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A Week In Nashville, TN, On A $112,500 Salary

·34 min read

Welcome to Money Diaries where we are tackling the ever-present taboo that is money. We’re asking real people how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last dollar.

Today:a Junior Software Engineer who has a joint income of $112,500 per year and spends some of her money this week on paint.

Occupation: Junior Software Engineer
Industry: Tech
Age: 29
Location: Nashville, TN
My Salary: $52,500
My Husband’s Salary: ~$60,000 (plus or minus since he gets paid a base salary and also a cut of each of the shoots he does)
Net Worth: ~$258,000 (We have two mortgages now, but our first house has gained a lot in value, plus my husband has a nest egg of around $20,000 and a retirement account of around $10,000, and on top of that we have several months of expenses saved)
Debt: $411,000 ($120,000 for our first home mortgage, $280,000 for the second mortgage, $11,000 car loan)
My Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,600
My Husband’s Paycheck Amount (biweekly): Fluctuates wildly but usually around $2,000
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses
Mortgage For First House: $910 (This will be covered and then some by our new renters. We just bought a second house and we are currently moving out of this one.)
Mortgage For Second House: $0 (doesn’t come due until January)
Loans: I pay what I can monthly, but it isn’t a set amount. I have $11,000 left on my car loan and my student loan are paid off.
Car Insurance: $100 (just for my car, my husband has a work vehicle and doesn’t own his own car)
Husband’s IRA Contribution: $100
My Phone Bill: $80
Husband’s Phone/Internet: $150
Electric: $90 (for first house, sure to be more in the new one)
Water: $25 (same as above)
Therapy: $260
Massage Therapy: $280 (I have a bad back)
Netflix/Hulu: $25 (I share a Hulu subscription with my best friend)
Auto Loan: $249.47
Trade Coffee: $14.75
Quip Refill: $10 (every three months)
Yearly Subscription To YNAB: $83.99

Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
If I hadn’t gone to college, all hell would have broken loose in my household. I’m not sure how much my stepdad (who is just “dad” to me since he raised me) really cared but my mom was militant about it. I’m sure my biological dad would have been very upset as well since I feel like my half-siblings always had huge pressure to go into careers like law or accounting or something very traditional. Because of this expectation, I went to university, but as a theatre major so I could still feel like I was being true to my artsy hippie little heart. In order to pay for it, I took out about $25,000 in loans. The first year my parents paid for all of it. Then the loans got me through one year. Then my biological dad jumped in to help with the third and fourth. To be honest, the whole thing actually took five years. It was such a bad time physically and mentally that I dropped out for a semester without telling my parents. I still think it was the right thing to do and I still haven’t told my family about it to this day.

Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
My parents tried to teach me about money but I think kids learn more from watching and my parents didn’t practice what they preached. They were always in debt and blowing money on things. The whole reason we are moving to a new house right now is that my mom never saved up for retirement and now she needs to live with us. So, they may have given me the whole Dave Ramsey for Teens course when I was 15, but it was hard to take seriously when I didn’t see my parents doing it.

What was your first job and why did you get it?
My first job was working at a Subway inside of a Super Walmart. I got it because I wanted to make money and my high school sweetie was also applying there. My parents never pressured me to get a job. I just always felt like it was my duty to take the steps I thought I needed to take to be an adult.

Did you worry about money growing up?
Never. My parents always seemed to have money for everything. Now that I’m older I understand that they were racking up credit card debt to live the way we did but I never felt that way as a kid. I felt incredibly privileged. We owned a horse, I always had pretty expensive clothes, and they bought me a brand new Ford Escape off the lot for my first car. It was ridiculous and I’m definitely paying for it now. Not that I don’t look back fondly on my childhood and feel lucky, because I do, it’s just I didn’t really need any of that. It gave me a very unhealthy concept of needs vs. wants. I’m not always certain I can tell the difference.

Do you worry about money now?
Less than I have in the past but I definitely still feel that nagging bit of worry. Especially now that we are taking on a second house on top of the house we already own. There are so many unknowns that are coming at us right now. Like unexpected moving expenses, paying bills on a much bigger house, having to deal with a renter for the first time, and taking care of my mom. It’s a lot of question marks which sucks because my husband and I have always tried so hard to live beneath our means. We’ve always tried to live with less so that if something happened we’d be okay, we could keep ourselves afloat. Now that is kind of out the window, but what can you do? I always knew I’d be taking care of my mom someday and it’s a miracle I’m at a point in my life right now where I can do it.

