Dog Days of Summer Update

person holding a glass ball
Photo by Arthur Ogleznev on

It’s the Dog Days of Summer. Hot, hazy days and steamy moonlit nights. The last elusive days of carefree summer before school starts again. (Theoretically, people go on vacation about now, but I wouldn’t know about that, as I’m currently working 50+ hours a week at the Six Figure Day Job. Kinda burned all of my vacation days when I was out battling cancer earlier this summer). I haven’t been spending as much time as I would like on some of my midyear personal finance goals because of a) working long hours; and b) wanting to be outside enjoying summer when not working long hours. But I do have several positives to report, as follows:

  • All cancer bills paid in full (with cash). This is such a relief. No more bills coming in the mail, no more conserving fun-money spending cash to use for medical bills instead of fun. And I did it all within 1 month of going back to work from medical leave, to the tune of about $7,000 out of pocket. Done and done due to sound financial planning.
  • Savings/money market accounts refreshed. I am presently building up 3 different cash-based (ie, liquid/non-investment) savings accounts: a low-cost money market fund with Vanguard; a traditional savings account with Chase (keeping a smaller balance, just enough to help keep my banking fees low); and a high-interest online savings account with Discover, where I also hold a cash-back credit card that I pay in full every month. I had to deplete these accounts quite a bit during my cancer-treatment phase (due to both lost income and bills) so it feels good to see the balances going up again instead of down.
  • My younger child is entering kindergarten this year, which means my private-school tuition bills are now 50% of what they were last year. (Not only is the K-8 tuition cheaper than the preschool tuition at our local Catholic school, I AM NOW FINALLY ELIGIBLE FOR THE MULTI-CHILD K-8 DISCOUNT!!) This effectively cuts our monthly school tuition bill in half. Furthermore, sending both kids to the highly rated (U.S. Blue Ribbon National School of Excellence) Catholic school, which includes subsidized after-school care is actually cheaper than it would cost me to send the kids to the local public school because a) the public school does not have all-day kindergarten; and b) the local non-Catholic day care center charges a small fortune for after-school care. And the Catholic school has better academics than the public school near me by far—and you do not have to be Catholic to send your kids there, either. (This is a classic example of Getting More For Your Money).
  • My garden is growing well. I will soon be able to harvest tomatoes, spinach, radishes, and cucumbers, and have been harvesting fresh herbs since the spring. And since all I paid for them was the cost of seeds, water, and the labor I put in myself, it’s basically YAY FREE ORGANIC PRODUCE IN MY YARD.

There is a stack of personal-finance magazines on my back porch waiting for me to read them so I can get ideas for rebalancing my investment accounts for the second half of 2018, but I am putting that off for a bit longer. It’s Dog Days of Summer. I have some lazy lounging to do in my yard first.

I remain your Cheap Yuppie Mom.

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