Much Ado about Working (or not)

I’m sure by now many people are starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. I expect I will be fully vaccinated by early May and hopefully my wife will follow soon thereafter. As we consider re-entering society, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to spend my next few years.

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Sayonara, 2020

As 2020 comes to a close, we are looking forward to 2021 with some hope. We have effective vaccines on the horizon, new leadership at the top, and reason to believe that Covid will soon be behind us. Still this year has been tough on all of us, some more than others. Looking on the bright side, we and our friends and family have largely avoided the brunt of the pandemic both from a health perspective and a financial perspective. But like many we’ve had the cloud of the pandemic linger over our heads for many months now.

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A Week in Our Life During Covid

We’ve been hunkering down at home since March. We’re happy in our home life with a rambunctious toddler, but everyone is searching for meaning and fulfillment in different places. My brain is wired to constantly scan and evaluate and figure out where things can be improved. This has led to rejiggering our finances, never-ending home improvement projects and discovering hobbies such as aquascaping.

Last week was a little frustrating as it seemed like everything was going against us. I guess I just wanted to vent a little bit. To preface the bumpiness of our week, work has been unusually busy. At least it’s the good kind of busy where you can just sink into the work and just do it for long uninterrupted stretches as opposed to the other kind where you are managing a jumble of interrelated moving pieces, constantly switching gears, on non-stop calls and herding sheep. Granted in hindsight, all of these things seem minor but taken together tell a patchwork story of what we’ve been up to these last few months.

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Lockdown Update #2

It’s been about a month and a half since my last post, but it feels like an eternity. Our perception of time has changed in that days are starting to blend together. This post is intended to just clear my mind as we continue to stay at home though our area is starting to slowly reopen. Continue reading

An Update in the Age of Coronavirus

I haven’t felt much like blogging since my last post. So much has happened since then. Our nanny had just started working at our home two weeks before my last post. Now she feels like a member of our family though she is no longer allowed to come due to the stay at home order in our state. Our son who is now 9 months old misses her terribly, but is too young to understand why she no longer comes over. We cheated this week and allowed her to come to our backyard and say hi for a few minutes, while maintaining the requisite social distance.

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Fall Update — Assessing the Fallout from an Explosion in Expenses

Lifestyle creep. We have been pretty good about keeping lifestyle creep to a minimum over the years. When I was unmarried, I lived on $25K in Manhattan. This went up to $30K in the Bay Area — I guess inflation — then $50-55K as a married couple without any kids. My friends sometimes teased me about the apartments I rented because some were old and others came with eccentric roommates. But keeping expenses low allowed me to save a big chunk of my paychecks, from when I was making $80K out of college, $200K out of law school, and $350-650K as a junior partner. Continue reading

The True Cost of Homeownership

We’ve been in our house for almost two months. Ever since our home inspection over three months ago, we’ve had a big list of things we’ve wanted to fix, upgrade, and replace in our house. In the last two months, we’ve been tackling that list one item at a time. It’s been quite an adventure and I’ve learned quite a few things about myself and my capabilities / limits. Continue reading

Long Overdue Update — the Trials of Purchasing a Home

The last few months have been quite eventful. We’ve gone from renters to Airbnb vagrants to house crashers to finally homeowners.

How We Ended Up as Vagrants

We had been renting an apartment and our lease was ending at the end of January. There was complete radio silence about renewing the lease and we figured we would roll into a month-to-month lease as typically happens in California. About two weeks before the end of the lease, our landlord’s agent reaches out with the blissful expectation we were just going to renew a full-term lease.  Continue reading