Wait, what happened to Q1? That’s what you’re asking, I know it. Well, I guess life happened. We are in the process of building an addition after all! The good news is, I already mostly achieved my one goal for 2022: solve my migraines! Turns out iron supplements solved it. I now have 1-2 migraines a month and an amazing medication to take when they start that stops the headache. Modern medicine is a miracle.
Also, I’m ignoring the current state of the world in this update. I’m tired.
Addition update: We got our solar panels installed and I will never not geek out about them (okay, maybe in the winter when they don’t actually produce anything, but hopefully we’ll be living on energy credits we generated this summer!). We’re also in the thick of installing drywall, but took a break when the weather got nice to build a paver path and retaining wall along the property line. This was a ton of work and the kids were very helpful. Luckily, we had pulled up all the paver stones that were on the side of the house before building the addition and stacked them in our yard last summer so we reused all of those and saved ourselves at least $1000. The good news is that once the drywall and landscaping is done, the rest of the projects actually seem fun to me because they are weekend projects that have great payoffs (ie: installing flooring, installing closet shelving, bathroom vanity, etc.). So I look forward to all the exciting stuff ahead. And, we’re through all the expensive parts of the addition and almost done paying contractors (15k left!), so we can cash flow the rest of it when we feel like doing the projects. This is very relieving to me as a PF Geek.
Work update: I still have a job, but this month saw another dozen coworkers leave and an emergency meeting from the CEO about how “there is no mass exodus occurring” (which directly followed a 30-minute meeting where four people announced their resignations: something I would definitely define as a “mass exodus”). I’m still on COVID research all the time, so we’ll see how long that lasts, but I’m sticking it out while it does.
Our mortgage is at $277,000 and at 2.125%, we don’t plan to pay this down early. With the rocky ride of the market as of late, our investments now sit at $593,000. Sad to drop below the 600k line, but we’re not worried (and we totally skipped the 500k bracket on the way up, so it wanted to say hello in our plan update page).
The Year of Yes
Maybe you recall that at the end of last year, I decided not to set financial goals this year and just say yes to all the things I wanted to do. Well, that is going SMASHINGLY. So far, we’ve said yes to:
- A week in NYC and 5 Broadway shows – We timed it perfectly in February between COVID waves and the kids got to see Wicked, Hamilton, and The Play that Goes Wrong for the first time and all of us got to see Music Man with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster and Come From Away. It was an incredibly redeeming trip after two years of no live theatre and I loved it all. My daughter’s request was that next time we see MORE shows because five wasn’t enough. 😉
- A week in the Florida keys followed by a week in DisneyWorld with my whole family – Just one week after returning from NYC, we went to Florida and I’m so glad we lucked out on COVID waves for both trips because both trips were crowds! But the kids had a great time in DisneyWorld with their grandparents and cousins and we all enjoyed trying every Key Lime Pie we came across as we worked our way through the Florida keys.
- Solar Panels – I already talked about these, so I won’t say more here except that I have no regrets.
- A pizza oven – This was on Mr. T’s “rich list” – a list we made at one point of all the things we would purchase if we were actually rich. It turns out, between the two of us it was basically just a pizza oven, solar panels, and a hot tub, so we plan to complete our rich list by the end of the year! And we’ve all been enjoying some delicious homemade pizza in our new Ooni (affiliate link).
- The continued addition project
- Tickets to Australia/New Zealand this Christmas – Okay, I actually used all the points we hoarded during the pandemic to pay for these flights, but am definitely spending money on tours of the glowworm caves, a day out on the Great Barrier Reef, and obviously a visit to Hobbiton.
We haven’t yet contributed to our Roth IRAs or maxed out our 401ks, but I think we will likely end up doing those things, too. Turns out that having two decent incomes is the ultimate life hack.
It’s so true. Our life got so much easier when we both started earning decent incomes. High income is the ultimate life hack. Like, I can just choose to have a “year of yes” and check it all off while the market tanks and inflation goes through the roof….? Unfair, right? It absolutely is.
Capitalism is the Worst
While we’re on the subject of unfair: my daughter just got her first job. She’s minimum wage and loves it, but I’ve been livid about the whole thing. First off, she was hired because they can’t find minimum wage workers that can drive themselves because they can’t afford to work minimum wage! The job is great, it’s great to have her get experience and have fun and get out of the house, but default capitalism is the worst. Her first three hours of work are deducted by the company for her mandatory uniform. I know this is the norm, but it shouldn’t be. If you require it, it should be covered by the company! When I asked her about breaks, telling her about her legal right to a break during her long shifts, she said that no one really does that because there’s not really a place to take a break. I basically lost my mind. I was like: “You say: I’m taking my break now, find a place, and sit down for a half hour.” She doesn’t see the problem in any of this because we drive her to the job, all of her expenses are paid for, and she doesn’t have a problem being on her feet for eight hours (apparently). One day, she worked a three hour shift and her allergies were out of control so her eyes were so red. She needed eye drops to be able to see clearly. I dropped her off at work, picked up eye drops, and brought them back to her at work. I then realized she would earn less than those eye drops cost at that shift and I was livid all over again. In short, my daughter is earning a few bucks that I will then match into her Roth IRA, and she’s also getting an anti-capitalist earful about worker rights. So win, win, right? 😉
It’s actually killing me that I don’t currently have the cash to throw into the market right now because of the Year of Yes (and the final contractor bill pending). I have no idea what the market will do. I do, however, think the inflation is temporary and a lot of it is caused by companies inflating prices because they can. Yes, I think things are actually inflated because of supply chain problems (still pandemic and war related, primarily), but profits are also up considerably in many sectors. I don’t think inflation will stay high for years, but definitely likely for at least the next year. As for the market, I’m hoping it stays down long enough for us to get to our investments for the year! I have no way of predicting any of that, and I don’t like to time the market, but will Roth IRAs, which we usually fund in lump sums, it’s nice to see the market dip for the occasion.
It’s good to be back around these parts after a 6-month break. I missed you. I’ll share some pics of the inside of the addition as things move along. As for now, it’s just a boring box with some drywall. Stay healthy, friends. And hold on to each other. Be kind. The world is dark enough.