Going back to school and getting into more DEBT...
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  1. #1
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    Default Going back to school and getting into more DEBT...

    I am 27, my husband is 31. We have 5 children age 8 and under. I stay at home full time and my husband works 76 hours in law enforcement. We are living paycheck to paycheck. I desperately want (and feel that I need) to finish my nursing degree which will take me until December 2017. I was lucky enough to qualify for grants to cover most of my student costs but it will not be enough to cover child care. My husbands schedule at work is all over the place and I won't be able to depend on him to help with the kids while I need to be in clinicals. All of our family still works full time jobs and is unable to help us with the children and we are fairly new to our area and I haven't made good enough friends to ask for help with our kids. Also, with a nursing program, the hours of clinical and lecture are both long so taking them to a licensed facility or even an in home care provider sounds much more appropriate.

    I was recently listening to Dave Ramsey's show when a man called in. Dave spoke with him for a little while and asked him what his "plan" was when he was 40. The man didn't really have an answer but the bottom line was that his current income wasn't enough and Dave explained to him that he needed a plan to make more money. This got me thinking about my own situation. We need more money. We have loads of debt that we're unable to pay and countless medical bills in collection. We keep food on our table and the lights on by the skin of our teeth. In order for us to change this scenario, I *MUST* work but I have to finish my education first. What would Dave say? The only way I can afford care for our children while I am away is to max out student loans and take out another loan. But, once I finish, I'll be able to pay our bills without dipping into an equity line or using all of our savings.

    So, people, what do I do?

    Feel guilt about going INTO debt MORE in order to get a job that can pay the bills back? Or, just stay where I am, at home with the kids and suck it up until everyone is older and I won't need as much childcare?

    Thanks!

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    there is a way to do this without going into more debt. Take training to be an aide or a tech at the hospital. See if they have flexible scheduling, they often will to allow an aide to attend nursing school. Try to meet with the nurse recruiter, she can help you find the right fit to meet your scheduling needs and she will be happy to have an employee who is planning to be an RN. After some time there, you should qualify for tuition reimbursement with a work requirement to pay it back (so make sure you like this hospital or can stand it long enough to meet the pay back amount of time). You will have money coming in and you will be getting the experience you need to make you a prime candidate to a nursing school. Many hospitals also offer scholarships and grants to students going back for their RN.

    This will be a slower process but should be the cheapest way to get your degree and you will gain so much from the experience. Hospitals often have on site daycare that accommodates strange hours and you get a discount by being an employee.

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    Sorry but I wouldnt go back to school just yet. Your kids are young and need you there. Looks like only 1? is in full time school. Can you pick up some money w/ a stay at home job. Babysit 1 or 2 more? You quality as low income w/ $65,000 and 7 people? Once the kids are FT school it would be easier. Way easier.

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    I agree it is a bad idea to try to go back to school right now. You are already virtually a single mom of 5 kids! Your husband is practically working two full-time jobs and taking care of 5 kids is a full-time job, too (I raised 4 to adulthood already so I get that). Plus your kids are pretty young. Your husband's job is already high stress and puts a great strain on any marriage. Even if he worked less hours, his crazy hours and dangerous job are stressful. Plus you mentioned you just moved which is another huge stress. Going back to school and putting your children in daycare will only add to the stress. If you take out loans and have to quit school before you finish due to your marriage and family - and yourself falling apart - all you'll end up with is more debt.

    I'm afraid your only option is to find ways to reduce your out-go more. The painful reality is there are families of 7 who now live on less money than you make. You just have to figure out how they do it.

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    Can you do something to prepare for going back to school? Nightclasses, reading text books, part time aide work, etc? 5 kids 8 and under is a big job, and it sounds like it will cost you a lot to get day care. But for every year, more of the children are in school, and the cost of day care drops.
    Debt: -$60 000
    Savings: $43 200
    Net total: -$16 800

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    I apologize, I totally missed that there were 5 children. So working FT as an aide to get money for school won't work just yet. But there are tons of online nursing programs that let you get so much of it done right from your house and I imagine you would qualify for need based grants/scholarships. Get what you can done, go as slow as you need to and complete the clinical when the kids are older or around your DH's schedule. I worked with nurses who became RNs this way and the amount of clinical was surprisingly little. They got the same jobs as nurses who went to a bricks and mortar school.

    And if you do make less than 67k, you would be below the poverty line and would qualify for many programs. Receiving assistance is as good as earning more money, you get to keep more of what you earn. If you don't qualify as being below the poverty line, then I would do whatever I had to to bring home more money now, not waiting to finish school. Maybe an aide job at night on the weekends DH is off, or take in other kids as others have suggested. If you can barely afford to keep food on the table and have massive debt in collections, you really don't have a choice, you can't just continue as you are now. I know nothing about it, but is bankruptcy a viable option? Lastly, the folks on here will teach you how to stretch a dollar til it cries for mercy.

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