surviving without working

Hello all,

Any thoughts on how to survive on financial aid alone?

Has anyone done this?

I would really like to do this as soon as possible.

I will finish my AA from my cc fall of this year then transfer to a four year to begin work on my bachelors and pre med courses. I really do not want to have to do all of my bachelor and pre med while working fulltime I do not even think that is possible!

My wife has no degree in anything and would not even cover babysitting so she might as well stay home.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Have you considered working part-time? Although this wouldn’t cover your expenses (unless your job is high paying). At least it would minimize your reliance on loans.

I do work part-time. The difficulty for me is that despite my wife’s job (we are both teachers), there is an issue when it comes to sending 2 kids to day care. Way too expensive and my loss of income doesn’t allow us to use day care (and I can’t afford to buy my own time so to speak). So I take care of the kids during the day, and I teach or study during the evenings and week-end. It has worked well thus far (although mentally stressing and physically exhausting). I didn’t get any loan, I am trying to save this for med school.

If you don’t have kids though, I think working part-time is a very good alternative to minimize your exposure to debt.

No matter what you do, the process will be costly. Your primary goal is to get there,minimizing costs should be secondary. If you can, do it (as long as you get A’s), if you can’t then so be it.

Surviving on financial aid alone requires two things:

  1. Lots of loans and an acceptance of heavy debt
  2. Willingness to live like paupers

If you really want to go that route, here are some ideas that you will need to incoporate:

  • Don't eat out. Ever. Everything you eat is home-cooked. Every lunch you eat is a peanut butter sandwich and an apple you brought from home. If your wife is a good cook (or if you are), this might be no problem, but for many people it's a big sacrifice.
  • "Date night" means "DVD on the sofa". Don't think about going out to a movie or dancing or an opera or concert. Just say no.
  • Learn to live frugally, in general.

For some people, such a lifestyle sounds miserable. For others, it's incredibly freeing, because it takes them out of the materialistic mindset they have always had. I tend to be the latter type, but whichever type you are, you have to incorporate this mindset to live successfully on a shoestring.

In the end, I agree with redo. Look for a job. If you're taking, say, 15 hours, you are probably looking at 50-60 hours per week in school. A part-time job takes you to 70-80 hours per week. Lots of people work that for their regular job; heck, that's an average week of medical school. Even a full-time job would be doable, though admittedly it would make for a rough schedule.