At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?
My parents stopped financially supporting me when I was a junior in college. During my freshman year, they insisted they would pay for everything and send me a little money every month. Then sophomore year I got a job and started paying for my own stuff but they bought a condo that I lived in rent-free. Then they sold that condo and I moved into an apartment my junior year. It was maybe three weeks in when my parents called me to tell me they were looking at bankruptcy and they couldn’t help me pay for anything anymore. To be honest, I only have a safety net now because my husband was a featured actor in a national commercial, so he brought a nest egg into the marriage with him. It wasn’t until I landed my first software development job that I made enough consistently to put aside.

Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
Not until this year. When my mom decided it was time to move here, she sold the condo that she owned outright. With the $250,000 she made from it, she paid off some debt, saved a little for a rainy day, used some of it to pay off my student loans (I will always be eternally grateful to her for that), and paid for a year of rent. With what was leftover, we bought a house with a tiny guest house for my mom. Part of the money went into a down payment ($72,000) and part of it (the leftover $20,000) is being used by mom to fix up the guest house.

Day One

5 a.m. — I wake up really early for no apparent reason and cannot get back to sleep so I start my morning phone routine. I know it’s probably not good for me to start out my mornings with a screen in my face but it gives me a chance to sort out a few things in my day while I slowly wake up. First on the list is to check election results (mild panic but no final say yet), then check my personal email and read a few email newsletters. From there, I budget any new expenses in my YNAB app, check the weather, look at my calendar for the day, and track my daily activities on Toggl.

8 a.m. — After quickly throwing on some schlubby clothes and doing the bare minimum of my morning routine my husband, J., and I head to the new house to do some cleaning. We just bought a home 30 minutes out in the country with a guest house for my mom and the people who were renting before we moved in left it a mess. The whole move is bittersweet — we love our current neighborhood and my relationship with my mom is complicated but she’s getting too old to live alone. We wanted to build onto our house but tornado+COVID+housing boom = $$$ so the only other option was to buy something with enough room for all of us. The whole thing feels like a bit of a bummer but I’m trying to keep a happy spin on it. The fact that we are even able to make this happen during COVID times makes me feel incredibly fortunate.

12 p.m. — Finally done and ready to head back to our first house to pack. I find out on the way that they called the election for Biden! My heart skips a beat but I’m too busy to do a full-on celebration rager so I opt for some windows down Lizzo listening instead. Once I make it to the house, I cook a nice salmon and couscous lunch for J. and me. It’s the moving equivalent of a feast fit for the occasion!

6 p.m. — With the last load of the night safely loaded into our cars, I make a heaping pot of spaghetti to take to the new house. Hopefully, it will get us through some of the awkward times where there’s no way to cook anything. We pack it plus all of the stuff we need for the night and head over to the new house for a movie night, camping-style. We are sleeping on a blow-up mattress on the floor of our master bedroom and using our projector to screen a movie on one of the walls. See? Only positive vibes for this sweet old house! It might be a little hippy-dippy but I really feel like houses, especially ones as old as this one, have souls and they suck up the energy the people who live there put out. As the newest stewards of this one, I don’t want our stank attitudes about moving to rub off on it.

7 p.m. — We are all settled in, the wine has been poured, we have finally figured out the best way to watch A Simple Favor, movie night is on!

Daily Total: $0

Day Two

8 a.m. — Super surprised about how late I wake up. I have a missed call from my mom from 11 last night. I call her immediately to check-in, but she tells me that she just accidentally called me. Gosh mom, scare the bejeezus out of me. J. and I head back to the old house for breakfast and more packing.

1:30 p.m. — We fill up the car and then head to our local pub and grub for lunch. I’m sad, I’m going to miss this place. It’s not like we won’t be able to drive in and do this still but it won’t be quite the same. J. gets a beer and a brunch omelet while I get shrimp and grits ($41.69). So delicious. We pay and head to the new house. On the way, I get gas ($18.02). This is probably the most driving I’ve done in months. $59.71

2:30 p.m. — After all of the cars are unpacked I suggest we go check out the woods behind our house. We find a tree near a pond that has evidence we aren’t the first to come down to see the pond. There are initials carved all over the trunk and some of them are dated going all the way back to 1988. Very cool! J. tells me all about his big plans to build a secret mountain bike track around our property and down into the forest. I don’t understand any of it (I don’t like bikes) but I’m happy to see him excited. We wrap up at the house and head back to the old house for another load. On the way, I stop in at a dollar store and get a bag of Tootsie Rolls because priorities. $2.18

5:30 p.m. — Oh no, I knew this day would come. We are out of boxes but we still have a good three boxes worth of stuff to put in my car. J. and I have been challenging ourselves not to buy any boxes and only use what we have. We try to keep from being wasteful but moving is an inherently wasteful process! It’s so frustrating. I run down to the liquor store and I’m in luck that they have a few boxes out front that are still intact. That was a close one!

