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Abby wants to go back to school to become an RN. She and her husband will be in debt in order for Abby to go to school. Dave helps Abby figure out where to find more money instead of going into debt.

QUESTION: Abby in Jackson is an LPN and wants to go back to school to become an RN. In order to do it, she and her husband would have to put their sons in daycare at about $200 a week. They’ll be in debt in order for Abby to go to school, but she’d make a lot more when she gets out. Dave helps Abby figure out where to find more money instead of going into debt.

ANSWER: Your income’s not going to drop. The only thing that’ll add is the $10,000 for school, and you need $200 a week for daycare. Eight hundred dollars a month is another $10,000 a year. You need $20,000.

I’m not going to tell anybody to go into debt. This is The Dave Ramsey Show. We don’t tell people to go into debt. We’ve got to figure out where to get more money.

What would happen if you went ahead and put the kids in daycare now and instead of one year, we’re dealing with 18 months and you worked like a crazy person through the week? I’ll bet that if you and your husband worked extra jobs, between now and May, you can get together most of your $20,000. Besides that, once you’re out of debt, you probably could cash flow some of this daycare. It doesn’t all have to be saved up. If we said five months and you made an extra $2,000 a month for five months, that’d be $10,000—between the two of you. That pays for the school. Then you guys have to really roll up your sleeves and scrimp and save and pay for the daycare out of your pocket. That would work.

You could do that. Pay cash for college, and pay for the daycare out of your pocket by just cutting your lifestyle to nothing. That’s the sacrifice you are doing to make an extra $30,000 a year later and be an RN. It’s 18 months of sacrifice that has a wonderful long-term payoff. I think that’s my plan. Don’t just hit the default button like normal people and go, “Oh, you can’t be a student without a student loan.” Let’s instead figure out how to work and save and pay for it and plan around this. Scheme and scam until you figure it out. I think this is doable for you. That’s the way we’ve approached things at our place. It’s worked really well for us.

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