11 Responses to “Our last month of pandemic spending like super high income people who don’t care about money”

  1. CG Says:

    Re: every month having an “emergency”–every year we review our spending and every year there’s some big thing that is a one-time expense. Except maybe this year, because our travel has been less, we haven’t done much work on the house, and haven’t had to buy a new car. But every other year it seems like there’s something. So we just need to plan for that, and we do, and it’s fine (and it’s all stuff we could decide not to do if we felt financially crunched). But it would be a mistake for us to think of those expenses as “not the norm” because if they happen with enough regularity, they are the norm.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:


      I could probably do a financial fire drill https://nicoleandmaggie.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/financial-fire-drill/ to see what could be cut… but I’m already fairly sure we could get our expenses down pretty low (for some definitions of low, meaning like 36K/year) if we were willing to. But… also… don’t wanna. And I think we don’t have to? Because we saved so much when times were good and I don’t have plans to quit any time soon?

      I mean, we could definitely cut to a lower netflix subscription (though DH and the kids do enjoy having 3 dvds out at a time) and almost $20/month… but… our big expenses are still taxes, insurance, food, and charity. It’s interesting comparing now to 2011 when we last posted about a financial fire drill.

    • Matthew Healy Says:

      I’ve always figured on a certain amount of “expected surprises” in a normal year, particularly when we owned both a condo and an old car! In any 12-month period the car would have one big repair bill, a few medium repair bills, and of course routine maintenance. And at least twice per year the condo would need something: furnace, A/C, kitchen appliance, plumbing, etc. Also every few years the building would need something beyond what the Owners Association budget could handle so there’d be a Special Meeting to approve an Extra Assessment.

      Now we’re renting and we have a newer car, so when the fridge died just called Maintenance, and the car hasn’t yet needed anything beyond scheduled maintenance. We recently had scheduled maintenance done on the car, for which we took advantage of our local dealer’s COVID-safe valet service. I met them outside, handed them one key and the garage door opener, and told them “I’ve got this other key so when you’re done just park it in the garage and lock the key you have in the glove compartment.” That way I didn’t even enter the car until the next day.

      This weekend I did make a couple very small plumbing repairs instead of calling Maintenance, partly because neither was an emergency so we’d probably have had to wait until today and partly because with COVID we want to minimize people coming in.

      Our total spending this summer is definitely lower than previous summers: we’re not eating out and we’re not getting on airplanes.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        When DH took one of our cars in for servicing, he had to enter in the regular building (which is also a dealership) to pay. There were many people there and most of them were not wearing masks, despite local laws saying that was illegal. Our county is currently on the line between redzone and orange zone depending on the measure used.

  2. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I’ve found the same with our spending – there’s always a big ticket item that wasn’t specifically budgeted for in some way pretty much every month. Not quite an emergency in the sense that it’s not job ending or requires a massive effort to fix but more of a big thing that can’t wait any longer. They’re neither entirely unpredictable (like Seamus’s health stuff) nor are they predictable because we don’t know when he’ll have what flare-up.

    I am pretty sure that hating the idea of having to pull back after I’ve gotten used to a nice thing like freely spending is half the reason I’ve always held myself back from letting myself loose. The other half is because I would definitely spend so much and much more frivolously than y’all did :) I like too many books, crafts, and stationery things to be allowed to spend unfettered. I do like to daydream about that though. (Within reason, I don’t want to be overrun by STUFF either.)

  3. middle_class Says:

    We also seem to have a large “unexpected” expense every month or two. I guess it comes with home ownership and just life in general. I never allow myself to go unfettered partly due to necessity and partly due my desire to be a minimalist. Oh, and a general dislike for paying full price..

  4. Bardiac Says:

    When I bought my first house, the home inspection guy went over what I could expect in expenses and repairs over time, and how much I needed to save per month to be able to handle them without added stress. I was really surprised, because I’d never thought about most of that stuff as a long time renter, but I dutifully put away money every month, and whenever one of those expenses came, and they did, I was pretty prepared. And every time one of those expenses came, I was grateful to the home inspection guy again for educating me!
    It helped a lot that none of those expenses came right away (like, I didn’t have to buy a furnace the first winter or anything), so that I’d saved a bit by the time the first bigger expense came. And, of course, I was lucky to be making a middle class salary and had paid off my (tiny) grad school loans before saving for a down payment.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We had a gas pipes problem our first month in a space too far from the house to be covered by the home insurance we’d bought and too close to be covered by the city! It forced us to put off purchasing a w/d set for a while, not even mentioning furniture.

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