9 p.m. — I take another load before heading back. When I get back to the old house, J. and I have the leftover spaghetti I made yesterday. We have officially entered the awkward phase of moving where everything you need always seems to be at the house you aren’t at and I’ve managed to forget bowls. The solution is to do a “deconstructed” meal, which is just a fancy way of saying we dipped the pasta in the sauce and ate it. After an episode of The Simpsons, we both head to bed.

Daily Total: $61.89

Day Three

7 a.m. — I wake up and open my phone to do my morning stuff. I make sure to set a few alarms to remind myself about some set things in my schedule. If I don’t have something reminding me about what time it is, I’ll 100% lose track and miss them. I also do the Monday New York Times crossword puzzle. I started doing them last week with the other poll workers to pass the time on election day and now I’m hooked! Monday is the only one I can actually mostly do on my own.

9 a.m. — The repair guys who are looking at doing some work on our new house let us know they are on their way there so J. goes on ahead and I stay to get the kiddos (pets) fed. On my way out to meet him, I stop by Panera to get a four-cheese souffle for breakfast. $5.27

10:30 a.m. — The repair guys leave, and we breathe a sigh of relief. The foundation fixes and general repairs aren’t going to be as bad as we had thought. When we bought the house we were really worried that there was going to be some significant foundation work to be done (the whole house slopes down to one side) but it looks like it’s going to be alright. It will always be a crooked little house, but with a few fixes, it will be a perfectly stable crooked little house. I take a trip to the nearest Home Depot to get things to do some repairs the guys said we could do ourselves. I pay for part of it with a gift card from our realtor. $44.51

1 p.m. — Although I have paint on my face and generally look a mess, I hop on a Zoom call with my manager and teammate. I had actually taken the whole week off but we have a new project we’re gearing up for and someone has to onboard our contractor. I’ve only been out of my software boot camp for a year, but I landed a job on a two-person dev team where I’ve taken on a lot of responsibility so I end up working a lot even when I’m technically off. It can be very overwhelming but it’s definitely pushed me and made me learn a lot about myself.

3 p.m. — After stopping for a very late lunch we get a knock on our door. It’s the elderly lady next door coming to introduce herself! In our last neighborhood, we were there a whole year before any of our neighbors talked to us so this is a pleasant surprise. It turns out that she was actually born in our house and has lived on our street her whole life. She knew everything about the house since her parents had built it themselves. It was lovely to know the history of our house and I am secretly excited that my mom might have a friend her own age next door.

5:30 p.m. — I’ve got to quickly wrap up all of the work I’m doing and run back to the old house to make a virtual meetup for women developers. I’m just sitting in this time around but I’ve volunteered to start hosting them starting next year. I’m so stoked! Being in these meetups with other women who work in my field is always energizing and inspiring to me — even virtually. The speaker is presenting her philosophy that writing code for her is like creative writing and how that affects her work. It’s infinitely interesting.

8 p.m. — The other women developers have me hyped! I’m bouncing around the house, munching on some chow mein J. ordered in for us ($24.97), and do a little more packing. Around 9, I’ve finally burned off enough of that energy to attempt to sleep. $24.97

Daily Total: $74.75

Day Four

5 a.m. — Hello darkness my old friend…the sun is not even up yet but apparently, I am. Well, better make the most of it. I hop on my phone and add in entries from the previous night into Toggl. Then I hop on YNAB to put in the final totals from the house down payment and calculate what we can give back to my mom. My mom made a chunk of cash when she sold her condo, which she lent to us to buy the house. Now we’re sending her back what’s left so she can fix up the guest house. There’s a pit in my stomach when I start to think about what needs to be done vs. the money we have to do it with but I push those thoughts aside. We will just have to be smart about things.

