Author Topic: I've asked smart friends, my wife, myself. Still need some help!  (Read 6937 times)

FrugalKing

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I've asked smart friends, my wife, myself. Still need some help!
« on: September 10, 2013, 09:20:40 AM »
Alright, so I currently work a full-time job about 20 minutes (in a car) away from home. I have a side job at the Fort Wayne Childrens Zoo, that I think I may just keep forever (It is a very small job, 3-8 hours a week). My wife recently got promoted and is currently making more, by herself, than we did (together) when we first moved into our home about 4-5 years ago. I am taking online courses part-time at IPFW in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

So, I suppose I should get to the point. I am being interviewed for a position that is about 10 minutes (Bicycle) away from home. I'd be doing the same job, just with a different company. It is also a part time position. This all sounds great because my hours would be 2-7 weekdays. This is fantastic, because I would like to actually GO to classes, I hate the online courses as I am not the most proactive person. The catch is, I will be making about one-third of what I am currently making if I take this part time job and go to class full time. The benefit is I would get done with school in about 2 years instead of 4.5-5.

I'm going to school for Accounting. I have yet to decide if I want to go for the CPA or not.

I'm sure there's other information I should share, but that's everything on my mind right now.

Do I stay full time at work and part time with online courses and finish school in 4.5-5 years? Or do I take the very close job that I will gladly bike too daily, that pays one-third what I currently make, and actually attend physical classes full-time and knock out school?

Villanelle

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Re: I've asked smart friends, my wife, myself. Still need some help!
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2013, 09:53:28 AM »
What does your financial picture look like?  Debt?  Sufficient emergency savings?  Retirement accounts or other investments?  Not taking loans to pay for the degree?

If I had all those things squared away, I would take the closer job assuming it seemed to be extremely stable.  If the above wasn't sorted out, I would suck it up at the current job until it was. 

Daleth

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Re: I've asked smart friends, my wife, myself. Still need some help!
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2013, 11:00:00 AM »
Also, do the math for how your two options play out over the next 5+ years: (1) earning 1/3 less but finishing school in a much shorter time, and thus being able to earn $Y/year once you have that degree; or (2) continuing on your current path and thus not earning $Y/year until 2 years later.

You might be surprised--perhaps your total income over the next 5 yrs would be higher if you took a 2-year paycut of 1/3, got your degree and then spent 3 years earning $Y/yr than it would be if you continued in your current path.

catccc

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Re: I've asked smart friends, my wife, myself. Still need some help!
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2013, 11:04:19 AM »
I say that the job and knock out the school.  Just because being able to focus and not juggling so much sounds like a good idea.  I'm a CPA by the way.  It's a reasonably paying career option, with the potential for flexibility in the future.  I have a corporate finance job now... not so flexible, but I'm considering part time options later on, like a semi-retirement kind of thing...

Catbert

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Re: I've asked smart friends, my wife, myself. Still need some help!
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2013, 12:47:59 PM »
What does your wife think?  This puts most of the financial burden on her so her opinion is more important than friends or internet commenters. 

If I knew you better things I would consider in addition to the basic paycheck question:  Are you young-ish finishing up your degree?  Or possibly an older perpetual student/job changer?  What debts do you both have?  Is the school a reputable one?  (I'm not asking for the answers to these questions although they could be things you/your wife consider.) 

FrugalKing

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Re: I've asked smart friends, my wife, myself. Still need some help!
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2013, 02:57:56 PM »
I knew there'd be important information I've missed. I'm 26, together, we currently make around 70,000. She makes 37 of that 70. My new part time job would be paying for the full time schooling and not much else. Of that 37, about 15 goes away in planned for expenses, (including payments on a 10 year mortgage at 3%). She makes more than enough to sustain us. She doesn't love the idea, just for the simple fact that we all like money. But, she also doesn't want me to be 30 without a degree and hating myself for it. Our Mint.com profile has us at (an accurate) 85,000 in loans, however, we do have a 9,500 net worth.

SunshineGirl

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Re: I've asked smart friends, my wife, myself. Still need some help!
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2013, 03:47:34 PM »
If you're thinking of having kids, I'd think that might encourage you to knock school out more quickly. In any case, going to school in person seems much more fulfilling than going online.

To me, it's an easy: take the job.

jpdcpajd

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Re: I've asked smart friends, my wife, myself. Still need some help!
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2013, 07:11:08 PM »
I would get the degree faster.  30yr old accounting grads with little or no prior experience are having a hard time finding work in my area here in the midwest.

theSchmett

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Re: I've asked smart friends, my wife, myself. Still need some help!
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2013, 09:35:37 PM »
You will be mortgage free in 10 years on one salary? Finish school and get a job you love doing. As long as you have some backup in case of my unexpected emergency, health insurance, etc... get that degree!

Joel

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Re: I've asked smart friends, my wife, myself. Still need some help!
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2013, 12:10:27 AM »
If you are studying accounting, there should be no question about getting your CPA. Otherwise the degree is a waste of your time. As a CPA and being involved with recruiting, it is much harder for older accounting graduates to get the typically desired jobs, and they usually settle for lower level positions.

gooki

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Re: I've asked smart friends, my wife, myself. Still need some help!
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2013, 02:23:27 AM »
FWIW, there is no shame in not having a degree.

Villanelle

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Re: I've asked smart friends, my wife, myself. Still need some help!
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2013, 08:19:03 AM »
If you aren't going to become a CPA, then I'd quit school all together.  Unless you re treating it like a hobby and something done completely for personal fulfillment (and there's nothing wrong with that, but then it needs to be treated as a luxury expense, just as you would treat golf fees or voice lessons), it isn't especially likely that an undergrad degree in accounting is going to make back what you spent on it.

Another consideration might be the nature of the current and potential job.  Will one give you accounting experience, making it easier to get a job once you have your degree?  I think resume building is another important factor in all this and shouldn't be overlooked.  If the current job is making widgets and the potential job is bookkeeping, there is value in that experience, assuming you intend to pursue accounting once you've graduated.

FrugalKing

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Re: I've asked smart friends, my wife, myself. Still need some help!
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2013, 08:48:20 PM »
Current job is Lead Teller at Wells Fargo. Potential job is regular teller at a smaller more local bank.

My reasons against the CPA: Another year of schooling, not sure I'd put enough effort into studying for the CPA.

zhelud

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Re: I've asked smart friends, my wife, myself. Still need some help!
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2013, 07:28:37 AM »
IMHO- the longer one stretches out one's education, the more likely it is that something will come up that prevents finishing. Hurry up and get that degree, so that you don't get derailed by events (or have to postpone big things like having kids etc.)

Joel

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Re: I've asked smart friends, my wife, myself. Still need some help!
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2013, 06:28:31 PM »
It's definitely a huge commitment to become a CPA, and takes probably 400 hours of studying to pass the exams.

However, what are you hoping to do with an accounting degree while not becoming a CPA? It drastically limits the opportunities you would have.

mikefixac

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Re: I've asked smart friends, my wife, myself. Still need some help!
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2013, 11:19:43 PM »
Sounds to me you're a motivated individual.

If that's the case, especially if you want to become a CPA, go for it. The money you'll make as a CPA compared to what you're making now....

I'm installing an AC system for a woman who's 80. Her husband recently went in a home for alzheimer's, and he refused to put AC in the house. Point being, I'm not sure of my point, but anyway, get your degree.