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LVG

Big Decision...Advice?

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I've been offered the possible opportunity to go back into the classroom and teach full time.  I've been home with my kids for the past 5 years, and have been homeschooling my 6 and 7 year old for the past couple of years.  I love homeschooling, but I also love the idea of being debt free in 2 years compared to the 5 plus years it will take with our current finances.  Has anyone ever stopped homeschooling for a period of time, put the kids in school/daycare, and are happy they did it to get their finances in a better place?  My plan would be to stop teaching after next year...so I would finish out this year, and then teach one more full year, and come back home to homeschool.  The kids would all be at the same school with me, except for my 3 year old who would be in daycare somewhere.  We would cut our debt in half (we have a boat load) by doing this.  However, I know this will cause a lot of emotional stress.  One of the reasons I left teaching was the amount of stress it caused me.  I know too that the kids will probably be behind their peers academically, which I worry will hinder their confidence.  (I just figure they are behind because the curriculum I use purposefully introduces things at a slower pace than a lot of other programs..they are in Kindergarten and first grade...the first grader can read a little bit, but not very well, and the kinder is still trying to learn letters and figuring out blending sounds).  I'm of course praying for wisdom and discernment in this decision, but wanted to get feedback from any of you who have maybe been faced with a decision like this and what helped you decide to jump in or not, and if you regretted your decision or not.

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Perhaps you could tutor instead. That allows you to still homeschool, earn extra money to reduce debt more quickly, and not have to pay to put your 3yo in daycare. And it allows you to set your own hours, to work in a much less stressful setting of one-on-one with individual students, and actually help students progress rather than be dealing with so much classroom management and administrative paperwork headaches.

Your children are young enough that you could be done homeschooling by lunchtime, leaving your afternoons for tutoring. And if needed, you could enroll your 3yo in a pre-K half-day class to help get through homeschooling quickly, or to allow you time for tutoring. Just a thought! BEST of luck, whatever you decide.

Edited by Lori D.
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7 minutes ago, LVG said:

 ...However, I know this will cause a lot of emotional stress.  One of the reasons I left teaching was the amount of stress it caused me.... 

In your case, I think this is a very, very bad idea because of what you said here.

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I would not put a 3 year old in daycare in order to pay off debt more quickly.   I would do it if we needed the money to eat or pay rent, but not to reduce debt that will be paid off eventually anyway.  If you really want to go back to work to pay off debt, just wait 3 more years until the 3 year old is in school, at least.  The debt can wait 3 years.

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2 minutes ago, Lori D. said:
6 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

Perhaps you could tutor instead. That allows you to still homeschool, earn extra money to reduce debt more quickly, and not have to pay to put your 3yo in daycare. And it allows you to set your own hours, to work in a much less stressful setting of one-on-one with individual students, and actually help students progress rather than be dealing with so much classroom management and administrative paperwork headaches. Just a thought! BEST of luck, whatever you decide.

Yes, I have tried to pick up jobs tutoring, but they are sporadic and inconsistent.  I do have a little job now caring for an elderly lady once a week, but that isn't enough to really do much for us financially.  Every little bit helps of course, but little jobs like this still have us at the 5 plus year mark on getting debt paid off.  I would be bringing in an additional 2500 to 3500 after childcare is paid and taxes are taken out, maybe even more, if I went into the classroom.  I can't find enough side jobs to bring that kind of money in unfortunately.  

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Given what you describe, no, I would not do that. 

Pros - Debt repaid 3 yrs faster (3 yrs isn't a huge amount of time)

Cons-

-3 yr old in daycare full time (I'm not a fan of daycare if avoidable, plus the illness factor)

-kids are behind so their first experience of brick and mortar school will be to feel stupid, and that negative association can last a lifetime

-will your kids being behind negatively effect your reputation at the school, among the other teachers and staff? Will they look at your kids being behind and question your teaching skills ? Will worry about that cause you to push your kids more than you should, or put pressure on them? (you and I know that its better to start slow and easy, but that doesn't mean that they will agree)

-you found it very emotionally stressful before, so at a time when your kids are going through a lot of emotional upheaval (daycare, academics that are harder than used to, making new friends midyear) you will also be going through your own emotional stress. 

