Author Topic: Attacking Debt--suggestions?  (Read 30956 times)

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #100 on: January 16, 2016, 04:38:00 AM »
That's understandable, but you are clever and I bet if you think about it and work at it, applying the professional knowledge you've already got to the problem, that you can get there.

I certainly could, but one of my problems is time management. I don't even know where to get started in the planning process, so I waste a lot of time and accomplish very little.

Jakejake

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #101 on: January 16, 2016, 06:55:43 AM »

By teaching yourself.

I agree, but that's actually difficult for me. This is going to sound silly, but no one ever taught me how to do that. I'm also bad at teaching myself to teach myself.
This is probably the most interesting post in the thread to me - I think it gets to the core of the problem. And it sounds like a great challenge to tackle because it's such a huge step in self-sufficiency.

I would pick one thing you want to learn and brainstorm how you could learn it without paying to take a class on it.  On a ridiculously tiny level, let's say you've never made a smoothie before, without taking a cooking class, what are two ways you could figure out how to do it?

That's pretty easy, but take that thought process, and apply it to the next thing you want to learn.

And when you are teaching, whenever possible, ask your students to do that as well. For example, if you are teaching ESL, ask them: Outside of class, what are some ways you could improve your English skills? See how many things they can come up with. It's a great exercise for them (teaching them to teach themselves) and also you see how many of the ideas they come up with can also be useful for you if you are trying to master another language.

gaja

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #102 on: January 16, 2016, 08:42:44 AM »
Well, in theory, I have ample opportunities to learn new languages, because I teach ESL and have several speakers of French, a few in Spanish, and a handful of Farsi speakers. In theory, I could do a language exchange with any of my students to gain enhanced language proficiency, but I'm likely not going to do that, because it's not something I should be doing and I wouldn't feel confident enough to try to communicate with them without being afraid of making mistakes. Learning it in school provides an easier more accepting atmosphere to practice. The language teachers and tutors are great, and many of them are native speakers. Plus, I just miss the other aspects of college life, like the free counseling and discounted everything. The bus pass was only $20, not $40. I could rent a bicycle, write for the paper, start a student club, etc. in addition to going to classes. I had ample opportunity to feel productive as a student, as an adult, not so much. My teaching jobs only take up a few hours of my day, and I feel like I haven't helped anyone at the end of it. There's so much I still want to learn.

I love learning new stuff, and I love the university atmosphere. I even enjoy taking exams. That is why my FIRE plans include going back to uni. We don't have tuition costs here, except $50 student administration fee, so if I have enough to cover living expences, the sky would be the limit to how many degrees I could earn. But to reach this goal faster, and make the experience even more fulfilling, I'm considering getting a sign language and writing interpreter licence. That way I can follow a deaf or HOH student to his/her classes, help them out, and learn a lot while doing it. Recording audio textbooks for blind and dyslexic students is also a very good way to learn while working.

We might have similar dreams, kmb501, the difference is that I have a plan. I already have 20 years of school (age 7 to 26). Now I'm approaching 10 years of job/marriage/kids. Based on my grandparents, I'll probably live to 100, but the last 10 years dementia will hit. So I need to make the most of the next 55 years. If we spend the next 5 years paying down all debt and adding to the savings accounts, including getting rid of the mortgage, we can afford DH staying at home and me working part time as an interpreter. Yes, I'll be 40 yo, but I will not even be half way through life.

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #103 on: January 16, 2016, 10:15:45 AM »
Perhaps it's not very realistic, but it's better than just sitting around and dreaming about what could be.

Veterinary medicine, law, foreign language, and computer programming are all careers that could take me far. I could probably work for anyone, and  I wouldn't be bound to one place. Teaching, except maybe private tutoring, is not a very lucrative career, and I wasn't concerned about money at first, but now I sort of am, because I would like to be able to pay off my student loan debt without going hungry. I would also just like more flexibility with my options in life.

pbkmaine

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Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #104 on: January 16, 2016, 11:01:24 AM »
When I was a child, my dream was to be a translator. I enjoyed writing. Public speaking was fun. I am an extrovert. I like tests. I got an undergraduate degree in English and an MBA in Finance, and then a bunch of professional designations. I spent my career translating technical concepts for laypeople, first as a financial planner, then as a pension consultant. I also did quite a bit of writing and speaking in my field. In other words, I found jobs that fit what I liked to do and what I was good at.  I had fun (well, for the most part) and made good money at the same time.

