Debt Free MBA

Big news on the Frugal Shrink home front-I was accepted into my first pick MBA program!!  I do already have a master's degree and a doctoral degree both in psychology but I'm ready for a career change. I'm planning to move out of the clinical world and into an administrative role.  I've previously done administration at the director level (and it was terrible, to be quite honest) but I'm hopeful that this degree coupled with my past experience will help me to obtain more pleasant administrative positions.  I do plan on early retirement and the additional income from these types of positions will help me to reach that and other financial goals.

I had already applied to a second MBA program before getting the news of my admission and was in the process of applying to a third but then I ran the numbers and found that my first pick was the financial winner by far.  It's ranked as one of the best online MBA programs by US News and World Report AND it's much less expensive than most programs.  I plan to pay cash for this degree and refuse to take out any loans whatsoever for it.  REFUSE.  I still have ~64K in loans from my other degrees, so any more school debt is absolutely out of the question.  

Here's the plan:
*Most likely will put my current loans into deferment so that I can use the $400 per month I pay toward those loans toward the new degree.  About half of my current loans are at less than 2% interest and the other half are at less than 1% interest, so the accumulating interest is obviously not all that worrisome at this point.

*Be much more strict on my budget so that I have extra money for tuition.  I have successfully decreased all of my recurrent bills as much as I can.  Now I just need to be more careful with the "extra" things that pop up and with budget categories that have some leeway (food and household items for instance...).

*Remain employed.  I honestly did kick around the idea of becoming a full time student but that would be REALLY financially foolish at this point in my life.  I will continue working  throughout the duration of my program.

*Hopefully one of the two side jobs that I've been approved for will actually get going!  If not, I'll likely add another day to my current job (work 4 instead of 3 days) to bring in some extra cash.

*Continue selling excess stuff to build up savings.  I have a rather large pile to go to the flea market booth and expect sales to pick up this fall as the weather turns cooler.

*Apply for tuition aid through my work.  They offer 2K per fiscal year (4K total) provided that you stay at the organization for one year after the last disbursement.  Our fiscal year runs from July to July, so I plan to ask for one disbursement at the end of the Spring 2017 semester and for one disbursement at the end of the Summer 2017 semester since we'll already be in a new fiscal year. They may deny me for the tuition aid program since the degree is not clinical, but I'll argue that they can use my continuing education funds (2500/ fiscal year) instead if that's a problem.  

*Rent, not buy, textbooks.  I never refer back to them, so why keep them?  I'm looking at both Amazon and Chegg for book rentals and will go with whichever is cheapest.

Aaaaaahhhhhh!!  I'm excited and hope that this goes well!  Let me know in the comments if I'm missing any potential areas of savings.  


MrsSpock said…
I am paying cash right now for my 4th degree (you can read about it on my blog I would say do not overlook the potential for scholarships. I assumed when I was getting my 3rd degree (my BSN) that since I already had a bachelor's and was an adult with a decent income, I would not be eligible for scholarships. Not true! I have been applying for quite a few, and won a $2500 one this summer. Many do not exclude grad students, do not require financial need, and may only need a GPA and brief essay.
MrsSpock, I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one with multiple degrees, ha ha!! ;) I will check out your blog. Excellent ideas on scholarships- thank you! I found two that I am eligible for and will apply for them. $2500 is a good chunk of money- way to go!

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