Budget COVID19 Parenting

Day 51: Links on a Tuesday

May 5, 2020

First of all, a camp update.

We received a refund check for A’s camp yesterday. She was the only one I had preregistered because I was actually planning to send C to camp at G’s Montessori school. What will the three of them do all summer? Probably a lot of what they are doing now.

I will lengthen their morning ‘outside’ session, then have them come in and work on academic-type stuff (C needs to work on reading/writing and I want A to learn to type efficiently!), and then allow for afternoon screen time since that’s when our weather is often terrible anyway. Swim lessons (social contact permitting) for G. Afternoon pool sessions for all 3 when it is nice and I am there to supervise.

Maybe if mask guidelines etc are relaxed I will sign them up for a couple of weeks of art camp etc. Or a sports activity (ice skating lessons if the rink opens – they really wanted to do this!). It will actually be an interesting experiment to see if they feel incredibly bored or not. They will probably play a lot of Minecraft. That’s okay.

Along these lines, I do not think we are going to put them in any ‘aftercare’ type of program next year. We did this 3x/week this year so that the big kids could attend activities, but inevitably they complained about some of the activities (and I complained about others, like a pricey cooking class that seemed to mostly involve them eating piles of sugar).

I will have our nanny do pickup and they can each pick a sport or activity. MAX of 2 (ie, drama + gymnastics). We were spending an obscene amount on childcare we didn’t really need + kids activities. Now that it’s gone I can see how crazy it really was.

ANYWAY! I’m excited for the new normal. Our spending patterns have definitely changed (saving more) and I think it is for the better. One thing I do miss spending on is travel, but obviously this won’t be happening any time soon. We do have a family trip to a place in the Keys booked for August that I think is a “maybe” . . . no airplane involved. But I am not getting myself attached to any outcome regarding that trip ๐Ÿ™‚


These are budget/finance related, for the most part.

1- Ms. Physician On Fire Speaks — This is a post from last November, but I didn’t see it at the time for some reason. You guys, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about Ms. PoF. Their lifestyle is so unusual and I do have some issues with Dr PoF’s claims that her leaving the workforce has saved the family $$$. That said — OMG. She is just so lovely in this post. I want to be her friend.

2- Simple Families Podcast – Spending Plan. She doesn’t use the word “budget”, but that’s what it is. I love Denaye’s calm and intentional approach to parenting + family organization. I thought this was a great episode.

3- Planet Money – About That Hazard Pay. A very important issue. This episode focused on grocery store employees, but I also thought about non-provider health care staff (housekeeping, medical/nursing assistants, techs, and many more).

The Anti-Organizer

her look: why are you bothering me?
#(*$&# I need to mount these higher now
She dragged the stool over herself!


  • Reply Maya May 5, 2020 at 10:14 am

    Oh! That last picture is delicious <3! I hope you weren't too mad.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 5, 2020 at 10:19 am

      Definitely not mad ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Maya May 5, 2020 at 10:31 am

    I didn’t think you would be mad :). In fact, that picture will have *me* chuckling for a while.

    Also, I read your first link, and you’re right, they do sound lovely… but the telltale “Mrs.” (rather than Ms.) made me a bit sad. There’s a level of something there… submissiveness perhaps (?) I wouldn’t be able to handle myself. But then, my husband willingly took half of my family name, so MMMV.

  • Reply Omdg May 5, 2020 at 10:42 am

    i donโ€™t know… wife of PoF seems fine, but she is still f8cked if something happens to her husband. Also she doesnโ€™t wash her face at night. I am too greasy to ever get away with that. Haha.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 5, 2020 at 11:03 am

      I think they have enough saved that they are financially independent now though – heโ€™s not working anymore! (His blog earns a lot though …)

      • Reply omdg May 5, 2020 at 11:32 am

        Wonder if that’s still true with the condition of the markets… bet it’s not.

        • Reply omdg May 5, 2020 at 11:33 am

          Also her bit about how she let’s him do all the money seemed really retrograde and naive to me.

          • L Ruth May 5, 2020 at 10:22 pm

            While I understand what you’re saying on the one hand, I and a bunch of my female friends do all the money management in our households and no one tells our husbands that they’re naive…

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 5, 2020 at 11:04 am

      Not only do I wash my face but I slather it with multiple overpriced concoctions so … I hear you ๐Ÿ™‚ I really liked her sincerity though!

    • Reply Physician on FIRE May 5, 2020 at 7:39 pm

      Oh, no need to worry about her.

      If I do kick the bucket tomorrow, her life would be changed in many ways, but she’d be far from “effed,” at least in terms of finances. With no blog and no me and the recent market downturn, even if the household expenses remained the same, we’d be looking at about a 2% withdrawal rate. She could double the annual spend and still abide by a safe withdrawal rate of 4%.

      I wasn’t going to retire from medicine without having saved more than enough. Before we were FI, I carried term life insurance — I would never want to leave my family in a bad spot (or leave them at all, for that matter).

      I’ll talk to her about the face-washing, though. ๐Ÿ˜‰


      p.s. Thanks for sharing, Sarah! That was her first of two blog posts — she wrote about our worldschooling efforts, which have become homeschooling efforts in recent weeks. https://www.physicianonfire.com/worldschooling/

  • Reply Amanda May 5, 2020 at 11:52 am

    Where are you heading in the Keys? My husband and I were at Cheeca on Islamorada *right* before everything started and it seemed like it would be fun with kids too! Fingers crossed we’ll be heading back (either there or somewhere else in the Keys) next winter!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 5, 2020 at 12:20 pm

      Hawks cay … but Iโ€™m not that optimistic!

  • Reply Michelle Boggs May 5, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    Thanks for tagging the wall organizer system. I was wondering where those came from.

  • Reply Tyra May 5, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks for linking to that PoF post. She seems similar to me – I assume she’s SAH? But she has a degree herself. I absolutely do not regret ‘giving up’ my optometry career to raise my kids, I do still work 1-2 days per week but that’s purely because I like it. And I have plenty of room in my life for other hobbies so my life doesn’t revolve entirely around the kids. The only difference is that I have equal (if not higher) decision making when it comes to big decisions.

    My husband has income protection insurance and TPD as well, so I won’t be fucked if something happens to him like OMDG says above. Plus I can return to work if it comes to that. You could say the same about a wife of a physician if she is in a low paying job, but she probably wouldn’t be looked down on so much…

  • Reply Nadine May 6, 2020 at 8:36 am

    Gโ€™s handwriting is on point, I see she has scheduled take out for Saturday! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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