April 2020: settling(?) into pandemic life

So publishing last week didn’t happen, but eh, here’s a post now. I started writing this post in May but have been putting it off for MONTHS. And not all of those months have been because my life has been up in the air. I have a theory on why I’ve been reluctant (more so than usual, anyway) to write lately, but more on that later.

Some things happened

I’m gonna be honest—I have no fucking clue anymore what happened in April. I know it was a weird month. It didn’t last quite as long as March because we were adjusting to life at home after the interminable first two weeks the second half of March, plus there was still hope that maybe sometime this year things would be better. But it was also the first month of full-time remote work, and the beginning of many, many days and weeks and months this year that have all blurred together.

I can’t say for sure, but it’s extremely likely that April was the month we started realizing our apartment was not going to be a place we could spend all day, every day and we started (again/still) the conversation about if/when/where we should move.

I do know that April is the month I tried Dalgona coffee and the month I started putting together a bunch of puzzles. We went on a few hikes after learning the hard way that hiking during a pandemic means getting up EARLY to avoid a bunch of idiots who don’t know the rules of the road or how to keep a distance. April was also a month of walking around Capitol Hill (god I miss that neighborhood) and marveling at the spring flowers.

Dogwoods on the Hill

Wedding planning

Honestly, I’m just going to leave this here, since this is the one original part of this post that I was writing back in May:

We wanted to get married this fall—neither of us wanted a long engagement; a year was about as long as we were willing to wait.

But that wasn’t in the cards for us.

By the time we started looking at venues, March and April couples had already started rescheduling and many venues were protecting the rest of their open dates this year for those people. We looked at two rounds of venues (after the first round we put together some numbers for projected catering costs for our ridiculously large guest list plus those venue fees, and yikes. Our second round of venues had much cheaper venue fees), and by the time we did that, there was no way we were going to get a date for fall this year. Early next spring would’ve been our next preferred time, but my fiance’s brother plays college lacrosse. By the time his season is done next year (fingers crossed of course that they can play) it’ll be April or mid-May, depending on how well they do, and obviously we weren’t going to overlap with that.

So next June it is. Thanks, COVID-19!

As it is, we’re hoping everything is fine next year, but obviously have no idea what is going to happen. We’re also very prepared for the fact that even if we can have our wedding at our venue on our date, it may look very different than we’re planning for right now. We’ll just have to see what happens when we get there.

But for now, we finally have a deposit down on our venue. And my budget is crying!

December 2020 Erin is looking back on that and laughing/crying, but that’s also what I get for waiting the better part of a year to catch up on shit here. More—lots more—on all this later.

I did order a shit ton of wedding dresses to try on at home which…has pitfalls in a tiny apartment with zero full-length mirror. But honestly with so much of life out of my control, finding a dress (plus engagement photo outfits) was something I could control. I kept one dress, which I ended up returning later in favor of My Actual Dress, but that’s for a later spending report.

Obligatory “Capitol and tulips” April photo

The numbers

Rent $700.00
Internet and utilities $54.58
Groceries $287.97 YIKES
Restaurants/bars $82.55
Gas $9.63 Early pandemic days: when we didn’t go anywhere plus gas was dirt cheap
Barre membership $104.94
Misc dues/subscriptions $30.18 Patreon etc
Entertainment $84.18 I don’t usually include booze separately; usually it’s in groceries. But this month I needed to separate it out, ouch
Personal care $36.55
Clothes $135.10 Jewelry
Other shopping $57.10 Bought some art prints
Vacation $477.07 Booked a trip to Acadia in October. Remember the early pandemic days when these things were still possibilities? What naive babies we were
Gifts $38.58 Bottle of booze for my dad
Charitable giving $85.00
Blog and related events -$275.00 The refund from the cancelled CampFI Mid-Atlantic
Wedding $1044.89 We put down a deposit on our wedding venue. I bought a wedding dress. I also bought a pair of shoes and a few dresses that normally would go under clothes, but they were specifically for engagement photos. So wedding expenses
Total spending: $2,953.32
Paychecks and other income $2085.69 Take home and interest
Retirement contributions $1905.40
Side hustle income (second job) $0.00 lol
Other side hustle income (Rover) $0.00 also lol
CC bonuses/cashback $1240.14 Got my $1200 CoronaBux plus some cash back
Taxes $932.00 My DC tax refund/renter’s credit hit in April
Total income: $6,163.23
Total: $3,209.91
Savings rate: 52%

Seeing that rent line just reminds me how many lifetimes ago it feels like my life in DC was. It’s been a wild year.

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