Week of Money: Where I get a bombshell that I have to help my family even more
??:?? — I wake up weak from my aura migraine last night. I really don’t feel 100%.
7:28 a.m. — I make a tea, look at the massive pile of pots and dishes, and I know I will be starting my meetings soon. I feel a bit dizzy still.
7:59 a.m. — I start on my meetings. It’s until noon. Little Bun works beside me on his workbook pages, he finished Grade One, so I set him on Grade 2-3 Summer Smart, so we can finish these books and then I’ll order a full Grade 2 book. We will also add it to be 5 pages instead of 3 this time, as he needs to work more.
10:15 a.m. — We end a call early, I get 15 minutes, and it’s eaten up, as we start on our second meeting.
10:30 a.m. — Second LONG meeting.
12:25 p.m. — I end my call, have a quick lunch. I see these home decor pictures and this is what I think:
This rug – looks like a hot bed of water and mould….
I like the way this decor was done, a cute vignette.
A cosy breakfast nook!
1:00 p.m. — Back to work. Little Bun goes down for his nap.
2:13 p.m. — Meeting number two.
3:30 p.m. — Meeting done. I work on some documents afterwards, this virtual machine is killing me, so I have been working on a second computer because it’s faster.
3:44 p.m. — I end the day mentally tired, but feeling better than yesterday. Not as dizzy. I get started on dishes in waves, doing the bowls first, then I start to feel faint, so I take a break.
4:17 p.m. — Little Bun begs me to play with him in the closet to Upcycle (he has been SO PATIENT all day, with my calls), so I go and we have an hour of happiness together, playing with “Mousie” (a black obsidian white snowflake stone) who is his new friend in the closet because I told him I didn’t like the stone to upcycle it (I am not a fan of black and it isn’t big enough), so he co-opted it as a new friend.
5:12 p.m. — We clean up, finish painting, and then I ask him if he’d like to have food now. He screams YES!!!!! And I feed him like a baby (he loves it), while he watches Dinosaur Train and learns all about dinosaurs, palaeontologists, and fossils. It’s quite an educational show.
5:50 p.m. — After dinner, I do another set of pots before I feel dizzy and break for dinner. I keep remembering Little Bun telling me to take it easy.
6:04 p.m. — My card got stolen so I am using a backup credit card, and it texts me each time I spend. It’s quite effective actually. I set up my other credit card (waiting for it to arrive in the mail) with the same alerts.
6:28 p.m. — Dinner ready – I take the dirty dishes to the sink and clean the rest of it, wiping out all of the oil from the pot from our French Fries earlier this week to make sure it doesn’t clog the sink but also just leave an oily gross film that makes everything hard to wash.
7:43 p.m. — Little Bun does schooling with Daddy online.
7:56 p.m. — I am reading my book – Scoff: A history of British classes and food.
8:12 p.m. — I decide to take a long hot shower instead.
7:56 p.m. — After my shower, he just wants to be beside me, so he reads a book on the bed near me.
8:47 p.m. — Time for bed, I tell him I miss reading storybooks together with him and he squeals happily.
??:?? — I wake up a little tired. I wish I could sleep in another 45 minutes.
7:15 a.m. — I get his milk, make a tea, and stare at the dishes I didn’t do last night because I knew it would make me sick. It seems like light is a big factor, so I should really do dishes in the morning before it starts to get dark, as it seems as though it triggers my migraines. I make a mental note.
7:20 a.m. — I log in and start working so I can leave early today.
7:43 a.m. — I am thinking about showing Little Bun basic budgeting this month, and this is my conversation:
8:25 a.m. — Slammed with meetings all day. Doesn’t end until much later, one break for lunch.
9:40 a.m. — Meetings double-booked. Oops. I send messages to tell them I won’t be around.
10:19 a.m. — I like morning meetings the best, as much as I complain because after lunch, I prefer to work alone to get things done.
12:08 p.m. — Lunch. I eat it, play a little with Little Bun who is desperate for my attention but I cannot…
2:02 p.m. — Last meeting of the day and I’ll F off after it.
3:00 p.m. — DONE!
3:03 p.m. — WHEEEEE!!!!!!
3:16 p.m. — I take a short chocolate interlude. My friend from New Zealand sent me their best chocolates to replenish my stash:
3:25 p.m. — We take photos in the bedroom of the upcycled pieces. He breaks a ring of mine (the stones come off), and I am really quite angry because he wasn’t careful… but it was an accident as well. He keeps saying: I am so sorry Mommy!! And I am quite angry trying to calm down but I cannot and I am scolding him and he bursts into tears, and finally chokes out a sob and says in the smallest voice: You’re breaking my HEART….
