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August Wrap-up

September 4, 2018

Random Link:

This post from Get Rich Slowly on why you should be skeptical of finance blogs was a refreshing read.  I only keep up with a small set of very personal personal finances / FI blogs. I basically still pretend like it is 2007 in the blog world.  Anyone want to submit a post to the carnival of personal finance?

Net Worth and Money

We received the last paycheck with T’s summer salary!  Our property tax account is full, and so is our slush fund. Our net worth is up another couple percent this month and an astonishing number for the year. My retirement accounts are full, so my take home pay should go up. I’m still due several thousand (~$5k) in expense reimbursements, but most are submitted and the traveling is about to end.

We’re keeping a lot of cash for now. It is super tempting to send a chunk to the mortgage, but I think waiting and sitting tight is the right move.  (The mortgage isn’t going anywhere.) Beyond the maternity leave/postpartum costs, I think it makes sense for how I hope to handle college savings. More to come on that topic…

Spending

I’m still behind on tracking this, and I’m not sure that I’ll be able to catch up…  I can say that my spending on food is still low due to work travel, but we have spent a lot on various home things this summer.

We bought an area rug and rug pad for about $300. I bought 2 king sized pillows from Snowe for about $130 total. My plan is to use them as pregnancy body pillows for the next 2 months, then they will start their life as normal bed pillows.  We’ll transition 2 of our queen pillows to nice guest pillows. I’m kind of obsessed with good pillows.

After waiting for the 25% sale, we ordered a Container Store Elfa closet system for the nursery.  We needed the 16 inch depth and included a few drawers, so the total system was about $500 – almost double the basic (no drawers) system we put in our closet. We haven’t picked it up or installed it yet due to availability of one part. We bought a new light fixture (~$300) and mirror ($60) for the guest bathroom.  We bought various supplies at home depot.

September is looking to be even worse, with some big ticket items… but I’ll wait a month to share our most recent purchases with you!

Work

It was a hectic month to say the least! We had an issue on the project I’ve been traveling for, which resulted in a small delay and travel extended into early September. However, we were able to overcome the issue, and things are now on track!  It has been busy, but overall, really rewarding and fun.

I was kind of hoping to coast into maternity leave, wrapping up some important stuff on my other main project.  Instead, I think I’m helping with two proposals.  It is sort of ill-advised, but I have to help with these things or I won’t have a job in the long run.  This year they are actually providing funding for the proposal work, although it generally will still be evening/weekend work because the rest of the work won’t go away.

House

There has been a lot going on here!  Too much, if you ask me, but I also want it all done.

Guest bathroom mini-update: We took out the small 1950s medicine cabinet in the guest bathroom and replaced it with a large and inexpensive ($50) mirror. The bathroom looks a lot better and larger with a big mirror and a new brighter light fixture.  I did give up a small amount of storage, but I’ve mostly moved into the “master” bath with T.  If needed, we’ll install a small cabinet on the other wall.  For guest use, it seems fine as is.  The vanity/sink/tub/tile/floor/toilet could use an upgrade, but this isn’t a near-term priority.  A fresh paint color would be nice and is cheap enough  – but other projects are more of a priority in terms of time.

Landscaping:  T was really busy with research and filling out tenure paperwork (!), so he couldn’t make a lot of progress. BUT, we paid for help for the first time in our 4 years of living here! We hired a gardener several of our neighbors use to do 8 hours of brush clearing for $200.  WORTH IT.  T gave little more instruction than “cut it all down and make it better,” but he’s familiar enough with the landscape around our area that he knew where to start. The goal right now is to keep the back yard under control and in a state least prone to being a wildfire hazard. We’ve done our best to clear it ourselves in past years, but with me traveling so much this summer (and pregnant and scared of poison oak), hiring help was the only way it was going to happen.  We’ll probably hire him for 8 more hours this fall to push things further, but first we have to get rid of all the yard debris / brush generated in round 1.

We have a few pallets of large rocks in our driveway, waiting to be built into a rock wall. Once the rock wall is built up, we plan to hire a neighborhood guy to help with planting.  His mother is a native plant expert, and she offers free help  with landscape plans if we hire her son (who I think has some minor disability) to assist in the labor.  It’s a pretty good deal, and nice to connect with our neighborhood.

Painting: T painted the nursery, and had enough paint left over to paint the guest room / office.   It is mostly a neutral color, but with a cool undertone. The previous shade was yellow/gold in the undertone, which I really didn’t like.  Things look a lot brighter in both rooms with the new color!

Pregnancy / Baby

Everything is still easy and good!  I got my TDAP and Rhogam shot, and drank the sugary drink for the glucose tolerance test.  I was over the screen limit for the 1 hour version, but passed the 3 hour version with flying colors (although it made me feel terrible). I was slightly hypoglycemic by the 3rd hour blood draw, but I never experience symptoms of this.  I’m interpreting this result as a sign that I should not fast for 12 hours, drink a bunch of sugar, then continue fasting. I had a few days of pretty bad pain due to an issue I’d rather not blog about, but that seems to have went away for now.

My team and the people at the site we have been traveling to threw me a surprise baby shower at work – it was so thoughtful and generous, especially since some of the people have only worked with me the past month or so.  It was also nice because we’re not having a family/friend shower.  Aside from being able to buy what we need, everyone is far away and spread out, and we don’t have enough of a local community to merit one. We’ve been getting generous gifts nevertheless, both new and secondhand items, and both sets of parents sent money or contributions to large items. We have a lot of smaller stuff left to get, but we’ll get there!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 5, 2018 3:34 am

    Your PF blog nostalgia has led me to go through Madame X’s archives, haha.

    Glad to hear your pregnancy is going well! Good luck to T with his tenure application!

  2. Lisa Moffeit permalink
    September 6, 2018 8:36 pm

    I feel like 2007 was the heyday of pf blogs too! still love reading your updates. sounds like everything is going great!

  3. September 26, 2018 10:29 am

    LOL I was thinking about deleting my Carnival round up posts. I had to go back to my posts from 2008 to see what was going on back then when the crash happened, last night.

    “The mortgage isn’t going anywhere.” – so true. I keep getting antsy about it but I forget to look at it as something we can demolish when the time is right and not just feel pressure to do that RIGHTNOW.

    Good luck with the two proposals! I hope that it does set you up nicely for a return to work when you’re ready.

    The 3 hour glucose test is MISERABLE. Was miserable for me, at least.

    Yay for the work shower, that was thoughtful of them.

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