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ENW April 2020: $15,700

Well, today was the day that I fell over a cliff. Not literally, because that would require going somewhere with a cliff. The figurative quarantine Covid-19 mom-mom-mom-mom-mom work from home school from home parent from home never leave home cliff. I felt like I was the embodiment of an inflamed wound, where everything that approached me with the gentlest touch caused me to flare, rage. Viv asked me how many seconds it would take for me to finish texting her school secretary her attendance so that she could count down until I would brush her doll’s hair, and the anger I felt was thick, scary. Sonya, in what can only be described as the worst April Fool’s joke of all time on top of her sister counting down until I could brush her stupid doll’s hair put salt in my coffee. I cannot describe how this made me feel, except I will say that I sobbed in front of the sink for ten minutes.

I’ve done pretty good feeling like we’ll be okay. We’ll get through this. We’ll be fine. We’re lucky! We’re getting paid, our kids are well-behaved and on task, our school district is supportive, we can work remotely. We are healthy! We are happy! It’s fine! The world might kind of totally fall apart and nothing is ever going to be the same, like truly nothing will ever be the same, but we’ll get through it.

But today – today has not been a day for those kind of chipper “find gratitude” thoughts. Today has been a day for explosive anger, negative levels of patience, how long can we do this and what happens when I really, no really truly cannot take it anymore? And if the answer is “you have no choice but to take it,” well, be careful what you say to me because I’m liable to go sob in front of the sink.

Except I plopped the kids in front of screens and worked in the garden for 40 minutes – weeding, planting potatoes, planting sugar snap peas, planting garlic. Lettuce! Working with the soil, getting my hands dirty, dreaming of new life. Checking out our raspberries, which appear to be growing like gangbusters, checking our grapes and honey crisp apple tree, which appear to have not died. Envisioning the harvest. Checking in on the celery, which I didn’t even have to plant because last year I was too lazy to harvest it all.

Which means that here at the end of the day, I feel like a different person than I did at the beginning of the day. The cliff has been planted over with garlic, and nothing is ever going to be the same, but we’ll be okay. Somehow, someway.

At any rate, I was dreading this update, because I was in no mood to pick apart how awful we are doing financially. But after the gardening, I’m much more zen, so here we go.

Last month, my ENW was $39,078. As of two seconds ago, Mint thinks my net worth is $25,337. A drop of almost $19K from last month. Well, that sucks, but don’t forget, new life and garlic plants waving gently in the wind across a cliff.

Oh! But I updated Mint to show all of my credit card debt, so that’s actually pretty great. It still doesn’t know about $1,500 of credit card debt, but that’s nothing compared to last month. So that brings my net worth according to Mint down to $23,800.

I have no idea what my husband’s retirement plan is right now, but let’s say $15K (It was about $25K last time I checked, so that’s pretty conservative except…maybe it’s accurate). So I’m back up to $38,800. I owe about $19,500 in home improvement/brain improvement bills. Down to $19,300. Oh and we have about $3,600 in there that’s not ours, that we have to reimburse my husband’s company for conferences that got canceled. $15,700.

$24,000 less than last month. Lower than it’s been since July of last year.

But, like, so what? Last July I thought we were probably okay except I felt TOTALLY squeezed. And this month I feel like we are probably okay except I don’t feel squeezed. We have our taxes paid off, our summer vacation plans are paid for (if they don’t get canceled!), we have a very solid plan to pay off our credit card debts (which I’ve been saying for awhile but really hasn’t felt REALLY real until last month). My husband and I are both still receiving our salaries and at least for the short term, will probably stay employed. And if we don’t – our side hustles are going strong. Could we lose all of our jobs? Sure. But for now, we’re okay.

So there you have it. $15,700, but spring has sprung and we’re going to all get through this, somehow, someway.

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