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Year in Review 2022

January 15, 2023

I have a half-finished post wrapping up November and December, but have dropped those in favor of wrapping up all of 2022 instead.


Our net worth is of course down with the markets, but less than I expected on a year-to-year basis.

Our savings rate is 49% including mortgage principal and about 43% exluding it. Our spending was very high for a lot of reasons (windows mainly), but 2022 is our last year of full time childcare year round (!!!!!). Despite not yet getting the final bill or getting them installed, I’m “billing” the windows to 2022 to avoid having costs split over 2 years, and we planned the cost for 2022.

I leaned into the megabackdoor Roth IRA this year, forgoing some tax-advantaged 403b space. Backdoor Roth IRAs are a crazy tax loop hole for the wealthy that should be closed, but in the meantime, I’m using mine.

For 2023, I’m not quite sure what our strategy will be. I’m thinking we will forgo most/all 403b tax advantaged space in favor of building up cash & megabackdoor Roth IRA. The cash is because of some unknowns (sabbatical + recession?), but I have a hard time seeing the advantage of having cash over building Roth IRAs, where contributions can be withdrawn at any time if needed.


Some of my favorite purchase of the year were our patio table/umbrella, a new wool blanket, and the SodaStream. T also got some new yard tools, which also enabled us to get a mini-power supply inverter set up that we can use for camping or power outages.

We spent more on food and continue to use grocery delivery regularly – the time saved is enormous. Still, overall grocery/food spending was slightly lower compared to 2021. I’m not quite sure why – maybe less prepared food / food services compared to the deep pandemic days. We spent more on travel this year (hard to go down from the small 2021 spend), and more on electronics to replace both of our phones. But, the biggest spending hit was home maintenance. Childcare was slightly down, since we were paying toddler prices for part of 2021, and we pay just a touch more in our monthly mortgage compared to childcare.


We ordered new windows ~6 or 7 months ago, and they should be here very soon!

We also did a bunch of smaller upkeep and cleaning. T did a good clean out of the garage. I’ve been focusing on decluttering, primarily giving away baby clothes and such the I had saved in case we wanted a second kid. We bought and put up outdoor Christmas lights for the first year. T kept up his progress on making over our yard (mostly maintenance this year), and we got a few indoor cactuses and succulents. T is awesome at repairing any little things as they came up, like patching the decking material and filling in a crack in the driveway, and closely monitoring our ability to handle the winter rainstorms.

After living here 9 years, painting is the last big-ticket item on our house list, aside from more optional upgrades like a bathroom update or adding solar. Over the years, we’ve done ductwork/furnace replacement, a major drainage updates in the yard (french drain), bathroom/tile update due to leak/dry rot, new roof, and windows (any day now!).


Our project had a lot of bumps in 2022, so many large bumps… Still, we are making progress, and we have a better design in the end (I guess). Our major partner is a bit frustrating to work with. I’m trying to figure out where to push them, where to leave them be. I’m also trying to minimize complaints that don’t have an action someone can take tied with them. (But sometimes they are so unbelievably frustrating that I have to vent!)

I’ve taken on more responsibility and got a promotion/raise to reflect that and to bring my salary more in line with others, which was fantastic. There is still ongoing paperwork related to finalizing this – maybe more on that in a different post.

I worked on a proposal late in the year that would be super exciting to execute on if we win it (typical win rate is only like 10%). I’m also serving in a mentor role on a smaller project that I don’t have time for more involvement on. All in all, I’m really happy with my job.

COVID-19 (and other health)

In early 2022, as the Omicron wave swept through the nation, I accepted that we are likely to get COVID at some point. We gradually altered our risk profile from extremely conservative to merely cautious. We did not get COVID yet. We avoid large crowds and mask in public places, but we also take accept some risks. I mask at airports, grocery stores etc., but I don’t generally mask socially (unless someone prefers it). I accept some indoor social invitations, and turn others down. I skipped the pre-Christmas work holiday party because it wasn’t worth catching anything (cold, flu, RSV, COVID) right before we had important holiday travel planned.

All in all, we were relatively healthy this year. We had a few colds and LO was out sick quite a bit in the fall, but somehow we didn’t get any of the December illnesses that seemed to plague all families with kids. We stayed healthy through the holiday travels. My mental health was terrible early 2022, but I tried therapy and medications, and am in an OK place right now.

I’m sort of trying to get back into running again, but it is hard to make it a normal part of the routine. I have been cooking a lot lately, and I love when I’m able to make time for cooking to be enjoyable rather than just one more chore.


We had so much fun this year! Most of our trips were camping trips. We camped on 6 different occasions for 13 nights, plus stayed in my parents RV a few more times when they were in the area. My favorite campground was probably in Salt Point State Park on the northern coast, but very much enjoyed them all, for different reasons.

Aside from all the camping, we had a lot of other trips. We traveled to Michigan/Chicago in the summer for over a week, Denver in the fall for a long weekend, and North Dakota for a week around Christmas. We went to Tahoe on 3 separate occasions (I’m now obsessed with the idea of owning a small A-frame cabin there), and spent one night in SF doing Chrsitmasy city stuff. Compared to 2020 (no travel!) and 2021 (no plane travel), it was a huge increase.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2023 4:57 pm

    49% is a pretty solid savings rate! Thanks for the idea to buy a Soda Stream- my spouse drinks a lot of La Croix and this seems like an interesting idea. I’m glad your mental health is in a better place now than it was early in the year – that’s so important.

  2. January 16, 2023 11:19 pm

    Yes – we use it exclusively for carbonated water (mostly unflavored), and it seems more economical and it creates less cans around the house to recycle. And yes, mental health improvement is probably the biggest win of the year.

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