My question for you is: what are those things for you? What do you like to do? What are you good at? If you don't know the answers, you need to find them. You could start with What Color is Your Parachute, which is almost certainly at your local library.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2016, 11:18:12 AM by pbkmaine »

mozar

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #105 on: January 16, 2016, 12:28:11 PM »
What color is your parachute:
http://www.joycenter.net/wp-content/uploads/parachute2012.pdf

Books on teaching:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/antwaunsargent/books-that-will-make-you-a-better-teacher#.ovqXRbm27

ESL curriculum design
http://esl.about.com/od/esleflteachertraining/a/t_enonpro2.htm

I'm also bad at teaching myself to teach myself, but no one is born with that skill. I've learned through reading books.

Quote
Veterinary medicine, law, foreign language, and computer programming are all careers that could take me far. I could probably work for anyone

You think these jobs will fix everything, but it will take much more work to get there. You don't just go to school and voila someone gives you a really high salary. No matter what profession you are in you have to teach yourself, communicate well, try hard things, and be social. One reason I went into accounting was because I though I wouldn't have to talk to people, but talking to people is 40% of the job.
It turns out you can't get the big bucks without major social skills.
Teaching may not be lucrative but you do have a lot of options. Honesty I don't think you could handle law or computer programming at least not without getting help with ASD.

lbmustache

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #106 on: January 16, 2016, 12:56:04 PM »
I think I'm ready to make a change, but I feel like I need more education. I know you are probably asking why, but I feel like I can't exactly do what I want with what I currently have. Going back to school might be kind of dumb, but what are my alternatives? I would love to throw 100 percent of my income at that debt and get it taken care of in 5 years or less, but I don't think that's even possible, and what's worse, in the past when I've made sacrifices to try to save money, I ended up being uncomfortable and actually spending MORE. I have a problem. I don't tend to reason through my situations.

Yeah, I think we're all noticing that you operate from the gut, rather than reason. You seem like your response to being lost in the woods would be to run in some direction, ANY direction, rather than to sit still a moment to try to get your bearings and figure out which direction would be best.

At heart, I think what everyone here is telling you-- in one way or another-- is to STOP DOING THAT, because a) that's what got you into trouble in the first place, b) it is prone to getting you into more trouble, and c) it is not, in any way, shape, or fashion, going to be helpful in getting you OUT of trouble. You feel like, because you have a big problem, you need to solve it with something equally big! and fast! because it sucks to feel like this! This is not the case.

Consider what you were talking about when you said "I end up being uncomfortable and actually spending MORE"-- because learning to deal with discomfort without throwing money at it is at the heart of the philosophy around here. We use relatively mild discomfort (OH NO I CANNOT WATCH THE TV SHOW I WANT IMMEDIATELY / OH NO I HAVE TO MAKE MY OWN DINNER) as a tool to inoculate ourselves against things that are actually hard and bad. Think of it as curated discomfort-- a specific set of discomforts selected to increase your satisfaction in life, and your confidence, and your joy by learning to overcome them.

We live in a culture that is terrified of boredom and terrified of discomfort. We are no longer encouraged to entertain ourselves or to toughen up; we're encouraged to buy things that will solve the immediate problem, although at the cost of never letting us learn how to deal with it ourselves and never letting us learn patience by having to wait for things.

What we are telling you is to be still for a moment and just sort of sit with the discomfort. Sit with the discomfort of being $100K in debt. Sit with the discomfort of being dissatisfied with what you are doing. Sit with the discomfort of not having everything you want RIGHT NOW. Don't berate yourself for it, don't flail around for ways to fix it as fast as possible, just hang out with these discomforts and let them exist.

Then start making changes. Not drastic ones; we are asking you to start making your own smoothies, not OMG MUST SOLVE ENTIRE PROBLEM RIGHT NOW. The point here is to grow as a person, and, by doing so, transform your financial situation.

Going to school to solve your problems is a solution that you're comfortable with, but honestly it ain't all that. Employers are more impressed by "I am fluent in Spanish after living in Mexico for three years" than "I went to school to learn Spanish and I have a degree to prove it!", because the first indicates that you're a badass who can brave the confusion and discomfort of learning another language through use in the field, while the other indicates that you are comfortable with learning things in a classroom setting and writing papers.

Get comfortable with discomfort, delayed reward, and inconvenience. Start by making your own smoothies.

I am quoting this again because it still applies. You are still looking towards bandaids to fix your problem. Going back to school will just add to your debt and not fix any of the problems you are mentioning here.

How to teach yourself? "Make mistakes, get messy." Watch youtube videos. Read a book. I just installed under cabinet lighting and took half my kitchen apart. Did I go to school for any of this? No. I have a degree in Communication, not home improvement. Never even took home ec or whatever the class is called. I went to Home Depot, looked at some reviews, bought a drill that was rated well, and the drill bits I needed, and went to work. Watched some youtube videos and read some forum posts. Everything has turned out okay so far.

