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August Wrap Up

September 16, 2019

Net Worth and Money News

Our net worth went up just a sliver this month.

For reasons unknown, T was paid a mysterious amount in summer salary that is uncorrelated to anything, and much lower than it should have been.  HR and Payroll are working on fixing that, but only after he contacted them to ask what was going on.

I spent a fair amount of time staring at our finance spreadsheet and wishing for the numbers to be higher. This is usually a sign of frustration with some other aspect of my life, but I can’t point to anything specific.

I would like to see data that shows federal taxes paid compared to Gross Income.  This data is available (I think) compared to Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)… but I’m interested in how much income ends up being sheltered from taxes for wealthy vs non-wealthy Americans.  This came up in my mind when I noted how much income we are able to shelter from taxes.  It seems unfair.

Spending Bullets (excluding childcare, mortgage, property taxes and car/home insurance – because I want to):

  • Monthly spend (excluding some major categories as noted above):  $2600
  • Highest single transaction that hasn’t been featured in a previous 2019 month: $338.04 for several months of a water bill, plus an extra fee that typical is on our property tax bill but was missed last year.
  • Smallest single transaction:  $3.33 for 8 jars of Yumi baby food due to a free intro trial.  LO mostly liked them, but they ares super expensive regular price, and she’s really moving beyond purees.
  • Most annoying expense:  Nothing in particular, but we did pay All The Insurances this month (home, earthquake, umbrella), which was a lot
  • Expense that brought the most joy or utility: Nothing in particular except daycare.  That was a great utility!
  • Donations (for accountability):  $200 to RAICES, again.

House Projects

Minor work on the yard continued.  We’ve been discussing a new roof, but are still waiting on the tenure decision, which is delayed due to bureaucracy.  We hope to hear this fall.

We got a new rug for the living room to replace the shag rug that was impossible to clean and also had two recent incidents of damage.  The Roomba can handle the new rug, which is a fantastic and a new requirement for any future rugs. Despite initially authorizing a budget of around $1k for a large area rug, I encouraged T to saticfice and get a lower priced rug, rather than buying a nice rug that he’d take forever to select. We really don’t need to buy a forever rug when we have an almost-one-year-old baby.


I was creating a budget for a  proposed project, and noted another engineer with a similar job as me got a significant raise since I last noted his salary.  He now makes what I make, despite being 5 years less experienced. He may be just as good / valuable at his job as I am at mine –  yet it still bothered me.

We had performance reviews, and I “only” got a rating of 4 out of 5 (5 being the best). My manager offered me an opportunity to argue for a 5, but I couldn’t really do it with a straight face this year. The good part is, we plan to work on my promotion once I’ve put in a little time on this new project, and the raise I get from that will overshadow the 2-5% raise that is based on these ratings.  So, yay.

Other life stuff

I ended up not wrapping up this entry until over half way into September, so I can’t really remember what else to write about in August.  T was scheduled for a trip to Hong Kong, but ultimately ended up canceling because of the ongoing protests that occasionally were disrupting the airport.  We finished our last week of nanny share (it feels like a lifetime ago already!), paid out her accumulated vacation leave, and made it through the daycare transition.  Summer is winding down to a close, although it is still very much wild fire season and we need to be working on our emergency plans.  Fall is coming, and there are a lot of birthdays in the next few months.  Maybe I’ll be on top of gift giving?  Probably not.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 17, 2019 4:51 pm

    I still haven’t gotten my summer salary or some pretty major reimbursements. :/ I may get my actual paycheck before those lump sums…

    oh, you just reminded me that I need to log into liberty mutual to pay some of the insurances…

  2. September 18, 2019 7:15 pm

    Oooh, I’ve been thinking about trying to find old tax amounts, but hadn’t taken the time to wonder how it compares now vs. when I was making 40% of what I do today.

    Fingers crossed for T’s tenure and your promotion!

    • September 19, 2019 12:57 pm

      I could probably compare from now to 10 years ago without too much effort, which may be interesting. Or I guess, it would make most sense to do for a year we were married.

      I’m most curious on a national scale. My promotion is at least several months out, but yeah, it is probably time and I’m optimistic it will be fine. The way promotions work here are a little different than previous jobs, in a good way.

  3. September 24, 2019 9:48 am

    “I spent a fair amount of time staring at our finance spreadsheet and wishing for the numbers to be higher. This is usually a sign of frustration with some other aspect of my life, but I can’t point to anything specific.”

    This has been my problem for the last YEAR! It took a while to shake myself out of that habit because obviously it doesn’t change a thing, especially not the thing I’m unhappy about, but it was an important realization.

    I find it irritating that the engineer with 5 years less experience is making the same as you now. ><

    I'd like to noodle more numbers to see if I can make our money work better since we don't have more than two ways to shelter our money from taxes, but I just don't have the time right now.

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