Well, with cases climbing in a big way again, we’re back to holing up at home. Not that we really did a whole lot through the summer, but we did eat outside at restaurants a couple times, had a small ” bubble” with another household or two, and our families helped with childcare (masked, distanced). While it was a long way from normal, we had fallen into a level of routine that made things a bit better, and it’s hard to go back to fully bubbled within the four of us who live in our household.

Vaccine(s) are on the horizon, which in some ways makes this time a bit better, but at the same time it feels even harder; like those last few weeks before school is out. That, and the fact that things are looking really, really grim for this winter. We just have to hold on until there are vaccines available – and then take them – but part of me has a hard time seeing us in a better place as a nation right now.

That said, I am very thankful to be in Washington State under Governor Jay Inslee’s leadership. We may be at 5-7% positive in this state with new cases north of 2,000 a day, but when I look around at the rest of the country, Washington is still doing okay. Still bad, but governance led by science and facts mean things don’t look quite as dire.

But hey – my baking skills have definitely improved this year

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Friday’s Frugal Five

1. Well, gyms have been closed again to indoor exercise, so I’m back to not paying for the gym. Granted, I haven’t been to the gym since February, but I had kept my auto payment in place since they opened up this summer. I pay less than $20 a month, so it was worth keeping myself grandfathered in to that rate, but with mask use less than perfect, I haven’t gone.

Maybe the next time they open their doors again it will be at a time where I feel comfortable going. While we have a few weights at home and I’ve been running outdoors often, I sure do miss the gym. I’ll never be someone who trades her gym membership for a fully set up home gym as long as I can help it.

My “trail gym” these days

2. We’ve paid for the annual membership of ABC Mouse for the kiddo, and it’s been a great addition to homeschooling. This feels especially relevant now that I’m back working from home (instead of in an individual office at our small building) and I’m in charge of working and homeschooling concurrently two days a week.

Since my husband and I are both working just four days a week, two days are covered for focused school days, and the roommate has a third day, which means the last two are for me to balance. Two is so much better than the five I was doing back in March and April, and him being “in school” helps, but so does ABC Mouse. While a lot of our homeschooling with him is offline – part of why we aren’t doing Zoom school – having technology has definitely helped as well.

Homeschool + work from home

3. Along with the gyms closing locally, restaurants are now back to take out and outdoor dining only. We are no longer comfortable with dining out, so we are back to 100% take out. That said, we’re back to upping the amount of take out we purchase in order to support our favorite local restaurants.

This is true for other local businesses as well – bookstores and toy stores, etc. If we’re going to get through this with more businesses than the big ones like Amazon and Target, we need to vote with our dollars.

4. The weather is rainy and cold most days now, but we’re finding time to get outside every day no matter what. Even when I go on a soggy run where I step in a foot deep puddle, my mental health is so much better for outside time, especially in the daylight. We may be spending more on local businesses, but our local parks continue to be free.

5. The Plutus Awards were last Friday (the “Oscars of Personal Finance”) and I won the Community Builder award! Cue happy tears. I was also nominated for Best Financial Content for Women and Blog of the Year, but as I’d been telling everyone for months, Community Builder was the award I was hoping for. Since the event was virtual this year, the husband and kiddo were listening in when my name was announced (on our anniversary, no less), and that made it extra special.

Speaking of Community Building – I finally set up a Ko-Fi account for my admins and moderators for Women’s Personal Finance thanks to recommendations from our members. I was able to send out the first round of money to them all (and to me) this past week from the “coffees” members bought for us. Along with money, members left notes of appreciation for the group, and we are feeling so, so loved. Women’s Personal Finance has been a serious labor of love for almost three years now, and it feels really good to be able to compensate the team for even a fraction of their time and effort.

Exercise Update

My running has gotten more frequent lately, and I’m loving it. Friday I did an hour of stairs (since I don’t have access to an elliptical) while listening to the first part of the Plutus Awards. Saturday was a run by myself in the sunshine. Sunday was a trip to the park where I did high step up/downs while the kiddo and his (masked) neighbor buddy played.

Monday was another run with the kiddo, and Tuesday I went out by myself in the rain. Wednesday was a shorter (fifteen minute) run with the kiddo before he was ready to go home and warm up. Thursday was another walk through the woods with some play time (while I walked around in circles), and then I finished off the evening with a walk in my neighborhood next to the woods while listening to Braiding Sweetgrass.

Are you back on “lock down”? What does it look like at home for you right now?

PS. stay home for Thanksgiving.

12 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (COVID-19 Week 38)

  1. Yep, back on lockdown (although we never really left). We had contemplated going to my parents’ for Thanksgiving because it would only be us, the two of them, and possibly my brother (who is single and works from home). All of us are very isolated., but given the direness of the situation, taking a 5+ hour road trip seemed an unnecessary risk. So we’re staying home and very grateful for our situation, though it’s super sad to miss out on our holiday traditions with the extended family. It’s hard not to be upset with or judgmental towards the many others who are not being careful at all and claiming it’s their Constitutional right…but I’m trying.

    Glad you are enjoying the homeschooling! We are so glad our kids don’t have to log on for Zoom classes, because the benefits of seeing their class that way don’t seem worth the added strain of having them constantly on a screen. They spend some time in online learning, but there is plenty of reading library books and exploring outside as well.

    Happy Thanksgiving, and congratulations on your Plutus win! It’s definitely well-deserved.

    1. Yeah, a month or two ago a distanced thanksgiving seemed possible. Now, not so much 🙁

      And thank you so much! I was ecstatic for the win.

  2. re: the gym. I actually just made the decision to dump our gym membership. Haven’t been since March and even though our gyms are open and cases are not too crazy in our area (compared to other areas) I just…do not see myself going back. That said, I might have felt different if we were $20 a month instead of like, $90+ haha.

    Our province is in a weird place as far as COVID goes. Like I said, numbers are low compared to other places, but we did have a couple health zones revert back to previous recovery stages due to increasing numbers. My city is still in what they’re calling the yellow phase aka it’s business as usual as possible in the current situation (things are still mostly open, I’m still going into the office, etc). Hopefully it helps get things under control before Christmas but…not feeling super confident about that. We’ll see, I guess.

    Congratulations on the Community Builder award! So very deserved.

    1. Yeah, if the gym was $90+ I’d have dumped it to. For $20….. I’m hoping I can go again. Someday.

      And thank you!! 🙂

  3. Congrats on the award! I’m a bit of a homebody anyway so I don’t necessarily mind not being able to do some of the things that are shut down–but I want it to me of my own choice. What’s the fun of NOT going out on a Friday night if everybody is doing it!? I do need to pick back up on the exercise front, though.

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