The Thug Life

One of the pervasive aspects of nursing school that I’ve started to experience profoundly lately is being completely broke-@$$ broke.  It started at the beginning of the first semester when after 6 weeks of nursing school, I decided to quit my job because I was overwhelmed, stressed out, and not making that much money anyways. B automatically supported my decision…perhaps a bit too hastily. I had also asked B to take control of the finances until I could get my act together. Major mistake. I love B but I’ve learned that in our relationship he is good at making the cash and I’m good at counting it out. It’s not because I’m better at math than he is because I’m not. It’s because I’m meticulous and fiscally rigid. I’m the ENFORCER. I get the fun job…to be the buzz kill. Awesome.

So this past weekend I was studying for my test or what not and B says, “We’re not going to have enough money to pay rent”. Ummmm, what, you’re just now telling me this? So that night I did something I really should have done right after I quit my job. I discovered how to download some nursing books as PDFs thanks to an awesome classmate and started to putting my books and everything I could find on sale on Amazon and Ebay. So far, I’ve made 20 bucks. Wonk-wonk. This is what I get for not applying for any scholarships yet either. Seriously, if you are in nursing school, please just suck it up and apply for scholarships. You can thank me later.

I noticed that I had 20 bucks left on my student loan card and we were running low on food. So I sent B on a mission for some meat and veggies. When I actually start putting an effort towards it not only am I THE ENFORCER but I’m also the stttttttttretcher. I can streeettttch out $20 bucks worth of food and make dinners for a week if I really have to. Although I’m getting really tired of grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken, and sausage.  I’ve been cooking like it’s my job lately. We’ve made a low-country boil, chicken and mushrooms with a garlic wine sauce, a Thai mix of potatoes, carrots, coconut milk seasonings, noodles etc. I found out that if you have tortilla shells you can pour a little lime juice, vegetable oil, and salt on them and baked them until they are brown and they make delicious tortilla chips. I’ve learned is that there are a lot of cheap vegetables that can really go a long way. Being poorer than dirt is making me so gosh darn resourceful suddenly.

Also, I am the queen of substiting. I’m a major chocoholic and we’ve had no chocolate left in the house for days now so I went on pinterest and I found this recipe for chocolate coffee cookies. I live on coffee these days so apparently I need it in my cookies too. I asked B if I could substitute brown sugar for white sugar and he had a major conniption. “No, there is molasses in it. It won’t taste the same!” So I searched the internet and I actually found out that cookies tend to taste better with brown sugar. The recipe also called for semi-sweet morsels but all I had was cocoa powder so I followed the instructions on the cocoa powder box and mixed it with some Crisco and brown sugar. I love these cookies! I’ve made them twice so far. Even one of my classmate likes them which is huge to me because they aren’t really typical cookies but they are good. Basically they are sort of dryer and not as buttrery as most cookies but they have a great snap. I sprinkled them with powdered sugar and that takes it to the next level. I would post a picture but I’m afraid if I do my entire post will get deleted. I’m still learning how to use wordpress. How do I post pictures?

So I have no money at all for awhile but this is a good thing because I’m cooking home every night, selling my stuff, getting mentally prepped to apply for scholarships (…as soon as I finish all my school projects), and I’m the head accountant again. Also, I’ve gotten scores in the 90s on my second and third test in Basic Med-Surg. Tests are worth so many points in my nursing program that I finally learned that for tests I have to go all out. I’ve started downloading the podcasts and listening to the lectures, going over our notes a million times, answering study guide questions, taking practice tests on the Evolve student resources website, and getting minimal sleep the night before the test. It’s working!

This weekend I have two projects to work on. I’m procrastinating now but I’m proud that I turned in my paper due on Thursday on Wednesday and I had my second Clinical Prep Form done on Thursday even our clinical ended up getting cancelled this Friday. Baby steps, people. Baby steps. It’s going to take a lot of tough love to completely break my procrastination habit. Procrastination and I are very happy together.

