Monday, August 29, 2016

5 random things | grad school & apartment life

i feel like i have so much to write about over the past few months as we've sold our house, moved to a new city, and i've started grad school in a completely new field. however, being a grad student does not lend time to be able to write a coherent post. so i've just decided to write down some random thoughts i've had these past few weeks. 

1. for some reason i thought it would only take me a week to unpack our apartment and get everything set. (#overachiever) oh, how wrong i was! i definitely rested more the first few weeks after moving than i was planning to, but i also definitely needed it in a huge way. so it was nice to take things slowly. it took about a month to get the apartment the way we want it, but it feels so cozy now and we love the setup!

2. grad school is nothing like undergrad. i was expecting it to be a lot more work, and let me tell you it definitely is! i knew the schedule would be a lot different, but i guess i didn't realize the extent to which i wouldn't be able to get work done during the daytime. there is also no such thing as free time. grad school is basically like having a full time job and then having to do all of the grad work on top of it during nights and weekends. i am taking 5 classes, on top of a 16 hour per week internship, on top of being a wife, etc.

an example of my week is this:
M: classes 9-4
T: classes 9-4
W: internship 8-5
Th: internship 8-5
F: classes 9-12

also, each class has reading and writing assignments each week. generally it is about 150 pages to read, and dozens of pages to write depending on the week. the readings are very dense, so it takes a lot longer than just sitting down to read hundreds of pages in a Harry Potter book, for instance. ;) it is super intense, but i feel like i am going to learn so much! i am also slowly getting back into the school mindset, it is tough after being able to leave work at work the past 4 years, and having my nights and weekends free. i am adjusting to the fact that during the semester i will just have to say no to a lot of things, because school has to be the priority right now. it is a hard adjustment, but i know school is only for a season and these 2 years will pass by quickly. 

3. with apartment life, we get the pleasure of picking up our dog's poop. let me tell you, it is something else. we have about 500 doggie bags laying by our door, and sometimes we will have to use 2 bags just in one outside trip. our basset also tends to go everytime she is outside, even though she only eats once a day?! so we are using about 5-10 bags each day. so, yeah, it's super fun. and the apartment complex does a DNA test on everyone's dogs so they can identify any poop that is not picked up and fine you for it. i am not even kidding, they do DNA testing on dogs!! also, the nearest dog can is across the street, so we are now the proud new owners of a diaper genie. haha!

4. not only is grad school an entire different ballgame than undergrad, but social work is an entire different ballgame than accounting as well. you probably are thinking "duh" after reading that statement, but it is so different just in the way you write, the way you read, the thinking process, and the structure of classes. so needless to say it's a huge learning curve for me, but i am so excited about all the ways i will be challenged and grow in this program. not only in a professional way, but in a personal way as well. also, the awesome thing about social work is that you have a huge paper due for each class, but no exams! holla!!

5. apartment life hasn't been that big of an adjustment for us. we were able to get a first floor apartment, so we have a back door that opens to our patio and grass, so it is not a huge ordeal to take our dog out. our apartment is actually a little bit more square footage from our house, so we are able to spread out a bit more. plus we have a walk-in closet and 2 extra closets! going from 1 small closet in the bathroom to 3 is like living in luxury! ;) we like the layout a lot, and our apartment honestly feels like a house. that is, until we hear the group of kids outside in the afternoons and the walls feel like they are going to come crashing down! ;)

what are some random life updates of yours lately?!

Friday, August 05, 2016

living on one income + groupon goods

this is a sponsored post, but all opinions are 100% my own. 

i've now been out of work for a month, and we are slowly adjusting to living on one income. so far, it hasn't been that big of a change because we have the money we made from selling our house. however, most of that money will be used for grad school, so we can't really use it as a cushion and we are working on re-creating our budget to accommodate no longer having two sources of income.

prioritizing what you spend your money on is really a huge thing. at first it seems like a really simple concept, but there are definitely a lot of gray areas. and because it's so personal and different for everyone, there is no one size fits all. so this is where we are - learning how to prioritize our money and how we want life to look the next 2 years while i pursue my masters degree. 

we knew we would be spending more money up front as we settle in, because there are a lot of hidden costs that come with moving. luckily we had enough furniture to fill up our apartment, but we did need to buy a few things that we didn't have because they just weren't needed at our old house. for instance, we now have a guest room since we are living away from all of our family and friends, so we needed to buy an extra bed and mattress. we also have a third bedroom which i've made into an office for me to have a focus area once school starts, so i needed to get a desk. in our kitchen we have an island which we purchased 2 stools for to use as extra eating space. 

luckily we found some great deals and got all of these big furniture pieces for a reasonable price. we don't want to spend a ton of extra money (which is why i've been making things like the crafts in the picture above), but we did want to get just a few quality things to spruce up the place since we will be here for 2 years. one place to look for quality home decor for a good price is groupon goods. i knew that groupon had local deals and coupons, but i'm just now discovering their goods! for instance, i have my eye on this metal photo print possibly for our apartment! i love this easy way of saving money from groupon! i can't wait to get the last few things to make our apartment really feel like home! 

how do you use groupon to save money?