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Making Change

Grad School Here I Come ...

David and Robin Stevens, who have already racked up 16,000 dollars in student loans, have no intention of slowing down their quest for knowledge, even if it means increasing their debt. They are preparing to attend graduate school in the near future. Robin's two-year Public Health degree alone will cost upwards of 30,000 dollars, while, fortunately, David's employer will pay in full for his tuition. Unfortunately, without a financial plan, this newly married couple could find themselves knee-deep in debt, trying to juggle new tuition- and education-related bills in addition to their outstanding loan payments.

THAT MONEY SHOW introduced David and Robin to Suzette Rutherford, President of Rutherford Asset Planning, for a revamp of their spending style. According to Suzette, "there is a light at the end of the tunnel" for these two. But it will take serious budgeting, saving, and sticking to their plan religiously. Absolutely no more living from paycheck to paycheck; it is time for this couple to get a handle on their expenses and take control. The proposed plan: they are only allowed to spend 2,300 dollars per month total on all expenses. With their new budget, David and Robin should be able to cut back on spending by 1,100 dollars. Each month, they must take the 1,100 dollars from their earnings and deposit it into a savings account. If they adhere to Suzette's plan, they will even be able to afford a December vacation.

The matter of Grad school is still at hand; Robin's dream is to go to school full time, but is that a reality? Robin is very anxious to get her Masters' degree, especially since it will raise her salary by about 40 percent. Her concern is that if she goes to school full time, the Stevenses will lose a valuable source of income. Suzette advised Robin to ease her way back into school. Right now, Suzette advises, they are not able to take a whole salary cut. For the moment, Robin will have to continue working full time and take classes part time, at least until some of their expenses are under control.

Planning to go back to school? Wondering where you're gonna get the money from? Read these articles for suggestions on how to make change in your financial life. And visit our archive to read about other people who are in the same boat.

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