Making ends meet in nursing scool?


This is my first semester in nursing school, and I couldn't be more grateful. I live with my grandparents and daughter, because I'm choosing not to work so I can evenly juggle school and time with my daughter.

Lately I've been feeling inadequate and very depressed. I'm making OK grades, however I don't have a lot of money to my disposal as I used to. I only have a year, but I feel so sad when my daughter asks to do things and I cannot afford it. Or when she sees other children with things I can't buy right now. All of her child support and any extra money given to me go to things WE NEED. I barely wear make-up, buy new clothes, and shoes? HA. I'm still rocking old ones I bought last year. Is this normal?

I've never been a materialistic person, but I just feel so down...And yes, I'm a single mother. How can I kick this blues?! Maybe start working out?? Thanks for any advice available.


1 Article; 94 Posts

Looking back rather than forward will always get you down. A year is a blip on the radar. You don't have as much money as before, but in the end you will have more than before. Always find things to look forward to instead of back on. Have regular talks with your daughter about why you're going through this transition. Perhaps make plans for a future trip with just the two of you like, after I get my license and a nursing job, let's go xxxxx when I get vacation! It can be a special future goal between you that makes her a part of the process in a way, like her patience will also pay off. Show her you're in this together.

Has 13 years experience.

It is tough being broke. I work full time + and am still broke some weeks. It is tough to say we can't do that right now, but depending on how old your daughter is, she might understand that this is only for a few more months. Plan a day of fun once you are done with school. Start saving a few bucks here and there if possible. Maybe pick up a VERY part time job during your breaks? Working and going to school is not fun by any means, but doable for most. Of course every situation is different so you can only decide what you can and cannot do. Good luck!


51 Posts

I work 25 hours a week. My husband works full time. We just about break even each month but we knew with me going to school for 2 years it's such a short time in the grand scheme of things to be living on such a tight budget. Once I'm done, and back to work, we will be fine. In fact hopefully we will be way better off than ever, so it's very worth it! As long as you keep one eye on the future and the other on right now, you'll be alright. :up:

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 5 years experience.

I'm taking out loans to cover my rent, utilities, etc. once my savings run out, which will probably be around December - January.

I am likely to be in the same situation as you when I start nursing school. Well I already have to tell my kids no to a lot of things. For me I know that going to school is my only way out of being poor. Working for minimum wage barely pays for what we need, I don't have Internet or tv, just a phone, I buy stuff at thrift stores etc. and am going to have to sign up for the local charity Christmas drive like the one I used to volunteer at! I have been a mom for over a decade but only single for a year and it has been the most difficult experience of my life. I think there are two things that keep my hope growing, going to church and lifting weights.

I know it might sound cliche but having a sense of fellowship at my church keeps me optimistic because there are many people who have been broken down and are now lifted up (including a few nurses and even a med student). I know that everything is ultimately up to God's will but by knowing other people who have gone from poverty and working class to having real careers and calling is an amazing transformation to watch.

Working out for me just makes me feel like everything will work out! When I set a new personal record for myself I feel on top of the world for a few days despite whatever obstacles the world might throw at me. There are several heavy compound lifts that supposedly increase certain neurotransmitters that result in elevated mood and better sleep. Some gyms eve have sliding scale memberships to make them affordable, my gym gave me a six month free membership after talking to the manager when I could not afford it. However I think most schools have gyms, which is something I am looking forward to.

Double-Helix, BSN, RN

1 Article; 3,377 Posts

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU. Has 12 years experience.

I'd look into community activities that you and your daughter can attend for free or low cost. You didn't mention how old she is, but public libraries and community centers often have lots of programs, like story time, dance lessons, even movie nights. Try entering "Free things to do in (my town)" into google and you might be surprised by how much you find you can do. Also look and see if you can find some consignment shops in your area. Once Upon A Child is a kids consignment franchise that tends to be quite selective about the articles it accepts. You can find a lot of brand name clothing for very little money. Those two things might help you feel like you're able to provide more for her without spreading yourself any thinner than you already are.

And on a personal note, I completely understand being a single mom and feeling like you aren't doing enough for your child. Wanting to give her a better life than you feel like you currently can. Needing to spend time away from her in order to get closer to being able to provide those things for her. I understand the guilt, and heartbreak when you feel like she's missing out. Please know that all she needs right now is to be loved and cared for. NOT having all the latest and greatest stuff is actually going to build her character as she grows up. Ultimately, you're doing what you have to do to build a better life for her and you. Whatever her level of comprehension at this time, she will understand that.