Just finished my online financial aid counseling. I remember my first counseling session, when we all came to this large room somewhere on the University campus and got a long, boring lecture. This time round at least I was in my home with a kitty to pet and a glass of wine to sip.
Found the sections on budgeting/living expenses hilarious! Yes, maybe if I was 20 I'd need to cut down on my cell phone expenses and eating out. At this point in my life though there's not a lot I don't know about living on a shoestring.
I am having brief second thoughts about going back to career #1. It would probably cost me about 6 months tuition to get enough Continuing Ed hours to get recertified. Then I'd have to find a job in the not-really-growth field. This job would have mediocre benefits and mean I'd be working most weekends.
New field means: university job with tuition benefits or fed/state/city job with other benefits. 9-5 Monday-Friday workweek. Growth field. Something I'm interested in and passionate about as opposed to burned out on. Is it worth 40K to do this? Yes, the benefits alone are worth 40K.
Deep breath. Borrowing a big chunk of money always makes me nervous.
Now, the question is, can I repay it before Thing 1 heads off to college? Probably not. He'll need to go to a need blind school, get a scholarship, but he has options. Maybe MIL will come through. I wouldn't count on that.
But given the alternatives, this seems like the best path.