What does it cost to change your life?

Lots. It costs lots and lots and it costs lots of different things. So to talk about this topic I need you to think about where you are now and where you want to be.

Then I need you to think about whether you can get there from here without something changing now.

Then I need you to think about how much $$$ means to you and what it means to you.

I know I am talking about ‘you’ a lot but to be fair this blog is about actually being a bit selfish or at least what society thinks is a bit selfish. You need to work on that if you’re ever going to take the plunge, I will get back to it though. By then end of this blog (if it ever ends I will demystify why you feel like a selfish cow).

Let me sum something up for you. It may scare you but try and stay calm, remain seated.

$30k is how much I expect to owe the NZ Government after 4 years (that’s because I am still paying off my other student loan, silly me)

In four years at a basic job working around the kids and my husband I could have earned us $15500 after tax. So in four years that’s around $62k.

The cost of me driving to Christchurch is going to be around $100 a week. Let’s say roughly $3600 a year because of holidays and study breaks etc. $14400 in four years.

Childcare is the same as me working so I won’t total that up or I would have to minus it from my potential earnings and I’m not studying math so let’s not faff around here.

All up I’m actually going to cost my family nearly $50k. I am going to lose us $62k in earnings potentially so there you have it, it’s a bloody expensive adventure. So why am I doing it?

Social work is in demand. It is constantly an employable degree. I can use it past retirement age whereas I couldn’t waitress or vet nurse effectively past 60 odd. I will earn more money and I will gain more stable employment.

So if, after four years when Mr One was at school I was able to work full time I might earn just under $30k in my average job. As a social worker I could look to add at least another $15k to that total. I am being conservative, being realistic (it isn’t always highly paid work). With an extra $15k in four years I have forgotten the debt to my family and gone on to contribute and grow the coffers.

Ok go ahead, pick holes in my math but what I am trying to outline is that sometimes it is worth taking a financial risk. Especially if it’s yourself you’re backing.

What is important for me is that emotionally it costs my children less. I am home on weekends, I am home in the evenings, I may have my face in a book but I am here. They are watching me learn along with them and hopefully it will become the norm for them to study in tertiary education. I am changing our families culture, our stars, our position on the ladder. That is worth more that $100k, even $1m to me. (No I’m actually really serious, $1m doesn’t go that far in our world today).

Go and make a pro and con list. Go and ring up the Ministry of Social Development and ask if you’d get help. Fill out a form on Studylink, whatever you do, just don’t sit there and write it off that you can’t afford it until you’ve done some homework. You never know what you might find out.



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