7 a.m. — I’m running around trying to gather the last of our things into my car before the movers get here when J. asks me if I’d like to take the dog on our last walk around the neighborhood. At first, I say no and let them go without me but I’m quickly jogging down the street to catch up. I made a pact with myself that I’d never let my to-do list come before my life. I’ve never once regretted it, and I don’t now. The neighborhood is full of the most insane fall colors; candy apple reds, bright yellows, and burnt oranges. All of this and the weather this week has been warm enough to wear a t-shirt. Our move has truly been blessed.

8 a.m. — Our move is cursed. I pack up the kiddos (the dog and my two cats) and run a few errands before heading to the new place. First, I stop to get some bathroom things from Target ($160.58 for shower curtains, rods, and mats) and then do a quick stop at Dunkin’ to get kolaches ($5.77). Sometime after my kolache stop, everything falls apart. The cats puke all over my passenger seat. When I pull into the driveway, I start to smell it and my heart sinks. I try to quickly pull them out of the car before it gets everywhere but it’s too late and, to make things worse, the puke has gotten all over the bag of kolaches. No kolaches for us. Now I’m in panic mode because I have no idea how to handle this. The cats are screaming at me as I get them into the guest bathroom and they look rough. I try to wash the puke off of one of them but that’s a mistake! Kitty death paws slice at my arms until I give up and leave them in the bathroom. We will have to deal with them later once they’ve calmed down. $166.35

9:30 a.m. — After moving as much as I can out of the way of the movers, I guiltily check back in on the cats. They are calmer but they still look like shit. My poor babies. I can’t help them at the moment, I can’t even help myself! I realize that I’ve gotten puke on my sweatpants and there’s nothing for me to change into. So now we are just a whole family of gross, smelly trash monsters. Until now, I had really felt I had a handle on this entire move but now it all feels like a huge mess. Instead of driving myself crazy trying to fix it, I got for a walk to calm down.

11 a.m. — Movers are here with all of our furniture. Everything did feel a lot less shitty after my walk and I was able to clean up a bit before they got here. The movers are very nice and we end up getting things in very quickly which brings us to under what we were quoted! Yay! $515 later I am so glad we went with a moving company instead of trying to do it ourselves. Worth every penny. Once they are gone, I decide that there is no way around deep cleaning my car today. Such a bummer since it’s not what I expected to be doing. $515

12:30 p.m. — The car is washed ($11) and I’m back from renting an upholstery cleaner from Home Depot ($17 for 4 hours). I’m pretty miffed because they make you buy the soap instead of giving you some with your rental ($12) so now I have this bottle of soap I may never use again. We decide to make the most of it and try to clean every fabric-based thing in the house, mostly just the couch and some chairs. Hopefully, the cleaner works the way it says because this is a significant chunk of our day down the toilet. $40

3:30 p.m. — J. leaves to take the rental back to Home Depot and run some errands. My car smells slightly better but only time will tell. While he’s out, I start unpacking the house. It’s pretty frustrating. Every move is like when you get hand-me-downs from your cousins, nothing really fits and you have to be creative to make it work. It’s just going to take time.

8:30 p.m. — Shower! Glorious shower! My first shower in a few days and I’m trying to make the most of it. All of me has returned to nature in a way I’m not super fond of. Well, to be honest, since COVID, I’ve kind of let a lot of things go in a way that I’m very happy with. I’m saving money on makeup and beauty products. Plus! It takes me no time at all now to get ready. I don’t think I’m going back, even after the vaccine. I feel so comfortable in my own skin in a way that’s like, why did I ever bother with this? Shortly after my shower, I am lights out. Today was a beast.

Daily Total: $721.35

Day Five

6 a.m. — I’m up before my alarm again. I lay around and do my morning phone stuff before finally getting up to throw some clothes on. I have a meeting early this morning with the front-end developer contractor from work. Thankfully, I work in tech so no one expects me to be dolled up. Score one for the nerds.

