July has been a rough month.

Our cat had been sick for many months, but we had to have her put to sleep last week. So: July has been a rough month. Pet grief is a real thing, you guys. I can’t sleep, I’m depressed, and I’m having trouble feeding myself properly. To add insult to injury, we also got a terrible flea infestation in the last week and a half of her life (almost certainly from a neighboring apartment, as our cat had not been outside in many years, and had never had fleas — even when she came to us as a rescue). So she got to be itchy and miserable as well as in pain, because I didn’t dare use a chemical pesticide on her or in the house with her illness.

It was horrible.

Anyway, in July I:

  • Finally watched a movie I’d gotten for free from Google Play a long time ago. I had forgotten all about it — I sometimes watch TV episodes on the computer if there’s no other way to stream them, but very rarely watch movies that way — but our new Roku has a Google Play channel, and I noticed the movie in my library when I logged in.
  • Used money earned doing surveys to pay for both my Seamwork subscription and all my Patreon contributions this month. I almost never accumulate enough to pay for all of these, so this was particularly nice.
  • Started to transition back into eating more prepared foods instead of take out. Though more expensive (and likely less healthy, in many cases) than eating food made from scratch, it’s definitely less expensive (and healthier in most cases) than take out. I have to work within my limitations, and a marginal improvement is still an improvement.
  • Spent a very quiet 4th of July holiday. Cooked all meals at home, and went for a swim in one of the pools in our apartment complex.
  • Went to a free sneak preview for “Atomic Blonde” – 2 1/2 weeks before it opened. Look, I’m more than willing to pay for Charlize, but free Charlize is even better.
  • Had been reading a series on eBook from the library, but the next book was not available. This particular book was a re-release to eBook only (the physical book is out of print), and I didn’t want to pay full price for it. I found a used paperback on Half.com for $1.00, and even with shipping it was less than half the cost of the eBook. (File under hashtag #VoraciousReadingHabit.)
  • Snagged a 2018 Nature Conservancy calendar from the free pile at work. And it has lovely photos!
  • Got a free sample of flavored sparkling water from our grocery delivery service. It really hit the spot on a hot day. Kept me from buying a soda, in fact.
  • Restored all of the data (including all of my music files, how I had missed them!) from our old computer, and returned the external drive to our back up service on time, which refunded me the $99 I had paid to have the it delivered. Then I deleted the old computer’s license from the service, thereby halving our monthly back up service fee. Or, to be honest, returning the fee to its original single computer price. Still counts, I think — despite the procrastination. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Any progress is progress.
  • Spent an excellent afternoon visiting with E.K. and her partner when they visited from San Francisco. They brought snacks and I cooked lunch for them, and since they are probably the most frugal people I know it probably never occurred to them to demand a fancy, expensive outing. Now we need to carve some airfare out of the budget so we can go to the Bay Area and visit them.
  • Had a free drink on my Starbucks card.
  • Read 17 eBooks from the library, and 5 free books from Kindle.

That’s actually not a bad list for such a bad month. Here’s hoping for a much better August, at least emotionally, and that I can keep my frugal momentum going even in the face of my sadness.

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