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November (and October) Wrap-up

December 21, 2018

October’s wrap-up was skipped since my baby decided to come a bit early and we were in the whirlwind of early parenthood in early November!  I drafted much of this in early December, but didn’t quite manage to finish it until nearly the end of the month.

Net Worth and Income:

I updated my net worth in October, and it was down 2.5% for the month, but still up 15.5% for the year.  The stock market continued to do it’s thing through November, and our net worth was almost flat.  We were up 15.8% for the year on the day I closed the books for November.

My November take home pay was super small.  I used sick leave for part of the month, then disability kicks in for 60% of my salary for about 1.5 or 2 weeks. This is paid separately from my paycheck, so I haven’t seen it yet. I also sent an extra $1000 to federal taxes out of my paycheck, based on my latest tax estimates.

Retirement and college savings:

Due to my maternity leave, my retirement accounts were maxed out early in the year, so I won’t have new investments until January.  This is a bit unfortunate with the market being how it is, but there wasn’t another good option. T’s retirement contributions are wrapping up with his last paycheck.

I did my lump sum backdoor Roth IRA just before the market correction – boo!  T is filling out his paperwork so he can do his backdoor Roth IRA this month before it is too late. As I explained here, I’m planning to use our Roth IRA as college savings accounts for the baby instead of a 529 for now.

Spending:

Is it terrible that I have almost no idea?  I was already behind on tracking spending for the year, and with a baby, it is a lost cause.  I check our accounts frequently to make sure no unexpected transactions appear.  There were a lot of amazon purchases of baby items, since my strategy to buy less was wait until I new I needed something to purchase.  T also purchased some plants, rocks, and labor for the landscaping we are doing this year.

Family:

I wrote a post about the first month with my newborn, so there isn’t a lot more to say! It’s a wild ride.  My quality of life is tied closely to how well my baby sleeps each night.

The most stressing part is that we still don’t have childcare lined up for when I return to work in February.  My plan was part time in February and then full-time in March. We have had no luck finding a nanny share to join so far.  The next step is to attempt to organize one ourselves, or hire a part-time dedicated nanny. There are no infant daycare, and I don’t expect a spot to open up.  Our backup plan is for me to stay part time longer so we can cover it ourselves.  (T has reduced duties for a whole semester, but summer would be very dicey to cover.)  That plan also would be exhausting, with no “breaks” for us.  Me working full-time is more monetarily valuable than not paying for childcare. I don’t love it, but it is an option until we can get her into our daycare of choice in August or figure something else out.

House:

Since I had a fair amount of family visitors in the first month, T  had some time to work on the ongoing landscaping project. However, more significant progress was made because we hired the neighborhood gardener, at my urging. “We need to buy your way out of this project.  I’d rather have you inside helping and there is too much work left to do.” I may do a post breaking down the costs (labor, rocks, plants) later, but the ballpark cost was about $5k. Most of the cost was rocks/mulch gravel.  That was more than I wanted to spend, but also a total bargain for what we ended up with. The plants are all native, so we didn’t need to add irrigation and pay an expensive water bill.  It looks super great!

No other house projects are ongoing, and I expect there won’t be anything major for a while.  We are looking at purchasing a home security/camera system in the near future.

Work:

In October, I left work about 2 weeks before I’d planned.  Maternity leave is going well.

I was just asked if I wanted to go on a trip for 2 weeks at the end of my maternity leave (i.e. ending my leave a little early).  They thought I might be able to make it if they could also pay for my husband to come too, since traveling for 2 weeks with a small nursing baby seems problematic.  It was a nice gesture to keep me included, but I declined.

There is not much else to say here until I go back in February!

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 21, 2018 11:42 am

    Do you have a local college or community college? Posting on their job boards is how we found our infant care.

    • December 21, 2018 11:42 am

      — specifically part time childcare…

      They’re usually pretty flakey around exam times, but otherwise it worked out well for us.

      • December 21, 2018 2:55 pm

        Thanks for the suggestion! I guess I was envisioning an older more experienced nanny type person, but there seems to be no reason why a college student would not be capable. We do have a local university.

  2. December 26, 2018 11:03 am

    You have lots to think about! Wishing you a Happy 2019.

    • December 29, 2018 11:27 am

      Thank you! happy new year to you too!

  3. January 7, 2019 5:08 pm

    If you remember, we ended up doing the juggle work and child at home with me thing for most of the first year and I confirm it’s so exhausting. My fingers are crossed that you make headway with finding a good part time nanny if you can’t do a nanny share.

    That was a very nice gesture to offer to pay for T to go with you for two weeks, I don’t know of many companies that would even consider that. I wouldn’t be up for it myself, but I like that they thought of it for people who might.

    I started trying to figure out how to post to the local college boards to find a part time sitter for when JB starts kindergarten and has a day that ends at 1 pm! It’s going to take me a while to figure that out.

    • January 7, 2019 6:09 pm

      I totally remember that, and I’m now even more astonished that you managed to do that successfully. We’d have about five months of that in the worst case (assuming we get into the daycare we want in August). But we have some other leads that we are pursing right now.

      I honestly don’t know if paying for T to go with would have worked out on the company’s end if we pursued it, but I agree it was a super nice and supportive thought!

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