Starting off with how we're doing. Which isn't 100% financial, but lays the groundwork
So I'm about 8 weeks into a shelter in place order. My 4 year old's daycare closed. My work, which was already half in office/half remote, went full remote. My husband, whose office NEVER has anyone remote, went fully remote a week later.
However, he works in an area where the pandemic is affecting his job in a way that they are helping some of the government backed initiatives for small businesses, which means he's worked 7 days a week for the last 7 weeks. On salary, but had gotten small bonuses here & there for extra help.
My work (i.e. Senior management that have no idea what its like for those of us in the trenches at my job) expects us to maintain/exceed all goals.
Which is fun to try to do when my husband is training and on calls half the date, I try to maintain my production and quality and at the same time, try to make a 'normal' for my pre-k kid.
Poor kid wants our help with things all the time, wants 'help' with schoolwork, and for us to play with her.
She misses school, we have been left with no guidance on how to 'teach' her. I have spent hours researching schoolwork/activities and over the weeks, we have made mistakes, but made a 'schedule.
I get up first, usually with her, at 7am. We can watch Sesame Street or Daniel Tiger or play a game on her tablet until breakfast, giving me time to start prepping work.
9am we start school. She does pre-k workbooks, home projects for learning and art. At 10am, she watches an online Kindergartern class (its 1 hour and this woman volunteered to do a sort of circle time to keep kids feeling ok). It is phenomenal and my daughter has thrived with it.
Free play at 11 when the Kindergarten Live is over. Lunch, then an hour rest (she hasn't taking naps in a year).
More school when she gets up, then depending on my workload, we do art or coloring or more free play.
If my husband gets a break, he takes her for a quick walk in the day.
As long as its not raining, when I am done between 3 and 4, I take her outside.
On the weekends, we try to make things fun. We hit up local parks for hiking(free), play in the yard, do art projects.
I'd say we have spent maybe $150 on pre-k workbooks, craft supplies, paper, construction paper, small items, a kickboxing stand and a new bicycle helmet.
We've been eating out 1-2 times a week to support local small businesses and our grocery spending is up (we're all eating breakfast & lunch at home now). Prices seem to go up too.
However, we are lucky. We both are working at full salary and while its stressful to parent + teach + work all day, we've been doing it. We can do this.
Things will start slight openings tomorrow - although the #s of hospitalizations and deaths are still increasing in my state. So we plan to still isolate. Maybe eventually some 'playdates' with family or friends we know also have been self-quarantining. But I figure not until the end of May before we'd consider it.
Just some of the frugal things we're doing to entertain:
We checked out a bunch of books and movies from the library, right before they closed.
We are using old summer toys: a slide ($5 a yard sale last summer), water table ($10 yard sale find - lasted 3 summers), chalk (gifted), Frisbee (free), kickball ($5 from 2 summers ago), tee-ball set up ($10 a year ago). She's learned to ride her bike (a birthday gift)(with the new helmet $25) and her scooter ($5 yard sale find). She's also getting really good at driving her Barbie jeep ($20 yard sale).
We have been using our fire pit, eating on the deck when its nice, hiking a lot.
Indoors, I have pulled out all the stops with art supplies (mostly on hand already) and spend about another $25 bucks on additional paper, handwriting practice pater, construction paper, paints, beads, etc. We have kept tp rolls and paper towel rolls, Kleenex boxes, cardboard boxes and are utilizing those too.
Trying to stay as frugal as possible, but happy to invest in pre-k workbooks, paints, connect the dots books, hidden pictures books (like Highlight magazine), etc.
We have invested in a chest freezer and are going to purchase from a local farm. Beef is getting hard to find and chicken is hit or miss in the stores. I am meal planning and we are utilizing what we have.
I also have been braving the stores every 10 days or so for supplies for my parents and dropping them off to them. Rough times out there.
Starting off with how we're doing. Which isn't 100% financial, but lays the groundwork
I have finished 3 weeks at the new job and am liking it very much. I lucked out a lot with this and am very grateful!
