I didn't want to tarnish the spirit of the last post with concrete details. But, I did want to share some of the behind the scenes details of how we are making this whole career change thing work.
Let me tell you, it's not an easy decision to come to, to decide to do something that will not only reduce you to one income, but put you in debt too.
So, you might have noticed my
At first, when I reached the decision that I was definitely going to do this, and that full-time school was really the best way to do it, we were prepared for the worst. We seriously thought we were going to need to sell our house (and probably have to pay money at closing, given the market), move into an inexpensive apartment, and somehow manage to scrape by.
I count my blessings every day for the amazing people we have in our lives. Tony's dad sat down with us, notepad in hand, and helped us go through every.single.detail of our budget. We cataloged every expense and every penny we had saved up. Through his calm guidance and outside perspective, he helped us realize that we could indeed make it work - stay in our house - with just some editing down of expenses. He had already written up about 30 things we could do to save money. We moved forward with a fair amount of them - we cut our cable down to nearly nothing, we cancelled our gym membership, we went to the cash system, we stopped going to Target... Tony's parents even gave us one of their cars, reducing theirs down to just one, so that we could sell Tony's truck and not have that car payment! [Luckily, just a few months after that, Tony got a work car and phone, so we were able to give their car back and my guilt was somewhat assuaged!] Blessings, I tell you.
When we saw it on paper, saw that it really could work - that was an amazing feeling. We moved forward with zeal, slowly bumping up the amount we were saving each month. Cut $50 from the Entertainment fund so we can save more? Sure! Soon we were saving my ENTIRE paycheck, living only off Tony's (something we will be doing for real here soon!).
Again, I cannot stress more the amount that the support (financial, emotional, etc) from friends and family have helped make this happen. It never seems to fail that things fall into place when we need them to. This is no accident.
So we have saved a ton of money. The savings were supposed to be so we would have a fund to help pay our bills while I wasn't working, since we didn't think we could live off of Tony's salary alone. We would take out student loans for tuition itself. Turns out, we've whittled our budget down so much, that we ARE living off his salary - so we will be able to probably break even each month, pending no disasters. We are even going to try to pay for school with our savings in an attempt to avoid loans. It's all coming together beautifully.
So back to the school part - beyond just the logistics of making this all work, I couldn't help but be so absolutely excited about the prospect of the new life I will lead as first a student, then a teacher. While my decision to become a teacher was rooted in the desire to do something meaningful with my life, once I really thought about it, the more day-to-day perks can't hurt. First, I will have more time for the important things in life - blogging, duh! I know I will have busy days as a student, and certainly busy days/weeks/years as a teacher, but the home/work balance will inevitably be better than what I'm doing now. Even if I'm doing homework, or grading student projects, I will have the flexibility to be doing this at home, with my family. When we have children, I will be able to spend time with them - maybe even be able to help them learn better as they grow up! :) I will have the chance to be creative each and every day. With the field I'm currently in, long hours and big cities are pretty much required. I will now have the flexibility to live anywhere, given that there are actually open jobs! Now, I realize that there are PLENTY of other jobs out there that offer the same benefits, even advertising ones. And I'm not knocking those who do choose that sort of life. However, it just wasn't the right fit for me. I'm so excited about the potential and possibilities of my new life.
I must, too, thank the most important person in this whole deal [am I giving an Oscar speech here, or what???]. Tony. He was absolutely 100% supportive from day 1. He pushed me to do this, knowing better than even I did what was best for me. We've sacrificed many things over the past year to make this work - but he's sacrificing all so I can be happy. He lost his sports channels! He gave up vacations! He gave up house projects! He was the one to really sort out the budget, call all sorts of companies to try to get cheaper rates, stays on top of our savings, etc.
All for me. We reorganized our lives so I could be happy. I hope to be able to return the favor one day.