Evolving Personal Finance » Archive

Why We Are Forgoing a 529 (for Now)

Why We Are Forgoing a 529 (for Now)

In 2016, we had a baby, DPR. We expect that DPR will go to college one day, largely because we are over-educated and we expect her to follow in our footsteps to some extent. We want to contribute some money to said college education, although not necessarily pay for all of it. Our parents paid for most of our college educations, which was a great leg up financially as young adults. Funding some of DPR’s … Read entire article »

Filed under: investing, savings

March 2017 Budget Report

March 2017 Budget Report

This was a pretty bad month for us in terms of large, unexpected expenses popping up that didn’t fit into our targeted savings accounts. Our ‘Miscellaneous’ spending category was completely overwhelmed. We also incredibly overspent one of our variable expense categories. Even our targeted savings accounts didn’t fare well; one of them is now negative! But thankfully we have our buffer funds to help us smooth this out. The one success we had was a … Read entire article »

Filed under: month in review

Targeted Savings for the Non-Broke

Targeted Savings for the Non-Broke

As of January, we have resumed our use of targeted savings accounts! I missed this system so in the last 2.5 years when our life has been in flux: becoming funemployed, living apart, moving to Seattle, and having a baby. But said baby is over six months old now and things are much more predictable, so we’re back to using targeted savings.   But pressing “play” on our targeted savings system again is not like starting it … Read entire article »

Filed under: targeted savings

Incorporating New Frugal Strategies

Incorporating New Frugal Strategies

In February we incorporated two new frugal strategies into our wheelhouse of natural frugality in Seattle. Even though we’re earning more than we ever have before (hello 25% tax bracket!), we haven’t outgrown the frugality we practiced during grad school. Having a baby threw things off for a little while, but we’re getting back on track.       A New Type of Grocer   We heard a tip a few weeks ago from one of our friends here about a … Read entire article »

Filed under: frugality

February 2017 Budget Report

February 2017 Budget Report

Our February was very quiet spending-wise. We had a nice victory in coming in under budget for groceries, which has been a struggle for a couple years now. We’re not really going out at all these days, but we did invite friends over to our place and go over to some friends’ houses this month. The costs for those gatherings are just rolled into our grocery spending for the month. We’re planning a couple trips … Read entire article »

Filed under: month in review

Grad Students: Attend My Free Tax Webinar

Grad Students: Attend My Free Tax Webinar

  On Tuesday, 3/7/2017 at 6:30 PM PST I’m presenting a live tax webinar for grad students! The webinar is free and I’m using it as a way to get my. name out there as a person who serves the personal finance needs of early-career PhDs.   I’ve been studying the tax quandaries grad students face on and off for years (and documented it here and on Grad Student Finances). I cover grad student pay and taxes briefly in my comprehensive … Read entire article »

Filed under: taxes

Finding an New Balance Between Working and Caregiving

Finding an New Balance Between Working and Caregiving

Six weeks ago, an acquaintance approached Kyle and me about a possible childcare swap. The other couple wanted to trade full days looking after one another’s children so that the primary caregiver could work per diem occasionally. They couldn’t afford to pay for childcare (childcare in Seattle is expensive, people!) so a swap was a good fit for them.     I debated (with myself and with Kyle) whether to accept this offer for quite some time. The … Read entire article »

Filed under: family, marriage, parenthood, self-employment

January 2017 Budget Report

January 2017 Budget Report

January was a fairly quiet month around our house. We spent the first few days of it still in Virginia with my family, flying back on the 3rd. For the rest of the month I kept me and DPR almost completely housebound – it’s too cold and dreary for me to want to get out much. We did socialize a bit, but hosted our friends at our home instead of going out. If we were … Read entire article »

Filed under: month in review

December 2016 Budget Report

December 2016 Budget Report

Our major event this month was traveling over winter break. We stayed with my parents for about 10 days. Most of the time we were just spending time at home with my family, as DPR was all the entertainment we needed. My siblings hadn’t met DPR before so that was very exciting.   Traveling for that period threw off our spending in a couple ways: we mooched off my parents for food so our grocery and restaurant … Read entire article »

Filed under: month in review

Breastfeeding Ain’t Free

Breastfeeding Ain’t Free

Before I became a mother, I had the misconception that breastfeeding an infant was free. I mean, I knew it wasn’t completely free because the calories the baby eats have to come from somewhere, but I thought the costs beyond the extra food that the mother was eating would be negligible. Breastfeeding was some magical minimalist pursuit where all you need is mother and baby.     While there may be some unicorn mother-and-nursling pair out there for … Read entire article »

Filed under: family, food