School Cost Versus Salary

Sarah and her husband have $35,000 in debt. Sarah wants to go to school for a better education and a better job. Dave recommends looking into the cost of the school and potential salary before pursuing it.

QUESTION: Sarah in Louisville and her husband both work two jobs each, and they have $35,000 in debt. Sarah wants to go to school for a better education and a better job. They make $53,000 a year together, and Sarah wants to become an ultrasound tech. Dave recommends looking into the cost of the school and potential salary before pursuing it in addition to paying off the debt.

ANSWER: I’d start researching A) what you get paid and B) what it would cost if that’s what you want to do.

I think I would do two things. I would gather a little bit more information in the area of what the incomes actually are—what somebody really makes—and what it costs to go to that school. Then I would make it an immediate goal as soon as you’re debt-free, but you’ve got a bunch of debt to clean up, and this truck is kind of standing in the way. If you guys want to do this sooner rather than later, I’d probably move down in truck. I would probably sell it and buy something very, very inexpensive, and that clears up a big chunk of the debt. Then you guys just tear into this debt, live on nothing, get it cleaned up, and then save up the money to go to school once you’re debt-free. That puts it off about a year, probably, a year and a half, but it’ll be a lot different going to school debt-free than it will with these payments buzzing around your head like last week’s bumblebee.

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