One of DH’s relative’s kids has gotten married and is moving out (this is the one in year 3 at the local community college). What’s really weird is that renting a house is $650/month, but there are houses for purchase for $20K! And although they all need major work, none of them are former meth labs (last time I checked for one near DH’s parents house before DH’s sister had twins and I was thinking about future Christmas visits, there was a former meth lab listed super cheap). I joked that we should buy one (not a meth lab) and rent it out, but then I remembered that rent is probably so high because it’s really risky renting out to people in that town– if they were good with money they’d buy a place. Nice houses that don’t need work are more in the 100-200K range, which is still pretty cheap.
Another of DH’s relative’s kids was going to have a Halloween party, but then one of his friends got Covid and all the rest ended up in quarantine for two weeks. So… lucky miss there. Also DH’s tiny home town is in bad shape with covid, if it isn’t obvious.
DH’s sister’s tiny town is also having a bad covid outbreak. It’s like they have no cases and then *bam* they’re in the redzone because it gets to a couple of nursing homes. I guess this is why it’s important to be careful even if it seems like it is silly. You never know when it’s going to hit your town unless there are good systems of contact tracing etc.
Boy, savings rates (APY) sure have plummeted since March. My online is only getting 0.5%, which I guess is better than nothing but maybe it’s time to move some cash into the market. Though every time I think something like that, the market crashes so… maybe I should just spend it. :) [Narrator: She did not just spend it. And the market crashed, but that’s ok because it is still sitting in savings.]
The second hero in Boyfriend Material eats this thing called Bircher for breakfast. Since I made DH read the book, he noticed it and decided that we should try it. It’s basically muesli soaked overnight in almond milk, both things we had (the grocery store we’ve been doing curbside at has these promotions where if you buy one thing you get something else free, so we ended up with a thing of almond milk, and I really like having cereal with no added sugar so we tend to have muesli if it is available, which it has been). He also put in a grated apple. Turns out Bircher is really good AND I don’t get hungry or even want to snack until like 1pm. There are recipes, but it’s basically just a recipe to make your own muesli and then soak it overnight with almond milk and fruit.
Thoroughly Modern Millie the movie is … racist. But I tried watching the broadway version and Jimmy is such a jerk!!! The meet cute in the movie (Tapioca! Everybody!) is SO much better than the meet cute in the musical. Like, if I were 20 years younger and not in love with DH, I would totally want to date movie Jimmy. I still like the sound tracks of both though. (Also this elevator scene! So fun!)
The grocery store we’ve been doing curbside with had a special on cheap frozen pizzas (Tombstone and DiGiorno), so I got some. They tasted like nostalgia to me. But DC1 was a bit repulsed and said they tasted like school pizza on the non-Pizza Hut days. Sometimes I wonder if we’ve created monsters with our kids, DC1 in particular. (DC2 tends to be more open and interested in trying new foods.) On the one hand, DC1 dislikes a lot of truly unhealthy food. On the other hand, living on just sushi alone can get expensive! Though DH said he never got frozen pizza growing up, they only had pizza from the local place.
Speaking of pizza– if you want a super easy elegant savory dessert, take pizza dough, then cover it with walnuts and blue cheese and bake. You can also add lemon or lime zest and a little olive oil on top before baking for an additional elegance. (Idea courtesy of Williams Sonoma.)
Ugh…tiny town here that had something like 150 cases pop up last week after months of none or very few cases and it was linked to just 2 parties. One unfortunately was a restaurant closing party and people from other restaurants came and then infected a bunch of eateries. Scary how fast it can spread.
Regarding savings, I also would love a post on dollar cost averaging back into the market. I’ve been sitting on too much cash for almost a year now. (I had a 2 pension payouts among other things and it’s still not invested). Market has scared me and being very close to my magic retirement number I am much more gun shy now and I know it’s something I need to address….or do I? I think dollar cost averaging is the answer as that is why I didn’t invest when everything was 18000 because I don’t think at the time It was the bottom. It dropped more in 2008…but everyone says finding the bottom or top of the market is near impossible.
Walter updegrave says it’s better to just put a large sum of money in at once. But if you’re worried you can dollar cost average. I mean, I’m keeping money in cash because I think I might want to spend it, but if you definitely don’t need this money, just put it in the market. Ideally convert it into retirement money. If that’s maxed out—-529 money might be a good place given your kids’ ages and your high income.
I normally dump large sums into our IRAs but I am horrible at doing the same dump of large sums into our brokerage (which I use since I don’t have a 401K). I don’t get why that is, but I tend to hoard cash and then refuse to release it, so I switched to DCA this year. (And totally failed to actually follow through on that too. But that’s 2020 for you.)
My husband and I are also sitting on too much cash, and I’m trying to get over my fear of putting it in the market now. We had $30K in a 3% CD at our local credit union, but that matured and now we’ve got $50K earning nothing in our savings account. We (especially my husband) want to get some kind of return, but we also want to spend a good chunk of it on a new minivan and/or a bigger house in the next 5 years or so. I’m also wary of complicating our tax situation – we’ve never had non-tax-sheltered investments before. We’re considering bonds, but I don’t know if that’s a good idea. I feel like this might be an ask the grumpies question?
I do know the heuristic, and I don’t think we’ll put it all in the market. A minivan has a well-defined price, but a bigger house doesn’t, so I don’t really know how much we’ll want to spend on these big things (and we might decide not to do either one). I guess the questions I’d like to see answered are more along the lines of:
-how do you decide how much $$ to keep in cash? (I think it’s been a few years since you’ve had a post on this topic?)
-how do you (and readers) think about which investments to put in tax-sheltered versus taxable accounts? Do tax implications play a role in those decisions?
Thanks. Look I’m forward to the post. I do realize it is a first world problem and I am grateful I don’t have to be worrying about bills. For me specifically, I already have savings bonds for my emergency fund and cash Making nothing for my next car and I am okay with those being safe and earning little. I am specifically only talking about retirement accounts here. I was in the process of simplifying and consolidating a bunch of stuff and cashed all my cats and dogs and then the markets got super volatile and it’s been harder for me to buy back in than I anticipated it to be. Not sure what the mental block is as I have been investing ever pay period since my first paycheck and still am. I did lose a bunch of money in 2008 and I probably still Haven’t fully gotten over it.