How Can I Afford My Career Change?
April 26, 2014 9:23 AM Subscribe
How do I make my financial situation work? Late 20-something living in Chicago trying to financially survive a career change. Tons of details here, but any ideas, suggestions, or help would be so appreciated.
so, to try to keep it short: went to college and then graduate school for psychology. eventually realized I hate the mental health field, and want to be a sign language interpreter instead! currently, i’m working part time (20hrs/week) as a crisis worker making $15/hr before taxes. i am also taking 2 classes a semester to finish my interpreting degree in 2017.
problem is, my expenses (rent, bills, groceries are really all my expenses) are slightly more than my income, so this is becoming unsustainable quickly. i’ve looked/applied for full-time jobs in the mental health field, but none of them have the flexibility i need for classes (my class schedule changes every semester, and often classes are only offered smack in the middle of the day. i plan on yelling at the school about this, but it’s still an issue). my choices are also limited because i don’t have an IL counselor license, and getting one is expensive and time consuming process for someone who is leaving the field anyway.
i’ve thought about moving to a cheaper neighborhood, but my lease doesn’t run out until next spring and any neighborhood i move to will be either over an hour commute to work (current commute is an hour) or an unsafe neighborhood. considered roommates, but have a cat and an apartment full of furniture that i would have to deal with - have not ruled this possibility out, though.
i’ve also thought about getting a job outside my field. my only experience is in retail, which i don’t think i would make enough even at full-time. i have zero waitressing experience - would anyone even hire me, or would i make enough at my zero experience level?
i am paying for school with some investments my grandparents set up for me, but that will run out before i’m finished. i haven’t even thought of what i will do about that when the time comes. my father is very generous about helping me out by sending money my way every once in awhile, but I hate relying on that, and really need something more.
I already have so many loans from graduate school, I am reluctant to take on more.
I don’t mean to come across as defeatist, but I want to outline all the things I’ve considered in case my thinking is wrong and needs to be corrected. I do feel slightly hopeless about the whole thing. I feel like giving up: if you can’t afford something (school), you shouldn’t buy it, right? but every day I work in the mental health field, I feel more miserable, and I don’t want to be stuck there. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I just can’t figure out how to not run out of money before I get there.
if anyone has any thoughts on this, i would so appreciate it. i can give more info if needed.