Finding a work life balance: Does it really exist?

work life balance

Good morning Loves.  My dad gave me some troubling news yesterday, he told me one of our oldest family friends filed for divorce.  This was a picture perfect couple, they have been married for over 30 years, they have two kids who recently graduated college and growing up they were always the first couple I would call when I was in trouble.  To say this news was shocking would be an understatement, but I guess we just never know what happens behind closed doors.

Is there such thing as a work/life balance?

The couple both had good jobs where they’ve worked for several years and the husband is close to retirement.  I thought to myself, if both kids are moved out they have time for themselves, if they have a house that’s mortgage free and if they are nearing retirement, what is there to fight about?  One word…money.  According to my dad his friend filed for divorce because he wife spends too much time at the office in the day and too much time working from home at night.

I guess that’s the catch 22 about money; you need to work hard to get it, but working too much takes time away from your relationship.  We need money to afford the nice things we want in life, but we have to work hard to earn our money.  So how do you find a work/life balance to maintain a happy marriage?

What if you had to choose just one?

There is a line by Nigel (Stanley Tucci) in the movie The Devil Wears Prada when his co-worker (Anne Hathaway) is complaining about her relationship troubles and he says “Let me know when your entire life goes up in smoke, that means it’s time for a promotion.”  As I watched this movie I wondered if this is true.  Maybe there is no such thing as a work/life balance – maybe we can’t have both, maybe we have to choose one over the other.

Find a balance between your work life and your relationship:

Your home is not  your office.  As one half of a long term couple and as a young professional I can tell you that climbing the corporate ladder is not easy.  You want to put in your hours at work, but you don’t want to neglect your sweetheart at home.  My advice to finding a balance is to stay late if you need to but leave your work at the office, don’t bring it home with you.

Limit your overtime.  The truth of the matter is your work will never be done, we always have work to do.  Don’t make working overtime a habit.  Your spouse will be more understanding about your long hours if working overtime is the exception, not the rule.  Unless you are on a tight deadline try not to stay at the office more than an hour every night and not on Fridays.  It’s important to reserve the weekends for your spouse.

Have something to look forward to at home.  Having plans with your spouse will give you an incentive to rush home after work.  If you have to work late try to coordinate with your spouse on the nights they have to work late and set a time to meet at home or at a restaurant for date night.  If you have somewhere to be or somewhere to go you are more likely to cut yourself off from the office than if you are just “going home”.

Photo from Flickr

Fun (cheap) things to do in NYC


Good morning Loves.  I’m back from New York City and to be honest I’m going through total vacation withdrawal.  I visit NYC a couple times a year and every time my vacation ends I am sad for at least two weeks after I get home.  So how do I cure my vacation blues?  By talking about NYC as much as I can and looking through photos a million times.  So now you know how I’ve spent the last seven days…by missing NYC.

As you know my two friends joined me this time in the big apple and we had a great time.  It was definitely different from the last time we all travelled together…remember my story about our Howard Johnson motel in Queens six years ago?

NYC doesn’t have to be an expensive vacation

Now that we have all graduated and have full time jobs we were able to spend a little bit more money on our travel accommodations in New York.  With that being said we all do work in finance and we are all very careful, even safe, with our money.  That’s the hard thing about travelling, trying to find a balance between convenience and price.

We wanted to spend as much time as we could enjoying the city while spending as little money as possible.  We didn’t mind paying for fun, we just didn’t want to over pay.  We travelled for cheap thanks to Priceline and spent most of our money on food and shopping. This was great because the less money we spent on travel accommodations the more money we could spend on enjoying ourselves.  The truth is we had a great time in NYC and we didn’t have to spend that much money doing so.

Enjoy NYC on a dime by going to these places

Central Park. We spent a whole day walking through Central Park.  We found places in the park I didn’t even know existed.  This is a picture of the Alice in Wonderland statue in the middle of Central Park on the East Side.  When we found the statue we also found a nice surprise, the lake with the remote control boats (that you always see in the movies) is directly across from the statue.  That was great.

