For fans and owners of the Acura Integra, all generations.
Hey everyone! I joined this group mainly to help give me an understanding of the B2B marketing world, I came into this role as marketing manager and left no time for dawdling. I jumped right into creating a chat bot for the company website and signed up for an emailing platform as email marketing is one of my strengths, and got Canva in order to fix up the sales decks & proposals. The website was done in WP with custom coding so I’m trying not to think of that aspect at this time.
Something inside me encouraged me to look into how other fintech companies are running their email marketing and there’s not much I’ve found.
I was thinking of adding a pop up subscriber form on the website, asking people to sign up in exchange for a FREE E-book on (for example) ‘minimising chargebacks for your company’, or something along those lines. And then sending out monthly newsletters on the latest fintech news (with the current state of SBV, I’ll have no shortage of info to provide!) and blog post updates. I’m putting all of my efforts into getting leads from the blog. We sell to the C-Suite, so I think I’ll be wasting my time with SMM (maybe not LinkedIn?)
But I was hoping to gain some understanding and hopefully have someone point me in the right direction to head down with this. The company currently outsources their marketing, and have zero understanding of marketing. So I need to get the ball rolling with this.
Hi friends! I submitted a diary in February 2021 that you can find here
! Since then we’ve sold one house, started higher-paying jobs, moved states to be closer to family, rented a kind of busted house, bought another charming fixer-upper of a house, and given in fully to lifestyle creep, especially when it comes to plants and gardens.
❤️ Section 1: Assets and Debt Total Net Worth: $108,763
if you believe the equity calculator I reference below. Negative tens of thousands if you think the housing market is about to crash or even just reset! Retirement Balance: $10,000
for me, split just about evenly between a Roth and a 401k; $25,500
for my husband, L. This will make more sense when you get to the “income progression” section, and after you accompany me as I spend money like I have money to spend, every day. Savings Account Balance: $17,000
split between an “upcoming house repairs & dental fund.” The first $7k is spoken for already between a big chimney repair ($3k) and an expensive upcoming dental appointment for L ($4k), both in April. The remaining $10k we don’t touch – it’s for an emergency fund. Checking Account Balance: $1000
ish. I try to keep this pretty low to discourage my own spending, which works only sometimes. Credit Card Debt: $12,100
left from our home renovations and move last October. We got two 0% APR cards to finance this, and will pay both off before the APR jumps at the end of this year. Student Loan Debt: $80,000
for L’s undergrad and MAT. $18,000
for my undergrad and (unfinished, womp womp) MAT. We aren’t paying on this til we have to, and are hoping it will be forgiven – mine via Biden, since I was a Pell Grant recipient, and L’s via PSLF. Equity: $145,000
. This number is from an online equity calculator, and is for our century-old house in a very walkable neighborhood in a popular Southern city, but who knows whether it’s real or not. Numbers that are real: We paid $570,000
for the home last fall, including a 20% down payment that my dad split evenly with us – his portion from his recent inheritance, our portion from the sale of our previous home.
When we started looking in 2021, our “stretch budget” was $450k, but the housing market exploded and it seemed like overnight the base budget for kind of place we were looking for was more like $650k (I’m committed to city living, and we wanted to make sure there was enough space for my sister, J, and her boyfriend to continue living with us, given the skyrocketing rent prices). We bit the bullet on this place after my dad offered to pay for half the down payment. That gift helped us avoid PMI, so that the rent we were paying for a worse place was comparable to the monthly payment on this one. We spent the remaining $15,000
from our previous home sale buying down the rate and on moving costs, repairs, furnishing, gardens, appliances, etc, and then still
took out about $12,000
more in credit card debt to renovate the bathrooms and make a few other upgrades.