-what will you do if a kid is sick? Two kids starting public school plus 1 kid in daycare is going to mean kids get sick - who will watch them? Will this cause marital tension as you juggle who stays home with the kids?

- you plan to pull the kids back out to homeschool - will that effect them adjusting? I mean, if they know they are not going to stay long term will that effect how they interact there? Or if they don't know that, will they go full force into it as you stress all the benefits of this new change, only to have the rug pulled out from them when you flip flop and pull them again?

 

If this was a matter of "we need the money or we can't buy food" I'd say do it. Just to pay off debt a bit sooner..no, I don't think the trade off right now is worth it. 

 

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2 minutes ago, moonflower said:

I would not put a 3 year old in daycare in order to pay off debt more quickly.   I would do it if we needed the money to eat or pay rent, but not to reduce debt that will be paid off eventually anyway.  If you really want to go back to work to pay off debt, just wait 3 more years until the 3 year old is in school, at least.  The debt can wait 3 years.

Thank you.  That is a great way to look at it.  I guess I just feel so behind the ballgame.  I'm 37, my husband is 40.  We are on Dave Ramsey's program.  It's just hard to listen to him, and not feel the urgency to get things done:)

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Have you looked into VIPKid or one of those others teach at home type of programs.  I have a friend in real life who is just getting started with it and I know others on this board are finding it a good solution (Soror? I think that's her screen name).  Anyways maybe it could be a happy medium.  Bring in some extra money but still be able to keep kids at home with you.

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3 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Given what you describe, no, I would not do that. 

Pros - Debt repaid 3 yrs faster (3 yrs isn't a huge amount of time)

Cons-

-3 yr old in daycare full time (I'm not a fan of daycare if avoidable, plus the illness factor)

-kids are behind so their first experience of brick and mortar school will be to feel stupid, and that negative association can last a lifetime

-will your kids being behind negatively effect your reputation at the school, among the other teachers and staff? Will they look at your kids being behind and question your teaching skills ? Will worry about that cause you to push your kids more than you should, or put pressure on them? (you and I know that its better to start slow and easy, but that doesn't mean that they will agree)

-you found it very emotionally stressful before, so at a time when your kids are going through a lot of emotional upheaval (daycare, academics that are harder than used to, making new friends midyear) you will also be going through your own emotional stress. 

-what will you do if a kid is sick? Two kids starting public school plus 1 kid in daycare is going to mean kids get sick - who will watch them? Will this cause marital tension as you juggle who stays home with the kids?

- you plan to pull the kids back out to homeschool - will that effect them adjusting? I mean, if they know they are not going to stay long term will that effect how they interact there? Or if they don't know that, will they go full force into it as you stress all the benefits of this new change, only to have the rug pulled out from them when you flip flop and pull them again?

 

If this was a matter of "we need the money or we can't buy food" I'd say do it. Just to pay off debt a bit sooner..no, I don't think the trade off right now is worth it. 

 

Thank you!  These are some very excellent points!  I'm so glad I posted this to help me look at more than just the financial side of things. 

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I hate having debt but in your situation i would not go back yet. I would at least wait a year and try to get the school age kids reading especially if the school does balanced literacy which so many schools seem to do. If they are struggling but not encouraged to sound out words it is much hard to fix that because they develop bad habits. Reevaluate next year when your 3 year old is older and you have a chance to get the other two reading better. 

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2 minutes ago, LVG said:

Thank you.  That is a great way to look at it.  I guess I just feel so behind the ballgame.  I'm 37, my husband is 40.  We are on Dave Ramsey's program.  It's just hard to listen to him, and not feel the urgency to get things done:)

I don’t think DR would recommend putting a child in daycare just to shave 3 years off of debt.  Regardless DR has guidelines, he isnt God. :).  

I would not do it for all of the reasons already mentioned.  

Also working full time does have some financial costs which are difficult to list out ahead of time but you won’t have as much as you think you will to throw toward debt. 

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Just now, cjzimmer1 said:

Have you looked into VIPKid or one of those others teach at home type of programs.  I have a friend in real life who is just getting started with it and I know others on this board are finding it a good solution (Soror? I think that's her screen name).  Anyways maybe it could be a happy medium.  Bring in some extra money but still be able to keep kids at home with you.

