It’s been a couple of months since my last entry and I feel like a lot has gone on! This is probably going to be a long post!
A big part of the reason that I fell off the face of the blogosphere is because we started back hybrid in my district. First of all, as a teacher, it is EXHAUSTING! It’s been a lot but I finally feel like I am starting to get into a rhythm. My kids went back to school two days a week and sports resumed as well. The Boy plays both football and baseball and this year, they were played in the same season and kids could play two sports concurrently, which is not allowed in a “normal” school year. It has made for a crazy schedule. He had 6 hours of practice or games a day and we were attending anywhere from 2-5 games in a given week. We’ve done really well planning dinners through this time and have only bought fast food once. That was a small win for sure! Along with the football and baseball seasons came some costs: pictures, new baseball bag, and some other small (mostly forgotten at this time) purchases. Nothing was too expensive and we had enough money in our “school” or “kids activities” envelopes to cover any costs.
We did make one very costly purchase for school, however: a letterman jacket. The Boy has talked about getting his letterman jacket since he started high school. He would have gotten it last summer or at the beginning of last school year, but due to Covid he didn’t earn a varsity letter. With playing two varsity sports, he earned it this spring. We ordered his jacket, to the tune of $340!!! Ouch! And that doesn’t count the embroidery on the back. We were lucky enough to have enough money in the school envelope to pay for it and still have some money left over for various expenses, including embroidery when the jacket comes in.
We filed out taxes. We have to pay federal and got a refund from state. We have extra taken out for federal and still have to pay every year! It’s very frustrating! We have decided not to readjust our withholdings, however, because the refund from state offsets what we have to pay.
We refinanced our house. We actually refinanced our house about 18 months ago, but the rates are so low right now that it was worth it for us to do it again. We started the process back in January and we didn’t finalize our loan until the middle of April. It was a long process for no reason in particular. Even though it took a long time, we locked our interest rate in back in January. We are happy with our interest rate of 2.7%. We lowered our monthly payment by $200 a month and took a little over a year off of our loan. Unless rates were to drop considerably (which is very unlikely) I don’t see us refinancing again, but I’m very glad we were able to take advantage of the low rates.
Our high schools have elected not to hold prom this year so I thought that was another thing that kids in general, and The Boy in particular, was going to lose out on; but one of his friends since kindergarten is holding a backyard prom. Formal, catered, with a DJ and a photobooth. I’m happy he gets to have that experience. For him we had to rent a tux, buy a corsage, and pay for the tickets at $50 per person. More money. The churches in our city also got together and are holding a city-wide prom for all high schoolers. Our daughter is a sophomore and we didn’t anticipate her going, but she was asked by a junior to attend… more money. We only had to get her a dress and buy her ticket. (Her date was going to purchase her ticket, but because parents need to sign a waiver, he could only buy one ticker and he offered to give us money for hers, (we declined) which we thought was incredibly sweet!) So far, we have been able to cash flow all of these expenses between our clothes, school, and kids activities envelopes so I’m happy we didn’t add to our debt with them!
I'm sure we have had a lot of other financial news during this time, but these are the things that stick out to me!