❤️ Section 2: Income Monthly Take Home:
My base pay is $125,000
, and L’s is $55,000
. We bring in about $11,400
a month after taxes. The whole family’s health insurance is paid in full by my work, and our pre-tax retirement contribution details are below. Income Progression:
I’ve been working since I was 15 years old, moved out at 18, and paid my own bills starting that year, but income below starts the year I graduated college. Year 1:
$15,000 (part time ABA therapist, full time baby anarchist) Years 2-8:
$28,000 (This is a rough average of my income across these years. I accepted a spot in Teach for America right out of college in order to have a salary, despite my maximalist politics at the time, and kept working with young people for years after my TFA service ended. I paid for L’s expenses in college and supported a few other family members off and on while I taught. When I took a big pay cut to do youth organizing work for a couple years, L’s teacher salary helped support us). Year 9:
$45,000 (got a full-time nonprofit fundraising job, quit teaching) Year 10:
$55,000 (got a raise) Year 11:
$65,000 (got a raise and promotion) Year 12:
$75,000 (was promoted again, realized I was still underpaid) Year 13:
$98,000 (was hired by my current employer) Year 14:
$125,000 (was promoted!)
❤️ Section 3: Expenses Mortgage, Taxes, & Insurance:
. My sister and her boyfriend currently live with us and contribute $600
of this total payment each month, but we budget as if we pay the full mortgage ourselves. Investment Contribution:
L’s retirement is pulled out of his check before he receives it: it’s $289
a month. I put $170
into my 401k, directly out of my check. I also contribute $100
to a Roth IRA through Acorns each month. Through Acorns we also have a UTMA/UGMA account for B which gets $100
a month, and we put $40
a month into a taxable brokerage account. Savings Contribution:
We tally an extra $1.5k-$3k a month
beyond expenses, and are expecting $6k
back from our tax return this year. But we aren’t prioritizing savings right now, and instead are: 1. cashflowing L’s timely dental work (found out in the course of this diary that we’re looking at about $11k this year); 2. paying down the debt on our credit cards ($12k, see above); and 3. cashflowing a few must-do house projects (estimating about $8k total for those). Debt Payments:
See above! As I mentioned, we have student loan debt to the tune of $100k
but aren’t paying right now. I actually paid my loans down by $10k during COVID with money from our first house sale. But I panicked when Biden said he was going to forgive loans and got my full payment during the pandemic – all $10k – reversed. That money is now our emergency savings account. Electric/Gas: $150ish,
varies significantly. We installed a high-efficiency wood stove when we moved in, which cuts down on the cost of our old furnace a bit. Internet: $80 Water: $75 Cellphone: $100
, for L & I both Subscriptions: $10
Youtube music; $2.99
Apple data; $22
NYT, for newspaper and cooking app; $5
for Acorns. I also pay yearly: $40
for the Freedom app, $20
for Hobnob, and $60
for Insight Timer. Car Payment and Insurance: $200
for insurance. This covers both of our used cars and my dad’s used handicap van. We paid off our 2012 Honda Fit when we sold our last house, and recently paid cash for a Honda CRV with 180k miles which we use for family trips. Medical/Therapy: $0
. My therapist is $181
a session, and I see her twice a month – but this is covered by my job’s MERP card. I also get an inhaler at least twice a month - that’s reimbursed too, but would cost $60
otherwise. Pet Expenses:
Our precious pittie suffered some injuries before we adopted her. She’s on Gabapentin daily for pain management which is about $60
a month. CSA: $40/week
minimum – this is a special CSA service that has all kinds of tempting goodies, so I usually spend more. Coworking space: $150.
I expense $100 of this to work. Gym memberships: $75
for a family Y membership, and $120
for my spin studio; I also buy 10-packs to the yoga studio down the street every few months, which are $120
a pop. Donations: Varies
. We give $10 monthly to our local Democratic Socialists of America and $10 monthly to the Working Families Party. We give one-off donations when asked or when we come across a need, usually $50-$100 at a time. Once we have less immediate debt, I plan to up our recurring gifts. Childcare: $600
. B goes to the best public preschool in the land – he was on the waiting list for 18 months. We previously paid double this for a subpar Montessori school run out of a church basement. Often babysitting is an extra $100
or so a month. Kids’ Activities: $120
every three months or so – think swim lessons, toddler soccer, etc. Outdoorsy memberships: $110
yearly for memberships to nonprofit parks, botanical gardens, etc etc. These are not too expensive and a fun way to spend a day with little ones. House cleaner: $320
. They come twice a month and charge $160
each time. This is some of the best money I spend each month. Nuuly: $94
. This has been a gamechanger for work travel.