8 a.m. — I hop on Zoom prepared to spec out this feature with our contractor but it turns out that we hit a snag on getting him set up with a local environment. He’s on a PC and our entire system is set up for Mac. It’s a tale as old as time, the PC vs. Apple war rages on. So much for a complete week off to handle the move, this is going to take a lot of time to sort out. As an added bonus he suggests that we have him help us move from AngularJS to Angular while he’s here. I won’t bore you with the details but that’s a MUCH bigger project I’m not so certain about signing us up for. We do some initial work getting him on the right path and I promise to send him an introductory email today with a bunch of the information he’ll need to get set up in our system. More work, yay…

9:30 a.m. — The meeting is over and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by this upcoming project. Our manager doesn’t have any tech experience so a lot of the evaluation of what is the best way forward for the team falls to me and I’m not sure I’m prepared for it. To be honest I have no idea how to work with a contractor or evaluate their skills or even be able to figure out if migrating to Angular at this point is a good idea. Every day I’m just trying to make the best decisions I can with the information I have, which sucks because it starts to feel like you’re making every move blind. I reach out to a mentor to ask if I can get some guidance and I wait to see if he’s online today.

10 a.m. — Thank God he’s working! He says he’d love to help and we hop on a Zoom call. I’m so lucky to have gotten into tech in Nashville where the tech community is so nice and open to helping each other out. I’m not sure if it’s the same other places, but I tend to feel like what’s happening here is really special. He talks me through some ways to make tough decisions when you are thrown into the deep end, which makes me feel so much better. He basically tells me that it’s okay to not have all of the information and that even senior developers have to fly blind sometimes.

11:30 a.m. — The email to the contractor is sent and I’ve done some initial research on how we might be able to change our setup for a PC so I’m feeling pretty good about being done with work for the day. Time for a Target run for some hangers and storage boxes ($45.83). On the way back home, my mom calls me to see where I am. She’s back at the house waiting for a contractor who’s coming to give an estimate on the work she wants to be done on her little house. $45.83

1:30 p.m. — I have an awesome chat with my friend, A. She is a data engineer I met through a peer-to-peer learning group. We have a lot of mutual friends in common and we try to stay in touch. I love chatting with her and she only usually has about 30 minutes to chat so I’m majorly bummed about having less time to talk to her. I head out back to see how my mom is doing with the contractor.

3 p.m. — The news so far is bad. The contractor had barely anything positive to say about the place. My mom’s budget is too low for them, the whole place is not up to code so they can’t touch most of it, he thinks it may be cheaper to just do a new build… just generally everything we didn’t want to hear. We’ve been trying so hard for the past eight months to get my mom settled and everything has seemed to go wrong. We had a tornado, we had a pandemic, we had a designer/contractor who took our money to design the place only to quote us a ridiculous price for actually building it ($200,000 for 500 square feet? I don’t think so). Now it feels like I’ve completely uprooted my whole family from a house we loved only to find that this might not be an option either. It’s all just a lot sometimes and I hardly ever feel equipped for these adult decisions. Crying about it won’t make it better though so I suck it up, put on my big girl panties, and take our dog to the dog park. The only way forward is through.

4:30 p.m. — Back from the dog park and feeling a bit better. Definitely ready to tackle some unpacking around the house. I work my way through the bedroom, bathroom, and closet stuff. I try to do some of the kitchen, but it’s such a mess. In an effort to be helpful, J. has shoved a lot of things into drawers and I’m having trouble getting my head around what we have. I’m just not in the mood for complicated right now so I abandon it. I call my bestie, S., to get our Hulu log-in information but I secretly hope that he will have some time to chat so I can vent about this cruddy day. He doesn’t so I just write down the password and we make plans to talk on Sunday. I kind of wish J. was home but he’s doing camera work for the CMAs until late. Back to unpacking.

7 p.m. — Time for yet another bath because today sucked and baths are the best medicine for sucky days. Baths and Tootsie Rolls. After my bath, I lay around and finish the book I’m reading called The Color Of Magic. I fall asleep at around 10.

Daily Total: $45.83

Day Six

7 a.m. — Oh no, the magic of Daylight Savings Time is wearing off and I’m starting to go back to waking up at a normal time. Boo! I do some of my morning stuff but I have to rush it so that I can get ready and eat breakfast in time for my meeting with my manager.

10:45 a.m. — After our meeting and an hour of work, we are making some progress. I excuse myself so I can make the trip to our old house. I take our dog with me and stop by the dog park in our old neighborhood on the way. I’m going to miss this park, it’s so big and it’s noticeably our dog’s favorite. She lights up when she knows we’re heading there. She even has dog park friends that she recognizes! It’s so sweet.

12 p.m. — I settle in at the old house and jump back into the Zoom call. Progress has stalled and I try to catch up with what’s been tried so I can lend some help. While we wait for things to download I start to putty some holes around the house.

