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Thinking of the Future... (Input?)

April 30th, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Have recently been thinking, again, going to college. I am 24 years old, wife and baby, and need to figure out what I'm doing with the rest of our lives.

In the career I am in now, I could end up getting promoted to Supervisor within five or so years. With that comes a free two bedroom apartment (with most employers). This would be fine and dandy, but we do not enjoy living in an apartment as much as we would renting or owning a home with a yard where we could plant a garden, have chickens, etc.

So, school may have to be the route I go. But I don't want to do just anything. I was thinking of nursing before, but that is not what would make me the happiest, I don't think. Being outside, with nature, animals, would do it, I think. So I have been looking into Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, etc. But as a working man, it will most definitely be hard. However, living in this new area, we have many more opportunities. There are online community colleges that offer two-year Associates that transfer to four-year colleges for a Bachelors. The online, I could do. But for the two years after that, I am not sure. We have cut costs everywhere we can, and things just keep getting harder. Trying to sell our car now, and it is proving most difficult. Also, our food assistance went down from $520/mo to $171/mo. Understandably so, but still - we cannot afford it! If we sold the car, yes, we could. Trying!

BTW, my wife is looking into doing some nannying. Smile

Here is the spreadsheet for my projections of what we will need to make.

9 Responses to “Thinking of the Future... (Input?)”

  1. snafu Says:

    I notice you have a student loan, what certification resulted? What are current balances Student loan, Chase, Target etc? Your wife might earn income offering "Molly Maid's housekeeping service for tenants in the bldg. as babies are take-along to avoid child care costs.

    I think your food bill could be lowered with cook from scratch foods. We are all being told to reduce the size of meat servings for good health for example.

  2. Frgal Says:

    Massage Therapy. I was young and dumb and was bedazzled by the simple fact I was not too stupid to go to school, so I signed up and graduated from a for-profit school with a certificate in a field I thought I enjoyed. No, I do not want to practice massage.

    My wife would be taking our little one along with. Wink
    Don't know the balances off the top of my head. Target Card is around $400, Chase around $700.

    Please keep in mind that that projected rough budget is not our current budget. Nothing about it is the same.

    My wife is an amazing cook. Every single meal is from scratch. And we are vegetarians. One of the big reasons we want a garden!

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    I'm not sure what field you're thinking about exactly, but entry-level jobs in most fields don't pay $48K off the bat with a bachelor's. If your wife is contributing some income maybe you could reach that together. I'm in an office job and just finally topped $50K per year after about 14 years in my field (editing/proofreading). Of course salaries vary by region, and of course there are many more lucrative fields than editing ...

    You may need revise your expectations ... I understand wanting to spend more to get a variety of healthy foods into your diet, but to me the phone budget looks high. Have you looked into ting.com? Low usage = low cost on their plan. We're thinking about taking the plunge into smartphone ownership with that. Also, if you get a job with good benefits, you may be able to do healthcare for less than $400 for your family. My family of 5 does a bit better than that.

    I'd try to stick with apartment living for longer. The cost of renting a house probably wouldn't be offset enough by having a garden.

  4. Frgal Says:

    Like I said before, those are all projected budgets, and rounded up. I know that when we both had smartphones, we paid $135/mo. Add in a third line for the kid once she is old enough (I know, she's only one and a half right now! haha!) and you're close to $200.

    As far as apartment living. We will be in apartments at least another five years or so. Until I am out of school if that is what I decide to do. This projected budget and what-not is at least six years away.

    My current job's health coverage for the entire family is almost $400. Whenever making a budget, I always round up, and think pessimistically. Wink

  5. Shiela Says:

    I think you should re-think the $200 phone and $600 grocery budgets. That's too high. I think you could realistically cut that in half.

  6. wowitsawonderfullife Says:

    My two cents. If you were at the point where you said "finally, I know what I want to do for the rest of my life" it might be worth looking into. But you don't seem to be there. If you were debt free it might be worth taking a risk. Another thought. Have you thought about how much coin you could make if you did even two or three massages a week?

  7. Homebody Says:

    I'm 54 and still would not know what I would do if I chose. I would do something medical because that is where the jobs are. That whole do what you love and the money will follow is not necessarily true anymore. Like I told my ultrasound tech daughter, you work to earn money to enjoy life.....every job gets tedious. I loved my job, but unfortunately it disabled me (medical transcription). Massage therapy? It makes my hands and wrists hurt just to think about doing that all day!

  8. Jerry Says:

    I think once you figure out what you want to do, and it will lead to something that you are passionate about, then go after it... but not until then. I am now in my 40s and about to graduate from my program, but it has been a long haul. It took time for me to have some insurance that I knew what I really wanted.
    Jerry

  9. Frgal Says:

    Thanks, Jerry.

    I have made the decision to go for Oregon State University's B.S. in Fisheries & Wildlife. I have been passionate about wildlife since I can remember. It feels more natural than when I thought about doing Nursing, or when I went to school for Massage.

    I have figured out the requirements needed, and will be doing those at a local college first. I just need to sign up!

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