Back on the Budget

Whew, it’s been a while and a lot has changed. Both, you know, in the world and personally.

I took a break from writing these past two months for two reasons. First off, we closed on a duplex on April 1st and have been fixing it up in the evenings and on weekends, leaving little time or energy for much else. 

I’m excited to say that we finished the updates and got mostly moved in last weekend! I’m sad to say that on the eve of moving in, a pipe burst in our wall and I’m now waiting for a plumber to arrive to cut into my freshly painted wall to make a repair that will cost a not-insignificant amount of money.

We’ve been thoroughly welcomed to homeownership over these past two months.

While we’ve had a lot of expenses (expected and not) related to the house, we are still incredibly excited for this next step and have been continuously grateful that we’ve been financially secure enough to handle them with minimal stress during an already stressful time.

Despite Cassie losing $4,000 in expected income in April (when our expenses were three to four times that of a typical month), we were able cover things with relatively little stress because of our past work on our financial lives. The past couple of months have really demonstrated why I love personal finance and financial literacy so much.

The second reason for the pause was that it just felt really weird to be writing about money when so many people were facing financial uncertainty and loss of income.

I’ve realized though, that this is exactly the time to have these conversations. When you’re dealing with lost income, practicing frugality and having a budget becomes doubly important.

When you still have income, but it feels more uncertain than before, that’s a good time to practice those saving skills to prepare for the unknown future.

When the world all feels a little upside down, it can be really helpful to get more clarity on what you value.

And when you’re safer staying in than going out, it’s a perfect time to improve those at-home cooking skills.

We’ve already covered in other posts that our relationships to money and how we spend it have more to do with our emotions and sense of security and coping than with actual money. So, when we’re all feeling a little less secure and our emotions are a little more heightened, we have to be having these conversations. We have to make sure we’re practicing healthy and intentional coping and that we’re building actual security and financial resiliency in our own lives (and society) rather than a false sense of it.

Because of this (and the fact that my nights and weekends won’t be taken up with installing flooring and painting walls) I’m committing to getting back on my writing schedule of twice a week to help start and continue these conversations. And, frankly, to also help me personally feel a little more in control.

I have a whole list of post ideas waiting to be written, but if there’s a topic or question you have that you’d like to read about or is timely feel free to submit your suggestions here.

I’m excited to get back into the swing of things and keep the conversation going. As always, but especially right now I hope that you and your loved ones are taking care of each other and those around you as well as finding moments of joy in the little things.

P.S. The plumber just left (the repair cost about $300, plus we’ll have to repair the drywall ourselves) and this is what my bathroom now looks like:

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