Author Topic: The sticking points: Private school + dance  (Read 1404 times)


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The sticking points: Private school + dance
« on: November 27, 2017, 01:23:00 PM »
Hello, Mustachians! I've been reading the MMM blog for a few months now, and just the other day DH and I made the final payment on a $9,300 credit card debt. I can't believe we managed to do that in under three months, especially since, as a longtime freelancer, I've pretty much never had a regular income. (It's been anywhere from $30k to $108k over the past 20 years.) We're now on to the HELOC, and then the mortgage.

I wrote MMM a letter listing all the things we did to make this happen, including selling lots of stuff (arcade machine, tools, etc.), ditching life insurance, cutting food costs and more. I'd be happy to post here if anyone wants to see the (big) list.

We're on a roll, but there are two things I can't figure out how to save on:

1. Our 8-year-old son's Montessori school, which we all LOVE -- he started there after I utterly failed at homeschooling (twice). After some research, I decided Montessori is the next best thing, and the boy is flourishing there. We chose the school in January 2017, before we started on the mustachian way, and it's a 20 minute drive each way. Yes, that's a LOT of gas. (We tried him at a Montessori that was only a few minutes away but weren't happy there.)

Right now we're paying 50% tuition (so $450/month), as I applied for financial aid after I ended up in the ER last spring and was stuck with a gigantic bill. I'm dreading next fall semester, when the price will go back up to $900/month. I could apply for financial aid again, but technically we won't need it, so I hate to do it.

My husband will be teaching one of their after-school clubs starting in a couple weeks, with parents paying him $90 for a 10-week class. Hopefully he gets a good group, and I would deduct that right from his tuition on our balance sheet.

To at least defray driving costs, I posted to the school's memberhub looking for someone local to carpool with, but got no takers...looks like we're the furthest in this direction out of all the students.

I'm willing to try new things and I'm definitely not afraid to be a little wacky, so if anyone has suggestions for decreasing the costs, I'd love to hear them. However, we are not willing to go to another school, since we're so happy there, and our son has ping-ponged from homeschooling to a Montessori to homeschooling again to another Montessori. We'd like to stay put.

2. The boy's ballet and hip hop classes, which cost something like $1,500-$2,000 per year, and that's before costumes, show tickets, etc. (It does include special classes like summer intensives.) He's been dancing for 3.5 years and we're so happy that we found a ballet school that has a big focus on boy dancers. (Also lucky for us, it's just a few minutes away.)

One thought there is to ask for a barter arrangement...I'm a professional copywriter, so maybe they could use that, and I have other skills as well: Design, baking, marketing, and cleaning are things I love to do. I know they'd hate to lose a boy ballet dancer, so maybe I have a shot, but for some reason I feel reluctant to ask.

Any suggestions? Even the wackiest will be considered, even if I don't end up taking them. Thank you so much!