During the time, I have been training & exhausted in the evenings after physical therapy for my hand. So I am just now getting around to updates (in no particular order)
- My severance from my previous employer hit my bank account today and went straight to the emergency fund! Just a little over $9.2k
- My new employer pays up to date, so I got paid one week on my first Friday with them and paid 2 weeks per normal pay schedule yesterday
-We have a lot of savings goals - one being a new to us car for my husband. We plan on putting $7k down and then 0% financing the rest. We prefer to keep savings up for the moment given so many issues this year (job loss/change, major medical bills, etc).
-Medical Fund needs to be replenished. We finally hit the out of pocket max and have about $900 left to pay in medical bills. I payment planned it out just to cashflow it instead of stealing from any other savings. Our HSA accounts have been depleted.
- Our 6 month car insurance bill is coming up. We pay it in full by cashflowing. We already have the funds ready to go and are starting to save monthly for the next one.
- CC debt is at 0% still so we are saving cash and paying down. My husbands card will be paid off by the end of the year. My card might be a month or two behind that.
- I set up a daycare FSA from my new employer. I am sad to say that they do not supplement the funding, but its still tax-free, so we are utilizing it!
- Been back on Weight Watchers and packing lunches and its been good for my waist and my wallet!
- I am part of a professional organization where I received an accreditation. To keep my certification, I need to be a member of good standing. My previous employer paid for the certification, recertification and the yearly fee. My new employer is still getting 'authorization. The organization gives a little leeway, but in case my new employer doesn't come through, I have the funds saved from overtime at my previous job.
-Spent a bit more on new clothes - needed more tops than I realized. My closet was very bare of work appropriate clothing! All cashflowed though!
-Now that I have a full paycheck, I am able to rework the budget. That will be the goal for this weekend!
Spouse Card: 8k
My Card $6.8k
Savings and Sinking Funds:
EF (after severance) $16,797.16
EF2 (different place) $21,000.00
Slush Fund (yearly expenses) $252.13
Home Upkeep Sinking $219.62
New AC Fund (we know this will be happening in the next 1-2 years) $167.47
Medical Sinking $280.62
Professional Fee Sinking $295
Memberships Sinking $13.31
Clothes Sinking $10.26
2018 Gifts Sinking $1285.89
New Car Fund $6100.20
Daughter Fund (for long term savings outside of 529) $502.86
Oh the joys of being in & out of the hospital - INSURANCE
I am so glad to have some insurance or this could have been a much more financial hit. However, the amount of claims that have been coming through have been insane.
I had an ER visit the day of the dog bite - this includes a doctor billing me as well as the ER.
2 days later, I was back in the ER where TWO doctors and the ER bill me AND I am admitted into the hospital for 4 days/3 nights.
I go home for ONE night.
And I ended up in the ER again where multiple doctors visited me and argued over what to do, so I get their bills plus an ER bill AND I was admitted for another 4 days/3 nights.
During that time, I had hand surgery - so surgery is billed plus the surgeon plus the doctors that visit me again.
The claims are just ROLLING in.
Our insurance has a $2400 family deductible. WE already hit that (with a minor surgery I had earlier this year and this situation). However, we also have a $7000 out of pocket maximum. When all is said & done, we will be hitting that as well.
UGH - but we can use up our HSA and Medical savings and hopefully cashflow the rest.
Sad that essentially the amount of my severance will be used for this though instead of saving it.
3 years ago, I was clearing out the basement and decluttered a gossip bench that I inherited from my Aunt Edna. It was in rough shape - the wood was separating, it needed reupholstering and I didn't have the energy, expertise or time to do it.
The lady that took it flips furniture and sent me a picture of the finished product. It looked so nice, but we had nowhere to put it, so I didn't try to buy it back.
There were so many memories attached that I always regretted letting it go.
Fast forward to today. I was heading to Wawa and saw a yard sale in my neighborhood. I decided to stop by and there in the middle of the yard sale was Aunt Edna's Gossip Bench. The EXACT one I had sold. (The seller even named the lady I sold it to).
I hopped on out of the car and bought it back! That is fate for you!
