrigerator freezer. It was such chaos in there — it doesn’t even have a shelf and the ice maker takes up about 1/3 of the interior space — that I found duplicate cheese purchases and several badly freezer-burned items. By adding stacking containers I’ll be able to save money by keeping better track of its inventory and avoiding purchasing duplicates again. As a bonus, I’ll be able to remove needed items without causing an avalanche. Win-win.
- Renewed our annual membership to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Though this is pricey, we more than get our money’s worth in free or reduced admissions. Our dual membership costs $80, but admission for both of us to just one traveling exhibit would be $40 or $50 dollars without it — and we go to about four exhibits a year, not to mention our other visits to the museum. This really is a case of “spending money to save money,” and we also feel good about supporting the MFAH.
- Ran an errand further from home than usual, so took the opportunity to stock up on gluten-free items at a nearby Aldi.
- Used a free shipping credit for an online fabric purchase. (It had laser cats on it. Laser cats. I wasn’t going to pass that up!)
- I reconnected my FitBit to my Walgreens Rewards account to earn discounts more quickly.
- We bought discount gift cards at Costco for a restaurant we like. It seems weird to buy gift cards for personal use, but it’s an easy way to save a little bit. I mean, if you’re going to eat take out you may as well pay less, right?
- Swapped an Olive Garden gift card I’d gotten for Christmas for an Amazon gift card. I guess this is the modern-day equivalent of exchanging a sweater at the mall.
- Got a free tomato soup and a free sample of artificial sweetener from Instacart.
- Read 14 ebooks and 3 physical books from the library, but spent $51.09 on other books. Ouch! Surely I can do better than that next month.
My primary goal for February is simply to rest up, but I also plan to refrain from purchasing any fabric (with or without laser cats) and to keep book purchases under $15 to make up for January’s extravagance. Wish me luck!