COVID-19, protests over police brutality, continually high unemployment, and a looming recession (but hopefully not a depression). May, and all of 2020 thus far, has been a wild ride, and it appears that the uncertainty will be with us for a while yet.
Thankfully, we are very, very lucky to have our jobs right now, and we are able to save “as usual” right now. That said, our giving rate has gone up quite a bit, as is our eating out. As foodies, and people who care particularly about our community, spending our dollars on take out (with big tips) seems like the best thing we could do with our money right now other than save it. That, and continue to donate to organizations that are doing good work.
That said, life is still very uncertain, and cash will always be king, so I continue to beef up our savings accounts as well as send funds to our IRAs. While I am definitely a bit looser with our wallet these days in the name of supporting local businesses, I still want to save a good portion to protect our future.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.
Food and Drink
We are still spending ” too much” in this category – more like we used to spend prior to tracking our expenses closely. While this is very intentional right now, this blog is definitely going to have to keep me accountable once things go back “to normal” so we actually adjust back down and spend less again in the future. Because really, we like eating out, especially in an area with so many good restaurants to choose from.
The amount we spent in May though was lower than April, so things should be good if we can keep it at this level for now. Grocery spending is still up as well, but I know a good portion of that is due to the fact that the cost of food as very clearly skyrocketed (and we aren’t at the store often / can’t quite hunt for deals in the same way).
We took a day trip out to the Olympic Peninsula in May! On a whim, we hopped a ferry and hung out in Sequim for the day. It definitely felt a bit strange walking down the mostly empty streets downtown, but I was able to pick up some of my favorite coffee grounds while we were there. And simply going somewhere felt pretty great.
I also prepaid my share of a bachelorette party weekend I’m attending, fingers crossed, later this summer. We made sure that the cabin has a decent refund policy, but I’m hopeful that the trip is possible. For once, it was someone else organizing the lodging and the trip, and I have to say, I enjoyed just sending her money and leaving it at that.
Our giving rate should stay high through the year. When life is so uncertain – and often not so good – for so many, I feel compelled to send our money to others. If you are in a good place financially, perhaps 2020 is the year to stretch yourself a bit with giving. Charitable spending is definitely a muscle, and one that can use flexing often.
April 2020 Spending (Excludes mortgage, daycare, insurance)
|May 2020||Apr 2020||Mar 2020||Feb 2020||Jan 2020|
|Including Mortgage Principal||50%||44%||45%||31%||61%|
We did spend a bit more in May than in April, but lower than the beginning of the year still. That said, our savings rate is higher thanks to my work situation right now. Surprise: I’m working full time for a while.
My goal is to drop back down to 80% time soon enough, but the additional income feels pretty amazing. All of the hours don’t feel amazing though (but necessary, and voluntary), so I’m doing my very best not to get drawn into the additional income. Even if we actually hit that 50% savings rate this month.
Long term, fewer hours is best for my – and my family’s – life. But oh, I can understand how easy it is to get stuck at a higher income. The temptation of significantly more money is real.
It’s been TWO YEARS now since I initially downloaded Personal Capital and started actually tracking our net worth. While savings rate is still more important to me because it’s what we can actually control, there is something to be said for having a sense of your overall net worth (though also important to know NOT to look during market volatility if it would make you tempted to pull your money out).
I was unconvinced for a long time that I even needed to track our net worth, but I’m so glad that I finally set up an account where I could track it all. I especially appreciate being able to look at the graphs for individual area, like investment accounts and cash savings.
We have a bunch of separate accounts, so it’s really nice to see them all in one place. I’m also working on growing our overall cash savings, and Personal Capital aggregates them all across four different banks, which makes things a lot simpler.
If you haven’t set up a way to track your net worth, I’d recommend Personal Capital for that purpose. If you use this link to sign up, you’ll also get a $20 Amazon gift card for doing so.
How are things going for you financially?