I’d been waiting for our emergency fund to refill after all of the big expenses we had had. (March has been so long that I don’t even remember what the last big thing was… I mean, I know we hired a handyman to fix some stuff because I haven’t finished that post yet, and I know we bought a car this summer, paid for lots of summer travel and camps that probably won’t happen now, maybe it was front-loading DC1’s 529… probably that. Bad market timing there, eh? Shoulda kept dollar cost averaging!) Since our tax bill and estimated taxes ended up being a wash again this year, we’re back to having more money than we need for the long unpaid summer.
I still don’t know how much college is going to cost for DH’s relative’s kid next year. They weren’t clear about if the number given was just for summer semester (which they mistakenly put down as the first semester of attendance) or the full year or what. They also didn’t know if that number included loans etc. etc. etc. So they were going to move his start to the Fall with everyone else and then get the page with the full work-up of the costs to us. That hasn’t happened yet because the ‘Rona shut the university down and so on.
In any case, I’m hoping he’s still planning to go in the fall [update: currently unlikely– he’s moved out and may not finish high school] and I’m thinking that selling stocks is not such a great idea right now, even if they’re only down to 2017 levels. So instead I’ll keep stockpiling in cash. There seems much less of a reason now to try to figure out where to put money. I can’t predict the future, but I somehow doubt we’re in a temporary market low that will immediately zoom back up making me regret not having invested more than our usual right now.
Potentially excess money can sit a while in savings until we find out whether or not it will all be turned into tuition next year or regular spending if DH gets laid off. We can re-evaluate on frontloading DC2’s 529 in the future, and in the mean-time we will continue to put $750/month in there.
All the good personal finance bloggers out there will say stay the course, and we are… I’m not dropping 403b/457/regular 529 investing. But I’m also not looking at this as a huge opportunity to get in the market. Who knows how long the recession will last. Maybe things will bounce back after a vaccine is out. But maybe all the things that the Trump administration did to hurt the economy will be exposed and it will be a while before we dig out of this one, just like with W’s recession.
Are you changing any money plans because of the pandemic/upcoming recession?