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June Wrap-up

July 6, 2020

My feelings aren’t all that different than last month, but it is becoming the the new normal. I will proceed with my monthly update. A few new categories have appeared.

Net Worth and Money News

Our net worth fully recovered last month, and our investible assets hit a new milestone. I’ve been toying with a refinance, but the only way to beat our current rate is to refinance into a 15 year mortgage. It is pretty tempting, but I just can’t pull the trigger.

COVID-19

Not sure what “Phase” we are in here. Masks are mandatory for adults in all situation s, except outside when you can maintain 6′ or 30′ (it is unclear which). Curbside retail is open. Daycare was reopened for all (not just essential workers) early/mid-June. Our daycare took a few weeks to transition from Emergency Care to regular care (at reduced capacity and some new protocols). We started July 1st. Cases are rising, so I have a little apprehension… but am greatly comforted by the fact that kids don’t seem to get it very frequently, nor are they generally vectors.

My work still dictates that everyone who can work from home continues to do so until January 2021 (at least). There will be a phase of my project where I’ll need to go in for specific things, but we are not there. Our director has (at least 4 times now) cited that they are looking forward to offering a quiet space for those with dependent care challenges, and it enrages me each time. As if the problem has been the NOISE in my house…. not the fact that I have to be hands-on parenting for hours during the normal work day. It is a well meaning offer and may provide help to someone with a stay-at-home spouse or other in-home childcare. And, they can’t really solve my problem. I get why he brings this up since he can “solve” that. Still, it enrages me, and the fact that he keeps bringing it up makes him see out of touch (and he probably is out of touch honestly).

T and I are still staying home, and self-isolating. We made an exception and had two play dates with a family with a kid LOs age, who had been able to self-isolate to a similar level. These ceased now that we are in daycare since we are no longer a closed bubble.

I’m at a loss for what to think about COVID on a scale any broader than my own home. The US response has been horrible, but I’m tired of news stories reporting absolute cases instead of per capita cases and/or per capita trends. It is very confusing, although the per capita numbers do also depict our failure. Similarly, looking at entire states instead of counties is not very informative.

House Projects

Not a lot was done this month, aside from placement of more rocks for landscaping. There was a lot of planning done. We’ve booked the new roof (August?) and are also considering moving forward our timeline to replace our original windows to this year. The roof quotes came in at roughly $20k, $25k, and $30k all-in (new gutters, permits, etc.). Windows came in around $15-20k (includes several big sliders), plus some totally unreasonable estimate of “about $20k for the big slider and $5k per window”. Labor costs still seem as high as ever.

It maybe isn’t the best year to drop $45k on home projects, so we’ll see about the windows. The roof was something I was already willing to move forward on, despite the crazy politics / pandemic / dumpster fire. The windows were next on the list, and our last “high priority” major upgrade. (Exterior paint is on the horizon.) I don’t know. We could wait and see if there are furloughs, but I’m not sure that would affect our decision.

Spending

I’m going to skip a monthly breakout this month and provide rambles. We did not pay for daycare for June, but will for July. That is a total of 3 months of daycare reprieve, partially offset by the need for additional developmental toys.

Our overall charity budget has to increase, because I set up recurring monthly donation to support racial justice that matches my original charity budget. And I still care about other causes. Money is my easiest default, though I don’t think it is enough.

Food spending is still high, with limited effort to keep it down. Perhaps some attention can be paid now. I’m still paying a premium for grocery delivery, and probably will continue to do so. It is a big time saver.

Work

IT IS BUSY, and going to get worse. There are two overlapping crescendos of work, one peaking mid/late July and the other peaking early August. I’ve done my best to offload whatever I can, but it is still going to be a lot.

BUT IT IS EXCITING STUFF. The culmination of the job that I have been doing since 2015, and then a big milestone for my newer project.

Daycare opening any later than it did would have been a disaster, but probably more so for T, who would have had to act as primary parent while still maintaining some semblance of work.

We had yearly performance reviews. I have a new supervisor this year since they decided to “re-organize”. This actually just means that we have an org chart for the first time, rather than people just being hired (then reporting to) whoever happened to need them at that moment. I like this change. It is still basically flat, with one person in charge of all engineering then one layer of organization of the various engineer types below that. My new supervisor is both the engineering director, and also the lead of the small group I’m in. She is also the first woman supervisor I’ve had since retail days in high school! It was good. I also encouraged her to speak with my Colorado boss, who I’ve worked with much more extensively for much longer, and I knew he’d say positive things. I’m pretty sure there are no merit raises this year, but we did discuss my eventual promotion with no firm timeline. I didn’t push it very hard, given that I’ve been juggling work and childcare for the past three months.

Activism

I’m still getting my footing here, but this is a new section. (July and August may be light due to work.) I sent $50 to BLM (national) and $50 to NAACP, recurring monthly. I bought a some books from an area Black owned book store – a copy for me and a copy to give away of 3 kids books and The New Jim Crow. I also watched 13th, although maybe that was last month? I also sent two books to a friend who was requesting diverse kids books for the non-profit she works for.

There were a handful of meetings/discussions organized by young (white) activists at my workplace, whic I participated in. I opted not to push for a leadership role on anything they’ve identified. The actions identified are better suited to other people, and my time is better used in other efforts. But, I did show up and speak up and support, and will continue to do so, and be ready to step in as needed.

Other life stuff

I didn’t talk much about LO yet! She is FANTASTIC. She’s a lot of fun, so many words. She’s started acting out her books. She seems interested in emotions – pointing out surprised faces in books, crying when Llama Llama cries then screeching “Mama! Back!” when we get to the next page. She loves books and loves playing peek-a-boo. It has been so fun to have so much extra time with her, even though it came with the stress of trying to meet job responsibilities.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 11, 2020 10:27 pm

    We were hoping to get some work done this year now that it’s clear what some of it needs be. Alas for hopes and plans, while I knew the Recession was due I did not anticipate the boom in construction with the pandemic. That’s made it nearly impossible to hire anyone to help with the work we need.

    We don’t do grocery delivery but we spend that “saved” money on takeout twice a week. Sometimes I just decide that we’re not cooking on the weekends and we’re using that time to decompress and do chores. Some of these decisions are keeping our sanity as intact as it can be. We won’t be eligible for a spot in childcare before JB is due to start kindergarten so we needed to plan for the long haul.

    There’s a lot of frustration as the school year approaches and absolutely no one has a good enough plan for anyone. I guess our past three months were the low stress portion of this pandemic. Sigh.

    • July 12, 2020 9:21 am

      Well…. we are also doing takeout, so our food budget has been Not Good. It was easiest to just accept that, but I’m now ready to put more effort into it. Instacart seems to be the most expensive route for grocery delivery, but also the easiest. There are other/better routes.

      Despite LO being too young, I’ve been closely following the national discussion about schools, and it is just infuriating. The handling of the pandemic has left us in a place where there really are no good options, and the best options require a lot more funding, which is very unlikely to show up.

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