New Year, New Schedule, New Budget

I’ve kept it no secret, both in life and on this blog, that I worked my butt off in 2013. I’ve dropped the term “60 hour work week” into conversation so many times that I’ve started to annoy myself. I am so, SO happy to share that as of December 13, 2013 the work-like-crazy phase of my life has come to an end. As of that day I entered the world of the 40-hour work week, the world of one job. It was a really good day.

I picked up the part time job in October 2011 with the intention of working really hard, paying off some debt and quitting by May 2012. Then life happened and 26 months later…..Honestly, up until March 2013 I didn’t mind that lifestyle one bit. I loved both my jobs and it never felt like too much. And then in March I hit a wall. I just couldn’t sustain those hours any longer. I felt like I wasn’t giving my relationship and my friendships the time, energy and love they deserved. I certainly wasn’t giving myself the time, energy and love that I deserved. I felt like I was doing everything at 60% because that’s the only energy I could muster. Hitting that wall really inspired me to pay off my debt. I knew I couldn’t afford those payments on my non-profit salary while still living a lifestyle that I was comfortable with (an awesome one). Many people have a “debt-free day”, I had a “quit the pub day”, and it has been in my calendar since last May.

After the steady stream of family in town and the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I am so excited to feel like I have free time again. Every Friday for the last 2+ years I would work 8 hours at one job and then head straight to the other for another 6-8 hour shift. But not last Friday. I went for a run. Then Kurt and I went out for sushi and to the rec center for a swim. It was AMAZING. And when I woke up on Saturday morning, I didn’t feel like I needed a few hours to myself to unwind. I know that me and this new schedule are going to get on just fine.

However with this wonderful change in my schedule, there is also a harder one in my budget. My part time job brought in about 20-30% of my income each month. I’d like to say that I put 100% of that into debt repayment, but that wouldn’t be the truth. Sometimes I did, but there were other months that I didn’t. A lot of months in fact, I used that extra income to supplement dinners out and weekends away. Now that the option to pick up an extra shift when money is tight isn’t there any more, I have to admit, I’m a little worried. I’ve been watching my spending closely over the last few months and it’s pretty clear where I need to cut back: restaurants, take out, and wine. I’d like to cut my spending in these areas in half. The plan of attack? Limit myself to 3 dinners out a month. Trade an evening glass of wine for a cup of tea. And just stop eating take out, if I buy groceries properly I won’t have to. I’d also love to get my grocery bill down, but that is a whole other topic of conversation.

While the adjustment to earning less money will probably be tough at times, the adjustment to a more open schedule is one that will come very easily. Often in life you have to make trade offs. This is one of those times and I am so certain it will be worth it.

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10 thoughts on “New Year, New Schedule, New Budget

  1. I can relate to this post SO MUCH! I too spent far too long working 2 jobs and had zero time for myself. I too enjoyed my second job, and told myself that I’d use that money to pay down my debt but didn’t always do that.

    I haven’t worked that second job since April, and then in September started an entirely new job. I’m *still* not sure what to do with myself when I get home at 5pm and don’t have to go back to work – even though it’s been months.

    “Sacrificing” money for more time is without a doubt worth it. Hopefully it works out for you! Good luck!

    • Isn’t life glorious when you only work one job? I’m loving it so far. Every time I hear someone say they want to pick up a part time job to make some extra money, I just want to scream at them to put at 12-18 month cap on the idea and not just work two jobs indefinitely. But I never do….unsolicited advice is the worst. 🙂

  2. Sometimes when you work SO MUCH you end up spending more money anyway on things like take out, and other convenience items because you don’t have the time. Time is just as precious as money. So I’m glad you at least have that back. That schedule is only sustainable for so long. Make adjustments slowly so it’s not such a shock to the system! Good luck!

    • I know! I was spending $80 a month on take out because twice a week it was my only dinner option. I’m so looking forward to cooking more with my new schedule! 🙂

  3. Good for you. I go back and forth.. I work full time, sometimes I do contract work in the evenings and weekend, sometimes I volunteer. Right now I am mostly just working full time and it feels like a vacation in comparison. I actually have time to cook dinner at home now.. and brunch on the weekends!

  4. So jealous yet really excited for you. I work a second job as well and have for almost 5 years. 60+ work weeks are the norm for me. I’ve given myself until June 2015 and then I should have my debt paid off and be able to work only one job.

    Well done! Enjoy the free time you so deserve!

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