You cite communication skills as a problem holding you back in your current career. Do you think these communication skills are not necessary for professions in: veterinary medicine, law, foreign language? (maybe not for computer programming - ha ha don't kill me computer programmers :)

I agree, do the what color is your parachute thing, maybe even a Myers-Brigg test. It will give you a clearer idea of what skills you possess and what careers would be suited to your personality type.

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #107 on: January 16, 2016, 02:09:30 PM »
I'm reading What Color is Your Parachute? now. Thank you. You've all given me some great information.

gaja

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #108 on: January 16, 2016, 02:30:27 PM »
Perhaps it's not very realistic, but it's better than just sitting around and dreaming about what could be.

Unrealistic plans are the same as dreams. Except they can do major damage if you try to implement them.

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #109 on: January 16, 2016, 03:19:11 PM »
Mustachians,

I do think going back to school for additional math or science (including computer science) training is a very good idea. Here is my rationale. Math, science, and foreign language teachers are in high demand in this area. Additional certification in these fields would mean that I would be able to choose from a pretty wide job pool. I would also have more luck as a private tutor.

The question is, though, is there a way for me to go back to school without deferring my loans? I plan to pay for my classes out of pocket, but, unless I misunderstood, my lender said that my loans would go back into deferment if I went back to school. I wonder if there is an option for me to keep my loans in repayment, even if I go back to school part-time? 

pbkmaine

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #110 on: January 16, 2016, 03:35:10 PM »
Math, science, computer science. Do you like any of these subject areas? Did you get good grades in them? Do you read science books and do math puzzles for fun? Have you ever written an app just to see if you could? STEM people tend to have minds that work in a certain way. Does your mind work that way?

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #111 on: January 16, 2016, 03:38:20 PM »
Math, science, computer science. Do you like any of these subject areas? Did you get good grades in them? Do you read science books and do math puzzles for fun? Have you ever written an app just to see if you could? STEM people tend to have minds that work in a certain way. Does your mind work that way?


I love languages quite a bit, and, although I'm not the best math student, I love reading about new scientific discoveries and love learning about animals, plants, and elements. I would need a bit of guidance to develop an app or learn really heavy math-related stuff.

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #112 on: January 16, 2016, 03:51:42 PM »
Yikes! The more I think about it, the less appealing going back to school looks to me. Tuition and fees have climbed pretty high. The university I was considering now charges around $400-$500 per credit hour--that's about $1200-$1500 per class, not including miscellaneous fees. Wow...I should have signed up when the cost was lower.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2016, 03:57:01 PM by kmb501 »

mozar

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #113 on: January 16, 2016, 03:58:10 PM »
Quote
I do think going back to school for additional math or science

Stop thinking that school is going to answer your problems. Your plans are too vague. See how you can turn your ESL experience into a better job. You already have a masters.

Here is a website that can help you ascertain your proficiency.
https://www.khanacademy.org/

Kris

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #114 on: January 16, 2016, 04:01:59 PM »
Quote
I do think going back to school for additional math or science

Stop thinking that school is going to answer your problems. Your plans are too vague. See how you can turn your ESL experience into a better job. You already have a masters.

Here is a website that can help you ascertain your proficiency.
https://www.khanacademy.org/

I agree.

Want to get better in a language? Get a job abroad as an English teacher, in a country that speaks the language you want to learn.

pbkmaine

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #115 on: January 16, 2016, 04:04:24 PM »

Quote
I do think going back to school for additional math or science

Stop thinking that school is going to answer your problems. Your plans are too vague. See how you can turn your ESL experience into a better job. You already have a masters.

Here is a website that can help you ascertain your proficiency.
https://www.khanacademy.org/

I agree.

Want to get better in a language? Get a job abroad as an English teacher, in a country that speaks the language you want to learn.

This is a very good idea.

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #116 on: January 16, 2016, 04:25:42 PM »
I'm definitely not against teaching abroad, but my second job should provide me with leads to teaching abroad opportunities, and, so far, it hasn't done so, but most of the European countries aren't looking for fresh teachers, at least not on the websites I've visited. Plus, since I already have two decent teaching jobs, wouldn't it make sense to look for online ESL teaching opportunities or paid language exchanges? That way, I would not only be getting language practice, but I would be getting paid on top of it. 

Kris

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #117 on: January 16, 2016, 04:27:14 PM »
I'm definitely not against teaching abroad, but my second job should provide me with leads to teaching abroad opportunities, and, so far, it hasn't done so, but most of the European countries aren't looking for fresh teachers, at least not on the websites I've visited. Plus, since I already have two decent teaching jobs, wouldn't it make sense to look for online ESL teaching opportunities or paid language exchanges? That way, I would not only be getting language practice, but I would be getting paid on top of it.

What language do you want to speak fluently?

