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ENW August 2020 – $67,380.

Okay, I’m still kicking. Barely. I mean, is anybody thriving in this mess of a nonsense?

Here’s what’s happening in my life: I’m going to homeschool my kids while also working two jobs, because what else am I supposed to do. Except I have no choice except to put my youngest in preschool for four hours a day so what is even the point? And my husband and I are both going to be in-person working, so again. What’s the point? But I can’t have my kids on screens for 8-22 hours a day and I suspect in-person school will be tumultuous at best, so we’re gritting our teeth and making it work.

So our risks: My husband, working in a school. Great. And by great I mean “awful.”

Me, teaching college kids face to face. I am filled with dread over this, because college kids by definition make poor choices outside of the classroom. GREAT. Same meaning of “great” as above.

The older two girls: sitting in my office while I teach, working on homeschool stuff. Actually, pretty low risk. I mean unless you count the risk of having to teach yourself while your mom ignores you for her super risky job.

The youngest: preschool, four hours a day. I can’t figure out a way around this. She can’t sit in my office without supervision, we can’t hire a private sitter. Oh look, there goes my stomach knotting up again.

Oh wait, this was supposed to be a post about net worth! But every conversation I have these days comes back to school, what my kids will do, what my husband and I will do. So, there you have it.

Our summer has been weird and absolutely horrible and super great. We took a couple of low-risk risks, joining up with another family to go camping, having a “party” with just us on the Fourth of July, joining up with ourselves to go camping, going to a lake house with my brother and sister’s families. My husband’s co-worker was positive for Covid, so for about 10 days I was sure I had it while I waited in agony for the test results to come back. I did not have it. Yet?

And maybe it would be fine to get it, probably it would be fine, certainly it would be fine, except for that one study that showed that 78 out of 100 people who had recovered, about 2/3 of which were not even hospitalized, had heart abnormalities later. SUPER AWESOME I REALLY DO NOT WANT THAT. For me or for anybody.

Financially: my husband and I are both working, and we both have side hustles. We are extremely lucky in that regard. We built up our emergency fund and then the gutters blew off the side of our house and I guess that’s what emergency funds are for! So we’re building it up again, slowly, agonizingly slowly. But we’ve paid off $16K of credit card debt since January 1, and I just wrote the last check for my brain surgery yesterday. We’re making stupid choices like buying a Nintendo Switch (in my defense, I really thought I was going to be hospitalized with Covid and I wanted my kids to be super distracted. I was not hospitalized, nor did I have Covid. But now we have a Switch) and paying way too much for a pump for the pool that we bought because of supply and demand.

Last month, I didn’t post, but I tracked our net worth and it was about $60K. The month before: $59,375.

This month: Mint says $64,504. It’s safe to assume that my husband’s 401K is about $25K, probably more but who knows, and we owe about $22K in home improvement loans and money that has to be paid back that was pre-imbursed for a conference for my husband in March. Remember when conferences were a thing? So: $67,380.

This is fine. It’s okay. It’s great. It’s awesome! I don’t even know. We’re not buying a bigger house. We have $1500 in an emergency fund that is, according to my own rules, untouchable, and another $480 that is available for emergencies. We have sinking funds built up to about $750, which is pretty good, except we’re going to have to spend $650 on homeschool curricula. But we aren’t buying a saxophone because no school = nobody to teach Sonya the saxophone. I’ve increased our 529 contributions, which are still paltry, and my goal is to increase my 401K contributions next. My company stopped matching, which sucks a lot. We have $11,000 in credit card debt, all on 0% cards. My car is dangerously close to breathing its last breath, even though it’s a Honda and it shouldn’t be.

We’re in a better spot financially than we have been in a long time – but nowhere near where I’d like to be. I’m astounded at how much we’ve been able to pay off in the last six months (partly because of Covid stimulus stuff – the pause on student loan payments was super helpful – but only partly), and I have hopes that in another six months, it’ll be even better. However, if one of us gets hospitalized or loses a job, we’re still going to be in crap. I am jealous of people with six months or a year’s worth of expenses in savings.

Let’s look at the bright side: Our net worth is way higher than it’s ever been, we have money in savings, we have been able to cash flow emergency purchases, we can afford a good curriculum for homeschooling, we bought a Nintendo Switch and a pool pump like we don’t have a care in the world, we just spent a week on the lake pretending like life was normal. Last year, I didn’t do an August post because summers are, I guess, not times when I write, but in July of last year, our ENW was $12,000. I had $23,000 on 0% cards and a bunch on a revolving credit card that was just creeping up and up and up. Actually, leaps-and-bounding up and up and up. Progress!

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