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March and April Wrap Up

May 5, 2022

Money & Net worth

Our net worth is DOWN. T used to be sort of excited about updating his numbers each month, but he has lost enthusiasm this year. I’m not worried about the drop. The gains in the last years have seemed too good to be true, and we have no immediate plans for an early retirement, and we are still in a very secure position. If I was seriously tracking progress towards FI, we’d have a set back from about 66% there to now only about 52% there… and I haven’t even scrubbed the FI budget for inflation impacts! We’ve gone back to summer 2021 net worth levels, despite dumping quite a bit into savings the last year.

We filed taxes and paid our tax bill. I messed up an input on my tax predicting spreadsheet, so we owed about $2k net. Maybe I can get it right this year! I updated the spreadsheet, and it looks like we’ll be taking the standard deduction on the federal side, and itemizing on the state side again this year. I’m still prioritizing a mega backdoor Roth over tax-advantaged space, and paying a higher tax bill in order to do so. That Roth money is going to be really really helpful, so I think it is worth it. Maybe?

I honestly don’t have a clear handle on our spending right now. I’m convinced grocery spending is down now that I’ve mostly resumed cooking most of our meals (we relied heavily on prepared food during COVID spikes). I have some expenses tracked, but I keep falling behind, and not carving out time to close out where we are at. Maybe this month. I’m interested to see if I can detect inflation in our spending.


As far as we know, we’ve remained COVID-free so far. LO has had a series of colds this winter, which prompt a PCR test and a doctors note to get back to school. She’s been in group child-care since July 2020, but had rarely been sick because they have good protocols at daycare and (more so) everyone locally was being very cautious for a long time. As life shifts and people socialize more and mask less (indoor public masking is still pretty common), there are many colds going around, in addition to the COVID. This current wave might get us yet. I’m convinced we avoided Omicron largely due to daycare being closed for holidays, and by not making any travel plans during December/January. We were mostly isolated. Maybe we can make it until LO is vaccinated. I’m so grateful for the vaccines, but I’ve also ceased to see them as “they way out” of this mess, which is what I (many of us!) hoped a year ago. I’m not happy about that, because it seems the answer is that there isn’t a near-term “way out”. I find Bob_Wachter and Katelyn Jetelina to be the most helpful sources of information, with a side of Emily Oster (I understand her limitations and why she is controversial, but I still find it helpful).


Work has been interesting, in good and bad ways. My project is having speed bumps that we are working through. If we don’t figure it out in the next ~2 months, we may be done. Still, I’m optimistic we can get on the right track, and deliver what we said we would. I had two one-day trips to Southern California in February, which is kind of the worst type of business travel (early morning flights, no relaxing night in a hotel, PLUS they won’t cover meals if it is < 24 hours). My focus and motivation has been a bit bumpy, but still overall heading in the right direction.

I’ve been going in to the office more often, although this is mostly just to sit in my office alone. (My commute is so short, so I don’t mind going in, and often do focus better there.)

My manager and I have been talking about a promotion forever (going back to my previous manager). They apparently they submitted it many months ago (without letting me know at the time?), and are trying to move me up 2 levels with a significant raise including a retroactive portion. This is all NOT approved by bureaucracy above us, though, so for all I know, it could be 6 more months. (This is not just my case – these types of things have been moving at a glacial pace, across the board.) So, this is “exciting” on one hand… yet I’m still pretty angry that it took so long, and that no one was able to advocate for me until it became a situation where I needed to be moved up two levels to get on par with peers. It is on me as well, for not pushing it myself – compounded by maternity leave, COVID, and everyone at all levels being completely underwater for two years straight. Still, all of this delay and frustration really takes any joy out of it – especially since it isn’t finalized yet. Maybe the joy will happen when it is real? We have an “equity” committee that is supposed to watch this stuff, but the process is either not working, or just too slow. My opinion is that I was forgotten about because I wasn’t in the “in” group, working on the big projects – and I didn’t otherwise make enough noise. Everyone is doing the best they can – but this situation is really demotivating whenever this pops into my mind.

On the flip side, everything else about my job is really really ideal. I have a lot of autonomy, enough vacation, work-life balance, interesting work, good commute, good colleagues, etc. etc. This is all more important than money – at least up until the point where it is not. And it isn’t even just the money, it is also feeling valued and like I’m doing good things.

Family & Life

LO is doing very well. She’s experimenting with lying/story telling. She’s trying to figure out jokes. She is interested in flowers and plants and especially interested in bugs (ladybugs, rolly pollies, anything). She is really happy in preschool. My parents have been in the area (in an RV, and also at our house sometimes) for several weeks, so she has been having a blast getting spoiled by them every weekend.

LO: “I have a joke! Why did the man run away?”
Me: “why?”
LO: “Because he saw a fish made out of butts!”
Since it was her first attempt at a joke, I told her to go tell her dad, too!
LO: “Daddy! Daddy! I have a joke! Why did the man run away from the fish made out of butts?!?!”
Dad: “Why?”
LO: “…. I don’t know.”

T is finishing up the school year, and looking forward to a summer of research. He didn’t plan any conferences for the summer yet, so it may be a relatively low key summer. One can hope. The visit from my parents is going well. It is nice to see them frequently, but to also not have them underfoot in our house for a long period of time.

All in all, life is OK.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 12, 2022 7:34 am

    With the markets the way they are, I am going to switch to only updating our household net worth in June and December and my personal one in December. It just isn’t worthwhile information anymore. I’m more frustrated with the fact that reduced stock market prices = less compensation than expected, plus I quit my job for self employment so I don’t know how much income I will have this year.

    • May 19, 2022 11:39 am

      That’s pretty true – it isn’t useful info, but I track it mostly out of habit, and I guess it might help a little tiny bit if i happy to check on a particularly noisy day. The swings don’t bother me at all, much less than back in 2008 when I had so little money invested.

      Self-employment sounds exciting! I miss your blog 🙂

      • May 23, 2022 3:50 pm

        I’m starting a new blog to go along with my business, though less personal! I can email you when it’s up and running 🙂

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