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #118 on: January 16, 2016, 04:28:55 PM »


What language do you want to speak fluently?

Spanish, French, and Farsi...

I already know a fair amount of Spanish, but I'm not fluent; I have trouble with verb conjugations and spelling.

My French is not so great and sometimes gets confused with my Spanish...

I don't know many words in Farsi...
« Last Edit: January 16, 2016, 04:31:29 PM by kmb501 »

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #119 on: January 16, 2016, 05:09:23 PM »

By teaching yourself.

I agree, but that's actually difficult for me. This is going to sound silly, but no one ever taught me how to do that. I'm also bad at teaching myself to teach myself.
This is probably the most interesting post in the thread to me - I think it gets to the core of the problem. And it sounds like a great challenge to tackle because it's such a huge step in self-sufficiency.

I would pick one thing you want to learn and brainstorm how you could learn it without paying to take a class on it.  On a ridiculously tiny level, let's say you've never made a smoothie before, without taking a cooking class, what are two ways you could figure out how to do it?

That's pretty easy, but take that thought process, and apply it to the next thing you want to learn.

And when you are teaching, whenever possible, ask your students to do that as well. For example, if you are teaching ESL, ask them: Outside of class, what are some ways you could improve your English skills? See how many things they can come up with. It's a great exercise for them (teaching them to teach themselves) and also you see how many of the ideas they come up with can also be useful for you if you are trying to master another language.

Languages--without taking a class, I could get a textbook, look up a syllabus online (for pacing information), and advertise on Craigslist for a language exchange partner. I could also Google YouTube videos, possibly the news, with captions or accompanying transcripts in that language. I could also, with the help Google Translate, keep a journal in that language with information about my progress. I could also sign up and practice my pronunciation on free sites like Duo Lingo and Live Mocha. It would be a little slow at first, but after a while I might catch on and start being able to have decent conversations in my new language. Now, all I need is a conversation partner and a decent textbook.

Math--I could practice basic math on Khan Academy, take a look at the course requirements for a teaching certificate in math, purchase a textbook from Amazon, work through the problems and check the answers in the back of the book, use Google to look up real-world examples of the problems, and find sample Praxis math tests. I could also hire a tutor to work with me on studying for the math Praxis.

Science--Again, it would be beneficial to look online for a list of course requirements, buy or rent the textbooks, download a syllabus outlining what I need to study, watch videos outlining the subjects, Google practice Praxis tests, buy a Praxis test prep book, and hire a science major as a tutor if I'm not sure of myself.

Computer Programming--my best bet, I think, would be to approach it as I've approached the other tasks above, except I think I need to find an apprenticeship in the area to really feel confident I know what I'm doing.


kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #120 on: January 16, 2016, 05:50:53 PM »
Thanks for those books on teaching.

Kris

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #121 on: January 16, 2016, 05:53:55 PM »


What language do you want to speak fluently?

Spanish, French, and Farsi...

I already know a fair amount of Spanish, but I'm not fluent; I have trouble with verb conjugations and spelling.

My French is not so great and sometimes gets confused with my Spanish...

I don't know many words in Farsi...

Choos one.

Which one?

Kris

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #122 on: January 16, 2016, 05:55:29 PM »

By teaching yourself.

I agree, but that's actually difficult for me. This is going to sound silly, but no one ever taught me how to do that. I'm also bad at teaching myself to teach myself.
This is probably the most interesting post in the thread to me - I think it gets to the core of the problem. And it sounds like a great challenge to tackle because it's such a huge step in self-sufficiency.

I would pick one thing you want to learn and brainstorm how you could learn it without paying to take a class on it.  On a ridiculously tiny level, let's say you've never made a smoothie before, without taking a cooking class, what are two ways you could figure out how to do it?

That's pretty easy, but take that thought process, and apply it to the next thing you want to learn.

And when you are teaching, whenever possible, ask your students to do that as well. For example, if you are teaching ESL, ask them: Outside of class, what are some ways you could improve your English skills? See how many things they can come up with. It's a great exercise for them (teaching them to teach themselves) and also you see how many of the ideas they come up with can also be useful for you if you are trying to master another language.

Languages--without taking a class, I could get a textbook, look up a syllabus online (for pacing information), and advertise on Craigslist for a language exchange partner. I could also Google YouTube videos, possibly the news, with captions or accompanying transcripts in that language. I could also, with the help Google Translate, keep a journal in that language with information about my progress. I could also sign up and practice my pronunciation on free sites like Duo Lingo and Live Mocha. It would be a little slow at first, but after a while I might catch on and start being able to have decent conversations in my new language. Now, all I need is a conversation partner and a decent textbook.

