Ok, so sorry to be too wordy, but here is my situation.
I really need help thinking through this objectively. I have found a private school for my dd (I am not pro or anti public school... this is more of a specific case where I found something that works perfectly with a goal I have for dd's school age years).
I have a decision to make, as a nonrefundable $500 deposit is now due. So PLEASE help me think this through!!
Exact tuition isn't important. Just know that it is right at the edge of possibility. In looking at my budget, tweaking a few things here and there creates enough room. On the other hand, at least for now, it requires us to spend every penny we earn.... Now, I am looking to bring in freelance clients this summer, which will allow us to pay for the school AND still have $ for extras.... so this situation is fluid and will hopefully be changing very soon!
IMPORTANT TO THINK OF:
1) I'm already paying almost that much for dd's public pre-k and a babysitter that allows me to work part-time
2) Dh is against the idea of private school on principal. He likes the philosophy at this school very much, but does not see why we should pay for school (Obviously, I feel very differently, and my opinion is that he will see what I mean if we just give it a go for a year)
REASONS TO GO FOR IT
1) It is a dream education... fitting exactly what my personal philosophy is. It's what homeschooling would be like, except dd gets to do it with a whole class of students, and I have time to pursue my career too, which I love.
2) They have a wait list. I have dd currently all registered to go, but if I pull her, there might not be room for her for several years. This is a tiiny private school, so spaces are very limited.
3) They are willing to work with me on tuition, so I can spread out the payments. The payments ($500/month) will be about what I am already paying for dd's pre-k, so no sticker shock until next year. In my mind, this allows us to get into the school system and decide based on our own experiences with it.
4) My personal opinion is that the early, formative years are crucial, and I want to get this right (for us... I realize everyone is different)
5) I can always pay the deposit and choose to not send dd. I am only out $500, which is a small percentage of what I would end up paying for the year.
6) I have no plans to significantly pay for my kids' colleges. I worked my way through school and found value in that. I plan to help them out, of course, but this private school money is pretty much "instead of" college money.
REASONS NOT TO
1) This economy has hit us hard. Dh and I have new jobs that are going well, with good pay, etc... but we have spent through every dime of our savings and retirement (I am 32, dh is 34, so we have time)... we don't have equity in our house and don't have credit cards... in other words... no fall back. We are starting to recover now, and will be gradually building up a savings this year. This will happen about $500/month faster without paying for school.
2) Our public elementary school is just fine. I taught in the district a few years back, so I am familiar with the curriculum. Its a good, suburban school (though the middle and high schools are a little large for my taste) with a mix of middle/upper middle class students.
3) I'm hoping to turn this around within the next month or so, but currently tuition will push us up to the edge of our budget.
OK, so if you made it this far, I offer many wishes for good karma to come your way in thanks for your kindess... what do you think? Feel free to tell me more details below, but I tried to make it an easy poll :)