COVID19 life

Breathe in, Breathe Out

December 25, 2020
surprisingly popular w/ the kids

Our Christmas Cheer: everyone is still physically healthy so far. Every day that I wake up and everyone seems to be okay, I feel immense gratitude and relief. Just counting down until we are past this.

In other news . . .

I made shrimp ramen bowls! They turned pink due to leftover red cabbage that I used up, but the kids still ate them. This was a nod to the Chinese takeout that defines Jewish Christmas / Christmas Eve — however, we might do that with actual takeout on Saturday.

I calculated some financial stuff. Based on YNAB, I think we spent only about 35% of our gross income in 2020 (as long we don’t do anything rash in the next several days like order a Tesla online). That sounds amazing but due to tax stuff (in part owing for 2019 and paying extra in 2020) our retirement savings is sitting right around 18% (not including college savings which is an additional 4%). I don’t really know how to count short-term savings allocated to buckets in YNAB (emergency fund, $ for our next car someday, etc) which is another 7%.

(The way this adds up, our tax burden adds up to 36% which doesn’t seem right but it might actually be. BUT it won’t be so much next year which is good).

((Also, I LOVE YNAB. I really missed it!!))

I am reading Year of Yes and I LOVE it. It’s not exactly new (came out 4 years ago) but I have literally laughed out loud at multiple points and Shonda Rhimes’ voice/style is just perfect.

Josh and I are watching The Flight Attendant and this is highly entertaining as well. (Also we have managed to get the kids to bed before 9 for two nights in a row to actually facilitate watching, which is a notable feat).

ANYWAY. I hope everyone reading this is enjoying some down time, whether celebrating a holiday or not. 7 days left in 2020!


  • Reply Alyce December 25, 2020 at 10:36 am

    But that tax burden reflects 2019 taxes and extra 2020 taxes? 36% doesn’t seem crazy high to me, given that we routinely pay 40% of our income to Fed, state, county, and city taxes in MD. I know you won’t have state taxes in FL, but it sounds like you may have paid something closer to 2 years of taxes this year.

    • Reply Alyce December 25, 2020 at 10:48 am

      Also – I’m glad to hear everyone is still feeling well. Keeping my fingers crossed for you guys. Waiting out a quarantine is so anxiety inducing and disruptive.

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 25, 2020 at 11:04 am

        thank you.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 25, 2020 at 11:03 am

      well, it reflects a portion of underpayment for 2019 plus a (planned, projected) overpayment for 2020 our accountant said was to avoid penalty. we only pay federal here – I know, very lucky from tax perspective! so yeah the 36% was probably right. next year should be slightly better though I think!

  • Reply A. December 25, 2020 at 11:11 am

    It is kind of long to have the results,this should be stressful. Maybe it is because of the holidays…

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 25, 2020 at 1:12 pm

      oh, we have results. I have not felt ready to write about specifics. I will eventually when we are farther down the road.

      • Reply A. December 26, 2020 at 8:37 am

        Oh sorry I didn’t get that. Yes of course; and you can even keep all private 🙂

  • Reply Coco December 25, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    I used to use YNAB until we moved to the Philippines and use most cash, so it’s a pain to manually enter. do you do that? or do you rely on automatic credit cards transactions?

    will check flight attendant. feeling the need to watch some easy series. merry christmas!!!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 25, 2020 at 4:30 pm

      Yep manually enter and audit every month. It’s like a reflex and forces a level of awareness I actually find useful 🙂

  • Reply Abigail December 26, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    I have to thank you for YNAB- we started using it just over two years ago and it has transformed our financial life. Seriously transformed in the style of the stories that YNAB share to motivate others. At the end of every year – which is when I tend to take stock of where we are financially- I mentally thank you for the recommendation. I thought it was high time I wrote and thanked you properly! Thank you.

  • Reply A December 26, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    Circling back to say I picked up a copy of Milk Street from my local bookstore and ZOMG so inspiring! Thank you so much for the rec! (between this, 21 Day fitness, and Hobonichi, I owe you hahaha)

    I hope everyone continues to stay healthy and that you ride out the quarantine as uneventfully as possible.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 26, 2020 at 3:50 pm

      We made the Yucatan chicken soup from the front cover of Jan/Feb issue and it was great!

  • Reply Lani Inlander December 27, 2020 at 10:24 am

    I LOVED the Year of Yes! I actually listened to it on Audible, which was incredible. It was like hearing it straight from Shonda Rhimes! Hang in there 🙂

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