Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A tough one...

I've got a tough decision to make here ... Wes and I are finding it harder and harder to survive on student loans, and we're sinking deeper and deeper into other debts to make up the difference. Our bank account is all but depleted, and we still have one more month of bills before we get more loan money in July. This is how it is at the end of every semester ... the money is gone too soon. And the loan money that we will get in July is already spent: pay off what we've had to put on the credit card during May/June, pay homeowner's insurance for the year, mortgage in advance for the next 6 months, car note, utilities in advance for 6 months, etc ... and we also have to put aside enough money for Wes to travel to interviews for residency programs and possibly live somewhere else for a month for an away rotation.

On top of this, we don't qualify for stupid George Bush's stupid economic stimulus package (sorry for the slight political rant there), because we didn't make $3,000 last year. Oops, we're just trying to be a good student and good mom here ... and now we're being punished for it. So instead of getting the $2,100 that could float us through June and help us out during this crunch, we're still high and dry while our friends all decide what extras to get with their bonus checks ... even though they have jobs and don't need the money as much as we do. (GRRR... again, sorry for this rant...but not really...)

So, there's not much I can do about June ... the mortgage is paid, and we have $500 in the bank to pay some of the rest, and every time we've had this problem in the past, the Lord has pulled us through. But I'm thinking about next year.

I've been offered a position as an assistant teacher at the kids' preschool next year. I know everyone there, and I love them all, so I am sure I could work with them ... but I don't really want to be a preschool teacher! Ugh! Anyway, here's the deal: It will pay $950/month. I will work 5 days a week -- until 12:30 on 4 days and until 6pm on one day. Lillie and Harlan will get to come early and stay late for free and have free lunch every day, and on the early days I'll get off in time to pick up Sophie. On the late day, I'll be allowed to leave to get her and bring her back with me, and she will play there with the other kiddos until it's time to go home.

We will get a childcare loan for Harlan's tuition again, since he's under 5, but I'll have to use $250 of my check for Lillie's tuition. And, no, I don't get a discount for being a teacher.

-100 tithing
-250 Lillie's tuition
600 take home

Is it worth it, for five days a week of preschoolers who are not my kids? And giving up my free mornings (which I don't actually get as much as I was thinking anyway)? And the added stress and guilt of being a 'working mom'? And that one day a week that I'll only see Sophie for an hour before putting her to bed?

Shame on Wes for coming to medical school. And shame on that stupid economic stimulus package. Grrr......

Let me know what you think......I could use your thoughts on this one.


Nicole said...

Perhaps add to the calculation the cost of the lunches you would have fed them at home, that they will get free...do they feed you too? Also consider gas...but I think you would be driving there every day even if you didn't work there, right?

This is a tough decision...but I would say if you're scraping below the bucket every month already, the extra $600 will surely come in handy. And Sophie will be fine that one day a week...I promise! 6/7 is not bad at all! It's way better than 2/7 that some parents have to do.

I'll be praying for you!

Camilla said...

Okay, a few questions first:

1) Why are you paying $250 for school for Lillie? Is this a special school? Is there any way you can teach her at home or a less expensive school? Isn't she starting Kindergarten next year? or for that matter, couldn't you also teach Harlan at home as well-- then you could use the childcare money for groceries/etc.? (I did a preschool co-op this year that worked quite nicely, I can give you more details if interested)

Have you calculated the hourly pay? I am assuming you are going to do about 25 hours/week which is 100 hrs month. So hourly pay is $9.50/hr. You have a college degree and could probably make that much (or more) working at home doing something you might like better. (you should also consider that you will owe some taxes on this pay-- you'll get most of it back in April, but it sounds like you need it when the paycheck comes).

Is there anything else you could cut out in order to make ends meet for a year? Are you on WIC or food stamps-- I know, a bit embarrassing, but it will only be for 8 months--interviewing costs A LOT, A LOT, A LOT!

The other thing to ask yourself is if you do say yes, and end up HATING it, how easy is an escape plan?

Actually it sounds like a pretty good arrangement most days, except I would probably go NUTS on the long day.

The most important thing, is of course, that you try to stay away from consumer debt cause you won't have the means to pay things down significantly for 3-4 more years.

RSchulte said...

Oh girl....
I am the QUEEN of making NO income stretch as far as possible :)
We need to talk. Come over one day soon and we can chat!
I love that you are in the blog world. Me too!
I will send you an invite to mine. Talk to you soon....