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The Reason - Responses?

December 2nd, 2011 at 07:23 am

Recently, my wife has been looking into going to school. If you remember, she is now the one working, while I am a stay-at-home-father and practicing my poor Algebra skills to retake the Math COMPASS for entry into college. She has been looking at the Paul Mitchell school - something she has always considered doing. She would receive 2,000 hours in Cosmetology training. We have thought about this. The school's job placement rate for new grads is 86%. Pretty good. Average salary is about $24,000/yr. "That would help us get out of our living-with-family situation," we think. Then we realize that we would also lose Food Stamps, which is over $400/mo. So, to make up for that, pay our current bills, plus pay her tuition, and put $700 towards rent and utilities, we would have to net $2,000/mo. On one income...

We are still donating plasma, but it is not the $440/mo that we have hoped it would be. While that is the max potential (two people, two 'donations' per week), we have found that it is not always possible for us to do so. So, it has turned out to be around $100/mo. 

Also, I have taken it upon myself to try to find odd jobs to do. This has come to me in the way of oDesk.com. It is a freelancing/contracting web site that appears to have some threads of truth to it. I have been working on my résumé in order to make myself more desirable, so I have yet to apply to any contracts yet (limited number of applications per week). So I do not know how that will pan out. 

Anyways... While the job placement percentage is decent, it is an $18,000 tuition in a field where the demand comes strictly from desire rather than from need. The clients are there because they want to be. Because they are able to afford it (or at least have some credit left on their cards). I am still paying off my $18,000 tuition from when I went to school for Massage Therapy. I am a great Massage Therapist. Great technique. Great form. Wonderful pressure. Superb personal skills. And that sixth sense that a lot of MT's don't have, but wish they did... And yet, I have never been employed in the field. 

What are we to do? We live off of $600/mo. We live in an oppressive and downright dangerous environment where the downstairs wreaks of cat feces and occasionally marijuana, where the other residents do not take into account the welfare of the infant in their house, etc., etc. We have been married over a year and a half, and have been together for longer, and have not once lived in a place of our own! 

This. This is the point of all that we strive to do, financially. Money is the only thing that can change our lives at this point.

What are we to do? Suggestions for my wife? For me? 

Thank you for reading.

23 Responses to “The Reason - Responses?”

  1. mamasita Says:

    Why don't you keep looking for MT jobs, or start freelancing? It's a shame to let that education go to waste.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    You need to market your MT skills and apply for those types of jobs. Are there salons in your area that hire massage therapists? You need to take any job you can get in order to get ahead. Even minimum wage, they are all jumping off points to find something better.

    Also your wife, if she wants to go to cosmetology school, might need to look into a less expensive option than Paul Mitchell. And she still needs to work while going to school. If possible she needs to get grants to cover the cost of tuition...you don't need more debt on top of what you have.

    Looks like one day you could have your own salon! Smile

  3. HouseHopeful Says:

    Sorry - going to focus on something you said & not your actual question. If that child is in a dangerous environment, you should really report it. At the very least, it may encourage the caretakers (Parents) to do the right thing.

  4. laura(momcents) Says:


    Having worked in Social Services, I can point out one obvious thing: complaining about the living environment that the child is in will not be taken seriously. The child in question is NOT in the custody the grandparents/uncle who are behaving in questionable ways. The child is in the custody of her parents who are chosing to remain in the situation.

    The child isn't being starved/beaten/neglected by her parents or grandparents.

  5. Frügal Says:

    Correct - Doing anything with the 'authorities' would not result in desirable outcomes.

    As for using my training in MT... My license is no longer valid, and I do not have the $280 to invest in a year's worth of licensure. Also, we have a child. One that cannot be left with anyone that lives close-by. So, one working parent is all we can do. Especially if I want to go to college...

    Well, I'll keep working on this oDesk profile and will hopefully apply to some jobs on there soon.

  6. crazyliblady Says:

    What state are you living in?

  7. crazyliblady Says:

    If you could pony up the $280 to renew your license and buy a massage table, you could do massage in your own home. That would enable you to be home with your child.

  8. jewels3 Says:

    I think your wife needs to put the school plans on hold unless she can get it covered 100% by financial aid. Plus she would need to continue working, so that would be a huge burden on her. I think you need to work towards getting the $280 so you can renew your license. Look into survey sites, to start with. If you need to place your child in childcare while you work the MT job, even if you don't bring home as much as you like, it would give you experience and lead to better employment. If your wife works during the week, can you find a job on the weekends, even if it means working something you don't want to do?

