How do you Survive?

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My husband works full-time and makes about 30K a year. I work 20 hours a wekk for college work study, pell grant, loans, and budget. We have three children and it is very hard. No eating out, no extras. With Christmas around the corner it has been really hard, but we manage. I clip coupons, buy store brands, and try to keep any extra spending to a minimum. We are trying to put money in savings and pay off bills at the same time. Needless to say, it isn't happening as fast as I would like, but it will happen. Someday, it will all be over and worht every ounce of the inconvenience.

loans, loans and more loans...and grants too...I max out everything I possibly can every semester, and have started to take out private student loans also.....I live with my parents at the moment, and don't work, but it looks like my finace and I will be living together before too long, and then I will have to take out even more loans....I really applaude everyone that works and goes to nursing school. Its a tought load, I dont know how you guys do it. I'm trying really hard not to work while I am in school, but then once i start my BSN I'll have to work at least part time....thats the only bad thing about school-paying for it:(


57 Posts

How can you guys afford to go to school full time? how do yoy pay for school and living expenses?

Let's see. I hocked our furniture and pretty much sold anything that didn't move. Yes, it looked like we lived in a crack house for a while and my husband thought I was INSANE at first but it was worth it. Next, I took the money and remodeled a section of our house and put an apartment in it. Found the washer/dryer/refrigerator at a tag sale for $150 bucks. Found a really good tenant.

Competed for the state LPN program and got in for $4,000. Will be taking EC to get the RN.

Looked around the neighborhood, we live near a lake, and noticed a lot of people parking small jet skis, suvs, canoes with engines on them, second cars etc, in their driveway. Ran an ad asking wives if they were sick of their husbands crap in the driveway and offered "indoor storage" in an old tobacco barn on our property. That netted a couple of thousand. I'm taking that money and converting our garage into another apartment and will rent that, too. I've pretty much violated every building and property code in town but all of my renovations and storage business is out of site and no one knows about them unless I tell them.

I cut our food bill in half by buying generic and I shop for any household goods at tag sales during the summer. When I tire of them, I resell them. I do the same for clothes and consign them when I'm through with them. My husband is from South America and knows what being REALLY poor is all about, so he's okay with this. (He says a chicken crossing the road in his country isn't a joke - its dinner!) We Americans have it so easy! To anybody out there, put the do it to it! Use your brain. Things are only as hard as you make 'em.


125 Posts

How can you guys afford to go to school full time? how do yoy pay for school and living expenses?

Pure luck. Scholarships! I go to community college. The nursing program is about 8-9 crdits per semester, which is about $1100 in tuition per semester. So I got a scholarship from the state, which pays for all of the tuition. The school gave me a grant and a small scholarship for books and supplies. Then I took a hospital scholarship, in return for working for them, which means I'm actually making a little money.

At the time I took the hospital one to cover tuition, I didn't know the state was going to pay my tuition. The big thing for me was, a signing bonus upon graduation would be taxed much more than a scholarship now. I'll take the scholarship instead of a bonus.

Now, don't think "oh, I never qualify for scholarshis and free aid!" Because my husband and I earn right just at six figures. It was all good grades and a few essays. Merit based aid. I also work part time, about 20 hours a week and make a pretty nice hourly wage. But it's the career I'm leaving:rolleyes:

Specializes in ICU, cardiac.

ouch and i thought that $240 an hour was rough! and i go to university of south carolina aiken. when i started two years ago, it was $159 a credit hour. when they hiked it up to the recent amount, i looked at my husband and said, " i am going to a state school, right?" i start the bsn completion program next month and the one freaking internet class that i'm taking the whole semester is costing me $742! not including books! thank god i have a job lined up when i graduate. as for time i was in school, i got a $5000 scholarship from the hospital i work for to help out with the last two semesters. the only catch is i have to work for them a year after i get my license, oh well i wouldn't have taken it if i didn't want to work there anyway. also, working my butt off this past summer 3-12 hour shifts a week ( night shift, no less, more money ) helped too. there are scholarships out there, like from the national student nurse's assocation and your local nursing school should have some as well. i understand about the belt tightening. it will all be worth it in the end.

adn graduate as of december 16th 2004. 9 more days to go!

walk in love, walk in service, and you will walk in honor

man-o-man!! i'd love $35 per credit hour!! i love my school, but i'm paying $615 per credit hour. :o

i have to belt-tighten this coming semester. i'm buying a condo, have no job, 4 kids that i'll have 1/2 time custody of with my ex, and still have a 2 1/2 commute each day. loans and grants and scholarships are my best friends, as are coupons and cashing in some stocks. i know it will all be worth it in the end, but for now - it's tight!


88 Posts

I have a wonderful husband and the GI Bill...


25 Posts

I got a grant to buy a house which made my mortgage cheaper than my rent.I got a $2 an hr raise at my job last summer.I was able to go from 40 hrs to 32 hrs at work.I have also had the same car for 7 yrs and don't have to drive very much.The pell grant pretty much covers everything as far as tuition and books.


931 Posts

Anything is possible if you set your mind to it. If it is meant to happen it will happen. Listen to my story.

Worked full time for a Doc's office for 4 years and they were giving me a really hard time about school, so I found another job at a hospital as a phleb. I still lived on my own at this time and was taking pre-reqs and working full time with a car that had 240,000 miles on it. After I quit the Doc office I found out that I was vested in the company and cashed in my retirement which was $5,000 (which is how much 1 semester costs at my school). I worked at the hospital for 3 years until they started giving me trouble about my school schedule and working. I was forced to quite my job, but not even two weeks later I was hired as a nurse extern at another hospital. I ended up getting a $5,000 scholarship from this facility for 1 year of service after I get my liscense. After my externship was over I have been able to collect unemployment. I then made one of the most difficult decisions of my life and that was moving back home with my mom after being on my own since I was 18 (I'm 27 now). My car was dying and there was no way that I was going to be able to pay rent, car payment etc. on unemployment. I have never been eligible for a pell grant because "I make too much money according to someone", but I max out the student loans, have been able to get grants, and a few very nice scholarships. I also use my entire income tax check every year to stock up on little things that add up like deoderant, shampoo, etc. I have been struggling for this for three and a half years now and I'm still alive and making it. I love my momma to death, but man is she hard to live live with (as am I I'm sure). I just keep sacrificing and know that it's going to be worth it.

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