I feel sure that I’ve used this graphic before, but it’s my favorite inexplicable Victorian holiday image — and it gives me such a tickle of violent joy that I could not resist repeating it.
December was, I am sorry to say, a spending orgy. Besides our annual gift shopping, I also spent significantly on the Christmas show I performed in. I bought fresh stage make-up, some hair accessories and a hair dryer, some costume jewelry, and four pairs of tights for the performances. I had already spent $600 on (completely optional) voice lessons earlier in the autumn, and then came all of the little extras this month — including drugstore items and parking at the theatre. I don’t have an exact total, but I spent something approaching $1000 to be in this show. Yes, it was totally worth it — and I loved every minute of it. But it was undeniably a pricey activity.
We also, partially because of my rehearsal and performance schedule, spent a ton on takeout. It was a spending failure all around, all month long. Over the past weekend, I even managed to forget to put the groceries away after a trip to Trader Joe’s! The frozen items acted as ice packs and kept the refrigerated foods safe, but as they thawed they became unsafe to eat and I had to throw them away. I’ve never done that before, and I felt like such an idiot!
However, I also:
- Got a year of Martha Stewart Living for $5.49. I think I would pay more for a single issue at the store!
- Only purchased a few gift bags and a single pack of tissue paper for wrapping. Everything else was leftover from previous years or reusable.
- Saved peels from 2 bags of satsumas to make citrus vinegar for cleaning. It worked better than I expected and even diluted it removes hard water stains without scrubbing.
- Used a 15% off coupon on eBay to buy some extremely Darth Marple red suede loafers for less than $20, including shipping. (Who knew eBay even had coupons?) I get many (if not most) of my shoes on eBay, usually very lightly used or new-in-the-box for a fraction of their normal retail cost. I have problematic feet, so I generally purchase the same brands again and again. Most of these have consistent fit, too, so I have no qualms about ordering them without trying them on.
- Reviewed my fabric spending for the year and discovered that I actually stayed below my budget of $35 a month. I spent $353.44 in 2018, which works out to $29.45 a month. This is probably the first time I’ve come in under budget on this category, so I’m justifiably pleased with myself.
- Rented “Mission Impossible: Fallout” for $0.99 on Google Play streaming with a coupon code.
- Read six ebooks and five physical books from the library, and one free Kindle book. I also checked out a DVD. I spent $41.54 on other books (not counting gifts for others), which isn’t terrible considering my track record. I’m going to try to stick more firmly to a budget in the new year, but I’m also going to raise my book budget amount, as my current target is clearly not realistic for my reading habit.
I’m changing up these frugal lists in 2019 and will be unveiling a whole new kind of monthly recap post at the end of January. I’m going to be tracking all sorts of goals and intentions, rather than just how I save money. I’ll post my new set of goals within the next few days. I don’t think many of us will miss 2018, so I’m not going to belabor the point with any further reminiscence. Forward!