With DH re-employed, we’re back to being high income. (Not 1% high income, but more than anybody really needs high income.)
You will recall I had just started loosening up on spending and was buying travel not connected with a conference, visiting DH’s parents’ house, or a wedding for the first time *ever* and then the pandemic hit taking our 20th anniversary trip to Portland, OR with it. And then it sounded like DH’s job was going to go away, so I started stockpiling, and then it actually did go away, and my income was back to my take-home pay just about exactly covering our expenses on average (though some lumpy expenses, like summer camp etc. came out of DH’s unemployment and summer money/honoraria for me). I was careful to buy the on-sale things at the grocery store and didn’t go too crazy with my jetpens habit.
To be honest, I felt more comfortable on just my income. High income is freeing, but I definitely feel guilt along with it. And uncertainty– I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing with it all. Is it stupid not to spend? Should I be saving? How much waste is moral? Should I be buying more ways to save time? Laura Vanderkam would not approve!
And now we’re back to DH’s take-home being higher than mine (I have more retirement account options) and us being able to live off just his take-home pay.
If we stay here forever, we’ve hit our savings goals. Our house is paid off. Our retirement accounts are being maxed every year. We finally renovated the kitchen. Our cars aren’t very old. DC1 will have to pay full-freight for college. But we’ve also got a LOT saved in a 529 already and although we will probably save more for DC2; we won’t know how much more until DC1 actually goes to college. It’s not really clear where extra money should go.
That said, we’re in a shakier position than we were before. DH’s job may not last longer than two years. We both really want to leave this state and move someplace where the government isn’t actively trying to kill people. We want to live in a Blue state with high taxes and expensive housing. I’m not sure I can get an academic job, especially one with tenure. Is there age discrimination in Tech? I don’t know. Will DH be able to keep getting jobs? Probably if he’s willing to move (or if he’s willing to do something outside of his main focus– everyone is shocked at how good a programmer he is)… but will they pay enough to live someplace fancy? We don’t know.
We would need another 3 million dollars in savings to safely move to one of these fancy blue cities and not worry about employment or health insurance or housing (less with jobs lined up). That’s a LOT of money.
I asked DH what he wanted to do now that we’re rich again. He said he wanted freedom most of all. So maybe we should aim for that 3 million. I don’t know how long it would take to get it, but the more we put away now, the longer it has to grow and the more freedom we will have if DH’s new company goes under or he gets laid off or I move without a job or etc.
But also he wants fancy J. Herbin fountain pen ink (emerald) and either the Peloton app or that fancy online personal trainer thing Wheezy Waiter is always talking about (he picked the latter, and just bought $300 of dumbbells). And a workout mat to put in his office ($200! except then amazon said just kidding it’s actually backordered and he got a cheaper one). I think we can handle those. And upgrading my iPhone 7 to a newer model with a working battery (I will do this before school starts in the fall). And maybe even upgrading my ancient computer (though DH may upgrade his and I’ll take his as a hand-me-down).
But I really need to start some kind of monthly savings plan where I just put money directly into Vanguard instead of letting it pile up in savings where it just kind of stares at me and makes me forget its true value. (I start saying dumb stuff like, “DH, we could totally just buy this $32K house near your parents so everyone has a place to stay at Christmas.” Narrator: We should *not* buy a fixer-upper house in a rural area that we will go to maybe 2 weeks out of the year.)
No questions, just being obnoxious. Commentary accepted even without questions!