What happens to your cash-emergency-fund as your net worth grows?

A gai shan life recently was talking about how as her net worth has been growing, she’s realized she doesn’t need to have as much money in cash and CDs.

We’ve gone exactly the other direction — we now have well over a year of savings in savings accounts. It used to be that I only kept enough to get us through the unpaid summer plus a little cushion, so 1-4 months of expenses at any point in time, and I always thought having 6 months of expenses in savings was insane.  Who could afford to do that?  Back when we were in graduate school and I was getting paid 3x/year I would lock up money in CDs partly in order to lock in higher interest rates (we had 4.75% at one point!  Those were different days!), and partly so the money would be there when we actually needed it.  I am less likely to spend if I can’t see the money in checking.  I would not have done that if I’d been being paid monthly or biweekly.  We would put in money for retirement and then there just wouldn’t be that much left, so it seemed like the obvious next place for cash would be more retirement or the mortgage.  Not cash savings or taxable stocks.

Now, for no real logical reason (maybe I just like round numbers), my target for savings is much higher.  There was sort of a loose logic– enough to replace a car + summer savings in case DH loses his job again + random money for other emergencies and slow reimbursements.  We probably wouldn’t keep it quite as high as it is if I hadn’t opened up a higher interest savings account online.   And it definitely wouldn’t be as high if Trump weren’t president, what with fascism and all.  But we’re maxing out our retirement, the mortgage is gone, and we’re saving in 529s at a reasonable clip, so why not pay the opportunity costs to get a bit more peace of mind?

Which is more logical for what to do with your cash as your net worth grows?  You could go either way– you could be like Revanche and realize you’ll be ok even if there’s a crash, or you could go like me and realize that you can afford to lose the gains you’re losing by not picking riskier investments.

What has happened to the amount you keep in cash vs. stocks as your income grows?


Link Love

Tent shelter in Texas to add thousands of beds for immigrant children

Ronan Farrow reports on Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged rape attempt  (That’s what this secret document was probably about)

Why does Susan Collins hate free speech?

Does Brett Kavanaugh have a gambling problem?  Quite possible.  That’s probably the least shady possibility, the more shady ones involving Russia.


N K Jemisin talks about why mentioning race is important in this world

h/t to agaishanlife for this 2011 post on dealing with lovecraft’s racism and the lovecraft award

Not all harassment is sexual– how Les Moonves kept us from watching a ton of great sitcoms with strong female characters.

Facebook has empowered a conservative magazine to censor liberal viewpoints

You don’t own me

Vaulting workers into the middle class with higher pay

Must read gay romances.  Do you read eloisa james?

Blogspot is eating comments again, but I tried commenting on this one saying, “Are you me?”  (Here’s Proof from our archives)

This is pretty cool

Ask the Grumpies: Where to donate

bogart asks:

I’d like to give some $$$ (well, realistically, some $) to one or more campaign organizations (really organizations supporting campaigns, if you see what I mean — not candidates’, and probably not the Democrat’s, but something like Indivisible or Flippable that is working strategically nationwide to effect change by electing the good ones). Any you would recommend?


Nationwide movements that are looking strategically (in addition to the afore-mentioned Flippable):

Swingleft, Indivisible

Help marginalized people vote:

Voteriders, Let America Vote


There’s also a lot to be said for looking locally– depending on where you are, your dollars might make a difference in a local election, and local elections determine gerrymandering.

I’ve been trying to do a political action every weekday.  Since I am phone-less (phone free?) for about a week, that means I’ll be giving money places.  For example, today I did a bulk buy order for campaign pins that I’m going to give to a student activist I know to pass out.  Any suggestions you have in the comments have a good chance of receiving my money this week or next!  (Also, can you guys call about Kavanaugh or another important issue since I’m out of commission for a few days?)

What organizations does Grumpy Nation suggest?

Fantastic Reads and Where to Find Them

Where to find them:  your local library, bookstore, or our amazon affiliate links.

Fantastic reads:  Here they are!

I’ve been doing a pretty good job at having read the Hugo nominees before the list even comes out; the things I like and the things the voters like often overlap.  I don’t read a lot of short stories but I do read novellas and novels.  For example, I think I’ve talked on here before about how I like Mur Lafferty’s book Six Wakes.  I enjoyed Trail of Lightning and am waiting for the sequel.  We both love N. K. Jemisin.  I own and have enjoyed Liz Bourke’s Sleeping with MonstersMonstress is gorgeous (and violent); Bitch Planet is just what I need.  Both of us on this blog are in love with the writings of Seanan McGuire and I also love to read Sarah Gailey.  Etcetera.

I’ve been re-reading the Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone.  You should read them in the order of the titles, not the order they were published in.  I re-read the first five in quick succession and am now waiting for the newest one, which the author says is the start of a new arc.

#2 got me Fault Lines by Kelly Jennings.  I’m looking forward to reading that.

I loved Witchmark by C. L. Polk and I’m excited to get that sequel next year, too.

Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski is a book about sex for women but more interestingly, it’s also a book about stress and how emotions work.  People should read this one!

The Stone in the Skull is the start of a new series by Elizabeth Bear.  Thumbs up!  Yes.

The Price Guide to the Occult is an interesting story about family and magic and secrets.  By Leslye J. Walton.

If you’re like me, you might want to also read Networking for People Who Hate Networking by Devora Zack.  It wasn’t revelatory but it’s worth a library read.