Yes...my husband is currently in the process of getting his higher level of clearance...he works for the government.  For me to do that I would be working with foreign students, which puts a whole different status on his clearance being processed...I mean, he would get clearance, but it would take a lot more time and energy.  Once he is cleared though, I would really like to look more into this.  I have a friend as well who does it!

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15 minutes ago, LVG said:

Thank you.  That is a great way to look at it.  I guess I just feel so behind the ballgame.  I'm 37, my husband is 40.  We are on Dave Ramsey's program.  It's just hard to listen to him, and not feel the urgency to get things done:)

I've actually heard Dave Ramsey tell women NOT to go back to work just to speed up the debt snowball thing. He's gotten calls about that on his radio program and is pretty insistent that a parent home to take care of kids is a good thing for financial and other reasons. Not to mention, it sounds like working would take a toll on your emotional health, and possibly your kids physical healthy and he's not going to tell you to trade health for money. 

Dave is about the long term game, not short term fancy footwork. 

Quick google found this, but there are a bunch of examples of him saying the same thing. So rest assured, Dave isn't saying you need to put your kid in daycare and go to work. I promise!

https://www.daveramsey.com/askdave/career/why-do-you-really-want-to-go-back

Edited by Ktgrok
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I would not. Kids grow up way too quickly anyway and I wouldn’t want to give up the time with them.

The issue of kids getting sick is a real concern. I was working full-time with two preschoolers and my husband and I were constantly arguing over who had to stay home with them when they were sick. It was a major reason for me deciding to quit and stay home.

Just this year, I have two kids in public school and we’ve been sicker this year more than ever, except when they were little and in preschool. 

Edited by Gobblygook
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I would not go back to work in your situation. From what you wrote I think there is a good likelihood you would end up miserable. Since you are looking at doing teaching I think one of the WAH jobs like VIPKID, Gogokid, etc would be a good fit. As cjzimmer mentioned above, I started working for VIPKID last year for some financial security in case of dh losing his job and to help out around here and has been great. I don't have all the expenses I would have if I worked out of the house and make $20/hr, in my LCOL that is a decent amount. I'd figure up how much money you would actually make when you factor out the childcare, not all of the money will go straight to debt (don't forget to look at tax brackets too to make sure you are not going to end up pushing you up into the next one).  Now, if you really wanted to do it I would say go ahead but I don't think it is worth the stress and upheaval for a job you really don't sound like you want to do for just 2 yrs. 2 yrs is an eternity if you are stressed out.

Edited by soror
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I would not do anything that would cause me to place a child in daycare. Ever.  I would do something else for extra income such as tutor, babysit or clean houses on the weekends. 

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1 hour ago, Ktgrok said:

Given what you describe, no, I would not do that. 

Pros - Debt repaid 3 yrs faster (3 yrs isn't a huge amount of time)

Cons-

-3 yr old in daycare full time (I'm not a fan of daycare if avoidable, plus the illness factor)

-kids are behind so their first experience of brick and mortar school will be to feel stupid, and that negative association can last a lifetime

-will your kids being behind negatively effect your reputation at the school, among the other teachers and staff? Will they look at your kids being behind and question your teaching skills ? Will worry about that cause you to push your kids more than you should, or put pressure on them? (you and I know that its better to start slow and easy, but that doesn't mean that they will agree)

-you found it very emotionally stressful before, so at a time when your kids are going through a lot of emotional upheaval (daycare, academics that are harder than used to, making new friends midyear) you will also be going through your own emotional stress. 

-what will you do if a kid is sick? Two kids starting public school plus 1 kid in daycare is going to mean kids get sick - who will watch them? Will this cause marital tension as you juggle who stays home with the kids?

- you plan to pull the kids back out to homeschool - will that effect them adjusting? I mean, if they know they are not going to stay long term will that effect how they interact there? Or if they don't know that, will they go full force into it as you stress all the benefits of this new change, only to have the rug pulled out from them when you flip flop and pull them again?

 

If this was a matter of "we need the money or we can't buy food" I'd say do it. Just to pay off debt a bit sooner..no, I don't think the trade off right now is worth it. 