This morning I got to sleep in until 8:45 am since clinical was cancelled and it was heavenly. I normally have to get up at 5 am. Then, B and I watched “21 Jump Street” while he worked. It is such a hilarious movie! Then, we decided we were sick of grilled cheese sandwiches and headed to McDonald’s. We shouldn’t of spent money on Mcdonald’s but we needed some variety. If it wasn’t for the fact that I am poorer than a country mouse, I  would have never gotten the chance to try 20 Mcnuggets, 2 medium fries, and 2 drinks for 10 dollars. America, the great! Glorious golden arches! I don’t even want to think about how much cholesterol or how many carbs I’ve consumed lately. And of course, we are on the vascular lecture in Med Surg-I can feel my blood vessels constricting right now.  Again though wanting variety  is a bad excuse because cheap produce that goes a long way includes corn, beans, carrots, onions, kale, bagged spinach, bananas, frozen fruits of veggies, potatoes, and dried lentils. Take notes, self.

With the recent political news, I do want to clarify that I would never accept or take advantage of any form of charity or public assistance no matter how poor I am. Unless, it comes in the form of student loans. I guess I’m a masochist. I only accept assistance if it collects interest.  Oh yes, and I am thankful to have private health insurance but I need to switch to a cheaper one in order to live, be in nursing school, and have a wedding. I have a lot of financial house keeping to do.

If you have any tips on surviving the “thug life” of a nursing student, leave a comment. I’d could use some free advice. And if that advice is, “Get a job”…I will, right after I’m done planning this wedding.

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2 Responses to The Thug Life

  1. Athena says:

    Plan for fun money. Even when you’re poor. If you budget in, say, $30 a month, you’ll know that you have that $30 to spend on whatever you want, all at once or in little doses, and you won’t give in to pressure one day and decide to blow $300 because of stress.

    Also, coupons are your friend. Scrounge the internet or invest in a Sunday paper.

    Even if it wasn’t nursing school, I understand a bit about having to relearn how to work in school. (Those 4 years at UCF and out of the thumb of IB made me extremely lenient and lazy, a state of mind I had to remedy quickly when I got to MUSC.) It’s tough, but once you get the pattern, or A pattern, it gets easier. (For me, I would go to bed early the night before a test then get up at least 4 hours prior to the exam – even if that meant 3am – to start my heavy cramming/memorization ritual. One long slog through for a comprehensive review of everything, one faster run through of the key points, and then quick repetitions of anything that had been hard for me to learn/was too fact oriented to be easy to memorize until about 15 minutes prior to the test [or my first class]. If I could do this – and I didn’t always, let’s be serious – I would make at least a B. Which was passing and ultimately is all that matters)

    Good luck with everything! You can do it. 🙂

    Oh, and reply to my text. ! If I’m coming I’ve got to get plane tickets, and I need to get them sooner rather than later because I’m currently pretty poor (as I’m entering the other end of the student loan equation). To do this, I need a date to look at.

    • bstobsn says:

      Thanks Athena! $30 a month for fun money sounds pretty good. I feel bad when B works so hard and doesn’t have any money left after bills and wedding expenses. You’re right though just a little bit can stop you from going on a shopping spree. Although I really can’t remember the last time we went on a shopping spree…tends not to happen when you drop a couple of Gs on wedding photography, a wedding dress, or a wedding planner. I guess that’s our shopping spree. The worst thing I think for us was eating out too often, but we’re really pushing not to. I need to spend more time couponing but I get overwhelmed with all the different coupon websites. Also, we usually buy meat and produce…usually not too many coupons there. I can definitely use some coupons for paper products though.

      I used to get up at 5am to study for my pharmacology course (oddly enough, Ms. Pharmacist) because my brain tends to work better in the morning but for some reason I’ve been listening the lectures a day or two before the test and then studying notes and answering study guide questions for as long as it takes the night before. The worse part is that we have lecture after a test for 3 hours…so I sit there with my eyes glazing over.

      Did Amy send you the date for the bachelorette party? I have a date so far…that’s about all. I’m hoping Amy takes the reigns on this one. Otherwise, I’ll have to stop procrastinating so much. ; )

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