*If you have parents or other financially available people in your life, this is for you.
This time last year, after having a very typical NYC apartment horror story (rodents, absentee landlord and roommate who shall not be remembered), I found a relatively cheap room in what I would come to understand was an extremely affluent neighborhood. The discount, no-frills gym that I was previously a member of only cost $20/month, and I got a free guest pass for my gym wife/cohort bestie. Needless to say, that gym didn’t exist in my new neighborhood. So, I found myself at the YMCA with its fitness classes, saunas, clean towels, the list goes on…but even with the financial assistance that was offered to me on a student discount, the monthly payment was a little over $40/month.
I was always told not to bite my nose to spite my face, so instead of trying to pay for it myself and offsetting the costs by shirking on healthy eating (supremely counter productive to my health goals) I just asked my parents to collectively pay 75% of the annual cost, and I agreed to pay the remainder.
Being in graduate school can be a very humbling experience because you work for very little pay while your friends are doing “adult things” like buying houses, having kids, traveling the world when there isn’t a conference involved, etc. On top of that, asking your parents for money, when you thought you’d be far more financially stable at this point in life is tough. I try not to ask my parents for anything, so they actually seemed eager to help when approached. Swallowing my pride on this was honestly really worth it, and the peace of mind I get from having a regular place to workout offsets the temporary discomfort of a somewhat difficult conversation.
In sum: Close mouths don’t get fed. Ask your parents for some bread.