I find that I am still very much attached to this blog, even if these days it’s mostly just a diary update of our lives as we continue through the 2020s and everything that entails. There is plenty I would like to write about (unlike when I first started blogging in 2017 and was worried I might run out of content), but I just don’t have the time or bandwidth to commit to more than these (mostly) once a week posts about life.

A lot of that has to do with the time put into Women’s Personal Finance, which has taken over almost all of my online hours these days. It’s become a full fledged business though, and one I am so proud of, so I can’t be too sad about the lack of time here at Tread Lightly, Retire Early.

For those of you who do read these every week, I do appreciate you so very much. I hope to write here on different topics, but even when I don’t, I love the comments and the feed back I get on these updates as well. Plus, life is weird right now, so it seems worthwhile to have a public diary during this weird time to look back on again someday. (When life is less weird? A girl can dream.)

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. The kiddo went to theater camp last week, and he had an absolutely wonderful time. They actually have continued to require masking at all times while indoors, so it felt so much better to send him for a week.

While we didn’t need the childcare, and it was an extra cost, I’m glad we were able to send him. Getting to do fun camp stuff in the summer with other kids his age is pretty great, and he loved it so much we’ve signed him up for a fall after school camp as well.

2. Another reason we signed him up for camp, beyond him being really interested in the theater option, is that we are going to be putting him in school five days a week this fall (ie in less than two more weeks). We spent a lot of time considering our options, and I’m really excited about where we landed.

For those who aren’t up to speed, we pulled him out of preschool at the end of February, 2020, and then ended up homeschooling him for the last two years because of the pandemic. We’d originally planned on sending him last year once he was vaccinated, but that didn’t happen until the end of fall semester, and then with omicron, we decided to ride out the rest of the year at home.

Perhaps this deserves its own post, but we’ve decided to send him to a small private school. It’s dual language Spanish, which is a huge bonus for both of us. It’s a significant amount of money, but for a lot of reasons, this is where we’ve landed for this year. If you’re curious about digging into the whole thought process here, let me know. Maybe I’ll get around to writing some words specifically on the school topic.

Part of his fan club at the week end performance (not pictured: husband, MIL, and myself)

3. I called to schedule my 250 mile tune up for my bike this past week since I just hit that milestone. I also need to get the integrated lights installed that were backordered, so the bike shop will install those at the same time. Pretty proud of hitting that 250 mile mark already, and I think I love my bike even more now than I did when I rode it home from the store.

I’m also looking at a tag a long bike attachment for the kiddo to ride with me. Since I travel some busy roads – and some longer distances – I don’t feel like he’ll be ready to bike alone for a few years at least. If you have any experience using one of those tow single wheel bike add ons, I’d love your thoughts. I’d much rather he have an active part in the bike ride than simply a riding seat.

4. We’ve – maybe – hit our last 90+ degree day for the year this week (breaking new records again, hooray climate change). We ended up having to finally install our window AC units last month when we had a week stretch of 90+ degrees, but we’ve tried to use them as little as possible.

Only when it climbs regularly over 75-80 degrees inside the house do we use the air conditioning, which have thankfully become less frequent as the days become shorter. I’m not ready for winter, but I’m glad to be heading back to the post-air conditioning part of the year.

For those of you who live in areas where it regularly gets hot in the summer, a quick reminder that most people in the Pacific Northwest don’t have air conditioning (or only have less functional window units like we do), so hotter summers thanks to climate change are pretty hard on a lot of people.

Hot weather means – finally! – more than 1-2 tomatoes a day

5. The kid is growing again, which means he needed new tennis shoes again. We went straight to the clearance aisle at the store, and he happily picked out a pair from the short list of options there. I was tempted to show him the rest of the store with the full priced shoes, but I stopped myself.

If he’s happy with the clearance options, why do I need to show him more expensive options? It’s funny. I haven’t bought clothes or shoes for myself for over five years now, and most of his come from the thrift store or hand me downs, but for some reason, I found myself drawn to the full priced shoe options. Well ingrained, I suppose.

The big kid at weekly chess club

Exercise Update

Friday and Monday were my typical bike to work days. Saturday we went to the Edmonds farmers market and then a Pokewalk along the waterfront (PokemonGo catching walk).

I went for a run both Wednesday and Thursday. A couple weeks ago, I asked Purple to adjust my Wednesday accountability badgering to be asking me whether I’d run that week. I’d have to say, I’ve definitely gone running a couple extra days to make sure I could answer “yes” on that Wednesday Twitter thread. Thursday we went swimming, taking advantage of one of the last hot summer days.

Are you still in full summer mode where you’re at, or are you looking toward fall now? Which season do you prefer?

16 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (COVID-19 Week 130)

  1. it’s still hot in buffalo but getting better. should be perfect for a week in the adirondacks for the annual smidlap-con in less than two weeks. plus…it’s always cool up in the mountains. rock on.

  2. Wait, have you not bought new running shoes in the last 5 years? Or is sporting “equipment” not included?
    Your garden produce looks great and I hope your kiddo likes his nueva escuela!

    1. I’ve been convinced not to include running shoes in the clothes category since they’re “equipment,” but I’ve still not needed to buy any thanks to a bunch of nice lightly used hand me downs.

  3. Don’t stop your weekly updates, I enjoy following along 🙂
    I finally picked a spot in the garden to have amazing continual Kale growth like yours and I’m loving it (Russian Blue). I only really did potatoes throughout the garden this year and then a bit of tomatoes which are producing crazy good right now.

    Congrats on hitting 250 miles !

    Did I ever give you the link to Not Just Bikes on Youtube? I love all that Jason creates and with your connection to planning I think you will really like it.


  4. I am happy for you that Women’s Personal Finance is doing so well, but sad you are writing less here. I have found your blog inspirational in a number of ways.

    I think it is cooling down enough here to exercise outside more. I love summer, but by this time, I am usually ready for fall to start…

  5. It’s interesting you say AC isn’t common where you live. We are in MN and I feel like although summers are short and usually not so hot, AC is still considered a necessity.
    Also would like to hear more about your school choice. From what I know about you, we are both pretty liberal leaning. I take the stance that private schools should be outlawed. (but totally understand why people choose them, since they are available) but at the same time think that if they weren’t available, our public schools would become much better.

    1. I am definitely pro public school. That said, I have my focuses on my advocacy and the school piece isn’t mine (we all have to have boundaries so we don’t burn out trying to fix the whole world).

      So….. do I wish public school was 1000x better and am I aware that folks are purposefully trying to dismantle it? Yes.

      But did we find an option that works for us this year that isn’t public school? Also yes.

      Hope that rationale helps – maybe I should dedicate a full post to this after all.

  6. I live in Portland but have gotten sick of heat/drought/fire season (aka August). Right now I’m not working so I left the NW and am visiting friends in Ontario, Canada – it’s sticky and hot but not gross and borderline scary like Portland. I probably can’t do this every year but it’s pretty nice.

    Congrats that WPF is doing so well!!! I haven’t joined because it sounds overwhelming. I’d be curious to hear perspectives of new members – I might be totally imagining what it’s like!

  7. Definitely interested in hearing the school rationale. Did either you or your husband attend private schools as kids?

    1. We did not! Nor did we ever expect to send our kiddo to private school (or homeschool the last two years either)

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