Can You Afford to Go Back to School?
When you’ve had children, your needs stop coming first. This goes for everything from buying new clothes to advancing your career. Before every decision, big or small, you’ll think about how it affects your children, and you’ll never spend money on yourself if they need something too. Even if their needs are smaller than yours. But, sometimes, it’s good for the family to put yourself first. Going back to school and retraining can lead to a better job, with more money and more time at home with your family. This can be good for everyone. But, going back to school can be very expensive, so it’s certainly not a decision that you can rush into without being sure that you can afford it. Here’s a look at how to save money and finance your studies without having to sacrifice your family’s needs.
The first thing to do before committing to any significant expense is a household budget. This doesn’t need to be anything complicated; a simple excel budget spreadsheet will do. Just make sure that you include absolutely everything you earn and spend each week. Doing this gives you a clear idea of whether you can afford the expense of school, how much you need to save and where you can make cutbacks.
Once you’ve got a budget to look at, some of the easiest places to save money can include your weekly food shopping, by creating meal plans and buying lower-priced ingredients and transport, by walking instead of paying for fuel and parking or public transport.
Online study, like a BSN to MSN online, can be a fantastic option if you’re not sure that you can afford to return to school. Online study will give you the same qualification and opportunities, but it can be much cheaper and offer more flexible payment options. Many moms find that online study is also perfect for their family as it allows them to study flexibly around their other commitments and responsibilities.
One of the best ways to finance anything is to earn more. If possible, it means that you can pay for your tuition yourself without having to take out a loan or make any dramatic cutbacks at home. This is another reason that online study can be the ideal choice. It means that you can study around a part-time job, or even find ways to make money online in your spare time.
If you do decide to try and earn a little extra online, there are countless options. While some, like blogging, can take a lot of hard work and effort, others, like taking online surveys and writing reviews, can be done in minutes. However, as with making money in the real world, the more time and effort you are willing to commit, the more you are likely to earn.
While it would be great if you could either afford the tuition fees yourself or earn enough to cover your costs, it’s not always possible. In this situation, it’s important to remember that financial aid is available to online students too. So, don’t assume that help isn’t available to you. It will depend on your situation.
Depending what you are studying, you may be eligible for a bursary or grant, which is the best option as you won’t ever have to pay the money back. Next, there are scholarships. Traditionally, these have been for those who excel academically or in sports. That’s no longer the case. You could get a scholarship from a company looking to employ more in your field of study, for living in a certain place, or even for being a vegan. There are plenty of options, so, make sure you apply for any you think that you could win if you need financial help.
Once these options have been exhausted, you are left with student loans and financial aid. However, these loans do have to be paid back, often with interest, so make sure that you read the policy and the small print carefully before committing.
A Personal Loan
Another option is asking relatives for help. Borrowing money from loved ones can be difficult, so you may want to have a contract drawn up to prevent any disagreements later on.
Yes, study can be expensive. There’s no denying that. But, it’s also a great way to do something for yourself. Something that could lead to the job you’ve always dreamt of. More than paying for itself over the course of your career. Your family may have to make some cutbacks, but, they’ll be worth it in the end.