❤️ Section 4: Money Diary
✨DAY 1: TUESDAY✨ 5:00 am:
I wake up wheezing with two pudgy legs draped right across my chest. My three-year-old, B, gave me a cold that I’ve just recovered from, but my asthma is still a bit aggrieved. I disentangle myself from B and head downstairs to make a french press and get some work in before everyone’s up. 6:30 am:
B comes running downstairs, naked and boisterous as ever. I spare a thought for my little sister, J, and her boyfriend, who share a wall with him. J and her boyfriend have been living with us since the deep pandemic when we all moved together, which has been a blessing for us. But the early mornings and constant circulating upper respiratory infections are doing them in, and they’re moving to a nearby apartment in May. This very basic apartment one-bedroom will double their monthly rent D: And,
since J is finishing up school right now and doesn’t have a steady income, L and I had to cosign their lease in order for them to even qualify for the place. Big sigh on housing across America right now. 7:15 am:
B and L head out, and I get dressed and do a little more work. At 8:30, I head to my first-ever dermatologist appointment. My mom recently treated me to a mothedaughter facial where I learned that the creeping redness on my nose is likely hereditary rosacea! The facialist suggested I make an appointment with a dermatologist after I informed her that my skincare routine has to date involved only a wet rag and a heavy moisturizer.
The dermatologist suggests a gentle papaya cleanser; a phyto vitamin c serum; a rosacea triple cream; and a moisturizing sunscreen. The cost for the appointment itself ($150) is covered by my MERP card from work,
but I pay for the cleanser, serum, and sunscreen from his office ($141)
and the rosacea triple cream from an online pharmacy ($49)
out of pocket. Thus begins my first-ever skincare routine. Sadly, the dermatologist’s proprietary packaging is ugly, so if you use something similar but cute, please share a link. 10:00 am:
I’ve walked the dog, made another cup of coffee, turned on Freedom, and am settling into my laptop for a day of toggling between Google Docs and Zoom rooms. 12:30 pm:
M barks rancorously as I’m wrapping up a Zoom call. The Tubies
I ordered last week for me (and B) were delivered. It’s SPRING and we are about to eat SMOOTHIE POPS, everybody. It’s also time for lunch, so I heat up this very yummy soup
(we subbed veggie sausage and it worked well) and toast a piece of focaccia. I read “I Went On A Package Trip for Lonely Millennials”
while I eat. It is every bit as unsettling as it sounds. 1:40 pm:
L calls — B has had diarrhea at school and needs to come home. B’s preschool is in the public school where L teaches, which means L handles all pick up and drop off, but my work schedule is much more flexible than L’s so I often do early pickups like this one. I shift my afternoon meetings, notify my direct reports that I’m signing out early, and stop for gas on the way to pick up poor little B. ($40) 4:30 pm:
B and I spent the afternoon doing quiet things together – he took a bath, played with toys, and watched some PBS Kids, and I took a few minutes to tie up some loose ends at work. When L gets home at 4:30, we set up the sprinkler on our tiny front “lawn” (currently actually a patch of very-tilled dirt), where we recently seeded low-growing wildflowers
. 6:00 pm:
I want to drink wine with L while we make veggie fried rice for dinner, but think better of it given that I just got over a cold. L offers to make me a hot toddy (yesssss) but then realizes we’re out of lemons. He and B head to the grocery store around the corner while I finish up dinner. They get lemons, a lime, and a giant bag of lollipops for L’s students. ($11)
The hot toddy is delicious. 9:00 pm:
B’s bedtime routine is a wrap and my new skincare routine is complete – turns out my face does
feel cleaner after a cleanser! I take a nebulizer treatment and read my favorite book that has completely transformed my life, Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts: A CBT-Based Guide to Getting Over Frightening, Obsessive, or Disturbing Thoughts
, until we turn out the lights. Goodnight! 🌿 DAILY TOTAL: $241
✨ DAY 2: WEDNESDAY
✨ 5:00 am:
I wake up wheezing deeply again. I head downstairs to eat a cold banana and take a prednisone left over from the last time my asthma was aggravated by a cold. I decide to sit for a little Sarah Blondin meditation by the woodstove before I start my early-morning work block. Lesson 8 in this course
is my go-to, and is alone worth every bit of the yearly Insight Timer fee. 7:00 am:
