So to say the least, it has been awhile. In the last year I have taught my first graduate class, or any class, since I taught ELL classes in South Korea in 2004. It was part side hustle and part “Am I ready to move to a new career?”. I really enjoyed teaching the career class to future counselors so much that I decided to explore teaching full time at counselor education programs.
For those who don’t know, counselor education programs are graduate programs which train counselors for mental health, higher education, or school counseling positions. I limited my search to certain locations that met living criteria for my family: location, size of community, not too far from family, etc. Fast forward October to June: 12 applications, 6 phone interviews, and 2 on-campus interviews….say hello to a new job at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky. I really took the changing our default to heart and decided to uproot my entire family.
This change is initially a setback to FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early). I have taken a pay cut and purchased a new house, so well that’s a lot of money gone for down payment and moving expenses. We did keep track of moving expenses to claim on taxes and it’s crazy how expensive it is to move! It’s also crazy how much stuff you still have AFTER you feel like you got rid of a lot of crap! Good news is that we just got an offer on our former home, so it looks like a relatively quick sale in 2 months.
The move brings some great benefits for my family. My wife or I can take classes with a tuition waiver, and typically, when you teach at college your children get FREE or greatly discounted tuition. Now I realize my kids are 2 and 4, but this will be a huge future benefit. Insurance is significantly cheaper which helps to make up for the almost $10,000 pay cut. We also purchased a home that is almost 2.5 times larger than our previous abode on an acre of rural land. Crazy thing is that our monthly payment is about $300 less per month. Much of this is due to our property taxes dropping from $3,800 to $1,600. Crazy!
Now there are some added expenses because of living in the country and more land. We had to purchase metered satellite internet from Hughes Net. So we now have 20 gbs per month rather than unlimited internet for roughly the same price. Hughes Net has been very reliable and fast, but due to the data limit we can’t support our Netflix viewing habits, so we decided to purchase satellite TV again. So basically our monthly costs for internet and TV have doubled back up to $130/month. Grr. I am very excited that our Ting (referral link) plans still work great in our new location. Even with the metered internet we should still be able to use the Google Hangouts for phone calls and texting via wifi, so our phone bills should still be well under $50/month for two smart phones.
Also with a bigger yard come all the new toys… er I mean tools. Riding lawn mower, chain saws, and trimming tools. But we also plan to start a garden so we are getting more than just a great view from our new home.
So it’s a lot of changes, some setting us back financially, but moving us ahead in many other ways. If we hadn’t paid almost all of our debt and been saving in a lot of little and big ways (groceries, cell bill, no cable, car/home insurance) the last few years, this life move wouldn’t have ever been possible. AND remember Mrs. COD is still staying home with the kids for awhile. There is NO WAY we could have done this even two years ago. Once you start eliminating the debt, other opportunities that were out of reach become possible.
Where do you want to be? What financial burdens are keeping the changes from being a reality? Where can you save every day, every month, every year?