Author Topic: Saw the world, paid off student loans, then got a fantastic job offer  (Read 13511 times)

Shenzhenigans

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I've been waiting for nearly 2 years to make this post and I can finally do it. Last night SO and I clicked the button to finish off our student loans.

Graduated in May 2014 with 52k in loans
28k @7.9%
24k @4.625%

Shortly after graduating, SO and I decided to go abroad, see the world, and teach English. We went into it knowing we wanted to knock out the loans fast and, making a little less than 15k/each per year with free rent with only 9 hours a week of work, decided to tutor hardcore, 20-30 hours a week +commute+lesson planning/each until a patch of my hair went white (literally) after about 5 months. Doing so however, we doubled our income for 5 months of our 10 month contract, which allowed for us to 1)do a month long tour of East Asia 2) Indulge in the mango smoothies of SE Asia multiple times and 3) Get married. Year 1 netted us a 91-94% savings rate (difficult to compute due to being a cash country.)

Year two, new job, same city. Doubled salary with free (not third world) housing with only 16 hours/week of work. The new salary reduced stress a lot, allowing for us to not tutor anymore. SO loved this, it gave her time to focus on her professional development. Meanwhile, I started volunteering all my free time to an international nonprofit hoping it may open up into a fulltime gig. I had a friend working there who told me I'd take a 50% paycut, but I figured who cares? I'd be debt free and I'm helping people. More on that later. Financially, we've gotten bad this year, estimates coming at around 75% savings rate due to us: eating western food more often, taking more language courses than the year before, knowing enough of the language to do things the easier/more expensive way, etc. We also did our honeymoon on a beautiful island, did a month long tour of Europe (hostels all the way through during the offseason), which postponed our loan payment by a month.

So now here we are, newlyweds, having just paid off student loans, having traveled extensively, having also just made a payment for gradschool (in cash!) And now I found out I'm being offered a great job at that nonprofit in a field I actually want to work in and, though I haven't received the notice of benefits yet, the talk makes it sound like if anything it's a 10-20% pay increase with more if they decide to pull our free housing.

I'm on cloud 9 right now...

boarder42

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Re: Saw the world, paid off student loans, then got a fantastic job offer
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2016, 08:15:45 AM »
congratulations!!  sounds lie a great start to life man

astephens94

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Re: Saw the world, paid off student loans, then got a fantastic job offer
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2016, 08:14:31 PM »
Great Story! Sounds like things are really looking up for the two of you! :D


Secretly Saving

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Re: Saw the world, paid off student loans, then got a fantastic job offer
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2016, 09:18:03 PM »
Awesome!  Way to go.  Curious... what country were you living in?

Shenzhenigans

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Re: Saw the world, paid off student loans, then got a fantastic job offer
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2016, 11:21:08 PM »
Inspiring story! Now tell me more about this 9 hours per week business... :)
Haha. It's pretty much exactly how it sounds. I would teach 13 40 minute classes per week, while SO would do 10/week. It's pretty much just as easy as it sounds haha.

The only bad part is that the new job I'm getting will have a normal 40-50 hour work week. That'll take some adjusting!

Awesome!  Way to go.  Curious... what country were you living in?
China

drunkenNoodles

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Re: Saw the world, paid off student loans, then got a fantastic job offer
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2016, 05:04:57 AM »
Fantastic. Congrats!

Rosy

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Re: Saw the world, paid off student loans, then got a fantastic job offer
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2016, 12:47:17 PM »
Oh wow - that's fabulous - cloud nine indeed:)
Well, I guess next on the agenda might possibly be kids who would get free native Chinese language lessons - great start for them:) Just sayin'.