2 p.m. — J. calls me to see if I can have lunch with him. By some funny twist of fate, he’s working on a shoot at our local hot chicken place which makes it a quick five-minute drive for me to go and join him. I run over to meet him and we eat some hot chicken wings (free as a crew meal) while chatting with the crew. It’s the usual crew conversation, everyone wants to know what kind of work everyone else is getting and what crazy stories they have about it. Back when J. and I met, I was also working in television. Sometimes I miss it but I don’t miss the long hours and the constant hustle to find work. For now, I just enjoy listening to everyone else talk about their adventures. Before we leave, the chef brings over tiny deep-fried pies for us. There are definitely perks to working in production.

4 p.m. — I’ve made a terrible mistake. After the putty dries I open up the paint in the garage and start doing touch-ups around the house. Only problem is that literally none of the paint matches the walls. I find this out only after I’ve done touch-ups on a bunch of walls. What a dummy! I sit in the middle of the living room floor and start laughing at myself. Maybe I’ve lost it but it just feels so funny that I’ve done this. Plus there’s nothing really to be done about it so there’s no point in being mad. The bathroom has to be completely repainted and I’m going to have to go get a different white for the rest of the walls. To round it all out, I realize the top was off of one of the colors so it’s dried out and unusable. Literally, that was the only color that I knew matched. Such is life. I call my mom and tell her what happened. She says she’ll come over to help me tape everything so I can start painting tomorrow. What an angel, I really need the help.

9 p.m. — After getting everything taped and painting the whole bathroom I finally make it home. J. is pretty curious as to why I was gone so long but I decide to put off telling him until tomorrow when I have more of it done. If he knows that there is so much painting to do, it will push his stress level over the edge and I know he’s already tired from his shoot. We fall asleep around 10:30 after putzing around on our phones.

Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

6 a.m. — I get up and immediately start to throw myself together to head over to the new house. J. is suspicious, he knows something is up but he’s too tired to ask many questions before I’m out the door. Thankfully, Home Depot is open at an ungodly hour so I head over there to buy paint ($117.92) before driving to the old house. $117.92

9 a.m. — I’ve got a few walls done and I’m feeling pretty good about the progress. The walls look so nice and new after being painted that I’m actually happy I made this mistake. Now the whole place will look even better for the new renters. I’m a little worried about my mom, though. She told me she would come over in the morning to help me but I haven’t been able to get through to her on her phone.

11 a.m. — Time is up! I hear J. pull into the driveway and I go out to meet him on the front porch before he walks in. He’s pretty chill about the whole thing. As I suspected, seeing that there were only three walls left to do and the rest was already done made the whole thing seem less stressful to him. My wife-game is strong. The two of us paint the last of the walls and we finish up in record time. That leaves us some time to do some other much-needed clean up around the house.

2 p.m. — Mom finally calls to ask if I still need her help. I tell her I called all morning trying to get a hold of her but her phone was sending me to voicemail. I assure her that everything went fine and that it’s alright that she didn’t come by to help but I push her to go to the store to get her phone looked at. She promises me that she will get dressed and go which makes me feel better. It really makes me worried that her phone has been so unreliable. What if there was an emergency and we couldn’t get to her? Not okay.

4 p.m. — Time to clean up and head to the new house for a bath.

6 p.m. — J. comes back with pizza ($21.31) from a local place near us. According to him, he feels like he got COVID just from walking in there, not a mask in sight except for the staff. There’s a lot of Nashville taking the pandemic seriously but once you get out of Davidson County, all bets are off. It’s very disheartening to hear. With cases spiking, we can’t really take too many chances so I guess we’re not going to be exploring our new county for a while. $21.31

7 p.m. — Time for another movie night. Date night during a pandemic is pretty limited so we’ve been doing a lot of movies. Today it’s a double feature of a really crazy movie called Crank ($10.94 to rent on Amazon) and a rewatch of Cabin In The Woods. This place really does feel like home with us all in it — J., me, and the kiddos. $10.94

11 p.m. — The movie is over and it’s time for lights out. Settling into bed, I think about all of the things there are to be grateful for. I’m especially grateful for the simplicity of J. and my relationship and how happy it makes us. Our couple goals are Marge and Norm from the movie Fargo. Sometimes, when things are really crazy around us but we are feeling okay I’ll look at him and say “Heck Norm ya know we’re doing pretty good.” Despite the stress and the craziness, we really are doing pretty good.

Daily Total: $150.17

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