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October Wrap-up

November 9, 2019

Net Worth and Money News

We got the remainder of T’s summer salary.  I also got a modest retroactive raise.  Lots of income this month!  Our net worth increased about 3.5% this month, and we just might get a 20% increase for the year if we are lucky.

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

Monthly spend (excluding some major categories as noted above): $3,007

Highest single transaction that hasn’t been featured in a previous 2019 month:
$501.27, which was T’s purchase of a new coffee grinder. This is not something would have spent so much on, but he is the coffee snob in our house. When we discussed, I said something like “If you really want to / think it is worth it… it is up to you.” I did veto (for now) his desired espresso machine upgrade.

Smallest single transaction:
$6.54 for a used book for LO.  She also got a bunch of free books at a public library sale, where a friend gifted me use of half of her paper grocery bag space, which we were allowed to fill for a few dollars.

Most annoying expense:
 Hmm, maybe bags of ice to deal with the power outages?  That was uncool.

Expense that brought the most joy or utility:
 $78 for a joint birthday lunch. Honestly, the food was disappointing and we won’t be going back. Still, it was nice to take a minute to celebrate together, even if we had to do it during daycare hours.

Donations (for accountability): $25 to my nephew’s school fundraiser, $75 to DonorChoose (more needy schools than my nephew’s), and $50 to Revanche’s fundraiser.

House Projects

T cleaned the gutters in prep for fire / rain season.  It probably has to be done again before there is any serious rain, since the high winds blew more debris onto our roof.  I don’t think there was much else here this month, just general upkeep.


Work is busy, and probably only going to get busier.  It is early stages on my new project, and I’m still trying to get smart enough, and I hope I’ll get there.

Other life stuff

Estate planning: The lawyer hasn’t got back to us?  Ugh.  I’m inclined to direct him (or other lawyer) to set us up with a basic trust that specifies guardianship and financial arrangements for LO, then do more research and revisit / update in the future. This leaves the onus on the surviving spouse to protect any assets, and I’m pretty comfortable with that. I’d rather do that than put unnecessary strings on the money that would complicate the surviving spouses life.  Also, we need want to slightly increase the life insurance policies we have on both of us.  My goal is for it to be enough to push the surviving spouse most of the rest of the way to FI, which mostly means enough to pay off the mortgage.

Power outages: We were impacted by the widespread power shut offs in California twice, although merely inconvenienced rather than any serious issues. Grocery stores near by had ice the whole time, so the fridge contents survived in a regular cooler. For the freezer, we moved the meat and other high value (and dense) items to a standalone chest freezer.  That freezer was packed with frozen water bottles/jugs & frozen breast milk. Everything was still frozen solid, but we probably can only tolerate ~2 days of that.  We did lose some minor freezer contents.

Our cell service fails when the power goes out, losing the ability to receive evacuation notices via our usual methods. Our neighborhood also has some basic protocols in place, and I think we’ll be buying some two way radios and a NOAA radio.  More on disaster and outage prep to come.

LO had to come into our bed one night when the power was out, because we  couldn’t keep her warm enough in her crib alone – especially since she still uses sleep sacks instead of blankets. Her daycare remained open & with power, but both of our work places closed due to outages. We were asked to work from home if we could. The first time it happened, we took the dog hiking. The second time, we both were too busy, so found some coffee shops to work in.

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