Shenzhenigans

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Re: Saw the world, paid off student loans, then got a fantastic job offer
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2016, 06:57:29 PM »
Oh wow - that's fabulous - cloud nine indeed:)
Well, I guess next on the agenda might possibly be kids who would get free native Chinese language lessons - great start for them:) Just sayin'.
Haha. Definitely in the future, but not quite yet. I'd like a sizeable next egg, my masters, and possibly a PhD before having kids. We may be losing our free housing though, in which case we'd be getting a dog!

Freedomin5

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Re: Saw the world, paid off student loans, then got a fantastic job offer
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2016, 07:14:03 AM »
A bit confused. If you live in China, why do you need to pay to learn the language? We just downloaded lessons from Chinesepod.com, then struck up conversations with the local fruit vendor, veggie vendor, taxi drivers, ayis in the park, university students, etc. We didn't have to pay them to speak Chinese to us.

Unless my guess based on your name is correct and you live in SHENZHEN, and everyone around you speaks Cantonese, and you want to speak unaccented Mandarin...

Other than that, congrats on your savings rate! I've found that China is an amazingly easy place to save, even in tier one cities.

Shenzhenigans

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Re: Saw the world, paid off student loans, then got a fantastic job offer
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2016, 06:49:10 PM »
A bit confused. If you live in China, why do you need to pay to learn the language? We just downloaded lessons from Chinesepod.com, then struck up conversations with the local fruit vendor, veggie vendor, taxi drivers, ayis in the park, university students, etc. We didn't have to pay them to speak Chinese to us.

Unless my guess based on your name is correct and you live in SHENZHEN, and everyone around you speaks Cantonese, and you want to speak unaccented Mandarin...

Other than that, congrats on your savings rate! I've found that China is an amazingly easy place to save, even in tier one cities.
I pay for courses for the increased speed of acquisition that comes from an established structure/curriculum. I speak with taxi drivers, coworkers, fruit vendors, etc, but that's not enough for many aspects of the language. When I came to China I knew nothing, thanks to my school and efforts I passed HSK 4 in one year and am going for HSK 5 next month (which really paid off, as the interview for my new job was actually in Chinese.)

Also, you're right about my location being Shenzhen, but the primary language of most people here is Mandarin not Cantonese. The majority of people I meet are from Henan, Hunan, Huben, Hebi, Shanxi, Shandong, and Liaoning. You do of course hear people speaking Cantonese/Hakka, but this is a small percentage compared to other Guangdong cities.

Peter Parker

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Re: Saw the world, paid off student loans, then got a fantastic job offer
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2016, 07:36:45 PM »
I've directed my son and his girlfriend to look at your post....As an old fart, I didn't have this point of view when I was younger.  I want my kids to know "it can be done" so I'm using you as an inspiration for him!

Shenzhenigans

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Re: Saw the world, paid off student loans, then got a fantastic job offer
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2016, 03:52:49 AM »
Assume you've seen the news about the new foreign NGO law. 

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-ngos-idUSKCN0XQ0SY

If you haven't discussed with your new employer how this is going to affect them/their registration status, you might want to do so.  A lot of places that were able to operate in the grey zone may now find it impossible.  Personally, I'm glad i don't have to worry about it any more -- my most recent employer is probably going to be ok, but DH's will most likely have to wrap up shop....
I'm aware of this, but I haven't discussed it with my employer because it's not technically an NGO (strong government support/funding) and is involved with the UN. However, if that did somehow manage to take this opportunity away from me, I'd be livid.  Thanks!


I've directed my son and his girlfriend to look at your post....As an old fart, I didn't have this point of view when I was younger.  I want my kids to know "it can be done" so I'm using you as an inspiration for him!
It's a fantastic and not often used method. I've tried getting some of my friends to do it and they all think we're exaggerating the benefits (despite vacation pictures regularly showing up on our facebooks.) If your son and his SO have any questions, don't hesitate to pm me.

clarkfan1979

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Congratulations. Working at a non-profit can have a lot of nice perks that really help with work/life balance.

FunkyChopstick

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Burning off the debt and you guys have a wicked story behind it. Not too shabby.