This morning I slept an hour past my alarm. I set my alarm for 8:00 every morning and try really hard to stick to getting up out of bed within 15 minutes of it. I love sleep and these cold winter mornings (mid-thirties in Austin- that’s freezing here!), it can be brutal to get out of bed. I know though, that sticking to a regular sleep schedule is better for my health overall and actually makes each morning easier.
Definitely what I look like when sleeping
This morning though, I was simply beat. I have worked the last 14 days straight and my body was tired. This weekend I catered Saturday and Sunday, working 9 hours Saturday and 7 hours Sunday, not including drive time. I worked a similar schedule last weekend as well. During the week I work doing nonprofit development, doing social media scheduling and creating content, coaching and writing. It’s a busy schedule!
I’ve written before about the trade-off you sometimes make when you are focusing on financial goals like debt pay-off or saving. You DO have to pick and choose. The last fourteen days of my life, I have CHOSEN to work my little butt off. I have CHOSEN work over socializing and over time off. It has 100% been my own decision to stretch myself to my limits.
Working seven days a week can yield lots of money and lead to big debt pay-offs for me. It can mean huge savings, especially in a no-spend month like February has been. Working and earning money is an essential part of the debt-payoff equation. I can pinch my pennies all I want but making more money is actually the best way to make headway on my goals. For me, that means extra shifts catering, extra freelance articles written and extra social media work picked up.
To be totally honest though, it can sometimes mean a whole boatload of resentment. Occasionally I resent my work life a lot. When my friends all have weekends off from their normal 9-5 jobs, I head to work. It sucks that my weekend job is 90% manual labor. It sucks that when I work from home I am alone most of the day. It sucks when I have work schedule conflicts and have to excuse myself from one of my obligations to meet another. My best friend was in town this weekend and I barely saw her because I spent my entire weekend working.
So this morning when my alarm went off and it was 34 degrees outside, I let myself have another hour of sleep. All I wanted to do was lounge in bed all morning long but of course I can’t do that. I could however, let myself have one more hour of sleep. Getting home last night at 11pm and 12am Saturday night from catering did a number on my body. In order to make sure I don’t get sick or that I don’t get too worn out to work effectively, I chose an extra hour of restorative sleep this morning.
I was late sending my weekly Monday morning email to my nonprofit boss and board members and I was late responding to several emails that had appeared in my inbox over the weekend. I don’t regret my decision though. It’s 12:30pm here now and I’ve since responded to those emails, eaten breakfast, made a doctor’s appointment for next month, done laundry and am steadily working through my to-do list.
Overall, I am happy to spend extra hours putting in work right now. I want to be debt-free. I am getting closer each month. To me, freedom from debt is worth every hour of bussing dirty plates, every meal I miss with friends, every email I send. It is a long-term plan I am willing to stick to. Having a month where I paid off $1,500 in loans was like having a second Christmas. It doesn’t come without some sacrifice or sweat though. It’s just that right now, I’m willing to make those trade-offs.
Kara Perez is the original founder of From Frugal To Free. She is a money expert, speaker and founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Insider, Forbes, and Elite Daily.