I’m currently enjoying Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys.  I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll just tell you to check it out.

p.s.  I just finished it and immediately put the sequel on hold!

Grumpeteers, got any suggestions for what to read next?


My iphone 6 is dying

I got my first smartphone 3 years ago when we were on leave in Paradise.  Not wanting to spend a zillion dollars, we got a new iPhone 6 instead of an iPhone 7 or whatever the latest model was at the time.

When I was at a conference this summer, it started eating the battery quickly every time I unplugged it, pretty much after it updated to the latest IOS 11.4 something.

I don’t have many apps.  I don’t even use my iphone that much except for hangouts, surfing the internet, calling my senators, and google maps.  I don’t have a whole lot of apps installed.

I went through all the online things about how to figure out what’s going wrong and how to save power.  I turned lots of switches from green to not-green.  I noted that my analytics was constantly updating the required things like amdd, whereas DH’s updated them rarely.  I put myself on battery saver mode most of the time.  The problem seems worst when there’s trouble with internet or cell coverage, so it may be something there, but the last two hot and hard crashes were in my bedroom where service is not usually a problem.

The only remaining possible software problem, the internet suggested, was IOS 11.4.  The IOS 12 update should fix that problem.

I waited for the IOS 12 update.  It never came.

My phone battery life dropped to 94%.  Then 92% after a major crash in which it heated up and then blacked out.  Then it dropped to 78% after another major crash while on safari that didn’t involve overheating.  Now it says it needs to be serviced.  Right before a trip that requires 4 hrs of driving, of course.  (I will take my laptop and the garmin and the ipad, so I won’t be completely stuck.)

The nearest certified apple services are over an hour away (and sadly not in the same place as my roadtrip).

So, do I get a new phone and then get this one serviced and hand it down to DC1 after it has a new battery?  Or do I go phoneless for however long it takes to send it some place and get it back?  Or is there a different option I should pursue?  We can afford a new phone, but I really don’t need one, except that I need a phone, preferably one that runs google maps.  Plus the battery alone is ~$80 (the iphone 5 didn’t get a discount for the throttling thing they were doing a while back), and labor is probably more.  Update:  Actually it is an iPhone 6 and it is covered under the discount thing.  So I should just send it in or spend a weekend in the future at an apple store in the city, though I’m not sure I can wait that long.

what should I do?  What would you do?

Link Love: Save the Supreme Court Edition

Save voting rights!  Save reproductive rights!  Save the integrity of the court (what’s left of it, anyway).  CALL your blue state senators and tell them to keep up the good work (especially those of you with heroes on the judiciary committee!).  Call your red state senators and tell them Kavanaugh is unacceptable.  Call your senators and tell them to say no to Kavanaugh.

This thread is an amazing recap of day three of the hearings.  Well worth reading.

Evidence of perjury… and there’s a lot more evidence now.


Kavanaugh clerk flashes a white power sign… claims it was ironic, but was it really?

Kavanaugh refused to shake hand of father whose daughter died in Parkland, then it gets worse.  No amount of soccer driving makes up for this lack of empathy.

Just a note to Lindsey Graham– when the constitution was written 231 years ago, abortion was legal in the US.  (Poisoning a pregnant woman, for example, by poisoning her well, could have additional penalties in some states, but that was to protect, not restrict, the woman in question.)

Kamala Harris grills Kavanaugh

Nobody wanted Kavanaugh, even before the perjury, well, except rich supervillains

Immigration applications purposefully being slowed down

343 parents deported without kids still missing

How ayn rand made it into classrooms

Trigger warnings harassment at a convention

I recently had an econ textbook sent to me where the first paragraph was asking the reader to imagine buying a gift for their girlfriend.  So basically, only heterosexual men, bisexuals, and lesbians are allowed to be economists.  I sent it back with a note saying I would never adopt it.  This physics book is even worse.

Social rules at a CS convention

This week in fascism


I do this… I didn’t even realize I did, but I do.

Scalzi on 20 years of money

2 year FIRE anniversary

Stata pitfalls

Social media things

read to the end

Ask the grumpies: Changing opinions

Leah asks:

Is there any major personal opinion where you’re taken a big swing? For example, as a child, I was really anti-abortion until I learned why people might chose to have an abortion.

Ooh, ooh, I can answer this one for #2! Did you know that she used to be REALLY into Ayn Rand?  I wasn’t.  But she TOTALLY was.  I was all, you should totally write a scholarship application for that weird author you like who writes the long onanistic books (actually I didn’t say onanistic because I didn’t know that word yet, but I did probably use the hand motion…).  But she didn’t.  Like most people not in congress, she outgrew it.

I used to believe that people could be fixed and change.  I used to believe that evil didn’t exist. I used to believe more realistic villains thought they were doing the right thing, but were just confused on that, and the truly evil-seeming ones all had some sort of rare psychopathy.  Those beliefs have been firmly shaken these past couple years and now I realize all those “unrealistic” super-villains were actually warning us about what could be.  What now is.

Here’s #2’s actual answer:
I have ambivalence about the death penalty.  Generally, I am against it.  It’s irreversable, expensive, and racist the way it’s currently done.  It doesn’t deter crime.  It ties up the court with endless appeals.  It’s carried out in dumb and dehumanizing ways.  But there are some people . . .