Pinching pennies or student loans?

  1. I will be starting NS in August and I am so excited. My husband supports me 100% but we don't see eye-to-eye on the financial side of things. Up until now, I have worked FT and gone to school PT for my pre-reqs. When NS starts, I will have to be at school 2 full days and 2 half days per week. We have worked out our budget and if we cut out a lot of the extras (which we have already started doing) we could just about make it on his full salary and my 1/2 salary. We have our insurance and those kinds of concerns already taken care of and we don't have kids. Below are our possible solutions... I need to know from my fellow NS students, your opinions. Please. :smiley_ab
    --My idea: I think I should work PT (1 full day and 2 half days-opposite of school-which I am 90% sure that my job is willing to do) and we should cut out all of the extras: cutting down our cable/phone bills(already done), not eating out as much, cut down our recreation & frivolous schopping considerably, etc. We have about $6,000 put away for school that should cover the gap, and I have scholarships for tuition. So, my actual school expenses should be a max of $800 the first year and less than that the second year.
    --His 1st idea: He thinks I should quit my job altogether so that I could focus JUST on school and so I could get studying done during the workday so that we could still have "our" time in the evenings. His other argument for this was that I could still maintain my social life and "me" time so I wouldn't be so stressed. And I do tend to get stressed easily.
    -The problem: That would mean we would have to take out at least $15,000/year in student loans... IF I could even get approved for that amount.
    --His 2nd idea: That I should continue to work PT, but still take out student loans (probably $5,000-8,000/year) so we could maintain the lifestyle we have now: recreation, eating out, etc. He feels that we wouldn't have to pinch pennies and this would help to relieve/prevent the stress (at least $ wise). I can see the pros of this option, but I cannot decide if it is worth the student loan debt.
  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   rollydrooly208
    Pinch Pennies! I will be repaying student loans that I took out for my first B.S. for 30 years! I sadly have a mortgage with no house to show for it : ( Now I am going back to school for Nursing and I won't be able to work to cover any of my bills! I am hoping i get some Financial Aid and Scholarships but I won't find out for a week or two....I'm hoping to not have to take out more than I have.

    I would rather pinch pennies, stress for two years and enjoy a debt free many many years there after. It's so worth it, I just wish I would have done the same : (
  4. by   elkpark
    Keep in mind that school will eat up much more time than "just" the classroom and clinical hours you see on the printed schedule. Many schools require you to go into the clinical facility and gather information on your assigned client(s) the afternoon/night before your actual clinical so that you will be prepared for the clinical day. You may need to complete hours in a skills lab, which could be done at a time of your choosing, but would not be included on a formal class schedule. There will be lots of studying and paperwork. Etc., etc., etc. ... Best wishes!
  5. by   Meriwhen
    Pinch the pennies as much as you can!

    I just finished my ADN program today and there's not a job prospect (well, at least not a RN job prospect) in sight thanks to this economy. I am so grateful that we adjusted our budget and make it work without resorting to loans, because at least I don't have to worry if the lender will call them in while I'm STILL searching for work...which given this economy, may take longer than that 3-6 month window that most lenders give you post-graduation to start repayments
  6. by   tracyd77
    Thanks for the input... I think we have decided to pinch pennies and I may apply for a small service cancelable loan through the college. This would be repaid by 2 years of service, as an RN anywhere within my state.
  7. by   AmericanRN
    I dont blame ya I'm pinching pennies & I have student loans. I started working PT but I'm back to FT as of a few weeks ago. It's not so easy to get all these loans everyone is talking about all the time. The feds are about the only ones still handing out money & its not all that much. My school suggested everyone quit their jobs. I did not because at that time gas prices were spiking and the people suggesting I quit my job have more then one job themselves, teaching at the school plus per diem work, clinics, etc. That right there was my red flag. If they aren't making it on one job (really 2 because they're all married to working spouses) why do they think students can make it on NO job?

    Most of my class took the advice, quit jobs, and almost all had to go back to work. Sad part is they are competing for the same exact PRN float tech jobs. Others can't find work hours that are compatible with ever changing rotations. The grades people are getting are not reflections of whose working and whose not because people overall tend to waste time when they have it.
  8. by   NoviceRN10
    I would avoid getting loans. It sounds like you can make it work keeping your part time position. I have managed to pay for my schooling with our savings, but had to resort to putting my last semester's tuition on a cc (due to dh losing his job), but it was only $500. I'd rather owe that much on a cc than thousands on a student loan. Take advantage of any scholarships you can apply for! That helped me pay for my last two semesters . My good friend just graduated with a bachelor's degree in human resource. She has $30,000+ in student loans and is only making $14.50 an hour as a new grad . I know nurses make more, but she's got big payments to make for a long, long, time. I don't know what kind of program you're in, but mine was an ADN program and it's very feasible to work part time while attending classes and clinical.
  9. by   9livesRN
    pinch a penny, then you will learn what is to suffer through school and what is not to have any money, then after you learn your lesson you will be an RN loan free!!!

  10. by   Jolie

    Take out loans only if there is no other way to get by. You'll be glad to have minimal debt when all is said and done.

    Best to you!

    Post #34 in this thread sums it up very well!
  11. by   JeanettePNP
    Quote from CookieCritter
    The grades people are getting are not reflections of whose working and whose not because people overall tend to waste time when they have it.
    Quoted for truth.
  12. by   madnurse2b
    For me it was pinch pennies and take student loans. My program recommends not working (that is just SOOO easy)
    However - our income has continued to go down because of the economy and my husband's job. I am looking for something at least part time.
    But there were times during school that I understand why it's recommended that you don't work. I'd rather not pay off additional student loans - but I like having a life. It's all about balance, if you can pull it off don't work - cook at home, enjoy the time you have together.
    How is that for a non-committal post?
  13. by   PolaBar
    My program is too intense for holding down a full-time job. There are classes or clinicals 5 days a week (usually 8am-3pm or later). It is pretty rough for those students that work 1-3 days/week. The tuition is so high that I just figured I'd grab student loans for the tuition + a few k/quarter. Seemed like it would give me some pocket money while my boyfriend would cover our living expenses. End of week 7 of my 1-year program (today), he was laid off. I have an overwhelming sense of penny-pinching coming up.

    Since this is my 2nd degree bachelor's, and I already have previous student loans, I think I'll be about 60k in the hole upon graduation. Scary. But, I can't imagine working through this program. I see the people that do it, and they look exhausted.
  14. by   hiddencatRN
    If you take out loans, I think you should still cut back lifestyle expenses and use the slack for more studying time. Definitely don't take them out to be able to go out like you do now.

    Honestly, a couple of thousand in loans (total for the entire program) to have a little more time to study and be less stressed might be worth it. But tens of thousands in loans so that you can keep living the life you and DH are accustomed to is definitely not.