Paying for the Classes

Kevin's wife wants to return to school for a master's degree. She'll be reimbursed up to $7,000 a year. They have half of their emergency fund in place. Should they use some of that to get her classes started?

QUESTION: Kevin in Cleveland and his wife are debt-free but the house. His wife wants to return to school for a master’s degree in order to change career paths. She’ll be reimbursed up to $7,000 a year. They have half of their emergency fund in place. Should they use some of that to get her classes started?

ANSWER: Why not just save up the money? It’s not that much.

It’s a very small investment with a fabulous return, and I like what you’re doing. It would be all right to take a little bit out of your emergency fund, but here’s the thing you need to be careful of: Don’t call things emergencies when they aren’t. This isn’t an emergency. It’s a really good thing to do, but it’s not an emergency.

I would just roll up my sleeves and cash flow it. By the time she starts school, we would cash flow for the first set of classes, and she’ll get reimbursed for those as soon as she gets her grades. By the time she finishes that next set of classes, if she wants to ramp up, you could have saved up the difference to move up a notch. But you can do that.

This is not that much and you guys have made such huge progress already that you’ve got this on the run.