I like the way you put it, except the "but I really can't afford to do a 4 week schedule again." 4 weekly is not unreasonable at all(depending on time of year, state of feet, etc, etc, of course) and you need to aim for *maintaining* her feet, not waiting for them to overgrow & become problematic before trimming. Perhaps you could ask her to show you how to do a 'brushup' in between her visits, to better maintain the feet without tightening up the trim sched. Yes, it is difficult to start with(remember it will get easier
), but it's a lot about technique, so if she can show you how, it'll make it easier.