Our New Normal, Holding Out Hope, Finances, Entertainment, and Staying Healthy

Things have definitely been different in the OFE household lately, thanks to a pandemic they call COVID-19. But despite this recent challenge, we’re doing okay – and we pray things stay this way.

Mr. FE goes off to work with his N95 mask and goggles because he is considered an essential worker, and is petrified he’ll bring COVID-19 home. I am also scared he will bring it home but I am trying really hard to remain positive.

We decided it would be best to have me relocate to a guest bedroom on the lower floor of our home, while Mr. FE remains on the upper floor. I was born with an underlying lung problem that puts me at higher risk, so we decided to implement social distancing as a precaution. But honestly, I’m struggling to adjust because we haven’t been physically apart in over two decades. But I know for the time being, this is our only option.

To communicate we’ve been using our iPhone’s FaceTime app or text. which isn’t the same as face to face contact but it’s better than nothing. While Mr. FE is at work, I’ll cook a few meals so they are ready for what ever time he comes home. To liven the mood a little I’ve been attaching notes to his meal containers to show him how much I miss him. It helps me to focus on future events so I have something to look forward to, and I know he’s been having a blast reading them!

Our Friends

Mr. FE found out that his good friend and coworker now has COVID-19 along with his wife. Unfortunately, he has been battling non-hodkin lymphoma and has a compromised immune system, so we are extremely concerned about the fight he and his wife now have to face. We’ve been praying a lot for them both and hope they pull through to the other side of this horrendous disease.

Our Finances

This is a scary time for us because despite our knowledge on the many stock market collapses and recoveries, we’ve never before witnessed the markets go through a pandemic before – at least in our lifetime.

Financially speaking not much has changed. We took a massive hit to our index funds because we were investing 90 percent in equities and only 10 percent in bonds. Plus, our index funds tracked closely to the S&P 500. For now we are holding steady and plan to continue maxing out Mr. FE’s 401(k), which should help us capitalize on this down market.

Looking forward, we expect Mr. FE’s paychecks to keep coming but if business continues to slow down as the pandemic carries on, we know that could change. The good news here is that we were already on the path to financial independence, so we should have enough capital to get us through the worst case scenario of job loss.

Our Entertainment

Despite our desire to live frugally, we have never touted cutting the cord. We enjoy watching a few things here and there, and like having an alternative connection to the outside world. We currently subscribe to a basic channel package and never saw the need for extra fluff.

But…

We decided to splurge by getting both Netflix and Disney Plus for a month or so because we are spending so much time indoors and in isolation. We only have one television in our living room, so Mr. FE has been relegated to watching Marvel and Star Wars movies on his laptop which he doesn’t seem to mind. And on the TV, I’ve been watching Gilmore Girl reruns, and took a trip back in time with the movies Bambi, Cinderella, and Lady and the Tramp. I also look forward to watching the many documentaries I discovered on both Netflix and Disney Plus.

For exercise, I’ve been taking advantage of the many YouTube videos and working out in our living room. My favorite videos are by Fitness Blender and Pop Sugar. Every now and then if the weather is decent I’ll go for a walk outside, but we have so many people around that sometimes I find it safer to stay indoors.

How are you holding up during this pandemic?

3 thoughts on “Our New Normal, Holding Out Hope, Finances, Entertainment, and Staying Healthy

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