Budget COVID19

Day 37: Call is over, newsletter, & spending my allowance on skincare

April 21, 2020


CHECK! 7 days. I did end up going to the hospital and seeing patients in person on most of those days. With certain new diagnoses, a discussion over a screen just didn’t feel sufficient. I think the families appreciated having me there in person.

I tried not to touch ANYTHING (pressing buttons to open doors with elbows only!), wore a mask, and washed my hands about 8374823 times. And after I was done washing I would use sanitizer whenever I saw it for good measure.

I am back on call mid-May (plus backup every other week for my colleagues that are not able/comfortable going in person). However, as everyone has gotten more comfortable with doing virtual consults, I think it’s less likely that I’ll have to go in for the others. Which is good. Because I have so much GME & other work to catch up on! Now that many of the telemedicine kinks are worked out, my schedule is getting quite full on my clinical days. Pair that with kids at home and . . . it’s a lot. But manageable. And theoretically, I am supposed to be entirely “off” one day every week so I am determined to use some of that time for my other endeavors. Speaking of which . . .


I have Amanda (check her out here!) to thank for that! I also hired her to launch my WordPress site (after about a million years on blogger) and she has been great to work with. I am absolutely terrible about getting these kinds of things done on my own, and while this blog does not bring in a ton of $$$, there is enough to invest in expert help for these kinds of things. It took me approximately ~14 years to figure that out πŸ™‚

You should see a pop-up on your first arrival to theshubox (not sure if it will keep showing up every single time . . .hopefully not!) asking if you would like to sign up for my newsletter. I know many of you have found it already, and thank you!

Once you sign up, you will receive an email with link to download a free pdf with my current planning rituals (checklists, really!) and also all of the categories we use when budgeting in YNAB. Everyone’s budget looks different, but I know it was helpful to see others’ category lists when setting ours up!

Of course some of those categories may be more savings buckets than spending allocations right now (looking at you, vacation fund . . . ) but that’s okay. At least there’s some comfort to be found in building emergency funds and watching certain expenses remain low for now.

(Absolutely aware that for some, current finances are a source of stress. Setting up a budget and tracking can be helpful in these scenarios, too, though it can be trickier when income is variable and uncertain. My sister owns a yarn store that is closed to customers for the foreseeable future, and we talk about things on a near-daily basis. Fortunately for now, she is able to fulfill online orders to bring in some income. If anyone is into knitting/yarn (esp beautiful hand-dyed yarn — and wants to support her efforts as an independent female shop owner — please check out her online store!).

open for online business!

But for others, incomes are steady and expenses are down, so it’s a good time to really think about which expenditures and subscriptions are truly worth it. I do think that once this is over, our financial outlay on kids’ activities will be down from its prior level. I LIKE having a slower pace in that regard, and the costs really add up.

Anyway, if the pop-up doesn’t appear for some reason, you can sign up using the sidebar on the side. I will plan on releasing newsletters at the beginning of each month, so the first one May 1. I will not be sending out a whole bunch of stuff (I don’t think anyone has time for that . . . including me!) and will try to keep it interesting & helpful. Of course, you can unsubscribe at any time.

this form on the sidebar is now live!


Well. I had grand plans of upgrading my jeans this month, but the motivation to improve my wardrobe isn’t very high right now for obvious reasons.


So instead I replenished my skincare with a sizable online order. I think I bought my original haul in September 2019, so it was time. I re-bought my beloved Sunday Riley Good Genes & Luna Face Oil, ordered a new vitamin C serum (Tatcha Violet C), took the plunge on a different Fresh moisturizer (the Lotus Night Repair cream), and replenished my morning moisturizer (Origins Gin-zing – I find it provides a great base for my CC cream), and replaced some aging Lancome Definicils mascara. Basically, I am now stocked for the next ~6 months.

AAAND now my personal allowance is gone for the month of April! I don’t know; part of me feels silly. But applying these products makes me happy and makes my skin feel at least slightly better (not LOOK better, I will admit, but FEEL better). And tactile pleasures and supporting daily rituals that feel good right now feel worth it.


  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns April 21, 2020 at 9:24 am

    Just signed up for the newsletter! Yay! I know this has been in the works for a long time so I look forward to receiving it!

    I think you should not feel the least bit guilty about spending money on skincare products. That is a good thing to splurge on! Especially if it makes you feel good. IMO, that is especially important right now with everything going on.

  • Reply Marcia (OrganisingQueen) April 21, 2020 at 10:47 am

    I just updated the budget this morning and guess what I’ve spent my money on this month? Zumba, ballet and virtual Weigh-less πŸ™‚ I’ve been using up things so well (I’m a finisher) and really loving that part – food, cleaning supplies, toiletries, makeup, books. But I do plan to put in an order for some gifts the minute lockdown is over (we’re not allowed to buy anything online that is not food or meds.

    • Reply Danielle April 21, 2020 at 3:13 pm

      The pop up does not keep happening. I haven’t seen it since I signed up πŸ™‚

      • Reply Danielle April 21, 2020 at 3:15 pm

        Oops! Not supposed to be a reply to Marcia!

  • Reply Jordan April 21, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    So excited about the newsletter! Do you have any tips for catching up with YNAB after a long break? We used to be diligent about it, but after baby #2 (who is now 18 months!!!!) we haven’t tracked a single penny. Which is not good, because I feel so much better when I understand where our money is going. I need to make it a habit again but whoa it’s a big time commitment, especially to dig out from a long gap.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 21, 2020 at 4:25 pm

      Yes! My advice is to forget the past and start over. No need to catch up! Just pick a month (May 1), estimate current balances, and start over. We did this and it was fine πŸ™‚

      • Reply Jordan April 22, 2020 at 8:57 am

        Thanks- glad to hear we’re not alone! I guess quarantine is as good a time as any to get back to tracking.

  • Reply Lori C April 21, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    Yayyyyyy newsletter! Next up, planning podcast! πŸ™‚ I mean, with all your spare time and all….

    • Reply Lori C April 21, 2020 at 6:00 pm

      I just read the download and I love it! Planning, lists, routine, etc. are my favorite. I don’t know why, I just love seeing what other people use and then reviewing and tweaking my own lists. It’s an ongoing passion project I guess.

  • Reply Mommy Attorney April 21, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    I’ve ordered some stuff from your sister and she’s AMAZING!!! Everything was great, arrived quickly. She answered questions. She’s awesome. Also, if she hasn’t, please advise her to look into the PPP program. Congress will come up for some more $$ for it soon, and if she hasn’t applied yet, she should seriously consider it.

    (Standard caveat that I’m not her lawyer and this isn’t legal advice).

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 21, 2020 at 6:20 pm

      I think she did πŸ™‚ but I don’t think she got anything! Maybe she needs to re apply. So wonderful that you’ve already ordered from her!!!

  • Reply Taryn April 21, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    Super excited about the newsletter! I signed up this morning!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 21, 2020 at 8:51 pm

      Thank you πŸ™‚

  • Reply CBS April 22, 2020 at 4:42 am

    Signed up for the newsletter – looking forward to it. I really feel like now is the time to get into a nice skincare routine. I’m looking forward to this month’s birchbox arriving. I’ve put away all the make-up and just put skincare out on my counter since I’m not going anywhere and am not someone who feels the need to dress up for Zoom calls. I’ve been doing The Ordinary retinol routine in the evening and vitamin C + SPF in the am. It’s been weirdly sunny in Scotland so I’ve been much more diligent with SPF, especially as I’m using the retinol consistently.

  • Reply ehartung7 April 22, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    So exited to sign up for your newsletter! I love reading your blog.

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