But even besides that, I get a nice little reminder of how much money I've spent on other things throughout the year. Enter this number: $8,340. That's how much I paid, out of pocket, for my teaching licensure program last year. Talk about a serious punch in the gut. I could cry thinking about it. That $8,340 would be sooo nice to put in our 'we want to build someday' savings account.
Now, I know there are a lot of people out there with school debt/loans/payments that far exceed $8,000, and that I should be fortunate for paying that little, but in all reality, it just makes me frustrated. Frustrated because this is the 3rd time I've been to college, for a different degree, in the last 8 years. Couldn't I get it right the first time for Pete's sake!?!?!? 25 years old and 8 years and 3 degrees later, I feel like I'm just starting out. And that just makes me upset. I feel like I've wasted the past few years, unsure of my future. Ben and I have worked so hard to save and watch our spending since we've been dating, and I feel like all we've been able to show for it is stinkin' papers and school bills.
I'm not downing a college education. I feel like it's a priceless thing to have. Instead, I'm just fussing at myself for essentially not getting it right the first time. We've been scrimping and saving to pay for me to go back to school. I feel like my poor decisions have set us back several years. And I'm just mad at myself.
When it's all said and done, we'll have paid around $12,500 for me to go back to school and get my teaching certificate. That may not be a lot to most people, but to us, that's a huge chunk of change. I let my mind wander and let my faith drift, and think about all of the other things that we could have really used that money for.
I've been in a little bit of a money funk lately. I never imagined that the principle of quitting my job to student teach would be so hard. But after having a husband, a baby, and an established career, I feel lost going back and working as an intern. I feel like I'm shorting my family by spending $12,500 doing something I should have done years ago, before my little family came along. I think about the years I've been working and saving. And then I watch it flush down the toilet as I pay for school and run through my savings. I've been jobless since November, and have been living off of my savings. The same savings I worked so hard building up. Now, just paying for daycare, gas, and groceries, it's disappearing like chocolate peanut butter patty Girl Scout cookies at my house this time of year.
I know this is just a season in my life, and I pray that one day I'll look back on this time and appreciate it. It is teaching me some incredibly valuable lessons about finances, saving, and what matters the most. But for now, it's just been easy to look back and see what I should have done differently. Hindsight is always 20/20.....
Are any of you career-changers? Feel like you're stuck in a financial rut paying for school and/or loans? How do you cope?
Have a blessed Tuesday :)