Friday, February 25, 2011


I splurged yesterday and bought myself a little hand lotion/lip balm/body wash set. I love that store! Ooooh the luxury!
It's always such a justification to buy anything from there, especially now that I'm a student again...
Scrimping and saving, it's such an ingrained notion. Even when I was working, I would constantly quiz myself on how I could get by on less, make do without, or stretch a dime. I'm not really sure where it came from, as I wasn't deprived as a child, (I'm sure I felt deprived since my mom never gave in to my whining and crying at Toys R Us, but in reality, our basic needs were always met.)
It's almost like a kind of game, and you "win" when you come out with more money in your pocket.
Then I was introduced to the pleasures of shopping sprees, and nights out on the town...
A splurge here and there won't break the bank, and is always fun to look back on.
Here though, I'm struggling with another dilemma.
I'm lazily contemplating staying here in Australia for a year and completing the Master's program. It sounds great, right? When I finish, I'll have a Masters in Manual Therapy. I'll have completed the entire program, including the Sports Physiotherapy and rest of the pain science module. I'll get to do more work on research (mixed feelings on that!), and learn how to treat athletes on the field.
However, the only thing I would really look forward to would be the pain stuff. Sports physio would be second, but I don't plan on really getting into sports physio in the future- although of course, you never know. And getting to work in the clinics under supervision, that would be really valuable as well.
But the big deal is the price tag. Not only the price of completing the program here, but the student loans I racked up with my doctoral degree in the states, which, currently languishing in Sallie Mae's deferral lounge, are earnestly acccumulating interest every month. I wanted to keep paying the interest, but if I stay another 6 months I'd have to stop paying, and I'd just watch those loans grow, fattening up like Thanksgiving turkey. And I'd have to take out more loans...
They say your loan payments shouldn't be more than 10 or 15% of your expected monthly income. At this rate I'd need to be earning a little (a lot! cough cough) more than I am now. I don't know how much I can expect my salary to increase based on this degree. It's retirement, health insurance and where I'm going to live when I'm old and grey that I'm really worried about. (Sometimes I worry a bit too much as well...)
I know, I can't let money run my life. But really, if you know me, I usually don't. I'll do it if I really want to do it. I guess I don't really want to do it.
Sorry if this has been kind of a boring post, but I've been getting asked this question a lot these days, mostly by my classmates who are staying the whole year. I feel fully justified in my decision not to, but it helps to write it out.
I expect to have other opportunities for learning in the future, and I don't want to compromise my retirement or my possible enjoyment of other fun stuff (like time off and vacations!) in the future. Sigh... Decisions decisions.

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