Wellllllll. I don’t know. I seem to hit a point in the summer where I’m like “I’ve got nothing to say and a lot of weeds to pull, so I’m done with this blog 4EVA.”
But today I decided I wanted to look up my net worth and try to figure it out, and it was actually pretty fantastic to read my previous net worth post from April. Not because it was fantastic. Oh God, it was terrible. But because we’ve been in this slog for so long that I kind of forgot what it felt like at the start of it all – when it was becoming clear that !pandemic! wasn’t going to be over in a few weeks like I sort of assumed.
We drove halfway across the country in May so that we could combine our “pod” with my sister’s, and then with my other sister’s. We did it as carefully as I knew how – we brought along all food with us in the car, peed in ditches at the side of the road, only otherwise stopped for gas and I was the only one to get out of the car and I sanitized both before and after pumping gas. Was it right? Was it wrong? I don’t know, I know it felt so, so good for the kids to see family. For me to see family.
It’s June. Yesterday, I started letting my kids play with the neighbor kids. It might be too soon. Our state is opening up, and we’re slowly moving toward normal – although normal is not actually going to be normal, forever maybe. I feel like I’m trying to put together a complicated piece of furniture without any instructions. Is outside contact okay? Do masks help? Can kids even transmit this stupid virus? What are the risks of another four months of way too much screen time? Of me being so quick to anger?
Sonya’s class is having a “sorry we didn’t get a chance to graduate from elementary school, but we’re having a get-together now that it’s legal” party in a few weeks. It’s in an indoor venue, and there are something like 120 kids (and teachers! and certainly parents!) invited. I’m not sure how many will go, but we are opting out. That feels like a sad choice.
At any rate, here’s our financial sitch. My husband and I are both still working (me remotely, him mostly not). My freelancing is relentless, which is fine. His freelancing is picking up speed. We used the stimulus package money to boost our non-existent emergency fund (and buy a 9’x18’x4′ pool. Maybe frivolous. But remember, I have to tell Sonya she can’t go to her graduation party thing, so the pool helps). I almost spontaneously decided to buy a house last month, which would have been a poor financial decision, but I’m finally coming around to my husband’s point of view that 1300 square feet for six people and a dog and a cat and two fish who just won’t diiiiiiie so I can get rid of the fish tank is not enough. We’re cautiously looking for something bigger and better than what we have. As if we’ll find something better than the yard we have. The good news is, we’re never going to find another yard like ours in our price range/school district (I don’t want the kids to move schools unless they absolutely must) or maybe in any price range because our yard is incredible, so we’ll never have to actually buy another house, so we can keep paying off debt instead of getting into more debt.
With the markets kicking back into gear, us finally paying off not unsubstantial amounts of credit card debt, increased freelancing, the pause in student loan payments from the CARES act, and the stimulus package, the jump from April is pretty great. April 1, our ENW was $15,700.
Today (not June 1, but whatever, this is my blog), Mint thinks my net worth is $57,797, I think it’s safe to assume that my husband’s 401K is $25,000 or so, there are additional debts that Mint doesn’t know about (brain surgery, home improvements, one small 0% credit card) of $23,422. So, total ENW: $59,375. Cheesits, that’s a big jump in two months. !pandemic!
I feel a lot of uncertainty right now, and would feel better if we could pay off some more debts, which we are working on, slowly. The good news is that our savings is up to $6800, which is kind of a lie because a considerable amount of that is sinking costs (taxes, car insurance, Sonya’s going to need to get a saxophone in the fall, etc.), but non-sinking-fund money should be over $5K by the end of this month. We’ve never been in that position. We’ve almost never been in a position to have sinking funds.
If we both lose both our jobs would that be enough? No way no how. But it’s a relief to have something there, and a huge relief to know that the biggish costs (sinking fund things) are covered. We’re still planning on a family vacation to a lake house at the end of July, and it’s paid for. There’s an outside horse camp (small group) that is also paid for in August – I think it’s still on.
My postings in the summer may continue to be intermittent. The best time for me to post is when I’m wandering around with the nutjob puppy in the predawn hours to get some of her ridiculous energy out, but I have been spending a lot of that time in the morning weeding the garden and checking the pool as the nutjob puppy zooms around me, so who knows. What I’m saying is, don’t have expectations and you won’t get disappointed. What I’m also saying is we just need to keep taking this one step at a time. Maybe if I check in in two months my net worth will have once again quadrupled. One can hope!