Math--I could practice basic math on Khan Academy, take a look at the course requirements for a teaching certificate in math, purchase a textbook from Amazon, work through the problems and check the answers in the back of the book, use Google to look up real-world examples of the problems, and find sample Praxis math tests. I could also hire a tutor to work with me on studying for the math Praxis.

Science--Again, it would be beneficial to look online for a list of course requirements, buy or rent the textbooks, download a syllabus outlining what I need to study, watch videos outlining the subjects, Google practice Praxis tests, buy a Praxis test prep book, and hire a science major as a tutor if I'm not sure of myself.

Computer Programming--my best bet, I think, would be to approach it as I've approached the other tasks above, except I think I need to find an apprenticeship in the area to really feel confident I know what I'm doing.

Are you doing any -- ANY -- of this right now?

pbkmaine

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #123 on: January 16, 2016, 05:58:33 PM »

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #124 on: January 16, 2016, 05:58:46 PM »


Choos one.

Which one?

I'll go with Spanish for now. It's the language I know the most of. I'm just not fluent.

Kris

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #125 on: January 16, 2016, 06:08:34 PM »


Choos one.

Which one?

I'll go with Spanish for now. It's the language I know the most of. I'm just not fluent.

Then here. Choose a Spanish speaking country.

https://www.interexchange.org/travel-abroad/teach-english/

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #126 on: January 16, 2016, 06:17:06 PM »


Choos one.

Which one?

I'll go with Spanish for now. It's the language I know the most of. I'm just not fluent.

Then here. Choose a Spanish speaking country.

https://www.interexchange.org/travel-abroad/teach-english/

Wow, I should have applied for some of this while I was in college. It sounds like a cool idea.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2016, 06:18:48 PM by kmb501 »

Kris

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #127 on: January 16, 2016, 06:18:02 PM »


Choos one.

Which one?

I'll go with Spanish for now. It's the language I know the most of. I'm just not fluent.

Then here. Choose a Spanish speaking country.

https://www.interexchange.org/travel-abroad/teach-english/

Wow, I should have applied for some of this while I was in college. The study abroad department wasn't really a lot of help.

So do it now.

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #128 on: January 16, 2016, 06:20:04 PM »
https://www.teachaway.com

Some of these are offering free accommodation and a decent salary. I think I'm going to apply and see what I come up with. 

pbkmaine

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #129 on: January 16, 2016, 06:20:55 PM »
Go for it!

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #130 on: January 16, 2016, 06:43:31 PM »
Okay,

I applied. I hope they call me back...

pbkmaine

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #131 on: January 16, 2016, 06:46:13 PM »
If not there are many similar programs.

pbkmaine

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #132 on: January 16, 2016, 06:48:55 PM »

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #133 on: January 16, 2016, 06:51:52 PM »
Thanks for posting the links. The only ones I was aware of before were TeachAway and Dave's ESL Cafe.

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #134 on: January 17, 2016, 06:25:56 AM »
In other news, I found a $500-$600 hole in my budget (spent mostly on clothes and dinner out, shamefully), and I'm planning to plug it by skimming that amount off of every paycheck I get and investing it into a high-yield savings account or saving toward something I feel like I need or want, like land, property to rent out, a good car, or more school (after I've figured out what I want to do). I also plan to make the necessary lifestyle changes to accommodate the new budget, like making my own food and freezing it for when I need it, getting more exercise via taking a bike to my primary and second job and using the car as little as possible, getting the car fixed so that it is able to be sold, and maybe even learning how to make my own work clothes (although that will take time and patience. I did sign up for a sewing class, though. I did that before posting my concerns here, and it was only $30.)

I've also found local opportunities for language exchanges in both Spanish and French, so perhaps I'm on my way to meeting my goals.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2016, 06:33:43 AM by kmb501 »

Jakejake

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #135 on: January 17, 2016, 08:18:54 AM »
Excellent job on finding the budget hole!

Maybe you answered this and I missed it, but are all your student loans going to be forgiven? If not, how much will be forgiven, and how much will you need to pay back?

lbmustache

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #136 on: January 17, 2016, 12:55:17 PM »
In other news, I found a $500-$600 hole in my budget (spent mostly on clothes and dinner out, shamefully), and I'm planning to plug it by skimming that amount off of every paycheck I get and investing it into a high-yield savings account or saving toward something I feel like I need or want, like land, property to rent out, a good car, or more school (after I've figured out what I want to do). I also plan to make the necessary lifestyle changes to accommodate the new budget, like making my own food and freezing it for when I need it, getting more exercise via taking a bike to my primary and second job and using the car as little as possible, getting the car fixed so that it is able to be sold, and maybe even learning how to make my own work clothes (although that will take time and patience. I did sign up for a sewing class, though. I did that before posting my concerns here, and it was only $30.)

