Author Topic: Leave the Land I Love For Financial Security?  (Read 2968 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Leave the Land I Love For Financial Security?
« on: February 11, 2014, 06:40:31 PM »
Greetings Mustachians!

I'm here on the recommendation of a friend, and I am really quite excited to see the responses I receive!

I currently live in MT, teaching .6 FTE at a public school and making apx $20,000/year off of that job or $1,200/month.  I also work weekends and summers at a local bakery and bring in about $4,000/year from that job, $200/month during the school year and about $1,000/month during three months of the summer.

 I purchased a condo with the help of HOA and pay ~$600/month (that's mortgage, HOA, and utilities). 

My parents offered to lease a car for me as a graduation gift.  The lease will be up in December and, should I buy the car that I've leased, I would probably be paying about $150/month (I know leasing a car is anti-mustachian...but it's the current situation). 

I also have a dog that (currently, due to medical things) costs ~$200/month (that amount often varies, and will hopefully lower to apx ~$100/month in August...he's a big dog).

Here's the biggest thing: I grew up and went to college in SD.  I am the recipient of a scholarship called the "DakotaCorps" scholarship which aims at trying to get youth to stay in the state by paying for most/all of their college tuition, so long as they stay in state for as many years as they received the scholarship + 1 after graduation.  Because I chose to move to MT to work, that scholarship became a loan.  However, I am currently in graduate school get my Master's Degree, so the loan is deferred and not currently accruing interest.  Right now, the loan is ~$21,000.  Because some of the loan was paid off in a lump sum, I would only have to teach in SD for about 3 years ($7,000/year taken off of the loan/scholarship).

What I would love to know is if you all think moving back would be a financially savvy move.  I have a friend willing to rent the condo for the cost of the mortgage and the utilities, leaving me to pay the HOA and then whatever debt I would accrue in moving back to SD as far as renting, renters insurance, utilities, etc.

I LOVE Montana. I love the school at which I teach. 

That being said, long term I would like to pursue a Ph.D for a completely (seriously, completely) unrelated area (it's a long story).  I feel that, the sooner I can start working on my Ph.D...perhaps the better?

I also miss my family and friends back in SD....but hate that there is very little to do as far as outdoors things are concerned (I'm not a hunter).  I am happier, currently, living in Montana...but want to make sure that I'm making decisions that will make sense for my financial future.  I can always move back...but it's going to be awfully hard to earn the $21,000 as a music teacher.

I'm happy to provide any more information that is requested and look forward to hearing from you! Thanks in advance!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Leave the Land I Love For Financial Security?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2014, 03:11:59 AM »

Although I can't say for sure what the best decision is for you, I do suggest reading MMM's reader case studies for ideas, they give him their whole finances and he tells them where to cut back and other advice and tricks for saving money. You might even read the posts about Hawaii and how and MM family spent very little money (that of which is usually voluntary, on top of it) on the whole trip where others find themselves "having" to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars.

As for financial savvy moving, I do know that the state of Texas has the cheapest living expenses of anywhere in the US, and that's going by non-mustacheian terms. (I've not lived everywhere in the US personally, but this is what I'm told with reason to understand it's true). I believe they probably have good hunting and out door recreation there as well...

Hope this helps, good luck!


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Leave the Land I Love For Financial Security?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2014, 03:33:07 AM »
I am a bit confused but if Montana is where you love to live then paying back 21k is not that big of a deal having to move back and forth and all. Plus would you be able to replace the extra income you are earning if you moved back with the side jobs you currently have? Living in Montana I am sure you could work to get your PHD there as well.  I guess the question is what is your yearly total Income in Montana and what would be the interest rate on the loan for the loan.  Need more info to see if you can afford the numbers and if that outweighs wanting to move to a place you dont really want to .  In you heading you wrote "Leave the Land I love for Financial Security? Sounds to me you should find financial security in the land you love and 21k in student loans is nothing these days.  Better to be happy!


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Leave the Land I Love For Financial Security?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2014, 12:39:45 PM »
While the loan amount is small, so is your pay.  I would move back to SD for the three years and seek the best paying school district.  Summers I would spend in MT using the contacts you've made to work the summer