I’m finally starting to come out of my work overwhelm of the past few months, so I’m back with a Friday update!
As many of you know, my day job is all about (sustainable) affordable housing. These past few years we’ve gotten involved in state level policy, and this year we went allll in. Which has been awesome and rewarding as we see housing bills pass this year, but also exhausting.
The hours have been long and all over the place, and I have a new appreciation for our elected officials who put in allll the hours during session to make things happen. Even as just outside support, I am so ready to take a nap.
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Friday’s Frugal Five
1. Shoutout to my husband during these long weeks at work. While being immersed in the state legislature, working on all my other regular job duties, and keeping WPF running, I haven’t had a lot of extra time for the home and life stuff.
He cooks most of our dinners during the week, and takes over with the kiddo a lot of the time. In theory I’m supposed to be working less than him, but in this season of life, that hasn’t exactly been true. While life has been extra hectic lately, I couldn’t do it without him.
2. Because of said circus of a life lately as well as weather conditions (it hailed and snowed again earlier this week…), I haven’t gotten to bike as much as I’d have liked. With a new bike, I’ve wanted to be out on it a lot, but it just hasn’t been in the cards yet.
A cargo bike handles so differently than a normal bike, so I’m still getting used to it. So when I finally got the chance to bike into work this week, I took the cargo bike sans kid in tow. While my other bike is a more enjoyable ride, I decided to take the cargo to get more comfortable on it. While it will never be as fun to ride, I’m getting to a much higher level of comfort in steering and riding it these days.
3. With multiple close friends and family living in Europe and in different parts of the United States, most of our air travel is used to go see them. And, if you hadn’t noticed, air travel has gotten very expensive lately.
In looking out toward another trip to Europe, I opened up a new credit card to help cover the cost of a flight. This time I chose the Capital One Venture. My husband already has the card, so with the referral bonus to his and the sign up bonus for mine, the card will cover one flight to Europe in the future. Life has been extra expensive lately, so any trip in the near-ish future will need to be mostly covered by credit card points or we won’t be able to go.
4. I’ll be filing our taxes later today / over the weekend, but I filled them out last weekend. We’re going to owe a decent chunk thanks to increased income (between raises at our jobs and income from WPF). That total pushed me to send the final dollars needed to max out my husband’s IRA, so 2022 marks the first year that they’ve both been maxed out, hooray!
While I am very happy to pay taxes to keep our country running, and I know that we owe more this year because we made more money, that tax bill is still an ouch. Multiple things can be true at once.
We both have access to 401ks now too as of the start of 2023, so that will absolutely help come tax time next year plus add quite a bit to our retirement accounts. We have a decent chunk of our net worth in real estate (not just our home), but it feels good to see our traditional retirement accounts grow too.
5. You might have noticed I changed the titling of this series away from “COVID Week X.” This is not to say that we are “past” COVID (I am still wearing a mask in crowded public places and my kiddo still wears his at school).
But we are past where the country and the world thinks it’s a thing. So I don’t know what to call this period of time. Post-2019? Because we certainly aren’t going back to the way things were Pre-Covid.
I caught myself a cold a few weeks ago, and while it wasn’t terrible, I ended up being congested for a few weeks, which is very much not typical for me. I’m convinced it’s because my immune system is still suppressed from Covid back in December, honestly. So Tuesday was my first run in a few weeks, which felt great.
Wednesday was a bike ride, which was also awesome. And I took Thursday and Friday off this week (much needed), so the kiddo and I went for a hike with his grandfather and his grand-godfather. 1000+ feet of elevation gain and 5+ miles, and then we came home and went for a meander through the woods with our neighbors.
Cross your fingers for me that the weather and life cooperates so I can have more long, active outside days like this week.