Island Life on Med School Loans

Good morning dolls!

I’m going to squash your first thought about how island life must be so glam. For Beyonce and Blue Ivy, I’m sure it is glorious and uber relaxing but for a family of three on student loans, it totes is not champagne and cabana boys.

There are definitely reasons why this school location is primo, but there are also reasons why it stinks. The school here drastically underfunds loans based on what it actually costs to live on an island. It’s ridiculous. ::eyeroll:: I refuse to deplete our savings so I’ve had to make other strides in order to make our money go farther while living here.

Funny story – My mom and aunt came to visit a few weeks ago and I was so excited about my new money saving plan to make laundry detergent with my bestie here. As SOON as the words slipped out of my mouth a look of horror crossed both my mom and aunts faces. Like they couldn’t believe I had sunk THIS low (dun, dun, dun) to MAKE laundry detergent! It was hilarious. They just both kept saying “but why?” I’ve read about SO many people that make their own detergent so why shouldn’t I just try when I’m trying to make my money stretch as far as possible on an island where rent is 72% of the monthly budget?

Here’s how we do island life on med school loans:

Glam life:

  • The obvious – beach and pool every day
  • Awesome adventures to explore new places and locations
  • Make up isn’t required {basically because it will just melt off in 5 minutes anyways}
  • Mom uniform is workout clothes. Every. Day.
  • Pony tail & top knot on the daily
  • Living minimalistic for two years and I’ve actually enjoyed {parts of} it
  • The clear, gorgeous water makes for gorgeous ocean swimming {unlike the hazy Gulf of Mexico water I’m accustomed to}

Med school woe’s:

  • Money. orrrr lack thereof
  • Island life is ridic expensive
  • It’s hot and humid as hades
  • Sand eryyy where. Like, I sweep daily and it’s still not enough
  • Friends and family are so so far away
  • No cell phone. We live off wi-fi.
  • Fruit and veggies aren’t local like I originally assumed. They’re boated over, which makes them not as swoon worthy once they finally hit the shelf AND they’re double the price.
  • Bugs, bugs, bugs
  • Lack of parks and walking trails {and sidewalks in general for that matter}

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Check out the cost of this laundry detergent on the island.


How we save money here and there while living on med school loans

  • If we take an adventure, we take food. I always pack snacks or a lunch to save money.
  • I  make things from scratch and inexpensive meals so the crockpot is my bestie.
  • We rotate between sandwiches, wraps, chicken salad sandwiches and the occasional salad for lunch each day.
  • I hang dry as many clothes as I can (England prepped me for that!) Dryer = expensive {never realized that and it can be challenging, but the good news is that because it’s so hot, things dry quickly}
  • I live with fans as much as possible. The A/C in the Caribbean = luxe life {I’m not going to lie, I only turn it on for a blast when I’ve reached my max or I’m cooking}.
  • We don’t own a car. We rent for a day or two to run errands every other week or so.
  • I’ve been the Pinterest queen on making my own cleaning supplies {and they actually work}.

However, with all of that said I’ve had the best time just exploring and spending time with my friends here. I workout with a few fellow momma’s every morning at 6:15am before all the kids are up and moving, we have a weekly Grey’s Anatomy girls night with a bunch of ladies, we do daily walks, beach days, exploring days, craft days, and that’s just part of it. I’m kept so busy with the beautiful women I’ve met here and I’m so thankful.

They fuel my soul with wanderlust, feed my heart with worship and inspiration and constantly make me belly laugh. We build each other up and make each other better women, wives & mommies. We’re all the brokest we’ve ever been {and hopefully, the brokest we ever will be!} yet we’re the happiest because we’re all together, doing this all together, bonding and sharing in the journey. We choose to help make each other positive, stronger women, instead of tearing each other down.  I whole heartedly believe this journey would be close to impossible without a great support group. They make the difficult days easy and the easy days even better.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

I’m so thankful that with all the fun and associated hardships along this journey, I’m surrounded by women of Iron to sharpen me. If you don’t have those that sharpen you, it makes difficult journeys near impossible.

Find your Iron, ladies. Find your Iron.

-XO, the White Coat Wifey

 

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