ENW May 2019: $5,000

Okay, so this is, I think, rock bottom. Here we go.

Last month, my ENW was $15,000. That was at the start of a whole bunch of awful, most of which hit my bank account in April. We spent about $20K on a bathroom remodel that, it turns out, is transforming me into a shrew, and last night I actually said, “we are never renovating any part of our house again.” Because I am mature, and I am measured. But I also mean it, and that’s nice, because think how much money we’ll save!

I also foolishly expected a tax refund and owed about $4000. So. Last month cost us something like $25K over the typical month. Ugh.

As of a few seconds ago, Mint thinks my net worth is $13,695.88. A decrease of $23,000 from March. Sounds about right.

Here’s what Mint doesn’t know: I have about $30K in my husband’s retirement account, and I owe about $24K in home improvement loans (solar panels, waterproofing the basement), $11,000 in no-interest credit card debt (old consumer debt plus the new bathroom stuff), $2K in brain surgery debt, and $100 or so on the lawn mower. Oh and about $600 on my new computer. So, I have an additional $30K, I’m down an additional $38K.

So: Mint’s number minus $8,000 = $5,000. OMG it’s still positive.

When Amelia was born, and we were $10,000 in consumer debt because we had suuuuuper underestimated how much it would cost to invite my MIL to live with us, and our total income was something like 60% of what it is now, and there was no way out, and our basement was flooding constantly and a tree threatened to fall on our bedroom every time the wind blew (every day), I thought, “this is the poorest we will ever be.” I knew we weren’t going to have any more kids, and our debts were relatively stable (house, car), and in theory our incomes would improve. Even though we’ve taken on an additional $30K in debt since then to fix the broken things, I wasn’t wrong. We are in much, much better shape than we were then (plus I’m not afraid of dying from a tree falling through the window every night).

At the same time, I feel now like I did then: this is the poorest we are going to be. I’m increasing my tax withholdings again, there shouldn’t be any more surprises on the bathroom cost, my freelancing is going gangbusters. Our summer vacation plans are paid off except for gas and groceries, and the kid activities will be minimal in the summer. I will pay off one small bill (lawn mower) this month, one small bill next month, one small bill in four months, which total almost $600 per month. Each month, my spreadsheet looks a little better.

I mean, not counting this month and last month, but let’s not count those. Let’s just keep moving forward.

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