Thursday, April 9, 2009

Balancing Time & Money

Last week, JD at Get Rich Slowly had a great post about finding the balance between time and money. As someone who’s working incredibly hard to get out of debt, I know that struggle too well. Last Saturday, I went to my hometown to visit with my parents and attend a family party. Everyone was talking about what they were doing for Easter. My grandmother asked me if I’d be coming to Easter dinner, and I sadly had to say no, I couldn’t come because I had to work.

I miss a lot of family parties. My Sunday shifts at the inn mean that I can’t attend birthday parties, or christenings, or anniversaries. I can’t go to Easter dinner. Missing these times with my family is hard. My grandparents aren’t going to be around forever, really no one will be, and it hurts to think that I’m missing spending valuable time with them now. At the same time, I don’t really have much of a choice if I want to get out of student loan debt before I’m 35. And I really, really want to get out of student loan debt by the time I’m 35.

I wish I had the financial stability to have only one job so that I could see my family whenever I wanted to. Having more than one day off per week would be nice, too. I’m still young, but all this working is starting to get to me. Not only do I work a full time job plus Sundays at the inn, but I also often pick up cover shifts for my co-workers at the inn during the week from 5-10 after I’ve already worked a full day at my other job. Not to mention the emergency phone, which starts to get busy this time of year with heating/cooling complaints; I had my first one at 12:30am this morning. It would be great to have just the full-time job, but I don’t think I can afford to do this for a few more years.

I hope I’m making the right decision, and that I haven’t died of exhaustion by that point.


savings said...

I know what you mean. I spent one summer in college doing an unpaid internship 5 days a week, so I had to work on the weekends just to make ends meet. It was exhausting! When I was in grad school, I was working 6-7 days a week (full time job, and I'd pick up extra shifts at my second job as often as possible). Combined with my thesis and classes, plus a long distance relationship, it was tough!

But this second job has put you in a golden spot, so it's totally worth it for a while :-) Just not forever.

Dr. Faith said...

It really is a delicate balance. And with my particular "full time" job they expect us to work a 50-60hr week minimum. Thankfully I have a pretty flexible "part time" job, but the downside to that is I don't get a whole lot of money.

With my personal relationships I go for the 50/50 rule. If I backed out of the party, get together, whatever for working once, the next time I go - especially if I don't have to pay much/anything. That way I can work down the debt and still keep my relationships. I don't want to be a Scrooge with all the money in the world, but no friends to enjoy life with. =)