Distracting Myself With Fancy Things

I’ve got a lot of background anxiety about a lot of things right now. It’s work, other stuff with my family, one of my friends, and of course the election, the pandemic, and the impending doom of climate change. So right now I’ve decided to distract myself by thinking about fancy things because in the world of those fancy things, it is clean, minimalist, refined. Everything is perfectly splendid from my imaginary ivory tower.

So here are some of the things I have either bought or want to buy to distract myself from reality. (Editor’s note: Actually I only really bough the pants and the house painting below, everything else is idle desire.)

Theory linen pull on capris

Having not left the house basically ever for 6 months means all my clothes are tight and I refuse to wear pants without an elastic waist.

Rag and Bone Floral Hoodie

Granted, I have nowhere to where it given that I never leave the house, but I like the pattern. It’s as busy and scattered as my brain is right now, so we match.

The “perfect white sneaker”

Because if I’m going to start dressing like a zoomer, I’m going to need some cool shoes.

Ceremonial grade matcha

I watched a single video of Graham Stephan of all people making an iced matcha latte and now all I can think about is making some iced matcha lattes.

Horai - Matcha - Ippodo Tea USA & Canada
Ippodo Horai matcha tea

Wagashi

What’s the point of fancy tea if I can’t have the petit fours. No matter that a clump of tiny bite sized pastries shipped in from Minamoto Kitchoan cost approximately the same as a three course meal at a very nice restaurant.

Sachertorte

A bakery near us makes the most delicious sachertorte. We got one for our wedding cake. Maybe taking a bite will remind me of those halcyon days when I could actually see people I cared about in person.

Image from Epicurious

Ridiculously expensive candles

These candles are, I kid you not, $85 a piece. Bougie parfumée indeed.

New computer

So this started happening to my laptop screen a week ago:

From iFixit

I could just live with it. Or I could pay a few hundred dollars to get the screen replaced. Or I could drop a couple thousand on a new laptop. Or I could just abandon technology altogether and go live in the woods.

iPhone

Even if I live in the woods, I’ll probably need a phone to constantly scroll through Twitter, lest I forget for a moment my fear and anxiety. My two year old LG Nexus is on its last legs (barely charges, constantly lagging, just kind of a mess in general). Now may be the time for an upgrade.

One of those TVs that look like a framed painting

It looks nice and though there’s really no clear wall space to hang our TV it still is a completely practical idea because #insertreasonshere.

Samsung Frame TV

Also my house is a different color now and it cost me $5000.

This is the color my house is now, Benjamin Moore’s “Fairmont Green.”

Note it is much lighter in person. It’s not awful, but I’m still not sure I like it. C’est la vie!

How are you? Any material goods succoring your sense of anxiety and dread?

Financial Update – September 2020

Each month I will post an update on my finances to both give you, the reader, some insight into my situation and to give me markers of my progress on my financial journey. My updates consist of two parts:

  • Financial Progress Table – Tracks joint net worth progress.
  • Spending Table – Compares monthly spending to an average (for us) budget, keeping us accountable for additional expenses. I will also include my personal discretionary budget as well; I will not include my spouse’s discretionary spending, which I do not see.

Financial Progress

Each net worth goal in the Financial Progress table is broken down into undisclosed units of money. Our goal is to hit “Financial Equilibrium.” This means, more or less, FIRE at roughly 4% withdrawal rate.sept20net

Spending

We’ve created a joint budget which represents the average amount we can expect to spend each month. This is average amount we need to comfortably live in case of a job loss, emergency, etc. I expect to frequently mostly keep in line with our budget when amortized over the year, even though amounts may vary from month to month.

For privacy reasons, there are two things I do not include in our joint spending updates: our monthly mortgage and charitable donations (pegged at 10% of our net income).

sept20joint

Here is my own personal discretionary spending for the month. I try to spend $450 or less each month for my “fun money” since that’s the allowance that’s apportioned to me and my husband.

sept2020ind

Monthly Summary

I’m ready for 2020 to be over.

How were your finances in September? 

Financial Update – August 2020

Each month I will post an update on my finances to both give you, the reader, some insight into my situation and to give me markers of my progress on my financial journey. My updates consist of two parts:

  • Financial Progress Table – Tracks joint net worth progress.
  • Spending Table – Compares monthly spending to an average (for us) budget, keeping us accountable for additional expenses. I will also include my personal discretionary budget as well; I will not include my spouse’s discretionary spending, which I do not see.

Financial Progress

Each net worth goal in the Financial Progress table is broken down into undisclosed units of money. Our goal is to hit “Financial Equilibrium.” This means, more or less, FIRE at roughly 4% withdrawal rate.

aug20net

Spending

We’ve created a joint budget which represents the average amount we can expect to spend each month. This is average amount we need to comfortably live in case of a job loss, emergency, etc. I expect to frequently mostly keep in line with our budget when amortized over the year, even though amounts may vary from month to month.

For privacy reasons, there are two things I do not include in our joint spending updates: our monthly mortgage and charitable donations (pegged at 10% of our net income).

aug20

Here is my own personal discretionary spending for the month. I try to spend $450 or less each month for my “fun money” since that’s the allowance that’s apportioned to me and my husband.

aug20ind-1

Monthly Summary

Took a vacation this month which was nice.

I can’t believe it’s already fall. 2020 has been such a dumpster fire, and the worst of it is still to come.

My husband will be taking a leave of absence from work for the next two months. Our income will be lower, but maybe I can needle him to finally apply for medical reimbursement for his therapy (seriously that’s two month of after-tax income right there).

I am struggling to figure out a new normal in this time of uncertainty.

How were your finances in August?