…..and that alone stops me. I let out a gasp of pain because I felt it in my heart, and I start to cry as well because I am CLEARLY a monstrous mother who is hurting this poor little boy by being mean and scolding him, when I knew in my brain it was an accident and he was not maliciously doing it. I stop and hug him close to my heart, and apologize to him. I tell him I will have to catch myself and not yell at him or scold him for this because he didn’t mean to break it. I know he didn’t, he is a good boy.
4:46 p.m. — He feeds himself, I have a massive migraine right now, I think it is because I have a slight cold and it is messing with my sinuses which is throwing my brain off.
6:09 p.m. — I make a quick dinner.
7:15 p.m. — Little Bun plays with apps, and then I lie down and close my eyes.
9:01 p.m. — Time for bed.
??:?? — Little Bun needs the bathroom.
??:?? — I wake up.. really tired.
6:20 a.m. — Ugh… so early.
6:30 a.m. — I log in and work with a mug of tea.
7:30 a.m. — Meetings begin. This is a hellish hour for a meeting.
8:18 a.m. — Little Bun beside me is working on his pages:
12:30 p.m. — I take a break for a lunch.
12:47 p.m. — Another call.
2:26 p.m. — More meetings. I actually can’t continue without another meeting so I wait.
3:11 p.m. — Log off for the day. Mentally drained.
4:15 p.m. — He accidentally snaps a piece off my necklace, and looks up at me horrified and scared I would lose it. I promised him before I wouldn’t, so I take a deep breath, close my eyes, and open them and tell him: It is okay. It was a mistake. It is okay, I am not angry.
5:26 p.m. — The Stuffies pretend to eat my wallpaper (I love seeing these beautiful vegetables)
7:07 p.m. — Little Bun plays “Escape Room”, and I feel restless. I feel like I should be working but I don’t want to work…
8:45 p.m. — He brushes his teeth (with some resistance, he likes to play instead of brushing and his father gets very annoyed) and then folds all the kitchen towels and wipes all the cutlery.
9:41 p.m. — Tired, bedtime already after we read books.
??:?? — Little Bun is up.
??:?? — I am up.
6:10 a.m. — OK now we are both really up. He was up first but tried to stay quiet until 6 a.m. for our sake’s…
6:30 a.m. — I log in and work in peace.
6:45 a.m. — I am absolutely not accepting this crap from anyone this year. This passive aggressiveness is getting old.
Let me be clear: Lying about your numbers is more work than just posting them. There are clear examples on Instagram and in blogs of people who have lied about their numbers and their stories don’t match up. Consistent lying takes WORK. Consistent lying takes TIME. Neither of which I am interested in giving or doing.
It’s much easier for me to just to type what’s in my bank account balances into a spreadsheet and post it, than to type in what’s there, and then have to fake numbers to move them up or down (?) to make them look realistic with the market and in line with what’s happening, PLUS keep track of all my lies because Income & Spending feeds into Net Worth/Asset accumulation.
I am too tired and frankly, lazy, to lie and cheat about something that I have no reason to do so. It’s not like I make a true living off coaching or books to the point where lying would make me thousands of dollars. My real job makes me thousands, not this side stuff.
So believe my money numbers or not, I don’t really care.
7:08 a.m. — I am replying to emails. I think anyone who books meetings in the afternoon near the weekend, should be taught basic office etiquette. Any meeting past 13:00 should be questioned if it’s truly required.
9:17 a.m. — Little Bun working on pages beside me. I am definitely raising an eco-freak here *love*:
9:30 a.m. — More calls. Back to back until noon.
12:02 p.m. — Off the phone, done for the day. I did a lot of early hours, so I am finished for the day.
12:15 p.m. — I love this look – not fussy, calm, a little cute with the tie in front & comfortable!
1:00 p.m. — Little Bun goes down for his nap.
2:00 p.m. — Little Bun starts sobbing when Daddy leaves the bedroom, and I have to go in and soothe him. This has been happening every week. I don’t know WHY. I do know, that his screaming and sobs are spiking my stress levels and causing headaches. I tell him exactly that – why are you screaming? Crying? If you can’t nap, then read a book quietly. We just need QUIET TIME.
3:24 p.m. — I spend the start of the afternoon re-watching this video because my French is finally comfortable enough (I got my French brain back!) that I can follow along without pausing:
4:20 p.m. — We play in the bedroom with this origami penguin I made for Little Bun out of his Chickadee subscription, whom he has named “Waddles” (after the Penguin in the Starbucks for Life game, he is unfortunately not quite that creative or original yet). Waddles teaches the Stuffies how to swim, catch fish, the ride on the North Pole train (made out of blocks), and solve puzzles together.
