The summer of 2021 has been a hot one. I haven’t had to cut the lawn since May. On the negative side, the air conditioner has been running non-stop for that long too. The electric bill has been averaging about $90 per month. That’s not too bad. My house has a natural gas furnace and fire place. In the summer the gas bill is often under $10. There is also a gas dryer and oven. But, they don’t get used every day. It has been too hot to spend any time outdoors. Travel has been limited because of the pandemic and that has continued into the first half of 2021. I’m saving money on gasoline, car repairs, and travel expenses. The pandemic was a good excuse for not being able to travel. But, there is no money in the budget to travel anyway. My car is 12 years old and has 90,000 miles on the odometer. There is a risk taking a car that hasn’t been driven over 20 miles per week on a 500 mile drive. The car hasn’t been getting routine maintenance. Blame that on my budget again. The plan was to get a newer car, but that wasn’t possible after being laid off in 2019. It’s been two years now, and I miss not having the extra spending money. It would be nice to upgrade a few things. There is just enough to cover the basics and nothing more. If something extra is needed, a lot of time is spent looking for the best deal. The inflated prices on used cars is very discouraging. I’m hoping that new car inventories will increase by the end of the year, which in turn will cause people (who have jobs) to go out and trade in their older cars. This will hopefully drive down the price of used cars. At least we have been able keep our food budget under control so far. It’s easier to control grocery spending by shopping only sale items or cutting back on something.