Friday, March 4, 2011

How it's done

In my last post an anonymous person said they don't know how I live in NY with two sisters and as a student. Maybe other people don't know either. So, here is how.

  • There are two jobs - one on the books, one off the books
  • We get the Sunday newspaper and cut coupons
  • My older sister has a job that contributes to bills
  • My youngest sister pays for her own cell phone. Sort of. We have a family plan, that we divide in thirds and she pays for her third
  • I applied for every single scholarship I could find
  • Because I am going to a CUNY school the actual tuition is paid for, so the scholarships I get go towards living expenses
  • We really don't spend a lot of money - our biggest expense is easily food
  • We don't pay for cable because I'd be willing to live without it but Josh isn't, and we pay for half of internet
  • Taxis are really very rarely used. It's not unusual for the three of us to go an entire month without taking a cab. Josh is shocked if he goes five days without taking one. Five thousand things are perfect examples of how we're different, and cabs are on that list. If I have a bunch of heavy bags I will just plan to walk slowly and distribute the weight really carefully and maybe have to stop a few times. Josh thinks he can't get home without taking a cab. If it's raining, I will just plan to get wet. Josh will plan to take a cab. 
  • Student discounts exist, although they're usually for things we rarely spend money on, but still, before we do anything, we check if we get a student discount
  • You know how every article about saving money tells you not to buy a coffee at Starbucks because they add up? It's true, they do. What's habit for others is a treat for me. Same with eating out. 
  • Josh. The truth is, if we were not living with him, we'd be living in a 7th floor walk-up studio. One bedroom if we were lucky. A lot of the awesome things we have that keep me from freaking out are directly related to Josh and his family. I could spend a decade in therapy dissecting this last one.


Nina said...

I really admire you for how carefully you budget and how hard you work to make things work for you and your sisters. Seriously, you're amazing and every time I read your blog, I think that. I also think it's wonderful that you can live with Josh and contribute to each other's well-being, and part of that is being able to live in a nice place with plenty of room for the four of you.

OTRgirl said...

You're an amazing manager already. You manage your time, your resources and how to handle life in ways that constantly impress me.

Anonymous said...

Generally a lurker because I have to read on the fly. Just wanted to say I agree with the above posters. You are an amazing manager. I think you have a masters degree from the school of hard knocks! Life can be a great teacher if we are open to learning the lessons. Clearly, you are! As I have commented before, you should right a book, girl.
As a reader of your blog, I would be really interested to hear more about your brother and your mom and your grandmother and what happened to them. In your past writing you have mentioned not having a father. I know I have no right to ask you to expand on that, but if you ever feel like writing more on these subjects, I am an interested reader. Your story is facinating.

Anonymous said...

I read your post & my first thought was that you don't owe anyone an explaination about how you live. I think it's curiosity that we all have about others survial / money issues. But then again, I'm sort of a private hermit who lives a public life via my work.

The City is an expensive place to live ~! Unlike other places in the country (USA) & although I live remote now, I understand the confines of a budget.

You are doing well. You are a beacon to your beloved sisters. Josh is a good soul ~ a privileged person who recognizes your heart.

Bee well ~
Alaska Lady

Yankee, Transferred said...

As the mother of two daughters around your age (18 and 22), and a person who thought she was teaching her kids how to be thrifty and independent, I can tell you that you are in a class by yourself when it comes to survival skills. You are resourceful, careful, thoughtful, and hard working. I always marvel at your stories.
Yankee T.

Mizasiwa said...

I too would read anything you write anywere - Im sure you could get a paid writting gig on the the blogsphere....truly your writting is awsome as is your story no matter what parts your telling us. I am a bit of a voyeur becouse NYC is the place I always dreamed of living in and being a writter!! I think that Josh's family love you becouse they know how good your are for him!!

Anonymous said...

"A lot of the awesome things we have that keep me from freaking out are directly related to Josh and his family. I could spend a decade in therapy dissecting this last one"

You could try to think of those things as the universe trying to make it up to you a tiny bit. You and your sisters deserve to be taken care of a little, wherever it comes from.