 

What she said.  It sounds like there are far more trade offs for your family than benefits, and stress is no small thing.  Chronic stress completely trashed my health and I’m still trying to fix it four years later.

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1 hour ago, LVG said:

Thank you.  That is a great way to look at it.  I guess I just feel so behind the ballgame.  I'm 37, my husband is 40.  We are on Dave Ramsey's program.  It's just hard to listen to him, and not feel the urgency to get things done:)

Then stop. 

I stopped  for the same reason. Debt free is good, but stress fulfilled is not. Work the plan that you have and be patient.

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Please look into tutoring online through Vipkid as mentioned above or other ones. Just chiming in that you are on a great path to be debt free in 5 years. 

If you are interested in tutoring to make money - become a math tutor. Most of my tutoring income is tutoring in math. 

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By the way, I know when my kids were little, had I worked so much money would come out of my paycheck for work expenses that we wouldn’t have considered. Even if we didn’t pick up fast food, we’d have had to rely on more prepared items that are more expensive. We’d have bought more off the rack clothes because I wouldn’t have had time to dig at thrift stores. More makeup, more haircuts, more professional clothing, more gas, more car wear and tear. More money at the doctor and pharmacy because of sick kids. It doesn’t balance as nicely when wereally considered the expenses. 

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I agree with everyone.  I wouldn't do it. 

Do some online tutoring if you feel you want or need to bring in more $. 

Are you talking totally debt free in 5 years?  CC, Car, Student Loans, Mortgage?   That is amazing.  I think you are way ahead of the ballgame even at 5 years.   

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17 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

Are you talking totally debt free in 5 years?  CC, Car, Student Loans, Mortgage?   That is amazing.  I think you are way ahead of the ballgame even at 5 years.   

No, I wished!  I meant consumer debt free...so all credit cards, car loan, student loans, etc.  I'm just hoping to have the mortgage paid by the time my husband retires.  

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2 hours ago, LVG said:

Thank you.  That is a great way to look at it.  I guess I just feel so behind the ballgame.  I'm 37, my husband is 40.  We are on Dave Ramsey's program.  It's just hard to listen to him, and not feel the urgency to get things done:)

 

Dave Ramsey has some good advice, he does (and I'm not Christian so it's not that influence, he's just very practical about some things), but he can be a little overzealous at times.  I think there is a real danger of sacrificing valuable things at the altar of zero debt, and a 3 year old's childhood at home with mom is definitely one of them.  

Don't feel too behind the game!  Think of A. you're only 37 and 40, and you're going to get this done anyway by 45 and 48 and still have many years of good working life ahead of you and B. many people go into retirement with this kind of debt; if you're clear by 45 you'll be well ahead of the curve.

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And I agree that the sickness problem is real.  They'll come home with things, you'll come home with things, the 3yo will come home with things.  We've been sick I think 4 times this season (our first year back at PS after several years out).  It will make working a nightmare.

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You might look into what public school options your state offers and apply to work for them.  You make less than a classroom teacher usually, but you would make more than a tutor.  And you could work from home.

Our state offers K-12 and Connections Academy.

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1 hour ago, moonflower said:

 

Dave Ramsey has some good advice, he does (and I'm not Christian so it's not that influence, he's just very practical about some things), but he can be a little overzealous at times.  I think there is a real danger of sacrificing valuable things at the altar of zero debt, and a 3 year old's childhood at home with mom is definitely one of them.  

Don't feel too behind the game!  Think of A. you're only 37 and 40, and you're going to get this done anyway by 45 and 48 and still have many years of good working life ahead of you and B. many people go into retirement with this kind of debt; if you're clear by 45 you'll be well ahead of the curve.

 

I agree on that. 

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I'm student teaching in a first grade class.  My take away from this experience is that if at all possible, K-2 or 3 should be homeschooled.  The expectations are so developmentally inappropriate.  There's so little time for play or movement.  There's so much writing.  There's so little instruction in phonics or math foundations or handwriting.  I'd be loathe to put a 3 year old in full time day care (unless very social and outgoing), and I'd really hate to put a K and 1st grader into school.  Plus, day care costs eat up a lot of the pay.  I vote wait 3-5 years before you go back to teaching.  

