Hubs and I live a pretty simple lifestyle, but it’s about to get simpler. Good ol’ 2011 will bring some challenges, but we’ve had a lot of family meetings lately on how we’re going to deal with those challenges.
One of my biggest goals for 2011 is to build an emergency fund. And, of course- having savings is not the same as having an emergency fund. The catch is that I am going to have some more bills next year as my student loan re-payments will begin in January, even though I’ll still be in school (due to being enrolled in only 3 credits and already using up my “grace period” when I graduated early from college).
So, how does a student who is still writing a thesis pay back loans? Simple. I just work harder. I’ve already requested more hours at my job, and I think they will be granted. I also edit personal statements for students hoping to gain entry to college/graduate school/medical school/etc. on the side. I’ve had a lot of success with this lately – congrats to all those students who snagged some competitive admissions this year. (If you, your child, or someone you know is interested in this service, simply e-mail me at [email protected])
Here are a few of the ways that I’m hoping to cut down on costs next year:
1. I posted on Craigslist to rent out my guest room. I have had zero bites (except creepy spammers) so I am not sure this will work out. Instead of renting it out for a year, I just asked for a short term 5 month lease. This will cover me until I graduate and will allow me not to be “stuck” if the roommate situation turns out badly. I just keep hoping someone will e-mail me and say “Hi! I’m Sarah! I love HGTV and pink spray paint too!” but so far I’ve only got “Hi… call me. Xoxo, Creepy Spammer.
2. Majorly scale back on groceries. We already scaled back a lot this year by going several weeks without eating out. We have slipped on this lately (we get tired of doing dishes every night!) but are back on track. I’m currently trying to focus on purchasing meals, instead of throwing things in the basket that look good….. like oreos… and gushers…. and chips…. mmmmm
3. Clean, clean, and do some more cleaning. We still have boxes from moving in together. We have lots of stuff. I hate stuff. I already sold many of my clothes to consignment stores and on ebay this year, but there is more. It’s time to face the music. I want this house clean and by clean I mean crazy-minimalist-I-sold-most-of-my-stuff-clean.
4. Sell tv, cut off cable. I went an entire year of grad school looking forward to dinnertime where I would sit with my microwave meal and watch a 30 minute episode of some favorite show on my computer. Now, I am spoiled with my husband’s mega-tv. It sucks up my time, and let’s face it – I have a lot of work to do. This is very contingent on my roommate, however, as I have advertised shared use of the tv as a perk of living here.
5. And the big one, sell hubby’s car.
Why the heck are we taking these extreme measures to save some cash next year? Actually… because of some pretty spectacular news… The hubs got into a very cool MPH/MD program, and he’s going away to school. It’s time for us to switch with me working and him schooling – except there is a smidge of an overlap and some plane flights to pay for so we can still see each other.
Please keep your fingers crossed for us as we take this major step in our lives and in our marriage. We know that things are going to get pretty tight around here, but they will be worth it in the long run….
….and trust me, no amount of salary or income 10 years into the future is going to change the ways of this Budget Blonde. As you can imagine, hubs’ medical school loans will dwarf mine many times over. We’ve estimated that if we’re good and continue to live well below our means that it will take us 12-15 years to pay off that school debt when he’s all said and done. We very much envision our future in a modest home (with modest vintage/garage saled/crafted items inside) with modest cars doing exactly what we love.
We’re crazy excited/nervous/worried about these big changes. Please join us on what’s sure to be a bumpy ride!
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