Monday, January 30, 2012

Money bummers

In my daily life I don't think much about my salary. But this week two things happened;

1. I got my W-2, and that reminded me that others are making a lot more than I am. But I'm happy and fulfilled in my work, darn it!

2. We ran out of money while I was checking out at the grocery store and I had to physically put food back. With a line behind me. That was mortifying, and that DID NOT make me happy.

There were several factors leading to the grocery store incident: We still shop like single people despite being a family of five (organic, name brands, treats, you name it). My last paycheck was before Christmas, so there were five weeks on this check. We spent money traveling over Christmas.

But I have to admit that I'm having this thought: "We are two Ph.D's with secure jobs. We shouldn't be having these difficulties. Professors are supposed to be- not wealthy- but comfortable."

That is entirely selfish and entitled, I know. Forgive me. All of the professors I have been exposed to clearly do not have to clip coupons. Money was not a motivator for me going into academia, but that expectation must be in there somewhere. Guess I need an attitude/ gratitude adjustment.

One thing this money crunch is good for: if I ever decide I can't stand the "separated family" thing, I will learn better how to survive below the poverty line. This is what would happen if I quit my job and moved the family to live in Major Urban Area on Hub's post-doc salary.


  1. Oh, you have all my sympathy. We ARE living in Medium Urban Area on one post-doc's salary and we miss the food stamp cut-off by $113. Postdoc salaries suck.

  2. Ugh. That stinks. My husband and I have the "We are two educated people, why are we not more comfortable?" talk often- like after we meet friends for dinner and they use the valet to park their BMW while we hoofed it from the T in the cold.

    That said- we shop like poorer people. Some generics are totally acceptable (cereal, laundry detergent, spices, etc). Other items you have to get the name brand (ie soda, Mayo, Ben and Jerry's). The other thing we did was scale back on the organics- we try and get the 'dirty dozen' organic (grapes, apples, etc.) and get the other stuff conventional (bananas, oranges, potatoes).

  3. So Eli and Ms. Rabett were walking to the car after a family wedding, past all the BMWs, Lexii, Mecedes, etc. when Ms. Rabett remarked, gee, all the other people in your family are doing well. Eli replied (without thinking as these things go) yeah, but we are doing what we want. EOS