Luxuries that are actually necessities :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Luxuries that are actually necessities :)
13
Wed, 03-06-2013 - 9:19pm

I have been working full time & going to school full time since Jan. I've been able to maintain "family fun day" and the kids haven't really been impacted. I've also managed to continue to get exercise 3hrs/week (I'd like more, but you gotta draw the somewhere!). My Dh tells me that he can't believe how well I am juggling everything...he has barely noticed much difference.

What I've LEARNED through the process is that there are some things I do that helps me and that you may think are luxuries. But for me, in my situation right now, they have become necessities. Here is my list - share yours if you'd like!

- Starbucks. I know it is expensive. But when I spend that much on a coffee, I sip it and enjoy it. Call it Dee's form of meditation. I sit, breathe and sip. I stay in the moment and remind myself that this will ALL be worth it in 2 years. Plus, I have this moment and hey! It's a pretty good moment.

- PRV/TIVO. When I do have some time, I enjoy doing my exercises to television. I know most ppl would prefer music but I get that on the bus & at work. When Biggest Loser is taped (its on when I'm at school), I watch with w/the kids and we time how many situps we can do it in a minute. DS2 is only 2 but he can do ove 40! He hasn't figured out how to do a proper pushup yet tho...looks like the arched cat yoga pose, lol.

- Tablet. I haven't purchased one yet but I am fast realizing it is essential. I use my transit time as study time and I am breaking my back lugging all these books around. You can access all the texts online if you have a mobile device. Sometimes my bag is so full, I don't have room for the all the food I have to bring so I just don't eat. I leave the house at 6:30am and return at 10:15pm...so I have a whole day of eating to do.

Dee

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2001
Thu, 03-07-2013 - 1:09pm

Dee, 

I'm impressed!  Once - many years ago- I also worked full time and went to school full time when my girls were young.  I was a single parent at the time (with A LOT of help) from my parents (though I didn't live with them or anything).  I swear I was tired for at least three years after I graduated - lol.  But you sound like you aren't slowing down at all.  Good for you!!

I agree with you about having some luxuries (if you can afford them).  I personally switched from drinking Starbucks to drinking a particularly good coffee from a gas station chain.  I didn't want to give up the coffee habit completely, and making coffee at home just never tasted the same.  Now if I use my own 16 oz cup (which I almost always do), I can get my coffee for $1.04 (and every other week or so I get a text coupon for a free cup).  Yum!

My personal luxuries are related to vacation/travel sort of things.  I find treating myself to a small getaway (even just one night) helps me regain my focus on keeping my spending in line.  It doesn't have to be an expensive getaway; last month I cashed in some frequent flyer points that were about to expire to stay at a hotel in downtown Chicago for absolutely FREEEEE . . . otherwise I love to simply tent camp . . .

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 03-07-2013 - 2:40pm

Well, admitedly I am sticking with my working 3 days a week and going to school part-time, but I can totally see why you are pushing to get done.  I just found out I still have 6 more 8 credit terms before I have a transfer degree.  And this is after Spring that is coming up.  Oh, and I would actually still have one more course to take after the 6 terms.  I could do 12 credit terms, but oddly enough, I wouldn't really shave hardley any time off.  I did find out that there is a state college that offers a business degree 100% on-line!  (If I keep going for a bachelors)

Anywho, I totally get what you are saying.  Definately get that tablet if you can keep your books at home.  Although admitedly it isn't the same.  Some of those texts are HUGE!  I can hardley carry my bag from my car to my office some days.  There is a reason college students wear tennis shoes and sweatshirts!

Funny you bring up Starbucks, because when ever I went to the math lab for a test, I treated myself to fancy coffee at the college.  I figured if I had to take a darn handwritten test, I deserved one!  It really does help.  

So, I say keep doing what you are doing!

Serenity
Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Fri, 03-08-2013 - 1:37am

I'm not a coffee drinker, but local afficionados of the java bean tell me that the AeroPress, when combined with the right kind of coffee, can yield fantastic results. I've made coffee for my students (who asked for coffee), and they seem to like it. Some of them were former baristas with discerning taste. This may be a little cheaper in the long run than Starbucks.

I probably allow myself too many luxuries...

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Fri, 03-08-2013 - 9:50pm

I had 80 credits from 15 years ago on an economics degree. But I decided I didn't want to do that and lost my focus. Most of my life experience is contract management or accounting so that it what I'm doing. Unfortunately they changed the program and I started back at 36 credits! Heartwrenching...

I have a deadline: spring 2015 to finish so I have to push through as much as I can. I will do a 15 credit summer semester if my work will let me but it is probably a long shot!

We can do this :)

Dee

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Fri, 03-08-2013 - 9:52pm

Yes, the mini- vacation. Ah, I miss those. That money is going towards school now. But I agree that is a fantastic way to "make it all worth it".

I have to give it to YOU, a single parent??? Wow. I think it is tough enough to just be a single parent without school.

Dee

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Sat, 03-09-2013 - 7:30am
Oh Dee what a busy mommy you are! Go Dee Go! I have a grind and brew coffee machine at home. It was $100 and we have had it for two years. We buy beans at Costco and its pretty darn good! Plus there is no star bucks around here. Love my PVR, could not exist without it I fear. And I love my cell phone and lap top! Plus I sell avon and order myself thing with my profits. I like the slide shoes for home and I have a lipstick/gloss problem lol. We must have some fun right?!
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2010
Sat, 03-09-2013 - 7:33am

I agree on the little luxuries that can help.  I only work part time but my husband is hardly ever home so I juggle work and my little one's activities by myself mostly.

I'm a magazine person.  I have a subscription to Good Housekeeping but if a cover catches my eye, I'll throw it in with the rest of my purchases.  I get an additional magazine a month or so.

My YMCA membership as well.  I'm an employee so I get a discounted rate, but that $25 a month has been a lifesaver some days.  I can take her to the pool to swim or just drop her in childcare for 2 hours to exercise or just think without that tiny voice calling "mommy" every two minutes lol. 

Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Sat, 03-09-2013 - 11:38am

$25/month is a pretty good price for a gym membership. I don't know what you get at your location, but one could easily pay a few times what you're paying. It's such a deal that it almost doesn't seem like a luxury.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2010
Sat, 03-09-2013 - 1:24pm

It's the employee rate for a family.  $63 individual and $88 for a family for non-employees.  I call it a luxury because it's 30%of what I take home in a month.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Sat, 03-09-2013 - 1:24pm

If I were looking for things to cut from the budget, gym would be the first to go. We have $1 swims here at the community pools and I can work out with gravity, skipping rope, etc. There are also shows you can tape - like Jillians Michael's body is prefer a "class" style workout.

I had a Tim Horton's coffee instead of Starbucks on Friday - saved 2.35. I think I'll start cutting down and using Timmy's when I need to indulge.

Dee

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