I found myself seated at my laptop the other night asking my husband what his take-home pay was per week. It had been almost a year since I drafted a budget. Last time I did it, I don't remember it being so discouraging. We weren't paying a whole lot for daycare, and it was before our house got reassessed (at 250% of it's original value). Uugghckk..
After some brief number crunching, I realized that we have about $300 worth of leeway each month if we pay all the bills and never spend money on anything other than gas (40/week) and food (30/per person/week). I keep telling myself: it could be worse, it could be worse. Really, it's enough money to save for a class, I guess, if nothing goes wrong, if the cars don't break, if no one needs clothes or shoes or to go to the dentist.
I keep looking at jobs in other states. I keep dreaming of some way to get more cash. The Mayo Clinic pays their hospital aides no less than $14.80/hour because of union regulations. Is cost of living higher in Rochester, though? I have no idea. It's probably not enough of a justifiable pay increase to move, especially considering that we own a house and no one wants to move. I keep looking, anyway, though. I'm just not really sure what else to do. I feel a little trapped.
I've started to wonder if maybe I should apply to some kind of accelerated RN program (some of which take only a year), just to make enough money to go to school. There's some overlap with the premedical prerequisites, and I can't help but wonder if the financial aid situation is more encouraging. And, when I would be done, I would be able to make twice as much money per hour which would mean that I could work half as much, leaving more time for classes. I don't know. I don't know if it makes any sense. I guess it would totally depend on financial aid offers.
Probably most nursing programs would hate me if I admitted that I decided apply to nursing school so that I could shield my family from financial collapse and eventually go to medical school. At this point, I'm just really not sure what to do. If I save and manage to put aside money for a class, as soon as I stop working, we'll be screwed. The only thing that seems even remotely feasible would be working part time (which I'm not even sure is an option) and taking a class.
My husband and my parents keep telling me that I'm young, that I have lots of time. It just seems like they don't understand how deflating it feels to not have an even remotely promising plan.
I don't get how I am making this so complicated.
It seems like it shouldn't be so complicated. Really, though, things have changed a lot, especially how difficult it is to procure educational loans these days for more undergrad classes when you already have a bachelor's degree.
So, I just keep looking for better jobs, and going to work, day after day, which I guess is okay. I just don't get how so many people live this way. How are so many people are okay with their mediocre dead-end jobs? Are some of them honestly content, or is this just an illusion?