Thursday night, President Biden gave a speech commemorating the official year mark of the pandemic in the United States. We might have already been in it a few weeks here in Kirkland by that point, but this time a year ago, people were starting to realize things were going to be really different, and really bad.
A year later though, we have a new president, and one who very clearly cares about the people he was elected to serve. His speech included an announcement of the expectation that every single adult in the country should be eligible for vaccination by May 1st. Less than eight weeks from now. It’s been a long, hard road, and it’s certainly not over, but hope is sure around these days.
Oh. And we have a new stimulus package that’s been signed. That $1,400 payment is going to be so crucial to so many, as will so many other pieces of that bill. Hope indeed.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. Meteorological spring is here, and I’m back out in the garden a lot more these days. I may have dodged hailstorms to do it, but I got the earliest planting this week, including carrots, onion starts, and sugar snap peas.
The weather is mild around here year round though, so I’m still harvesting a whole number of greens as well as cabbage, celery, carrots, turnips, herbs, and early spring garlic. The green onions have started to come back again, and each week forward will bring more harvest options.
2. As tempted as I am to add another raised bed or two, the chicken coop build is in process and I’ve told myself I don’t get another garden bed until it’s finished. My mother in law came over for most of Thursday and helped with cutting boards and hauling and mixing concrete to prep the foundation. I am so darn lucky to have her.
I sent her home with onion starts and homegrown cabbage, as well as paid for her lunch, but I owe her big, and told her she’ll be in eggs for life once we have laying chickens.
3. After a conversation with friends one night, I posted on the Women’s Personal Finance Facebook group for everyone to send $5 to their savings/retirement accounts. While more is great, I specifically chose $5 because I remember the days where finding even that much for long term goals felt like a lot.
The group may have a large subset of members who are on the path to financial independence (or are already retired), but there are a lot of women much earlier on their money journeys, and I always want to be cognizant of that.
A few women mentioned that things were just too tight, so they’d be putting money that way later when they could, so I decided to start another thread where I offered to send the first woman to comment $5 so she could send that to her savings or retirement. Many members jumped in behind me, and we were able to send funds to quite a few women in the group, saving overdraft fees and filling gas tanks. I am so honored to have such a wonderful, generous group of women around me.
4. In the Women’s Personal Finance member Discord group, we’ve had a few impromptu video/audio chats, and this week we scheduled an actual Zoom blogger “mastermind.” I put that loosely, as while we talked about blogging some, it really ended up simply being a two hour virtual hang out session, and I went away from that feeling so loved and fulfilled.
Expanding WPF beyond Facebook has been a work in progress, but for a month into this adventure, it’s been so wonderful. A group of 26,000+ women is powerful, but a small group off social media is also powerful in a very different way. I am so happy to be a part of both.
5. Speaking of the WPF membership site, Regina and I launched the second cohort of fifty women this week. We have some upcoming exclusive events in the works but had waited to announce until the second cohort showed up, so it’s been exciting to expand the group to some more women.
With this second cohort means that we are going to be opening up free memberships to women soon who can’t afford the monthly cost. For every nine paid annual memberships, there will be one free one. This feels like such an important piece of this work, and I’m grateful to have a partner in Regina who feels the same way. PS there may be just a handful of spots left for this cohort round this morning. The link to register is private, but please reach out if you’re interested!
The gym is still off limits for me (they’re open at 25% but it is beyond my comfort level as of yet), so I did another workout on the “outdoor elliptical” – ie stairs – on Friday. Saturday was a long hike through the state park near our house.
Monday was a run by myself around the neighborhood, and Thursday was a weight workout thanks to hauling 60lb concrete bags for the chicken coop.
How are you feeling a year plus into the pandemic? Have you started to allow yourself to hope?