B and L are awake, but B is staying home from school today so things are a bit slower. I make a mango smoothie for B and then add kale and protein powder for L and I. At 7:45 I don my favorite lilac workout onesie (I have it in black
too) and head to my spin class. 9:00 am:
I am but one month into spin classes and totally enamored. The dark room and loud music extremely do it for me. After class I stop at the coffee shop next door and buy a big drip coffee to split with L, a sticky bun for L and B to share, and a bag of coffee beans cause we are almost out at home. ($28) 9:30 am:
Take a quick post-spin shower while I listen to Iris Dement’s new album
, which serves the sound I grew up on and a very earnest progressivism
that reminds me of my parents and their sweet Boomer friends who care deeply about abortion access and post anti-racist memes on Facebook. I cover my body in Warm Feelings
, spritz on Winter
), wriggle into some cheetah-print overalls, and head down to work until L leaves in about an hour and a half. 12:00 pm:
My meeting with my boss ran over so L had to leave for work while I was mid-call. I extricate B from Disney+ (we use J’s login) and receive only a moderate tantrum in response. After some breaths, B lays on his blue rug and pretends he’s eating his lunch (a mango pop, grilled cheese, & berries) in the shallow end of a swimming pool. Pre-nap, we read Gabito
, a recent fave, and B’s eyes flutter closed during the last few pages. Back to work! 3:30 pm:
B comes running into my office but I need to wrap up an important task, so we listen to superhero stories
together while I tappity tap. It’s raining out, and L isn’t due home til 6p, so I make a gametime decision to spend the afternoon doing one fun inside thing for me (pick out berry bushes for our garden!) and one fun thing inside thing for B (ride rides inside the mall near the garden center!). B and I gather $2.50 in quarters for his rides, and he dons his Ironman costume and rainboots for the occasion.
At the garden center, we pick out two triple crown blackberry bushes, two chandler blueberry bushes, one heritage everbearing raspberry bush, and, after a quick phone consultation with L, one black tartarian cherry tree. L loves
cherries and is very excited to use them in his cocktail-making. We also pick up a galvanized steel watering can since my old thrifted one keeps leaking all over the floor when I water my inside plants. The total is $253.
Because I am very excited about this purchase and it’s for our house, it counts as free in my heart. 4:30 pm:
B and I are the only nerds in the mall wearing KN95s and clutching quarters in our fists. So far B has purchased a ride on a train ($1)
and some tiny banana candies ($.50).
He settles on a very exciting race car for his final four quarters – but the greedy car eats his money!!! ($1)
We are both very sad, and start searching for a ride that might take a debit card. Then, suddenly, to our left, appears a LEGO STORE. B dashes in and we find that you can build your own tiny Lego person. He happily obliges and I spend $5
on a three-inch-tall Lego man with a spider face and a big helmet. 6:30 pm:
Back at home, L and I discuss our most exciting news of the week – L’s youngest sister and her partner arrive at their new apartment in our city TONIGHT! They’ve been living several states away for years. L’s whole family lives in the area and we are all thrilled these two are coming back home. L, B, and I plan to help them unpack tomorrow, and I think we should take them a gift. L heads out to the bottle store down the street to buy two bottles of Morphos
(one for us!) ($52)
, and then goes to the grocery store to buy White Claws and some pull-ups for B. ($25)
save more money but life is for living.
Dinner is leftover fried rice, and B doesn’t fall asleep til 9. L and I take our favorite CBD gummies
before bed and I read the “soft fruits” section of Down to Earth
to prepare for our big planting this weekend. 🌿 DAILY TOTAL: $365.50
✨ DAY 3: THURSDAY
✨ 6:00 am:
I wake up late today – I had trouble sleeping because I couldn’t breathe all night. I make my favorite smoothie for breakfast (which is something like this
but incorporates protein powder and frozen kale and cayenne), L eats oatmeal, and B eats two mango smoothie pops plus a cereal bar. They leave around 7:15 am and I get myself together to walk the dog before heading to my coworking space for the day. 8:30 am:
I pack up my stuff and ride my bike to my pretty coworking space. The sun is out! It’s spring! The trees are blooming! Everyone is glad. 1:45 pm:
I heat up fried rice and drink some of the on-tap kombucha. While I eat, I read Today in Tabs
and consider adding it to my monthly expenses so that I can read it more.