The American Museum of Natural History.  I have been to the museum twice and both times it was really interesting.  The thing about museums is the exhibits don’t change a lot so if you’ve been once you may want to wait a while before you go again.  However, the features at the AMNH do change every few months.

The first time I went (back in October) they were featuring films on whales and frogs, right now they are featuring a Great White Shark 3D film.  The best thing about visiting the AMNH is the admission is on a donation basis.  The first time I paid $20 and the second time I only paid $10.

Walk around neighborhoods and enjoy the city.  Despite being an island, NYC is huge and every neighborhood is full of unique shops, restaurants and of course people.  Some of my favorite places to walk around are the Upper West Side and downtown along the water near Battery Park.

Photo from Flickr

Friday Faves: Backpacking and Adventures


Happy Friday Loves.  We found some great reads to start off your weekend.  Enjoy!

Clever Dude – Warning: Inexpensive Adventures Are Hiding In Your Community!

Boogers Are Yucky – 5 Ways Backpacking Through Europe Cured My Broken Heart

Smart Money Chicks – 5 Ways to Lower Your Car Insurance Premiums

Allyn Lewis Blog – How to Get a Grip On Your Inbox

Miss Melanie’s Journey to a Healthier Life – Breaking Wind in Yoga Class

Photo from Flickr

We’re Moving!


Finally.  We have been in our tiny apartment way too long.  I am excited to tell you that my boyfriend and I just got our lease renewal and we didn’t sign it.  That’s right come October 1st we are moving.  After the market crashed in 2008 we could no longer afford our old apartment and had to vacate ASAP.  We moved to our apartment as a temporarily solution and now six years later we are finally moving out.

Choosing to move was an easy decision, but now comes the hard part.  Now I actually have to move.  We need to start looking for an apartment, shop around for movers and pack up all our stuff.  I am extremely excited to move into a bigger apartment in a better neighbourhood.  But let me tell you…moving is a lot of work.

It’s time consuming.  Searching Craigslist and reading the real estate section of the Saturday newspaper is fun, but it’s time consuming.  I would rather spend my weekends lounging around, working on my tan, reading a good book but I have to find a new apartment.  Then there’s the time it takes to actually go out and look at all the potential new apartments.  Yep, moving takes lots and lots of time.

There is a scene in the Sex and the City movie when Carrie and Big decide to buy a home together and she tells them they are looking at lucky number 34.  I truly hope my boyfriend and I don’t have to look at 34 apartments before we find the right one.

Decisions need to be made.  As a true Libra I have a hard time making a decision.  Sometimes I know what I want and once my mind is made up there is no stopping me because I get fixated on an idea.  However choosing the best apartment and picking one over the other is not a decision that I seem to make very easily.

Thank goodness I can narrow it down to three and I’ll leave it up to my boyfriend to pick the best one.  That’s one of the great things about being in a couple, there is always someone to help you out.

It’s expensive, really expensive.  We haven’t even moved yet and we’ve already started spending money.  The costs of buying the Saturday paper and travelling  around on the weekends to visit apartments is adding onto my weekly expenses.  Since I live on a fixed budget with a small amount allocated to personal expenses it means I have to cut something else out of my weekly expenses.  Right now I am cutting down on my eating out.  I am cooking at home more, which I don’t really like because I’m not super great at it; but I’m doing it in the name of a bigger, better apartment.

Last time we moved (six years ago) it cost us $750 so that’s what I’ve budgeted for our moving expenses this time.  Then we have to factor in the costs of new furniture.  We need a new kitchen table with chairs, a new bed frame and a new sofa (we’ve had ours for almost 10 years).  Thankfully we aren’t moving until the fall which gives us time to save so we can avoid charging any moving expenses onto our credit card.

Have you moved recently? What kind of costs did you incur?

Photo by Flickr