4:45 p.m. — We have dinner.
5:32 p.m. — I spend 45 minutes solving a tricky puzzle for him in his Escape Room, where the pieces move and shift constantly, and I FINALLY FIGURE IT OUT. I feel so pleased with myself.
6:28 p.m. — I do dishes, let them dry, Little Bun wipes all the cutlery.
7:18 p.m. — I go and take a long shower. When I am out, I go into the bedroom and just read quietly as he plays on the iPad doing his Escape Room levels.
8:01 p.m. — Little Bun does school with Daddy.
8:50 p.m. — Time for bed after some stories.
??:?? — I wake up in the middle of the night feeling sick, and end up in the bathroom.
7:23 a.m. — Little Bun wakes up, snuggles on top of me and kisses me to wake me up. I make a tea and do blog administrative work, including updating these Week of Money posts.
7:45 a.m. — He goes to see if Daddy is up (he stays up late to study), but he isn’t.
8:08 a.m. — I try to watch “One day at a time” a TV series but I cannot do sitcoms any more, my brain won’t process them. I switch over to a movie someone recommended – Promising Young Woman.
10:10 a.m. — Wow. I found it very difficult to watch. It’s a pretty dark movie, and with rape as its center of the theme, though not far off from reality, which is what is the scariest part of it all.
9:16 a.m. — We fill up some glasses with water and I have him tap them with a spoon to hear the different sounds made from the vibrations. I explain how the air vibrates to make the sound, how it depends on the liquid, the viscosity, and I let him play to make ‘music’ and learn with what we have.
10:10 a.m. — After feeling so sick from yesterday, I am weak today but craving something simple like bread, so I decide to make focaccia..
Start the yeast!
10:30 a.m. — And this is how it went:
After an hour:
1:09 p.m. — I pop it in the oven:
I mean it isn’t artisanal but it looks pretty good. I avoided pouring that cup of oil on top to fry it in the oven because I will dip it in oil and balsamic vinegar to eat. I also avoided the salt on top as I already put 2 teaspoons in the dough as directed, and I want Little Bun to try it.
We don’t give a lot of sugar, salt or processed or canned foods to Little Bun. It’s partly for his health (we have health issues of hypertension and diabetes on both sides), but also to make sure he grows up eating healthy food and developing that palate, rather than the one I ended up with as a child where I put tablespoons of sugar and cream in my teas, and ate white sugar on white bread as a regular snack.
He WILL eat crap in the future, without a doubt and we don’t want to police him as he gets older but if he can grow up with “real” food and can maybe have the taste of that rather than processed items that now, I can taste leave an oily, chalky after taste in my mouth, all the better.
I want him to taste REAL vanilla not vanillin, and realize that what he is tasting is just a chemical flavouring, not the real thing, and to expect / pay for the real thing instead because he can taste the difference and quality in the food.
It turned out great, like eating a cloud. My stomach feels better.
2:32 p.m. — I am amazed at the work that goes into haute couture clothing. It’s incredible the hours they put into it, which makes me really annoyed when people brush it off as being frivolous or stupid. It’s truly art.
3:15 p.m. — My partner and I are discussing wealth, and I make the distinction between income and actual wealth because even though someone makes a lot of money (like my mother), she’s not considered wealthy because she doesn’t have actual wealth saved as she spends it all.
4:28 p.m. — From there, we are talking about the different levels of wealth, and came up with 5 levels:
1. Basic minimum bare bones living
This is what he grew up in, and my mother lived through. We are talking no money for anything but food and rent. Sometimes neither in my mom’s case.
2. Comfortable living but not financially independent
This is where we were about 5-ish years (?) ago. We didn’t have enough to stop working and while we were debt-free, we still had to save and invest.
3. Financially secure
We are here now. He doesn’t have any side incomes aside from dividends (not enough to cover his half), so he is not as YOLO as I am. But we are both fine to never have to work again if we don’t want to (he doesn’t want to, I still do). But we still have challenges like not being able to plonk $1M down on a house without feeling it.
4. Give zero fks rich
We aren’t sure what the threshold is for this, we are thinking $10M or higher would be a significant amount of wealth where you truly can buy any “normal” thing you want (like a $1M-$2M house max but not $200M), and live very comfortably and stress-free.
In our lifetimes I’m not sure we will reach $10M, but that’s how we see things.
