A Week In Maryland On A $255,000 Joint Income

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Today: an attorney who has a $255,000 joint income and spends some of her money this week on bubbles.
Occupation: Attorney
Industry: Government
Age: 37
Location: Maryland
My Salary: $155,000
Husband's Salary: $100,000
Net Worth: Approx. $540,000 (which includes investments, i.e., IRA, 401(k), and additional investment accounts), savings, and real estate. My husband and I have partially merged finances. Net worth doesn't include husband's retirement or personal checking/savings accounts.
Debt: $30,000 ($13,000 left of my law school loans and $17,000 for Hubby's car).
My Paycheck (biweekly): $3,145
Husband's Paycheck (biweekly): $2,800
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $1,500 (includes tax, insurance, and interest)
Loans: $700 for my student loans and $531 for my husband's car.
Daycare: $1,450 (for a toddler (2) and a preschooler (3))
Church Tithes/Offering: $500
Retirement Contribution: $1,100 ($600 for my 401(k) and $500 for my husband's. This is our reduced amount so we can continue getting the government match. We will increase to 15% after we're done paying off pay off debt.)
High Speed Internet: $120
Utilities/Phone: $345
Amazon Prime: $119 annually
College Savings Plan: $25 for now while paying debt
Car Insurance: $156
Life Insurance: $65 (for two policies; $500,000 coverage for me and my husband, H., for 30-year terms).

Day One

4:45 a.m. — Our two-year-old is up and screaming “good morning” from his room. I look at the clock and tell him to go back to sleep. He yells “no” but stays in bed.
6 a.m. — Two-year-old is up again and now I hear him waking up his three-year-old brother. My husband, H., gets up and turns on their TV and tells them they can get up but to stay in their room.

6:45 a.m. — I get up and head to the bathroom to brush my teeth and splash my face with some water. Get the boys washed up and dressed for daycare and drop them off at 7. Once I get back home, I read my Bible Plan for the day, check some emails and my Mint.com transactions/balances, and then go for a bike ride in my neighborhood. I was already working from home four days a week, so the biggest adjustment for me during COVID-19 is no gym and having to share my workspace with H. While riding, I realize that I forgot to put on a visor or sunscreen so I make it a quick ride. Once I get back home, I jump in the shower and do my new face routine. I'm trying out a "Get Started Kit" of the Andalou CannaCell line: X.Foliate Scrub, Hydrating Toner, and Happy Day Cream that I just ordered from Amazon.

11:30 a.m. — I finally get up to make breakfast. Scrambled eggs, sausage, and mixed veggies from my backyard garden. Then back to work. I attend a virtual training on how to create a Table of Contents in Word. The training was a success! The joy is short-lived, though — an email comes in that the opposing counsel on one of my cases is playing hardball so I spend the better part of the afternoon strategizing a response with my team.

5:30 p.m. — Off to pick up the boys from daycare! It's a beautiful day out so I let them ride their bikes for a bit. During some downtime, I realize that my paycheck will hit my bank account tomorrow and I still have $1,200 left in my checking account so I schedule an extra car payment of $1,000. (I like to start from scratch with every check so I have a zero-based budget with every dollar accounted for). When we get inside, the kids wash up and I make dinner for the family: Burgers for hubby and me and chicken nuggets and french fries for the kids. After dinner, the three-year-old reads a book and the two-year-old does some flashcards with me. When they're done they get to watch some TV. $1,000

8:30 p.m. — Kids are washed up and changed for bed! I play on my phone for a couple of hours (catching up on texts, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Groupon). I order a cute Father's Day t-shirt on sale from Groupon to put in the gift basket I am creating for my husband. Then I head to bed. $15

Daily Total: $1,015

Day Two

6:45 a.m. — The two-year-old is up and makes his rounds waking everyone else up. It's Saturday and I am thankful that he “slept in.” I get up, brush my teeth and splash some water on my face, and head to the living room to put on one of YouTube's alphabet songs. The kids would watch YouTube Kids all day if I let them.
8:30 a.m. — I make breakfast for everyone. The three-year-old is a picky eater so he has pancakes but the rest of us have eggs, sausage, and potatoes. I find a new show to binge, Upload. It's actually pretty interesting so I end up watching it on and off all day in between snacks, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and diaper changes.
10:30 a.m. — We all take a short nap because #terribletwos.
1 p.m. — I make a new recipe for lunch: drunken noodles with chicken. Pretty quick to make and tasty. I notice that the seedlings I planted a couple of days ago are growing mold so I start looking up how to remedy this situation. Looks like I need to let the air circulate more and should look into buying grow lights. I do some searching on Amazon but don't buy anything.
6 p.m. — Hubby has been on Zoom calls for a while so I take the kids out for a walk. I push the two-year-old in the stroller and let the three-year-old ride his bike. We walk for about an hour then play on the swings and slide in the backyard. Then baths and dinner. We put the boys to bed at 8:30. Freedom!!!! I end up cleaning up the house, lighting some candles, playing on my phone for a bit, and then lights out for me.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

