Monday, July 9, 2018

Back Too Soon

Tomorrow is my first day back to work, and the end of my too-short four week paternity leave. Between the diaper changes, visits to the doctor and lactation consultant, and the regular torture of post-tongue-tie-revision exercises we have to do every four hours, I sometimes have a chance to think about financial independence and how I sure wish it were here already, so I could spend more time with the little guy.

Work is going to be hard on Monday, and not just because I'll be tired. I'm going to miss having all day, every day, to spend with the fam -- even if it is just to change diapers and practice tummy time, or trying to get the little fucker to sleep.

As always, I have no room to complain. I get to work from home, so the baby is literally just in the next room. I can open the door and see him as often as I like, which is a situation many new parents would kill for.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Baby Baby

It's four in the morning, and I find myself singing Amy Grant's "Baby, Baby" over a changing table, though it's clear I don't really know the words.

Baby, baby. 
Your poop is an explosion. 
But if you get a rash, we'll use the lotion.

I've become the kind of grown up that my teenage self always feared I would: a dorky homebody, embracing the dulcet soft pop of Amy Grant, without irony or shame. 

But with a perfect baby boy in your arms, who cares?

Monday, June 4, 2018

Making Our Own Fun

Making Our Own Fun
The Bachelorette is back, friends. It's trash, sure, but it is also my favorite guilty pleasure. The sheer absurdity of the show, that a woman will find her soulmate among thirty square-chinned bros, and that two of them will propose to her, and all in the scope of three months, seems surely to have been dreamed up by a sadist. Who would subject themselves to such a contrived and painful experience? And who would watch?

People who don't have the most discerning taste in television: people like me. Still, I find it captivating. Like a lot of reality t.v., there a weird self esteem boost baked into the programming. I feel good about myself because I don't have to jump through these particular hoops to find love. And when I was single, I empathized: if these successful, beautiful people have such a hard time finding their soulmates, then there's an excuse in there for all of us. It really must be hard to find love.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Mental Accounting, Equality, and Motivation

When I first found Mr. Money Mustache's blog, we leaned in to frugality. Hard. Take a look at some of the early posts from the blog's first year. Why we rented out a room in our house, even after we were married and had paid off the mortgage. Why we rode a scooter around town to save on gas. Why, for a very short time, we took fucking navy showers (like, getting wet, turning off the faucet, then soaping up, then rinsing off) just to save a little money on water.

Then we relaxed. We realized we were happier when we weren't viewing every single activity as something to optimize: when we realized our life wasn't just a series of cost-saving targets.

Monday, April 30, 2018

A Funk in April's Budget Porn

I'm in a weird spot, readers. The past few weeks I've found it hard to get to bed and to wake up on time, which is usually the first sign for me that I'm getting into a bit of depression. Gaining weight is usually sign number two, and I've been tipping the scales north of 180 these days. Then I looked up and noticed I haven't written in a few weeks.

Something's up.

Stress is usually the trigger, as it's something I'm still not that great at dealing with. With the baby related activities, costs, and general uncertainty of how to raise a human piling up, and work projects somehow needing to all be finished prior to the baby arriving, there is plenty of stress in my life right now.

Luckily for me, there's enough of a pattern with this stuff that I'm not totally unprepared when depression rears its head.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Want Riches? Get Money.

How's my thumb taste, Ben?
This blog has never been very good at dispensing actionable advice, or even many helpful tips. We like to keep things at the conceptual level around here.

For one, theories that can be debated are what I find most interesting. Plus, so many great ideas get shot down by others when they point out that they do not actually work, as if practicality were such a big friggin deal.

On the downside, this blog doesn't do much to actually "teach others about personal finance" or "help people" or "do anything useful". But that's where other writers come in.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Budget Porn, March 2018


Budget Porn, March 2018
We are entering the home stretch of baby mania, 2018, dear readers. I owe you an apology for missing last week's post but we were hosting friends and family for a baby shower. I underestimated how little time we'd have to ourselves that weekend, as well as the stress level involved.

Am I the only one who finds it crazy stressful to have guests in town? I love people, and as an extrovert I even feel like I'm happiest when I'm around a lot of people. But when those people are staying in my home, something changes. It's no longer fun: everything's a chore. Literally, as I work through our chore list, cleaning our house far beyond what is normal for us. 

I'm actually making up excuses to keep these lovely people out of our home after the baby arrives.

Monday, March 19, 2018

KFC & the Middle Class

KFC & the Middle Class
As so many other children of Asian mothers, I was punished for any grade other than an "A". After the divorce, when my mom was raising us on her own and she had free reign when establishing academic consequences, I was grounded a full nine weeks for earning a "B".

If the next report card showed the straight A's as it was supposed to, I would not only be free to hang out with the other kids in our apartment complex after school again, but we got a treat: a whole bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, complete with a styrofoam side of coleslaw and another full of mashed potatoes and a container of gravy.

This, friends, was the good life.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Dual Income Dilemma, Daycare, & the Wage Gap

The Dual Income Dilemma, Daycare, & the Wage Gap
Disclaimer: I should start by saying that I have a penis. As such, I'm pretty unqualified to talk specifically about issues that impact women. I'm going to be wandering into those areas a bit today. I just want to note that I'm really just talking about our household, and about the things that Mrs. Done by Forty and I think and talk about when it comes to our family, and how we personally feel about things like time away from work, options like dual incomes, daycare, and the fucked up wage gap.

With that out of the way, let's dive in.