Our cleaner texts that they’re done at the house, and I Venmo her $160 (included in monthly expenses). 3:10 pm:
I decide to bike home before the final Zoom call of the day. I cannot stress enough how glorious
it is outside. It’s also glorious inside, thanks to our fabulous cleaner.
Post-call, I make some smol avocado toasts and L calls to say his sibling is not in fact up for a visit tonight – they are whelmed by boxes. We pivot: bike ride to the playground! While at the playground, B is the first kid to hear the ICE CREAM TRUCK approach. Chaos ensues and we spend $5
on one scoop of cookie dough ice cream. 7:00 pm:
For dinner we make mini pizzas on TJ’s cauliflower crust. I also make asparagus with a delicious flaked salt left by my bestie the last time they stayed over, and the result is pretty enough to text to them. L makes us gin fizzes with strawberries and with mint from the garden. 🌱 8:00 pm:
Teeth brushing is always a slog with B, but on this night I am visited by a stroke of genius. Tonight, I explain to him that the tooth fairy has been hired for a residency at our place and is listening in while he brushes his teeth and uses the potty. If he does a good job, she’ll leave him a coin somewhere in his bedroom. L overhears and makes tooth fairy sounds (think tinkling giggles) from the hallway – B is delighted and brushes his teeth with aplomb. This is a big win! While he uses the potty, I steal away and hide a quarter under the toe of his stuffed Spiderman. He requests tooth fairy bedtime stories and falls asleep listening. ($.25) 🌿 DAILY TOTAL: $5.25
✨ DAY 4: FRIDAY
✨ 6:00 am:
Another late wakeup for me. I have a spin class at 8 and a packed workday, so I make my favorite smoothie again and walk M while it’s still dark out. Afterwards, I help B with his teeth brushing/potty routine, and it continues to be so much smoother than ever before thanks to our friend the tooth fairy. This time, L stashes a dime under B’s stuffed bear. B proudly puts the dime and last night’s quarter in his coat pocket and, as I buckle him into his car seat, announces he is NOT sharing his money with his teacher today. I suppose the discussion about whether money should be treated as a public good or a personal asset can come later. On the way to school, L stops for gas. ($25 for gas, $.10 for the tooth fairy) 8:00 am:
I arrive at the spin studio and learn that the teacher I expected overslept. His sub unfortunately leaves half the lights on and plays lots of Eminem. I survive the weird vibes and head home for a quick shower before work – no coffee shop stop this time! I am a disciplined
and frugal Recessionist millennial
. 10:15 am:
Our CSA is delivered! It includes spinach, heirloom tomatoes (!! new this week!), apples, lacinato kale, meyer lemons, limes, oyster mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, red onions, shishito peppers, and mixed cherry tomatoes, plus a delivery charge, for $63, $23
more than the monthly minimum I included in set expenses. I fetch it from the sunny porch and am reminded that urgently want a pair of white platform Birkenstocks
for spring. I find a pair in my size in EUC on Poshmark and buy them now: $60
with shipping, a steal compared to $110 new! 1:00 pm:
My delightful neighbor and I take lunch together! We walk to a nearby eatery where I get a tempeh reuben and diet soda (my vice), $18
including tip. Over lunch we discuss parenting, gardening, her upcoming major home renovation, and how squirrels can sometimes relocate crocus bulbs. Meanwhile, B and L have early release at school so they head to a kid’s play place as a special treat to B. ($23 with snacks) 3:30 pm:
B is home early but, curses, I still have much work to do! He and L chill while I tappity tap for a while longer. I eventually wrap up, but will have to do more work over the weekend.
L wants to work in his shop for a while, so B and I take the bike to the playground. He is a very good friend at the playground, running around happily with a couple of 7-year-olds he’s never met and then, when they leave, chatting amicably with an 18-month-old and his parents. He periodically begs me to let him take his pants off so he can better pretend he’s in the pool. The answer is no, but he is shirtless, shoeless, and covered in “tattoos” (washable marker), and I think that’s a pretty good compromise. 7:00 pm:
Back home, L is making dinner (avocado tacos!), and I announce to him that we need a few more spring items: new (unscratched) oversize sunglasses and a beaded eyeglass chain for me, and little kid Tevas for B. I use my dad’s Amaz*n to buy the glasses and chain for me ($20)
and three pairs of Tevas for B to try on. They’ll only charge us for the ones we keep, which will be $21
L and I spend the evening drinking the Morphos he bought earlier this week and hanging out with J and her boyfriend. We turn on the AC for the first time which reminds us that we need to get an HVAC repairperson out here to check out some weird details of the old AC system our inspector caught. I mentally add it to my to-dos for the week.
