Budget Building and Keeping Sane

With the advent of grad school looming on the horizon, the goal of this next year is to squirrel away as much money as is humanly (and squirrely) possible. Thankfully, I’m down one bill as my car, as of last month, is officially mine. Writing one less check is wonderful. That leaves my two current loans to contend with in addition to the cost of transportation and the entertainment budget (ie, belly dance and poi).

Sadly, it seems like the ever-present job hunt is on hold. No one is willing to meet what I make at my current job. Most places are looking for people willing to work for minimum wage. I can’t afford a cut in pay just because I’m not thrilled with what’s paying the bills. Most of the professional, field-related jobs are out of my range. They want those 3-5 years of experience and I just can’t give it to them. I’m outclassed. I did apply for a copywriting position; while I didn’t get it, the hiring manager did email me back asking to keep my record on file. She said my resume was impressive, though I didn’t fit what they needed. Glimmers of hope in an impossible industry.

Hey, that’d be a great title.

So, the ever-important grad school stretch begins. I’m looking at doubling my current debt by doing this, but landing a job in the field I want will hopefully balance the scales. I’m hoping to save enough to really off-set the price tag. I’m not keen and taking out more loans, especially considering what happened with my college loans. This means working. A lot. I’m hoping I can get 25-30 hours a week. Being part-time, I’m on the low-end of the ladder. Picking up shifts isn’t fun, but being unable to pay my bills is less so.

The flip side of the working coin is that my days off are basically like gold. I can do laundry, I can lazy about in my pajamas, I can blog (my shift doesn’t start until 4.45 p.m. today), but then… the phone rings.

I realize I’m about to sound like an ungrateful brat. I accept this. My grandparents do a lot for me. If my grandmother hadn’t lent me the money, I’d have never made it to Cambridge, England for the summer programme. She’s always supported me and my insane ideas and listened to me whine and rant. Their van recently (and by that, I mean 3 months ago) broke down. When I’m home, or I’m going out, I always call to see if they want to leave the house. I know it’s boring being stuck at home all day (remember those two weeks I was unemployed?) and I do my best to invite them along.

But every day is pushing the limits of what I can take. And it’s the same four places: post office, Wal-Mart, Kroger, Publix. Sometimes the bank, Big Lots. Once a week is fine. I don’t mind. I usually need to get gas or need a craft run and everything is in the same area. But it’s every day. And I feel like a taxi. These aren’t 15-minute ventures. Sometimes I’m out for hours. It’s frustrating, and in a way I can’t necessarily bring up because grandmother is fond of dropping the Guilt Card. Then I’m upset and frustrated. I’d hoped the van would be fixed, but honestly, the thing is so old it just needs to be put out of its misery.

Life as it stands. I’m now off to take my grandparents to the post office and my sister to the store to look for star sprinkles. Tomorrow I’m going to my aunts for a 4th party, where I will be required to wear the bathing suit I just purchased, hear my uncle carry on about how veggie burgers have no place on his grill, and hopefully not be sunburned or die of heat stroke.

Next Blog: Book-Reading and Research

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1 Comment

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One response to “Budget Building and Keeping Sane

  1. Doesn’t it suck that so much revolves around making money, paying for things and trying to save money? I wish currency could come in smiles and good deeds sometimes. Or even reading. I’ve been reading too much lately. Actually, that’s not a bad thing! Makes up for my non-reading time in the past 6 months! 😉
    What are you reading and researching?

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