4:45 a.m. — You guessed it, the two-year-old wakes everyone up, again. On Sundays, we typically go to church but since COVID-19, we have been streaming the 8 a.m. service from home and watching it on the TV in our living room. Today is a great sermon about being thankful even when God says “no.” Imagine if He gave us “everything” we asked for!? Like that first boyfriend or some other thing that in retrospect would have been a sheer disaster. Helps to put things in perspective since God is all-knowing so a good reminder to trust in him and try not to be anxious during this COVID-19 pandemic. Hubby and I discuss all the things we are thankful for and then nap time.
1 p.m. — I make lunch — pepperoni pizza for the boys and keto pizza for H. and me. I check on the seedlings that I planted a few days ago and see that they are sprouting and the mold is disappearing now that I took the plastic dome off.
4 p.m. — Time for a family walk. Both the boys opt to sit in the double stroller this time so H. and I take turns pushing them up the hills in our neighborhood. When it's all said and done, we walk two and a half miles. I'm still lagging behind in my family walking challenge on the Nike Run App but I will take it!
6:30 p.m. — H. and I tag-team getting the boys washed up. I make dinner — fish sticks and tator tots for the boys with apple slices for dessert. I make pad Thai for H. and me. By 8:30, its bedtime for the boys. They are particularly talkative tonight but they stay in their room while H. and I watch This Is Us. We love this show.
Daily Total: $0

Day Four

5:45 a.m — Two-year-old is up. Hubby gets up and turns on the TV in the boys' room and tells the two-year-old not to wake up his big brother. By 6, they are both up and running around the house.
6:15 a.m. — I roll out of bed, head to the bathroom to brush my teeth and splash my face with some water. H. gets the boys washed up and dressed for daycare so I play with some toys before drop off at 7. Once I get back home, I put on an Emily Wong exercise video on YouTube and exercise for 15 minutes. Anything is better than nothing, right? I head downstairs to log on.
5:30 p.m. — Crazy day at work today. Emails, conference calls, drafted an opposition memo, and a few letters to the court. I finally take a breather and go pick up the boys. One of the kids from daycare is playing outside when we get back home and my three-year-old insists that he must go talk to him. The weather is nice so I let the boys play. Being around other people is so scary now with COVID-19 but I let the boys ride their bikes and run after bubbles with their friend. They have a blast so I order some bubbles on Amazon so we can play in our backyard next time. $10.25
8:30 p.m. — Put the boys in bed. Enjoy about an hour of freedom before passing out.
Daily Total: $10.25

Day Five

7:30 a.m. — I realize that I am behind on my Bible Study Plan and the new skincare regimen that I was supposed to be doing. So I catch up on my bible app and do my skincare routine. Short on time so I skip exercising today.
11:45 a.m. — My tummy is growling so I go upstairs to make some lunch. I throw a couple of pre-seasoned frozen salmon fillets in the NuWave oven and have it over a bed of sweet kale salad. H. hates the salad or any vegetable for that matter, but I like them. Back to work.
5:30 p.m. — Time to pick up the boys. H. goes to get them and I finally jump in the shower for the day. Before I can get out of the shower, the kids are banging on the bathroom door. I make some dinner, we eat, and then we play a combination of make-believe, hide-and-seek, and Lego until bedtime.
Daily Total: $0

Day Six

6:45 a.m. — So thankful that the kids “slept in.” Daycare is closed for the next five days so I have the distinct pleasure of balancing work-life, wife-life, and mommy-life today.
3 p.m. — We're running out of groceries so I make my weekly run. This week I go to BJ's instead of Costco because it's a bit closer and I am short on time. More chicken nuggets, chicken tenders, frozen pizza, milk, laundry detergent, and animal crackers. $86.32
8:30 p.m. — Put the boys in bed. So much to clean up since every toy is out of place. Once we're done cleaning up the tornado that is our house, H. and I watch Insecure until we fall asleep.
Daily Total: $86.32

Day Seven

6:30 a.m. — Boys are up. Feels like it's already the weekend since we're gonna have them all day. I try to put on an exercise video on YouTube but the boys jump on me every time I get on the floor and are taking up all the space on the yoga mat so I give up and put on YouTube Kids. Quick breakfast for everyone.
11:30 a.m. — Naptime for the boys. I get some work done and also search on Amazon for grow lights for my blooming seedlings and find a bulb to order. After finding a headscarf that I can wear over my conditioning cap during the day and some diapers for the baby, I check out. $74.15
1:30 p.m. — Boys are up. Lunchtime! Chicken nuggets and french fries for the boys and chicken tenders for H. and me. I also have a salad.
4:30 p.m. — H. finishes working for the day so we trade places. He goes upstairs to stay with the boys and I go downstairs to my desk. I catch up on work and get some filings out the door.
7:30 p.m. — I make chicken and shrimp fried rice. My Asian-inspired dishes have been coming out pretty tasty so I make a mental note to pick up some more egg noodles and fried rice seasoning next time I'm at the grocery store.
8:30 p.m. — Put the boys in bed. The house is a tornado again. Once we're done cleaning, H. and I watch The Last Dance and then go to bed.

Daily Total: $74.15
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.
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