5. Rich beyond belief
This level is $50M or higher I think. I mean even at $11M that’s rich beyond belief to me, but we were trying to come up with thresholds that would make us think: OK there’s nothing to say at this point.
I may need to turn this into a post with thoughts because there’s also a distinction between income and wealth.
6:17 p.m. — I love this look. I am on the lookout for some leather, toe cap block heel slingbacks or heels. They have cheap knockoffs of the Chanel toe cap heels (not sure if it’s what she has on here, but from the toe shape it looks like it). They have versions from Express, Zara and so on, but they aren’t real leather which is not what I want.
I find these shoes from Ann Taylor that seem acceptable for the look, but the point isn’t quite rounded enough (I am very picky). I suspect I will end up buying the Chanels as a treat (?) for something. I put them on my mental Wish List. I’d rather buy the real thing than a substitute. Also the heel seems quite high at 3″. I’d rather wear 2″ or lower for a classic shoe.
7:30 p.m. — Little Bun plays a game he enjoys while I read my book. I suggested Daddy but he just chose the iPad instead.
Little Bun: WOW Mommy you REALLY love to read.
Me: Of course I do. When Mommy was a Mommy Baby, she read 30+ books a week from the library because she loved to escape inside the pages.
Little Bun: WOW.
I am hoping I will be a good role model for him, but it’s a crapshoot. My parents never read any book of any kind in our household though my mother encouraged us with a zealous passion, buying us books every time she found a good one and taking us to the library weekly.
We all ended up as bookworms and I looked up to my older siblings as my role models and they read ALL THE TIME. At any time of the day, you could find a book or three bent on its spine in any of our bedrooms. Even today, we have kept up on the habit as adults.
8:45 p.m. — We snuggle up together and then tell stories about the Adventurous Sock (renamed from earlier stories), and we finish Part 19. He is SO into this Adventurous Sock, he comes up with Part 20 and the Adventurous Sock ends up learning how a computer works, by shrinking himself and running around with bits and bytes.
I can clearly see where he gets inspiration from, as one of his favourite books is this one: Usborne Coding.
I am encouraging him to create his own stories, to create his own levels in games, and be CREATIVE with what he sees and does. I also don’t gush over everything he says or does because he needs constructive feedback to become better as well – this is where I think some parents go off track, by praising every thing they do, whether it is good or not, and kids just assume praise is in the books when in fact it should be genuine praise that really builds their confidence and self assurance.
9:17 p.m. — Time for bed.
??:?? — I feel his foot slide up against my side, and press into me. This happens often every night because he feels the need to find a physical connection with one of us. Either he’s half sleeping on me or his foot is pressed into my side to make sure I am there. I can feel his foot swerving around in the night searching for my body. When he naps with his father, he’s cuddled up to his side.
??:?? — He wakes up as I wake up. I cannot sleep any more, I am not pressured or stressed about anything but I feel very anxious these days. For obvious reasons.
6:30 a.m. — Little Bun wakes up, runs to the bathroom and says: What’s your favourite part about taking me to the bathroom!?
(He is still too small to go to the bathroom on his own unless I want to constantly wash his underwear.)
Me: That you no longer wear diapers and you can go to the bathroom all by yourself! <3 And you’re so big now, and one day I won’t have to help you any more. Everything changes, baby. I love you.
Little Bun: I love you too Mommy.
(This made me think of this quote)
7:35 a.m. — I still have the idea of income, wealth and thresholds in my brain. I should write the post to get it out.
9:01 a.m. — I finish turning it into a post: Our Thresholds for Wealth: The 5 Levels of Money & Independence
9:03 a.m. — I go into the bedroom and play with Little Bun and the Stuffies.
9:03 a.m. — We do laundry, and we also play games with the rings like “Guess how many rings in the bowl!”, but I still feel weak
12:08 p.m. — We have lunch (FRIES!), and then Little Bun makes me levels to play through on his ThinkRolls app, and tells me he has special levels he created for the Stuffies to “play”
1:01 p.m. — Down for his nap.
2:50 p.m. — I get a bombshell from my mother to help out because we may have to cover assisted living for an aunt. The prices start at $4000 a month so .. I feel like this is going to be taking a chunk out of income for the next while if I am helping. It’s like my anxiety knew something else would go wrong.
I already gave $20K last year to another aunt in another country who has since passed, to pay for assisted living, and now this might be something again. I could be looking at another $30K a year. Or more. This is all in $USD and depending on the conversion rate, I could be looking at $39K instead at a minimum.
4:56 p.m. — Been texting with my sibling and doing research on where/what could be a possible solution of where she can move.