I've also found local opportunities for language exchanges in both Spanish and French, so perhaps I'm on my way to meeting my goals.

Sounds like you're getting on track, good work!

mozar

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #137 on: January 17, 2016, 02:23:46 PM »
Woohoo! Sewing your own clothes won't save you money though.

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #138 on: January 17, 2016, 02:40:52 PM »
Woohoo! Sewing your own clothes won't save you money though.


I agree that the clearance racks have a lot of good items, but knowing how to sew might help me save money if I learn how to re-purpose old garments, hand-me-downs, and clothing from the thrift store. It also might help me save on having clothing tailored, as I should be able to do it myself after I learn how. 

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #139 on: January 17, 2016, 02:48:42 PM »
Excellent job on finding the budget hole!

Maybe you answered this and I missed it, but are all your student loans going to be forgiven? If not, how much will be forgiven, and how much will you need to pay back?

From what I understand, all of my loans are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. They're all federal loans. Some are subsidized, but a large portion of them are unsubsidized. I'm guessing the accrual of interest while I was in college is the reason my balance is so high now...

cats

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #140 on: January 17, 2016, 03:22:48 PM »
Mustachians,

I do think going back to school for additional math or science (including computer science) training is a very good idea. Here is my rationale. Math, science, and foreign language teachers are in high demand in this area. Additional certification in these fields would mean that I would be able to choose from a pretty wide job pool. I would also have more luck as a private tutor.

The question is, though, is there a way for me to go back to school without deferring my loans? I plan to pay for my classes out of pocket, but, unless I misunderstood, my lender said that my loans would go back into deferment if I went back to school. I wonder if there is an option for me to keep my loans in repayment, even if I go back to school part-time?

When I went back to school for my master's, I would have had to specifically request that my loans go back into deferment--it was not automatic.  Granted, my loan amount was much smaller than what you were dealing with, so I wasn't really too fussed about whether or not they were in deferment--the minimum monthly payment was totally manageable on my grad student stipend so I just kept throwing money at them.  So I think you might want to check the fine print of your loan and figure out if you would automatically go back into deferment or if it's something you would have to request.  In general, deferment is offered as a "benefit" so that people don't have to worry about making loan payments while they're in school.  If you were to work and attend school part-time, I don't see that you would necessarily need to go into deferment, as long as you could keep making minimum payments on your loans.

If math/science/foreign language teachers are in high demand in your area, have you looked into whether or not you need actual coursework beyond your teaching certification?  I briefly looked into teaching a while back and it seemed like if you really were looking for a job in a high demand subject, there was some flexibility with regards to qualifications (though I had the opposite situation to you, lots of math/science but no teaching certification).  If a school district is desperate enough and you can convince them you have enough qualifications to be worth investing in, they may also have some options for helping you with getting additional qualifications.  How much work have you put in with regards to speaking to school principals (or whoever does the hiring) and asking "would you have a job opening for me?  If not, is it because of my qualifications, and what additional qualifications would get me a job here?".  Right now it seems like you have an idea that certain teaching jobs are more lucrative but it's not clear that you have gotten any further than the general idea stage.  You need to be further along before you sink more money into coursework.

And, if you are thinking of doing additional foreign language work, you will benefit much more from classes if you are also making an effort to learn on your own, so definitely use some of the suggestions you've been given here! 

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #141 on: January 17, 2016, 03:32:31 PM »
Mustachians,

I do think going back to school for additional math or science (including computer science) training is a very good idea. Here is my rationale. Math, science, and foreign language teachers are in high demand in this area. Additional certification in these fields would mean that I would be able to choose from a pretty wide job pool. I would also have more luck as a private tutor.

The question is, though, is there a way for me to go back to school without deferring my loans? I plan to pay for my classes out of pocket, but, unless I misunderstood, my lender said that my loans would go back into deferment if I went back to school. I wonder if there is an option for me to keep my loans in repayment, even if I go back to school part-time?

When I went back to school for my master's, I would have had to specifically request that my loans go back into deferment--it was not automatic.  Granted, my loan amount was much smaller than what you were dealing with, so I wasn't really too fussed about whether or not they were in deferment--the minimum monthly payment was totally manageable on my grad student stipend so I just kept throwing money at them.  So I think you might want to check the fine print of your loan and figure out if you would automatically go back into deferment or if it's something you would have to request.  In general, deferment is offered as a "benefit" so that people don't have to worry about making loan payments while they're in school.  If you were to work and attend school part-time, I don't see that you would necessarily need to go into deferment, as long as you could keep making minimum payments on your loans.

