Somehow we’re already more than halfway through the month of February, and I haven’t done my deep analysis of our spending for January yet again. I said I was going to pick it back up in 2022 after trailing off at the end of 2021, but I just haven’t mustered the energy of import to actually do it.

We’re doing just fine with our finances even without me keeping the closest eye, so I think I’m half convinced that I don’t need to. The other half of me keeps pinging my brain that it is important. It is important. Let’s just see if I can push past this block and get back to it soon.

We’ve passed the two year mark since the local long term care facility began to deal with the first US outbreak of COVID. Are we on our way out, as so many are hopeful with the dropping of vaccine requirements and mask mandates? Or are we just preparing for midterm elections? I’m not ready yet to say we’re out of this, and so the exhaustion continues.

Anyone who makes the argument that the people pushing back against the relaxing of mitigation just don’t want to let go…. No, we’re just as tired as everyone else. We just also care about the very young, the immunocompromised, the health care workers…… Wearing a mask a bit longer is a small thing to ask.

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Friday’s Frugal Five

1. The kiddo and I went to Goodwill and we were able to find him a couple new pairs of pants, a few new shirts, an almost-brand new Abercrombie jacket, and some shoes. We’ll see if his mindset continues this way, but for now, he seems as gleeful as I am when things are massively discounted at thrift stores versus what they would cost brand new.

Perhaps part of this is that he was able to buy a couple new toys for himself at what he knows is a fraction of the cost at the toy store? Even if his mindset changes when he grows into middle and high school, I think – I hope – that some of this sticks long term.

Hiking in his new jacket & shoes (and very old pj pants)

2. He continues to sell a dozen eggs at a time, meaning he also has more money to buy things he wants (though some does go into long term savings as well). While I don’t want to teach him that money is too important, I do want him to learn the value of money and what it can do for you and for others.

I’m forever torn about how much money we set aside for him as he grows – on the generational wealth side of things. I absolutely see the point and privilege of that generational wealth, but for now at least, I’m on the side of teach him to manage his own money, be the safety net if he needs it, but beyond that, we don’t need to give him more than that (college funds notwithstanding).

3. I continue to blow through books so far in 2022, and the majority of them are still library books. Life has gotten a lot more expensive with inflation, but free books borrowed from the library are still free.

Since last week, I’ve finished Lights Out, The Hidden Kingdom (audiobook with the kiddo), and The Uninhabitable Earth. I do still occasionally buy hard copy books, but for the most part, I’m content to utilize our local library.

4. Speaking of books, my mom just published her fifth book in her first fiction series – and the first one is currently free on Kindle this week (all are available on Kindle Unlimited). If cozy mysteries / happier fiction is your jam, I highly recommend that you check them out. These books were what knocked me out of my book reading funk earlier in the pandemic.

The first book in the series is currently #62 of ALL free Kindle books right now, and #2 in Cozy Animal Mystery, Women’s Detective Fiction, and Small Town & Rural Fiction. I’m so dang proud of her. She’s been an author most of my life, but fiction writing is something she’s wanted to do for years and years. Now she’s not only doing it, but rocking it too.

5. Along the lines of the-pandemic-isn’t-quite-over-yet, I ordered myself and the kiddo some new masks, and they arrived this past week. They’re US made M95is (since they are US made they aren’t KN95s), and come in a lot of fun colors. If we’re going to have to be doing this for a while yet, why not have fun masks too?

Especially as we stare down the end of masks mandates (again – remember last May?), we’ve ditched the cloth masks for now and are going with the more efficient ones. Does it hurt my heart to be using disposable masks instead of the cloth ones? Yes, but like I’ve said throughout this pandemic, the answer is not always black and white. I’ll go with more safety right now even if it means growing our garbage a bit.

Exercise Update

Saturday we went on another new to us hike – the 7 mile Lime Kiln Trail out in Granite Falls. When we got home, the kiddo then ran down to play outside with his neighbor friends. I told him the next time he complains that his legs are too tired to walk to the grocery store, he needs to remember how much his legs really can do 😉

Wednesday was yoga and then another HIIT sprint workout. Thursday I did some stair running by myself and then went for a hike with a friend and the kiddo. After last week’s extended soreness after hiking the Crestwood Stairs (x10), I decided it’s time to up my workouts and be in better shape on that front.

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