July involved cheese and caves.

I wanted to name this entry “Get out of my dreams! Get into my cave! (Beep, beep, yeah!)” But I didn’t. I’m sure that Billy Ocean fans everywhere were relieved.

We visited my family in July, so with airfare and car rental, it wasn’t an extremely frugal month. We did a couple of tourist things while we were there, namely visit Osceola Cheese and Fantastic Caverns — a cave so well-marketed that on the drive from Kansas City to my Dad’s house you see something like eleventy billion billboards for it over those 100 miles. The ads are not especially persuasive, but the cave itself is, as its name implies, fantastic!

I really love caves.

Goals for 2019 – July Progress

Send one real letter a month.
I sent two postcards and a letter, so it was a pretty good month for mail.

Sew at least one garment a month.
I sewed a Concord tee and made a muslin for a tank top. The t-shirt is in regular rotation, but the muslin wasn’t wearable.

Send newsletter at least once a month.
Not this month. I’m going to blame vacation instead of procrastination, just for variety.

Make one apartment improvement a month.
I found a new cleaning service. They did a great job and hopefully will continue to do so going forward.

Go on one outing with Lennox a month.
We toured a cave (I may have mentioned that) and went to two museums in Kansas City.

Read one physical book I already own a month.
I took paperbacks on my vacation to save my phone battery, so I finished two in July: Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas and Say No to the Duke by Eloisa James, both pretty standard historical romances.

Track spending on books, clothing, and sewing.
I did spend less in July than in June, thankfully. I spent $65.13 on books, $63.93 on sewing, and $109.59 on clothing.

Track daily writing habit.
I didn’t manage to keep track in July, but I did make my Camp Nanowrimo goal, which was time-based rather than word-based. I’d estimate that I wrote on more than half of my non-vacation days.

Post weekly IG photo.
I posted three out of four weeks.

Run robot sweeper, vacuum bedroom, tidy, and clean bathroom weekly.
I did this twice and had the cleaning service come in on another week. Not too bad! I only skipped the week we were away from home.

Longer Term Goals

Reduce fabric stockpile to less than 100 yards (plus scraps) by the end of 2019.
The tee I sewed in July was cut out in June, and the muslin was made from scraps, so that didn’t change the number here. However, I didn’t buy any fabric in July, so the stockpile held steady at 117 yards.

Finish Baktus scarf. 
I did work on this a bit on the trip but barely made any progress. I bet my neck is cold again next winter! Whoops.

Find a way to keep performing.
I did make it into the holiday show again this year, so I will be rehearsing weekly starting in September.

Combine websites, transfer blog, forward other domains, purchase an SSL certificate.
I transferred all of my domains to my new web host (just as registrar), but that’s still something.

My Really Short July Frugal List

My four-year-old phone died the first day we were in Missouri, which necessitated a 1 1/2 hour drive to a larger town to replace it. I knew I would have to replace it eventually, but I didn’t expect to do it with such time pressure and no research. I like the new phone well enough, but it sure was a spendy thing to do on vacation.

In July, I:

  • Redeemed a $10 loyalty app reward at Smashburger. The app is just a new-fangled customer punch card, when you think about it — although the bloop when the register scans your phone isn’t quite as satisfying as the old fashioned clunk of a hole punch, in my opinion.
  • Downloaded a free Prime First Reads book, and two Audible Originals.
  • Visited the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, which does not charge for general admission. I didn’t know that and I’ve been there many, many times over the years. Maybe it was a new thing? I don’t know. But I spent a lot in the gift shop, so it probably worked out for them in the end.
  • Read one physical book and three ebooks from the library, and one title through Prime Reading. Although I mostly read Kindle books in July, many of them were purchased in previous months — so I made a little dent in my electronic backlog, too.

I hope to get some sewing done in August and to make some progress on one of my older writing projects. I also need to catch up on some client work, but that’s on the client as he neglected to send most of his 2019 back up until halfway through the year. Ah, well — they’re billable hours.

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