Thursday, June 16, 2011

Living on $60.00/week

So, my goal for the end of this summer is to do two things:
1. pay down my medical debt - I currently owe $2450.00 to the hospital for emergency surgery.
2. pay off my credit cards.

This summer, I took an advising position that lasts about 5 weeks.  I work mostly half days advising freshman and transfer students.  My coworkers are great and I love my supervisors.  The pay is great, too. I make $750.00 for the five weeks.  It's great pay per hour and I am very thankful.  Most important, I am learning a ton from my students and colleagues alike.  I have contemplated over the past year possibly looking to become a DUS (director of undergraduate studies) since I really like mentoring my undergrads and am honestly more interested in developing them as human beings than just grading papers.  I may have some disdain for living with them or working out next to 100 lb perfect tan sorostitutes who are blathering away on the phone in the quiet room, but I realize that there are annoying people everywhere and college kids are particularly entitled.  I want to work to change that and open their eyes up to service, research, and knowledge.

I thought this job would be a great start.  It has allowed me to subsist through the summer without paychecks.  God answered my prayers, it all worked out, and now I am going to get some cash.  It's awesome, really.

Anyhow, because of my medical debt, I don't get to have a ton of fun this summer.  After running my budget, I am living on $60.00 of money for personal expenses, food, eating out, etc a week.  I realize when I put things on my CC in the summer, I have no clue what I am spending because a lot of my expenses are not the same.

$40.00 of this goes to food alone, generally.  Today I did shopping for the week ahead.  I bought a thing of paper towels, a huge thing of dish detergent, cheese, Chobani greek yogurt (I am obsessed and it keeps me healthy), pepsi throwback, organic pasta sauce, lunch meat, Magnum bars (which are my splurge), and some other staples.  With coupons, my total was $39.81.  And this is at the most expensive supermarket in town.  Every couple of weeks, I go to Aldi.  I buy a lot of staples there.  TBH, I kind of love it there.  I love the chocolate and the baking products as well as their new croissants.  Eh, they're American forms of croissants, but they are still damn good.

The other $20.00 I am trying to save.  No one is eating out right now.  We are all dirt poor, so that works.  The $20.00 will go towards my time spent with my best friend Abi who is coming in from the UK in a month. We will go have some cheap fun, no doubt.

Because I have a terrible espresso addiction, I try not to buy coffee out.  I will drink black drip coffee fine, but in the morning, I prefer to have a cappuccino or a mocha.  I had a moka pot, but that blew up.  I had a coffee pot, it broke (each within two days of one another!).  So, now I have a $36.00 espresso machine.  I was doubtful at first, but it is a great little machine.  I have easily saved $36.00 in coffee since I owned it.  The premium beans I buy range from $8.00 - $13.00 for half a pound and when I buy a pound, I get a free cup of coffee.  A half pound lasts me a month.  Milk is cheap.  Hershey's syrup is cheap.  $36.00 is less than 8 grande mochas.   People think I am nuts, but I refuse to pay to eat out when I can make something just as good at home.  I feel the same way about food.  I am a good cook.  I made lamb steak that I got on special last night.  It was $7.00 for a pound and a half.  I will get three meals out of it.  That would cost $20.00 out.  I go out once every few weeks, but I don't need to do it every day.

Because of the credit card problem, I have decided to take $60.00 out of the my account on a weekly basis. I only use my card for fixed expenses like gas.  When I fill up, it will be between 30 and 45 dollars.  I only fill up once every 3-4 weeks. I take my bike when possible.  The rest, is because my car gets great gas mileage.

I can do it.  I can get through the summer AND enjoy myself!


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