If math/science/foreign language teachers are in high demand in your area, have you looked into whether or not you need actual coursework beyond your teaching certification?  I briefly looked into teaching a while back and it seemed like if you really were looking for a job in a high demand subject, there was some flexibility with regards to qualifications (though I had the opposite situation to you, lots of math/science but no teaching certification).  If a school district is desperate enough and you can convince them you have enough qualifications to be worth investing in, they may also have some options for helping you with getting additional qualifications.  How much work have you put in with regards to speaking to school principals (or whoever does the hiring) and asking "would you have a job opening for me?  If not, is it because of my qualifications, and what additional qualifications would get me a job here?".  Right now it seems like you have an idea that certain teaching jobs are more lucrative but it's not clear that you have gotten any further than the general idea stage.  You need to be further along before you sink more money into coursework.

And, if you are thinking of doing additional foreign language work, you will benefit much more from classes if you are also making an effort to learn on your own, so definitely use some of the suggestions you've been given here!

I have inquired, and they require math and science coursework, but they don't necessarily require a teaching license, as you have the option of earning that while you work. It can't be done the other way around, though, without good scores on the Praxis for those subjects and a minimum level of coursework. Right now, I only have about 8 hours of coursework in math and about 12 in science, no where near the 30-40 hours required.

cats

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #142 on: January 17, 2016, 05:10:41 PM »
Well okay, how about foreign language, since it sounds like that's something you probably have a good start on, and that is (I think) easier to self-teach?  If you have an ESL certification and can hit a certain level on the praxis exam, would you be a candidate for a foreign language teaching position, or do they really want to see coursework?  And if they want to see coursework, are you looking at just a couple additional courses, or several semesters of full-time coursework? 

Also, I know you have said that you looked into teaching abroad in Europe and it didn't seem to be a good option, how would you feel about Japan?  I know several people who have gone to Japan for a couple of years to teach English through the JET program.  Not sure how well it pays but they did all come back with a decent grasp of Japanese.

I also wouldn't 100% rule out the Middle East if I were you.  I had a teacher who had spent time teaching in the Middle East and he said that if you were willing to basically stay in the compound for foreign employees, a lot of the crazy restrictions on lifestyle were not as much of an issue as you might think from what's presented in the news.  Obviously for a woman it might still feel too restrictive, but for a year or two of astronomical salary it might be worth at least evaluating whether or not there are more westernized/permissive countries that you could manage in.  India might also be worth looking into?

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #143 on: January 17, 2016, 05:28:00 PM »
Well,

Another issue for me that I'm planning to try to look into next week is ASD--it's high-functioning autism that presents mainly as a social communication disorder. I was tested for it a few months ago at a student clinic, and I'm planning to get a second opinion tomorrow as to whether or not I actually have it. If I do, I suspect it might be one of the reasons I've had quite a difficult time actually communicating and connecting with my students.

I inquired about foreign language teaching; they said that I need an actual degree in it, similar to the math and science teaching requirement. In reality, though, they might overlook the coursework requirement if I can pass the Praxis and demonstrate fluency. The local university also has a program to help people in that situation who already know a lot of the language; they can opt to go to the highest level language classes and get credit for the ones below it if they pass the higher level coursework.   

The JET program is something I might want to look into, but I don't think I would be interested in teaching in the Middle East. I've heard it's great money, and it might be safe if you know what you're doing, but I don't want my slight tendency to stutter and social communication disorder to leave me committing faux pas with major consequences.

ooeei

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #144 on: January 18, 2016, 07:27:07 AM »
Well,

Another issue for me that I'm planning to try to look into next week is ASD--it's high-functioning autism that presents mainly as a social communication disorder. I was tested for it a few months ago at a student clinic, and I'm planning to get a second opinion tomorrow as to whether or not I actually have it. If I do, I suspect it might be one of the reasons I've had quite a difficult time actually communicating and connecting with my students.

I inquired about foreign language teaching; they said that I need an actual degree in it, similar to the math and science teaching requirement. In reality, though, they might overlook the coursework requirement if I can pass the Praxis and demonstrate fluency. The local university also has a program to help people in that situation who already know a lot of the language; they can opt to go to the highest level language classes and get credit for the ones below it if they pass the higher level coursework.   

The JET program is something I might want to look into, but I don't think I would be interested in teaching in the Middle East. I've heard it's great money, and it might be safe if you know what you're doing, but I don't want my slight tendency to stutter and social communication disorder to leave me committing faux pas with major consequences.

While I understand that ASD is a big deal for you, being diagnosed (or not) isn't going to change your situation.  Whether your lack of social skills is from ASD or some other source, you're still in the same position.  Based on this thread you have some confidence issues, which need to be addressed.  Temple Grandin is the highest profile ASD person I know of, she clearly has issues with social interaction yet she's made a career of public speaking.  She found something she was good at, and worked very hard at it despite all of the difficulties along the way.  Yeah as of today she has some "celebrity" pull to get people to listen to her, but can you imagine her trying to convince farmers/ranchers/companies to adopt her methods before anyone had heard of her?  Despite her social issues, she got a lot of people to listen to her. 