We get B in bed late again – around 9 – and we watch Schitt’s Creek til almost 11. We will never tire of re-watching this show. 🌿 DAILY TOTAL: $185.10
✨ DAY 5: SATURDAY
✨ 6:45 am:
I wake up breathing easy today! Blessings, prednisone; blessings, springtime. 8:00 am:
L and I make eggie toasts with heirloom tomatoes, and L reveals that he had a long-awaited budget chat with the medical hospital where he’s been getting dental work done. They’re estimating we’ll need to spend an additional $11k this year to get L’s teeth in order. This kicks off a Big Conversation, during which we realize we absolutely need to be spending less than $8k monthly in order to cash flow his teeth, cash flow our must-do house projects, and pay down our cards by end of year. This should be doable, in theory, but will be a big adjustment as for months we’ve been splashing out on everything from gifts to travel to furniture to tools to fabric to support my baby-clothes-making hobby. As the conversation drags on, tension rises, and we’re both mad at each other but not sure why.
After a few breaths, I realize: we are just launching big numbers back and forth across the room, completely unmoored! I offer to make us a big fancy draft annual budget with monthly projections and schedule a date night to review. HOW FUN! L obliges after I convince him that I actually, truly, want
to do this, and I find a very nice budget template
on Etsy. ($20) 10 am:
I run down a hill and across a parking lot to yoga, and slip in some vom along the way. Meanwhile, L and B head to the gym together. 12 pm:
I take our e-bike (the one we’ve been riding around all week) to the shop and tell the bike guy that the lights and the breaks are in rough shape. He tells me they’ll fix it up, but that we should consider replacing it with a Yuba Spicy Curry
which is $5200. I think not, but in my heart, I do really want to sell this one and buy a RadWagon
or a Blix Packa Genie
. Ebike moms and dolls, send thoughts.
When I get home, L heads to Aldi and spends $125
on berries, lots of bananas, eggs, rice, oat milk, oatmeal, snacks for B, frozen berries, fresh broccoli, yogurt, and a bunch of other stuff including Aldi swag that he is very stoked about: a matching pullover, socks, and tumbler. He then goes to Ace Hardware and buys s’mores sticks for use with our fire pit and some light bulbs ($37).
B takes a nap and I plant the berry bushes and cherry tree while he snoozes! 6 pm:
We head out to dinner to celebrate the big move with L’s sister and her boyfriend. It’s a long walk to our favorite taco place, but a beautiful day. B rides his pink scooter and is very cute, but reader, he is a spirited child and today he is having A Day. We field multiple meltdowns and lots of not-listening on the way to the restaurant. Dinner itself is delicious, though, and we watch the sun set over the water as we eat. It’s $58
with tip for the three of us, including a coconut margarita for L and a watermelon sangria for me. 🌿 DAILY TOTAL: $240
✨ DAY 6: SUNDAY
✨ 5 am:
Up and thinking about parenting. L and I had a long conversation after B fell asleep about what we could do differently to help him manage his emotions. He’s a big child in size and in personality – at 3 he’s wearing size 6 clothes and talking as much as any child that age too. He has big joy, big wonder, big imagination, and also big anger and big sadnesses. We’ve tried to follow Janet Lansbury’s teaching since B was born, but at times gentle parenting, which Janet teaches, has seemed too lax for B. I decide to return to her work anyway. I read the transcript to her newest podcast episode
, and wonder if maybe we’re overengaging with B’s big feelings. Then I read this one
about another child struggling with aggression, and am glad that B is at least not spitting, I guess? 10 am:
B’s morning is going great after all, and we decide to pack a lunch and head out for a hike. B makes himself a ham, cheese, and hummus sandwich, and I make L and I veggie sandwiches with pesto. We happen upon a plant sale on the way home and L approves a “Fuzzy Mystery” peperomia for our bathroom. ($8)
Afterwards we drop off my Nuuly at UPS (prepaid!) and head home to watch a movie while it rains. I do work things and start our new annual budget spreadsheet during the movie. 5 pm:
J takes a walk with us and M the dog to a playground nearby, and while we’re out, our neighbor texts to suggest once-a-week family dinners on Tuesday (yes please!). For dinner tonight, I make Smitten Kitchen’s tomato sauce with onion and butter
using the heirloom tomatoes from our CSA and it’s very good as always. L and I drink some Pinot with dinner, and B eats his spaghetti with his hands. 9 pm:
My anxiety (her name is Esther) visits while I’m putting B to sleep, so after he’s down, I decide to get to the bottom of a few things via Google. As usual, this is a bad idea! I walk to bed crying and lay on L’s chest. I cry a lot more, including about the trailer for You Hurt My Feelings
which I saw three days ago, and about how scary it would be if L were to die, and about how L’s parents’ best friends’ lives have never been visited by tragedy and is that possible for us too?
