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Spring Money and Work Updates

May 8, 2019

My personal finance blog has withered to just monthly updates on how we are doing in parenthood!

Behind the scenes, money is still a focus, although a lot of it is on autopilot at the moment.

Money

  • We did our taxes! We owed a modest amount – about $1,000 net between federal and state. I have to go back to my tax estimate spreadsheet and figure out where it is out of sync, because I was hoping for a small refund.  It could be my calculations, or I underestimated our annual income.  Maternity leave clouded the income issue.  The baby was a nice $2k credit, despite showing up late in the year, but I already counted that.
  • In doing our taxes, we noted we fell off the donation wagon, and donated less in 2018 compared to 2017. Giving to charity is not something I was brought up with as a value, but I’m trying to normalize it and make it a regular part of our annual financial plan.  I’ll remedy this in 2019.  (This had some impact on my tax estimate being off, I’m sure.)
  • Our Net Worth is climbing nicely again, already up 9% for the year.   I’m amazed by the snowballing effect of our asset growth – but know that the hot market won’t continue like this indefinitely.
  • T asked whether market growth outweighs our contributions. In 2018, the market took a nose dive at the end of the year, so contributions greatly outweighed the growth.  So far in 2019, growth has outpaced our contributions by 1.5x, despite the front loading of investments.
  • I decided to forgo tagging along to T’s summer conference this year, despite looking forward to it for years.  It is in Paris!  I have been there once, and really loved it. I have some good reasons for skipping, but I’m still a bit sad about it.  This will save us about $2k, considering my plane ticket and extra money that we’d spend.  (Money wasn’t the driver behind the decision.)  We may try to plan a trip to France in the fall, but I’m not sure if I want to push for that.
  • I’m starting to sell some baby items we no longer need and don’t want to store.  I’ve had mixed success so far, but did manage to sell the bassinet with infant insert for what I paid for them.  Yay!

Work

  • I’m struggling with whole parenting + work thing. I have it pretty easy, with a flexible-ish job, almost zero commute, and normal hours… yet I still struggle. At the moment, is mostly a matter of focus/motivation, rather than time.  Stopping pumping at work should improve things, but I’m not ready to give up nursing entirely.  We’ll see how it plays out.
  • We’re eagerly awaiting the outcome of two likely projects that may or may not be starting soon.  I’d have a role on either of them, which would be a welcome change. My current project is really cool, but there are many reasons that it would be a reasonable time to move on to something else.  If something else existed.
  • Pending the outcome of these projects, my manager is going to advocate with me for a title change promotion, which comes with a raise of an unknown amount. I’m actually pretty happy with my current salary, but it seems prudent.
  • In the last year or two, we’ve had new leadership at work.  They have been doing a great job of providing a slight bit more structure. This is welcome (by me) since this is the least structured place I’ve ever worked. One of the new leaders is a woman who has repeatedly given me some good advice on navigating the system we are in. Much of the advice has suggested that I avoid trying  to do other people’s job for them just because they suck at it (worded more diplomatically).

Overall, things are generally good.  The money stuff is quite good, the work stuff is currently manageable and there is hope for something a little better in the very near future.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2019 7:24 am

    We’ve put donating into our budget, which is how we stay on top of it. I know you guys don’t budget though. My husband, back when he didn’t budget, made an Ally savings account labeled Donations and set up an auto transfer for his monthly budget to help get it stuck in his head. Or you could try doing donating in larger lumps? We are specifically planning to reduce our donations this year because we won’t itemize and we know we will in 2020.

    It is so incredible to watch the market growth outpace contributions!

    • May 9, 2019 8:55 am

      I think we’ll need to do larger lump sums to make up for where we are at as of May this year. I think doing it monthly was useful when we made reasonable headway in 2018.

      I would love to get back into budgeting and maybe need to find a more automated system to make this possible. Mint was too buggy for me and I don’t love linking up my accounts… but I am sure there are options where I could manually enter transactions and everything else would be automated.

      • May 9, 2019 11:11 am

        We use YNAB! We manually enter most of our transactions and it auto reconciles them from our linked accounts. Plus, there’s an app.

        I think that Sherry of Save Spend Splurge donates a certain % of her previous year’s income in January each year? That could be an easy way to do it without having to really tay on top of it.

  2. May 16, 2019 4:48 pm

    I think that the struggle, even with all our benefits and privileges, is normal.

    Not that my own experience is normal *but* it feels like it took me a really long time to feel like I was handling *all the things* reasonably well and balancing them, too. 3 years in fact. I know other moms have felt like it takes a good long time to feel like they’ve adjusted to their new normal, too.

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