Yesterday, I was given a teaser of hope that I might return to part-time employment in the new year, probably sometime after April. It could not have come at a better time. I worked 19.75 hours of overtime in the last pay period and have consistently worked 10-15 hours of overtime per pay period since returning to full-time work a year and a half ago. That, plus all the teenager activities have left me tired and not taking good care of myself. With little time for exercise, poor food choices and using wine to decompress instead of getting enough rest I have gained twenty pounds in the past eighteen months. I don’t like how it looks and I don’t like how it feels.
I want very badly to return to part-time (read: about thirty-six to forty hours per week) so I have time to rest and exercise and write. It is going to be a bit of a squeeze money-wise between the car payment and the music lessons, but I am nothing if not determined and hard-working. I am making the following changes in the new year to accommodate my decreased paycheck:
1) sometime in the next couple months I will cut my hair off. I currently have long, blond hair. I have been coloring it for about ten years, the last time it was naturally this color, I was eleven years old. I currently get it colored eight times a year at $60 a pop and get it trimmed four times a year for $30. I will let it grow out grey, at least shoulder length. I can trim it myself saving myself $600/year. That doesn’t even account for the decreased need for shampoo and conditioner.
2) I will stop drinking wine (except for those special social occasions when I meet with a girlfriend for Whine & Wine, or another girlfriend for Adult Beverages with a Fire in the Fireplace.) This, I calculate will save about $1,000 per year. I will resume my meditation practice to de-stress–saves money and calories.
3) When my gym membership contract expires in August, I will not renew it. Between now and then, I will gather some exercises that I can do at home and combine that with speed walking in the park to regain my former fitness level. This will save $40/ month–so $200 this year and $480 every year thereafter.
4) I will cut the boy’s hair. I already have the clippers and can do a passably decent job. This saves $30 per son every six weeks, so $520 for the year. I will not cut beloved daughter’s hair. I did that once. It was not pretty.
5) I will take my water bottle to work every day, so I will not be tempted to buy a soda. I have cut back quite a bit on the sodas since this paying down the credit card challenge, but at my former level of one soda every workday, with an average cost of $1.50 each ( the ones in the office are $1.25, the ones at the convenience store are $1.72,) that will save about $375 per year.
Total estimated savings per year: $2,975. If I give up lattes, we can round it to an even $3,000.
Even without the money savings, these are positive changes. Let the New Year begin!