Today was my 'last payday' from my old job. The check included 4 days of work and my unused TOP payoff. No insurance/401k was taken out, so I wasn't sure how much I'd net.
Luckily, the next is 2x what a normal base check from them was. So that would cover our budget for today 6/8 and 6/24! I start the new job 6/18 and its paid every other Friday, but I don't which Friday is a payday yet.
We hope not to use any savings to cover income while transitioning between the jobs, especially since being in the hospital lost my first job and now I am unemployed for 3 weeks.
Then mid-June, I will get my severance, which we are hoping to bank!
2 Weeks ago, I went shopping for work clothes. My previous employer’s dress code was jeans daily, so I need several new outfits that I can mix & match without spending an arm & a leg.
I am in between sizes, which makes shopping at goodwill/outlets harder. So, I went around to a few places, brought some stuff home and was planning to keep the best and take the rest back.
Of what I am keeping (already returned the non-keep items) – I hit up Target, Gabes, Kmart & Kohls and got 5 pairs of work pants in varying colors (including 2 lightweight pairs for summer), 3 business dresses, 3 work shirts and 1 blazer for a total of $157.34. Not the lowest prices that I have ever paid, but all the items are high quality and versatile. I might return a pair of pants or 2… haven’t decided yet. It’s a lot of money given I am trying to save, not spend…but I have the funds in my clothing fund. I am good on shoes, mix & match tops, accessories. I will be able to present a very professional look for a long time without buying new clothes.
My last day at my job was 5/24, a Thursday. I had a half day (paid for full) and then we off Friday. My husband took off with me and we had some time together- lunch out and a movie and had a really awesome time.
Saturday morning, my dog (of 3 years) bit me. He has been having behavior issues, but he was hurt and I reached to help his paw, and he bit me hard. An emergency room visit resulted in my hand getting 14 stiches. $$$ large bill coming
Because of his bite history and the severity of my bite, we worked with the rescue we originally adopted the dog from to address this issue. Unfortunately, after the 10 day quarantine, he had to be put down. We are so upset, but medically/mentally, something was wrong with him. The rescue & vets office agreed. He was sick.
By Memorial Day (Monday), it was infected and I was back at the ER. I was admitted right away and they started me on IV antibiotics. There was concern about possibly doing a surgery, but after 3 days, I was released to go home on Thursday.
Friday morning, I woke up with infection symptoms returning and I was right back in the ER and being admitted. Saturday, I had hand surgery. I was released to come home yesterday (Monday).
So of the last 8 days, I spent 6 in the hospital. That bill will be ridiculous. Our family health insurance deductible is $2400. We used up some of it already, but the actual out of pocket cap amount is $7000.
I am doing better. However, because I could not start my new job on the 29th as I was supposed to, I had to tell them to release and open the position up. LUCKILY though - the company that I really wanted to work for called Tuesday and offered me a position at a salary higher than the original new job offer. I have a start date of the 18th.
I have mobility issues of the hand and hope that my dexterity is better by then. Trying to take it easy is hard!
So because of all this craziness, we have unknown medical bill coming, $361.45 vet bill, and incidentals from eating out, etc. that my husband had to do while traipsing back & forth between home, babysitters and hospital for the last week.
I am very lucky though - my hand will be ok, my family is ok and I have a new job starting. I just have to hold onto that.
I have been on a few interviews in the last month. The one that I really liked the job and location of was 2 weeks ago. Still no response, but this is typical for the industry/company. At times, you won’t hear back for 2 months.
Last Thursday, I interviewed at another position with a company that is in a less desirable location. The company is a bit in flux in changeover – they are moving sites from other cities to my state to put all the talent in one area. I was offered the job on Monday. I took it, but am still continuing to look for the right job for me.
Pay is good, Time off is low – 18 TOP days (Sick & Vacation combined). The commute is rough and long.
My last day at my current position is 5/24. I start the new job 5/29. So I will get to bank my severance. That makes me happy.
I am a little sad about taking this position. However, I plan on making the most of it! It’s a job and it pays me and I will not be unemployed! I say that’s good news. Who knows, maybe I will go in and love the job after all.
That being said, I am still looking!!!