As someone mentioned earlier, it seems like you're expecting someone else to send you to the "next step" in life, and that's not what happens in the real world.  We've all seen people working jobs they were overqualified for and had been at for 20 years without promotion.  I knew a few people at the last company where I worked who were great at their jobs, but never really TRIED to move up or out from their current position.  Guess what, if you're doing a good job your boss is usually going to be happy to let you do that job forever.  YOU have to make the effort to change your situation, you have to try at things, you have to work on your off hours towards your goals whatever they may be.  Learning new things doesn't always cost money.  Sure, paying for it makes it easier, but is easier necessarily better?  Nobody is going to hold your hand and lead you to your next step anymore.

I vote for hopping on Khan Academy and going to town on the math sections.  If there's a math test you need to pass for teaching, you can most likely learn all of it there.  Just go slow and keep trying, there's forums all over the internet for math help, and there's lectures from colleges online to look at if you want it more like a traditional class setting.  Try and get some practice tests and work through them first with the internet at your disposal, then eventually without.  Get a tutor for a few hours if you need to.  It'll be maybe $20-$40 an hour, but if you're really having trouble with a few concepts of the test they can help you through it for way less than a college class will cost. 

In fact, if you make it to the point of working through practice tests and are stuck, shoot me a PM and we can get on a screen sharing website and work through some problems free of charge. 

pbkmaine

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #145 on: January 18, 2016, 07:46:43 AM »
Being in a foreign country can be easier, not harder, if you have communication issues. If you make an effort to learn the local language, even a few words, people will be grateful and cut you all kinds of slack. Especially since Americans don't tend to do this. Also, in a community where most people are speaking English as a second language, your own language deficiencies will not be noticed.

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #146 on: January 18, 2016, 09:04:50 AM »
Being in a foreign country can be easier, not harder, if you have communication issues. If you make an effort to learn the local language, even a few words, people will be grateful and cut you all kinds of slack. Especially since Americans don't tend to do this. Also, in a community where most people are speaking English as a second language, your own language deficiencies will not be noticed.

I know. I noticed this and was very surprised when many of the ESL students I was tutoring in college actually connected with me. My professor was so happy that I enjoyed working there that she recommended I try to get on as a full-time instructor. Of course, I made excuses. I only had a bachelor's degree at the time and insisted I needed a master's. Soon, the opportunity passed, and I stayed employed only part-time while completing that master's. 

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #147 on: January 18, 2016, 09:07:09 AM »

I vote for hopping on Khan Academy and going to town on the math sections.  If there's a math test you need to pass for teaching, you can most likely learn all of it there.  Just go slow and keep trying, there's forums all over the internet for math help, and there's lectures from colleges online to look at if you want it more like a traditional class setting.  Try and get some practice tests and work through them first with the internet at your disposal, then eventually without.  Get a tutor for a few hours if you need to.  It'll be maybe $20-$40 an hour, but if you're really having trouble with a few concepts of the test they can help you through it for way less than a college class will cost. 

In fact, if you make it to the point of working through practice tests and are stuck, shoot me a PM and we can get on a screen sharing website and work through some problems free of charge.


I think I'll take your advice. I have some time today, so that makes sense. Plus, even if I don't use it for anything else, I'll be able to help my students with more advanced math at least.

pbkmaine

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #148 on: January 18, 2016, 09:10:34 AM »
So doesn't that argue for a job abroad? I understand making excuses; I used to make a lot of them myself. Then I realized how much fear was holding me back. If there's one thing I would tell my younger self, it would be to embrace the fear and try new things.

kmb501

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Re: Attacking Debt--suggestions?
« Reply #149 on: January 18, 2016, 09:26:43 AM »
So doesn't that argue for a job abroad? I understand making excuses; I used to make a lot of them myself. Then I realized how much fear was holding me back. If there's one thing I would tell my younger self, it would be to embrace the fear and try new things.

I need to invest a little time and money to get my necessary documents in order. Then, I need to bite the bullet and start applying for jobs directly at the schools, not through recruiters. I was leery of the recruiters last time, because I've heard horror stories of people becoming "trapped" in the jobs they're assigned in because they didn't bring enough money to leave and live on their own if the deal doesn't turn out good. They also sometimes don't get signed up for the right kind of visas. It's much better to apply directly with a school or that country's ministry of Education, or so I hear, so that's what I think I'm going to do. I've read that recruiters are a good way to get into a country and start teaching, but unless they are well-known and reputable, it's a gamble.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 09:30:28 AM by kmb501 »