ETA:  Actually, I really like preschool for 3 year olds.  I'm just not a big fan of all day, but a good day care center I actually like more than most elementary schools.  And a play based kindergarten/ first grade would be fine.  It's the standard school environment that I think serves our 5-8 year olds particularly poorly.

Edited by Terabith
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4 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

Then stop. 

I stopped  for the same reason. Debt free is good, but stress fulfilled is not. Work the plan that you have and be patient.

Yes, this! 

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2 hours ago, DawnM said:

You might look into what public school options your state offers and apply to work for them.  You make less than a classroom teacher usually, but you would make more than a tutor.  And you could work from home.

Our state offers K-12 and Connections Academy.

That is interesting.  Looks like we are in the same state, so I will have to check into that for sure!  Thanks!

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Thank you everyone for your responses!  They have been super helpful!  We have decided that it just wouldn't be the right thing to do for our family at this time.  I really feel like I am called to be at home, and to homeschool, so I think I would just end up regretting it.  The numbers look enticing, but at the end of the day it would be at the expense of our families mental and physical health.  We will just keep trudging along on our debt free journey, and maybe something else that would allow me to stay home, and make a huge dent in our debt will come along.  Until then, I just need to relax and be grateful for where we are financially, and not where I wished we were.  Thanks again for your help!

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One way to make some extra money here and there is to offer babysitting for school holidays. It sounds like you know people in the system, which would be helpful to get the word out, but around here I think you could whisper it in your bedroom and anxious parents would hear you and sign up, lol. Ideally, you could have several elementary kids close in age to your own - money and instant playmates! 

I did this some when my kids were young. Cash only, preferably ahead of time. Anyone who cancels has to pay in advance the next time with no refund (I would bend that policy for sickness and whatnot, but just having it meant people didn't flake for no reason). If a kid is a pain, don't accept them the next time. Have activities ready to go (games, simple crafts) but if they are playing somewhat peacefully then by all means do not disturb them. 

It's a circus, but only for one or two days at a time. You can plan ahead just by looking at the school schedule. 

The other side of the coin is saving money. One easy way to do that is to keep your kids out of activities. No soccer, no music lessons, no karate. If you haven't started with anything, don't. If you have, slowly start scaling back. ECs can be fun and beneficial but your kids are very young and have each for playmates, they will be just fine waiting a few years.

Italicized for digression: I live right by a community sports playground and it makes me a little crazy when I see people who are vocally stressed for time and money out there with kids in tee ball - lordy, there's now an even lower level now called wee ball. I don't know the exact age requirements but tee ball starts at 4, so wee ball is full of kids who can't even wee in the toilet, much less hit and throw a ball. If a family loves hanging out at the ballpark and has the time and money for it, great! But it's not needed. And don't be fooled, there is always more money involved than the listed fee. There's putting in for a coach gift and buying a cute team shirt because all the kids have one and snacks and a team photo and . . . whatever, people are always willing to come up with things to spend money on, lol. /end digression 

I think you pegged it in your last post - you have to keep trudging along. Just remember that every step counts. When you are free of consumer debt, you will go from trudging to sailing along! 

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As someone who just left full time teaching- I say don't if you don't have to. On the other hand, if you are going to need to go to work for long term financial reasons, it is hard to pass up such an opportunity to get more current experience to add to your resume.

i will put out a warning about online public school teaching. The big two may allow a person to work from home; however, the employee is not supposed to be a care giver for a dependent at the same time. Young kids can be in the home with you, but there needs to be another responsible person to look after them. So, this is not a good option for someone who does not want to pay any outside childcare costs or wants to give his or her own children a lot of attention during the day (such as homeschooling at the same time). I have worked for one of the big online providers at the school level intwo different states and I have found that they are extremely flexible with short term stuff like a sick kid or a snow day though. 

I am so burned out with public school that I am done, but I started working for the online provider at the corporate level. First ina seasonal support role and now as a substitute teacher. I have to say that I am happier than I have been in a long time. I have gotten the opportunity to substitute for a school in a different state, and the differences in that state's overall educational culture as made me remember why I liked teaching in the first place. 

