So the irony is despite having a combined $22,750 in student loan debt, I honestly feel like additional schooling is definitely in my/our future. Mr. ModernTightwad and I both have vocational certificates, I have my Associates degree and am one semester short of a Bachelor’s degree in Business/Marketing.

Some of this is spurred by a recent bout of self-discovery and an unfortunate revelation: While I love what I do, I don’t like the environment that my work forces me into. I am in a female dominated profession that is consistently catty, political, and an overall pain in my behind. I stick with it because I really love what I do, I love the general consumer I interact with, and I love the fact that I can work 3/4 time and make enough to meet our basic needs.

Mr. ModernTightwad has very little, if any, desire to go to school. He knows it would help him advance at work, but he is uncomfortable in the atmosphere, and has difficulty with certain subjects. And he does not want to incur more education-related debt until the last round is paid off. I hate it when he’s perfectly reasonable.

Except, for me, if I wait until my school loan is paid off to go back to school, I’ll be extremely close to my 40s. While there’s nothing wrong with going back to school at that age, it’s just not where I want to be.

I’m pretty sure to maintain my carefree, (borderline or actual) freelance lifestyle, I know I will need to go back to school. The questions are: When? What would be the best path to take that will stay true to my frugal life choices? and For what?

Pros of going back to school:

  1. Student discounts
  2. Tuition and Fees Deduction on my taxes
  3. Being able to re-consolidate my loans for a better rate
  4. Being slightly older and wiser and knowing who I am and the lifestyle I want to leave

Cons of going back to school:

  1. Incurs debt
  2. Fear of success
  3. Fear of having to go back to school again anyway

My frugal lifestyle is certainly not going to be hindered by school; not only did I copiously take advantage of student discounts when I was an attendee, it seems the more organized I force myself to become, the more I manage details like money.

What would be the best new (additional) career path for me? I honestly wonder if I’m interested in a new career path or would be happy just expanding my horizons. I could easily go into nursing, but that would probably be a similar environment to what I’m in now. The biggest issue I find is finding a profession that allows me to exercise my core values. The most important thing to me is to be a wife, and hopefully one day, a mother. Any profession I choose has to offer the flexibility to put my family first, which is rare today. Creative writing and journalism are certainly avenues I have considered before, as is graphic design. Being one semester away from my B.A. irks me as well, like I can almost touch it, but not quite.

It seems like a great time economically for re-training, and regardless of pursuing a degree I am interested in acquiring foreign language skills. I know that by attending a community college I can reduce costs incurred; I might even get Mr. MT to take a couple classes with me. 😉

Photo courtesy of (Avolore)