  9. creditcardfree Says:

    Priority one sounds like childcare is between the two of you. You must work opposite shifts.

    $280 for MT license sounds much less expensive than the cost for her to go to school. However, unless you work at an established business offering massage your income will be hit and miss.

    I also agree that you need to be working something steady. Could you also work at the mall? Or a home improvement store? You need to work to get out of your current living situation. That seems like priority number one. Improving one's education is VERY important, too, but it may need to be secondary in this situation.

    Deliver newspapers. Basic security. Home health aide: maybe an overnight shift?

  10. patientsaver Says:

    I guess i'm coming at this a little differently.

    Personally, I think cosmetology school is a dead end. I doubt any of those girls working there make much more than that, regardless of experience. I could be wrong, but that's just my take.

    I think nursing school would promise a much more solid career choice. One that offers many employment choices and high paying jobs.

    If your wife wouldn't get into nursing school, then how about just an LPN?

    Obviously this would take a longstanding commitment. And while I don't know what nursing school tuition is like, spending $18K on cosmetology is just nuts. I think that's a total ripoff.

    As for you, I don't know enough about or where your talents lie, but it sounds like you should talk to a career counselor. You just can't get by doing odd jobs or donating blood forever.

  11. Frügal Says:

    I am unsure as to how readers on her continue to confuse the nursing situation. I am the one that will be attending college for nursing...

  12. patientsaver Says:

    Sorry, but I only read your blog from time to time. I wasn't aware you already had plans to go to nursing school. Or if I did, I guess I forgot.

  13. Frügal Says:

    Haha. You got it confused that my wife was the one going to college, but it's actually me. Ha.

    Anyways... My wife is going to seek employment with Starbucks (currently works at Macy's) and will work there if she is offered more pay for the same hours. Glassdoor.com shows higher pay for Starbucks employees, compared to Macy's employees. Starbucks has way better benefits too.

  14. Petunia 100 Says:

    Isn't cosmetology school full-time for a year? How would she do that and work full-time too? Is the plan for her to work part-time?

  15. Frügal Says:

    She already works part-time, due to lack of any full-time available. Paul Mitchell also offers evening courses that makes the whole program only one month longer. But I don't think we are going the Cosmetology route.

    Urgh! All this because an employer lied about me and got away with it! >.

  16. crazyliblady Says:

    I think you are holding onto a lot of anger and resentment about your employer. Whether or not he/she did do those things is another matter, butter anger and resentment will not improve your situation and may even make it worse.

  17. Frügal Says:

    Character slander doesn't go over well with me. Does it with you?

    Haha. Seriously though, I don't think about it that much. We try to look into the future. Smile

  18. crazyliblady Says:

    No, it doesn't go over well with me, but being bitter and angry about won't help you to change it.

  19. Frügal Says:

    Hey, I'll be bitter all I want! ;P

    But I'm not angry. Smile

  20. Redraidernurse Says:

    Working opposite shifts is what you need to do. We had a childcare situation so my husband worked Mon-Fri 8-5 while I works Fri, Sat, Sun 7pm-7am. That way one of us was always home with the baby and we never had to depend on anyone else for childcare. (And saved money by not paying for childcare.) Is this fun? No, but we did what we had to do for our child's sake and it enabled us to pack away a good bit of money.
    Go out and apply for places that you know have a night shift - whether it be Walmart or wherever!

  21. Momma23 Says:

    Okay, I'm thinking pay the $280 to renew your license and also buy a massage table. Then call or visit buisnesses in and around your area and offer reduced rates for massages at the workplace. The more people, the less you charge per session.

    Possibly make flyers and post them around your town also. Maybe put a coupon on it or offer a reduced rate if they mention the flyer.

    I know I could go for a massage right asbout now Smile

    Oh, also try appling at some chiropractors offices. I know mine has two that they keep on staff.

    Good luck and love to that baby of yours.

  22. ceejay74 Says:

    I just thought of this the other day -- one job that has overnight shifts is loading and unloading shipping trucks, like for FedEx or UPS. I considered that once for extra income, and I have a friend doing it and she really likes it.

  23. creditcardfree Says:

    My cousin works overnight shifts at Target stocking shelves. They are hiring in our area.

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