From one-income to… one-income
I get my MBA next May, and I’ve been really looking forward to being (higher-earning) DINKS again once I graduate business school, but it appears that we’re going to be single-income for a while longer – but for good reason! CB got into the graduate program he applied to. He will have to make up some prerequisites that he didn’t take in undergrad, but at the end of 2 years he will graduate with his masters in computer engineering. I am really excited for him to have this opportunity, and we are going to figure this out together.
The costs (financial & otherwise)
The whole program will cost ~$60,000 over 2 years. This is not a small sum. On the other hand, since my MBA has a sticker price of $100,000 just for tuition alone, CB’s tuition is looking very reasonable by comparison. Fortunately, my post-MBA job is in a relatively high-paying industry, so I will be able to cash flow his tuition and living expenses for the duration of the program if we live frugally. We are going to try our best to come out of grad school debt-free.
The other wrinkle is that we’ll be continuing our long-distance marriage for a little while longer. CB’s program is in Northern California, and he will be able to live rent-free with some family near the school. We plan to see each other once every 2 or 3 weeks. As my job entails lots of travel, I am hoping I can get most of my flights paid by miles. It’s not ideal, but it’s the most workable plan for us, right now. I hope that once he graduates and I have more seniority/proven myself in my job, we can make alternative arrangements that will allow us to live together, or at the very least see each other 3-4 times a month.
Money will be tighter but we will make it work and it will be worth it
So, there’s that. I hope I don’t insult any parents, but I imagine this is what having a baby is like. I keep reading that “money will be tighter but you will make it work and it will be worth it” when people talk about babies, and that’s the attitude I am keeping in the face of this other big adventure. Money will be tighter but we will make it work and it will be worth it – and the financial rewards will hopefully be much higher than with a baby! Har har.
I imagine the rest of this year will be spend planning and preparing for this transition. We won’t be able to save as much as I had hoped, but it’s for a good cause, and it’s an investment in his career and our future. And this added expenditure is an additional incentive, frankly, to “lean in” to a demanding but remunerative career for me.
We won’t be saving much outside of retirement
The other thing I know is that I don’t want to put off travel and fun. Maybe I’ve gotten a good dose of carpe diem I still want to go places, I still want to have adventures together. So, perhaps against the collective wisdom of personal finance bloggers, I will be saving very little outside of retirement funds ($28,500 for Roth IRAs and 401K) for the next 2-3 years. Any money I have left over from paying CB’s tuition will go to travel and fun for us.