Not sleeping isn’t the answer

15 06 2011

If you follow me on twitter you know I’ve been up since around 4 am. I”m stressed out and not sleeping isn’t really going to help.  And sadly my stress has nothing to do with the hockey game tonight. Ever since I”ve been pregnant I’ve been trying to figure out what the hell I’m going to do. Then I decided to stop thinking about, cuz you know sticking your head in the sand is always a good idea. After my mat leave, my ENTIRE salary will be going to childcare and it will still be short by a couple hundred dollars. I have never ever lived pay cheque to pay cheque.  We live pretty bare bones as it is right now, yes we’re comfortable but we don’t go to movies, out for dinner, on fancy vacations etc. I don’t know where to get an extra $1000.00 a month. I need that money for saving and actually paying down my mortgage.  My husbands salary can basically cover mortgage and all our bills, but then we have nothing. Nothing in case the roof goes, nothing if one of gets hurt and can’t work.

In addition to my grad stipend I’ve been TAing at another university, which has been great buffer but unfortunately those TAships are not guaranteed so I can not put them into my budget. (I don’t budget for money that I don’t have).  Unfortunately I”m 3 years into my PhD with no publications and an MSc that produced a 2nd author paper so I’m not super competitive for scholarships. Outside of selling illegal drugs I don’t know what to do. Not taking the year off would sadly screw me more financially as monkey would have to be fulltime daycare vs after school care (which is 1/2 the cost) so that is not an option. I may be able to put the inmate in only PT if my inlaws can do 1 day a week and my mom another day. But we all no how much I want to do that. My only option is to figure out how to increase my income by $10K.  Any bright ideas? Do I start putting ads on my blog posts? Really how much money can that raise? Do sell my soul to the devil?




5 responses

15 06 2011

What about tutoring or running exam cram-session tutorials? A friend of mine runs a one-day 1st year physics review session at the end of each semester. She charges each student $50, and she gets over a 100 students attending. That’s a good chunk of change for 1 day of work (plus prep, but it’s the same content everytime, so after the first time it’s easy).

For tutoring, you could easily charge $30/hour. Lots of kids parents are willing to fork out that kind of dough.

Or, instead of daycare could you hire a mother’s helper? Sometimes that’s much cheaper, but you or Mr. SM would have to work from home.

Anyway, not sure if these are helpful suggestions or not, but I hope you can figure something out.

16 06 2011

I agree with Alyssa. Private tutoring. Not just at university but high schools. I made a lot of money in my final year tutoring high school kids. I charged $25 to start and then raised the rate to $35. I tutored one high school kid for an entire year on all her subjects – plus if you’re good word travels. In Canada the Sylvain Learning Centre is always looking for math/science highschool tutors – if you’ve done high school math it won’t be a problem. They provide the clients and take a cut but I think you can make pretty good money.

In the university environment, the best way is to offer private tutoring for a class that you have already TA’d. If you’re known as a really good TA you can probably get a fair number of clients either privately or as Alyssa suggested. At my old university, a bunch of us would do exactly what Alyssa suggested but with the Genetics Intro class – but you can’t be a TA in the class when you do it.

21 06 2011

Also maybe look into nanny sharing with other mother’s in your area? Sometimes this can be cheaper then daycare and more flexible. For example maybe you could work 11-7, hubbie works 8-5, so you need a nanny only from 11-5? You could also consider taking out some student loans and using that for daycare. Not ideal, but will buy you a little extra time. We are doing this right now since hubbie is in law school. But his projected income is going to bounce up much more so then when I went from grad school to post-doc. Finally, are there any childcare subsidies in your state. I apologize I haven’t been reading your blog for long but in some states if you are low income you qualify for daycare subsidy, maybe even food stamps, all of which can save you considerable amount of money in a given year. I feel for you though, it is crazy stressful, so good luck!

22 06 2011

Alyssa / GPD – I’m looking into the tutoring thing. It will probably be more work than the extra TAing I’ve been doing at my MSc Uni BUT it will be a guaranteed income which I need. I have come connections with the profs at the Uni close to me, so I’m going to chat with them.

Zee – Welcome to the Blog! I have a potential nanny share person as well I’m looking at using in home daycare vs the University system. I LOVE the university system bc of the oversight etc, but alot of in-home DCs give quality care at a much lower cost. At the uni it will be $1500 for the afterschool + inmate care, whereas the inhome system will be around $1100. Unfortunately our family make too much $$ to qualify for subsidies but not enough to actually pay our bills and save for the kids uni and our retirement. Ain’t life grand?!

23 06 2011

Yeah we pay $1200/month for daycare sometimes when I feel bad I look up how much daycare costs at places like San Francisco and New York and then I feel a smidge better.

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