5:30 p.m. — In the closet, painting and upcycling with Little Bun. I ask him if he wants to paint and his whole face lights up, then he works quite diligently, covering all the clay with paint. I take over to coat it again, and then to add some streaks of detail, then let it dry. Then I make a few pieces to bake for later this week.
6:27 p.m. — After dinner (he loves watching Masha and the Bear):
7:40 p.m. — I do laundry, and then we play again in the bedroom.
9:50 p.m. — We finally get ready for bed. It’s super late because my partner talked so long to his friend on Skype and then didn’t get to Little Bun’s brushing until late.
??:?? — I wake up tired. He napped yesterday for a little bit, so he was sure to wake up early today.
6:30 a.m. — I drag myself out, get his milk, make my tea, and then log in to work early.
8:21 a.m. — First meeting of the day. I hope I have time later to make calls to the assisted living homes for their prices.
9:08 a.m. — I pop more pills for my headaches. It is not going away. I wonder what is going on. I feel like I should go and get my eyes checked if this doesn’t disappear by end of March or so.
9:27 a.m. — Little Bun is really giving trouble today, not wanting to do 4 sections of math. I know it’s 80 questions but WE NEED TO FINISH THESE BOOKS before we can move on to the next grade, and so on. The more rote drilling he does, the easier math will become for him. I even find a few mistakes which means he hasn’t been paying attention to his work either, which I call him out on. (These are easy equations like 12 – 8…)
10:30 a.m. — Finally done. I take a break and do dishes.
10:46 a.m. — Back to work, while he’s wiping the wet cutlery I washed. He seems to want to advance on to wiping pots, so I am going to give that task to him as well, and slowly increase the wiping workload.
12:01 p.m. — Lunch, and then we sit together in the bedroom and Little Bun and I start reading: What’s the point of math? which is an EXCELLENT book with brainteasers, interesting facts.
We can’t even get past the first page because I am busy explaining what “GPS triangulation” means, or why a meteoroid is not the same as a meteorite (meteorite is when it hits the planet and made it past the atmosphere before burning up and meteoroid is before it hits a planet’s atmosphere).
1:05 p.m. — Back to work. He’s down for his “nap”. I suspect he’s reading the book now. Or playing his own baby games. It’s good for children (I read) to have quiet time alone where they are by themselves with their thoughts and imagination. Even if he doesn’t nap, I enjoy this Quiet Time from 13:00 – 15:00 as a respite for all of us, especially since my partner is in class during this time and I am working with meetings usually in this period as well.
2:13 p.m. — In impromptu meetings.
4:05 p.m. — I log off for the day.
4:25 p.m. — He ends up wetting himself, and has the AUDACITY to say: “oh this will dry off“… I dry heave a little and tell him NO, for this, he has to change completely into fresh clothes.
He does it, but grumbling a little, because we ran out of fresh pants and he had to sit in his underwear until I finished laundry and dried it. The irony is I changed him just before I started the wash to put the dirty clothes in and dress him in fresh ones, then he went and wet himself.
Little Bun: Is it ready yet?
2 minutes later
Little Bun: Is it dry yet?
1 minute later
Little Bun: Is it going to be ready soon?
30 seconds later
Little Bun: How about now?
Me: I WILL SET THE TIMER TO LET YOU KNOW WHEN THE WASH IS DONE.
Little Bun: Okay. I don’t like sitting in just underwear AND this one is too loose. I don’t like it.
Me: Just be HAPPY there was actually any clean underwear left.
5:44 p.m. — After he is taken care of, fed, clean and watching Masha and the Bear, I get working on my taxes.
6:22 p.m. — I finish them then eat dinner and finish with some yoghurt.
7:16 p.m. — Little Bun thunderstomps out for his yoghurt, and then he starts wiping down all the items I washed.
7:45 p.m. — Then he clings to me (doesn’t want Daddy), and I realize that they just don’t play well together. Little Bun has set ideas, my partner has his own ideas, and he’s trying to “teach” him life lessons to be flexible in a game and play/get along and compromise by not listening to Little Bun’s rules for the game, and it all ends in tears. Little Bun is sobbing in the bedroom and I am frustrated. I just want to lie down and read.
I am a bit stressed about this added assisted home payments, and just trying to work it out in my head what would be the best thing to do – ask others for help, figure out a shared money / payment plan..?
8:25 p.m. — After schooling, we read our favourite math book to date What’s the point of math? and discuss tallying methods and marks which I find very interesting.
9:06 p.m. — Bedtime. All is better now, I hear kisses and cuddling in the bathroom before they brush their teeth together.
Want more? Read all of my previous Week of Money Diaries.