 

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5 hours ago, City Mouse said:

As someone who just left full time teaching- I say don't if you don't have to. On the other hand, if you are going to need to go to work for long term financial reasons, it is hard to pass up such an opportunity to get more current experience to add to your resume.

i will put out a warning about online public school teaching. The big two may allow a person to work from home; however, the employee is not supposed to be a care giver for a dependent at the same time. Young kids can be in the home with you, but there needs to be another responsible person to look after them. So, this is not a good option for someone who does not want to pay any outside childcare costs or wants to give his or her own children a lot of attention during the day (such as homeschooling at the same time). I have worked for one of the big online providers at the school level intwo different states and I have found that they are extremely flexible with short term stuff like a sick kid or a snow day though. 

I am so burned out with public school that I am done, but I started working for the online provider at the corporate level. First ina seasonal support role and now as a substitute teacher. I have to say that I am happier than I have been in a long time. I have gotten the opportunity to substitute for a school in a different state, and the differences in that state's overall educational culture as made me remember why I liked teaching in the first place. 

 

I would be interested in online teaching.  Have any contact phone numbers or websites?

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There are people making some decent money by buying things at garage sales or thrift stores and reselling at a profit, if you enjoy shopping. There are apps to see what things are worth I think, etc. 

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On 2/26/2019 at 12:25 PM, LVG said:

Thank you.  That is a great way to look at it.  I guess I just feel so behind the ballgame.  I'm 37, my husband is 40.  We are on Dave Ramsey's program.  It's just hard to listen to him, and not feel the urgency to get things done:)

I am a huge Dave Ramesy fan.  And, in 2016, we were nearly at $100k in debt, and are now down to our last $15k.  I am 41 (so, 37 back in 2016) and DH is 48, ( so 45 back in 2016)  

 

I did NOT go back to work..  At least not any sort of job that would have required daycare or kids in school.

Reasons:   

I pulled my kids out for a reason.  I am actually very pro brick and mortar school and am in fact considering sending DD10 next year.  But the school we were in just WAS NOT GOOD Enough.  My kids education was more important than paying off debt.  

Daycare costs money.  Which means that in order for me to go back to work, I would have had to pay a portion of my salary just for the privileged of working.  Even living in a state with low daycare costs (relative to other states) that was not an insignificant portion.

My DH makes good money.  I don't mean his salary is super high.  I mean that he gets paid an "OT Bonus."  He is an salary exempt professional, which means under the law, he doesn't need to be paid overtime.  But, his company *chooses* to pay him his hourly equivalent for every hour worked over 40hrs in a pay week.  And he could make in one hour, the same as I could make in 4 to 8 hours.  We realized this when, one day, he could have worked an hour over, but I had to be at work.  At the time I was just working retail which meant that he came home one hour early, so I could work 3 hours at my job.  That seemed really silly.

In my case, to get a non retail position, one that used my degree, there are continuing education costs involved.  Again, cutting into my salary.  Just didn't make financial sense.

 

Also, when I pulled my kids out of school, I committed to the idea that we were not a family that is in and out and in and out of school.  I don't have a problem with families that pull their kids, then put them in, then pull them again, but for me, the inconsistency in that didn't work for me personally.  So I wouldnt' put my kids in school, knowing I was pulling them again.

 

Having said ALL of that....3 years is NOT an insignificant amount of time to shave off of debt payoff.  My going to work wouldn't have shaved that much time off of our debt, and I see the allure of cutting that off.  Three years is a LONG time to be on rice and beans (and I have been on "rice and beans" for a LONG time.)  Had I had an opportunity to shave 3 yrs off our debt back in 2016.....I can't promise I wouldn't have taken it.  There would have been a LOT of soul searching, a lot of strategic thinking and planning and a lot of goal discussions with DH.  

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5 hours ago, Terabith said:

I would be interested in online teaching.  Have any contact phone numbers or websites?

 

You can go to https://www.connectionsacademy.com/ and scroll all the way to the bottom to find a very tiny link that says "careers".

k12 Is https://www.k12.com/careers.html

Teaching at an online public school avoids some challenges of a traditional public school, but opens up a who different set of challenges, but it is a lot easier to go to the bathroom when you need to do so.

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