Thursday, May 13, 2010

Introducing: The Less Project


Are you ready for an adventure?

I've been alluding to our upcoming move in several of my posts lately. Here's the skinny:

At the end of June, my husband is starting an intense, two year graduate program to become a physician's assistant.

Which means that on June 1st, we move to our new town, 2 1/2 hours from where we currently live.

What this means for us is the following:

Less Space: We are downsizing from 1700 to 700 square feet of living space. Where is everything going to fit? Everything won't. Which means we are currently trying to toss/sell/giveaway lots of stuff--clothes, books, the thingamajiggies-that-have-been-in-the-closet-since-we-moved-in, and HALF (or more) of our furniture. When we get there, my challenge is to make 700 square feet feel uncluttered and homey.

Less Money: Did I mention that neither of us will be working? Well, let me rephrase. We'll be working our tails off (especially my hubby!) but no one will be paying us. Andrew will be a full time student, and I will be a full time mommy. We feel very strongly that this is what we are both supposed to do. Our income will consist of one year of GI Bill benefits (60% of tuition and a housing allowance) and the monthly check from renting out our current home. We saved money while my husband was deployed, but not enough to get us through school debt free. Our goal is to live simply and frugally and get through school with as little debt as possible (less than $20,000).

Less Time {Together}: A sweet friend of mine whose husband went through the exact same program confided to me that halfway through his schooling she found herself wondering "Do I even like my husband anymore? I don't know...I never see him!" While I hope that by God's grace I never find myself asking that question, I don't want to just assume that somehow our family's experience with PA school will be far superior to the next person's. We will have our struggles, and I know many days our time together will be very limited. My husband will have a big job ahead of him in learning how to balance academic and family life. My hope is to learn how to manage my time at home efficiently so that the time we do have as a family is just that--family time.

Over the next two years I will be chronicling our adventures in living with less space, money, and time together. I'll pass along what I learn about organizing and optimizing space, living with a light (or empty!) wallet, and growing as a family in an academic pressure cooker.

Here's to making it fun and relying on the grace of God!

~Alicia
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8 comments:

  1. Just keep loving each other and everything will be just fine. ♥

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  2. Praying that GOd will see you through! :D

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  3. We are a family of 5 in the midst of graduate school now, working our tails off, as you said. It is not for the faint of heart! But if God has led you, he will carry you through.

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  4. Thanks for your encouragement, ladies! :)

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  5. Piping in late - but congrats on your new adventure - I'm sure it will all work out as you want it to.

    Something you can consider since the budget will be so tight, I know someone who scours yard sales for good items, gets them for a bargin and then resells them on Ebay for double the price. Also, if you sew or are crafty, you can get lots of free fabric and craft items in sites like freecycle - make kid's clothes, tote bags, doll clothes, crafts etc... and also sell those. There are always little ways to make a couple bucks here and there. Best of luck.

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  6. So, this is why you moved into a small place! What a fantastic opportunity. Once you realize you can do it, you may never want to go back to a large home! Well, maybe!

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  7. I just founds your blog today (from a Work's for Me Wednsday post) and I have to say that I am very impressed with your attitude. Many people would be upset about this move, but I love how you are seeing it as both a challenge and an opportunity.

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  8. I'm looking at this rather late, but I just wanted to say that I really relate to your situation. My husband is a grad student and we just moved out of state for him to finish his last year (his advisor moved to a new university). We are in a smaller apartment and having a baby. I'm planning to stay home with the baby, and fortunately he does get his tuition paid for and a living stipend (a small living stipend), so we are working on simplifying our lives as well! I look forward to reading more about your adventures!

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