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Debt and Finances

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 



Monthly income after health/dental and taxes are withheld:




Fixed expenses


$1040 Mortgage & Insurance

$290 Car (we looked into either trading in or selling, but we'd still be $3000 short on the $9000 that we owe)

$250 Credit Card (we owe $9500 total)

$175 Husband's Student Loans ($38,000 total, but husband did not complete degree)

$70 Landline/Internet

$70 Satelite (getting rid of this once we're free of contract in March)

$35 Water

$300 Gas (we both have commutes)

$50 (Cricket phone for my commute)

$125 Insurance

$770 Daycare

$30 Prescriptions

$9 Netflix


We spend quite a bit eating out and on groceries, but we have vowed to eat out only twice a month, and are moving to a mostly bean-centric diet for our whole family.  Our entertainment is the library, Netflix, and the zoo (we received a year's membership as a gift).


I am in grad school, and will owe $35,000 after completing the program (03/2012 estimated graduation).  The degree is required to maintain my current position.  It took over a year to find my job -- I had only received one other offer by that point, and it offered no health benefits.  I will have been in my position one year at the end of March.  The position also requires that we relocate to be in a certain distance from work by 2012.  So we would need to sell our house, but we had already considered renting anyhow, which would likely reduce our bills by $100-200/mo.


My husband is considering finishing out his undergraduate degree.  The program that he is looking at would be 17 months and roughly $25,000.


Should we both follow through with our degrees?  Should I look for another job?  I made a total career switch after 10 years in the same field because I could find no work otherwise.


What do you think?

post #2 of 6

I'm kind of confused....according to the figures you provided you have $2,486 to spend on groceries, eating out, saving, paying down debt, etc. every month after meeting all your bills. It would seem to me that you have plenty of room to pay for school and/or get out of debt.

post #3 of 6

It does seem like money isn't a problem. Depending on what you pay for food, out of pocket medical/dental, and all the other "miscellaneous" expenses, you could probably have car and credit card paid off in a year, maybe two. I would follow through on your degree, since you already have a job. For your DH, it would depend on how much it would increase his earning potential/job security, and how important it is to him.


And, I would try to find a cheaper program for him. Almost $65,000 for an undergraduate degree? Ouch!

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you for all of the responses.  I was reflecting on what you've all written, and I started looking back at our expenses overall, wondering where the money goes.  We have had some rather large medical expenses and other situations, so maybe our first step will be to establish savings or a cushion of some sort so we're not always surprised by expenses.

post #5 of 6

If I were you, I would start cooking at home more.  When you eat out you don't realize you are paying 4 - 5 times what you would if you were cooking at home.

post #6 of 6
I would absolutely finish your degree. And I assume, for that price, your husband is considering an "alternative" program (like, online) to finish his degree? I would really caution you against that... If his degree is necessary or important to him, that's one thing, but unless you truly have NO other options I would avoid that type of program. And that's coming from someone who both did her own undergraduate that way, and worked in that industry for years.
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