Therapy is on Tuesday, everyone! We will make it. 🌿 DAILY TOTAL: $8
✨ DAY 7: MONDAY
✨ 6:30 am:
I wake up later than I wanted to after a fitful night. B was coughing a lot (post-nasal drip, ick), and I was thinking a lot. I have back-to-back calls today with lots of prep beforehand so I get dressed quick and grab a pre-made smoothie from the freezer for breakfast. B and L leave at 7:15; I light my Gardener
candle and tuck in to work. 1:00 pm:
Lunch is fried rice with a chonk of a Trader Joe’s milk chocolate hazelnut bar, yum. I eat on a call but politely turn off my camera. 4:00 pm:
B and L are home and I’m still wrapping up. On the way home, they picked up some natural honey cough syrup stuff for B ($12). 6:00 pm:
L and I drop B off at the Y childcare, and find out they are hosting a spring break camp for 3-5 year olds. L wants to build B’s long-awaited tree house over the break, so we sign B up for four days of camp. Very cute! And also less than half the price of other camps in the area. ($100) 6:15 pm:
I check the NYT as I start up the elliptical and am sent reeling by news of the school shooting in Nashville. I try to distract myself with The Crown. Unfortunately, Princess Di is really going through it, so the distraction is a bust. I turn on Sarah Blondin’s Learning to Surrender
meditation instead, and listen to it twice. I’m trying desperately to trust the universe but the hellscapeness of it all makes that difficult sometimes.
Life marches on anyhow: After our workout, we head to Trader Joe’s to buy the items Aldi didn’t offer over the weekend (fancy bag salad, plantain chips, challah, frozen greens, a Galia melon, a few other things), plus a lot more broccoli because we need it for the tofu and veggies we’re making with the neighbors tomorrow. I love this peanut butter tofu recipe
, in case you’re looking for one. ($31) 8 pm:
We three look at videos of baby B over dinner, and L says maybe he is
ready for a second. I think I am too. adrienne maree brown
put your attention on suffering – which is constant and everywhere – and it is all you will see. joy will come, and laughter, but you will find it brief, possibly a distraction.
put your attention on joy, being connected and feeling whole, and you will find it everywhere. your heart will still break. you will know grief. but you will find it a reasonable cost for the random abundance of miracles, and the soft wild rhythms of love.
return to love as many times as you can. 🌿 DAILY TOTAL: $143
❤️ Section 5: TOTALS Total Expenses: $1228.85
Food & Drink: $376
Fun & Entertainment: $130.85
Home & Health: $557
Clothes & Beauty: $101
❤️ Section 6: REFLECTION
This week was spendy for us between the plants and the skincare routine – but I’d say we usually have at least one week a month where we spend like this, and that needs to shift if we’re going to pay for all the things we need to pay for this year without drawing from our life savings. I’m also aware that N’s student loan payments will likely resume, and that having a second baby isn’t cheap – so I’m excited to finish our budget spreadsheet and treat it like a goal rather than a suggestion (I currently treat Mint’s categories like unsolicited advice from an obnoxious internet stranger).
I do like
what we spend money on though, and feel really very lucky. Thanks for reading!