Friday, February 20, 2015

Our Debt Accumulation Journey (part 2)

In my last post, I left off at a major turning point in our lives. Just a few months after purchasing a home, we decided to accelerate our plans for me to attend grad school. We had accumulated over $250,000 in debt and were trying to figure out how we were going to pay for school, with a price tag approaching $100,000 just for tuition. On top of that, I was primarily interested in attending a specific school over 1,500 miles away.

I was extremely fortunate that my employer at the time had a very generous tuition reimbursement program ($10,000 per year) and I was trying to figure out a way that I could maximize that benefit. There were some Universities near where we were living at the time, but for a variety of reasons I did not want to attend any of them if I had other choice.

So naturally, I started to look at my options. My employer at the time had a national presence, and I started to look at locations I could potentially transfer to that were located near Universities that met the criteria I was looking for in an MBA program. I was looking for top 20 ranked schools that offered evening courses, with strong employer connections for recruiting in my preferred area (Finance). From there I went about identifying managers in the different cities where I would be able to work and asked around in my office for anyone who might know any of them. After learning about the different areas and offices, I reached out via e-mail to some of the branch managers with the hopes of opening a dialogue that could land me a position if one were to open up. My thought was that this would be something that would happen a year or so down the road, if at all.

To my surprise, the first person I e-mailed, quickly responded and after a brief conversation, mentioned that he was going to have an opening in the near future, and to stay in touch. Within a matter of weeks, I was offered a position in my #1 location, nearby my top choice for school to attend, and was given 3 weeks to get there. This happened entirely via phone and e-mail and so just like that, I accepted a lateral job transition across the country in a place I had never actually been.

Because I had sold my car in favor of public transit, and the new city did not have reliable public transportation, the move required the purchase of a 2nd vehicle. Of course, we hadn't saved anything really for this, so we borrowed another $14,000 for a car. This represented the all-time peak of our indebtedness, both in terms of total amount owed as well as number of different loans.

Thus began a new adventure with my new job in a new state, with the hopes of getting a new graduate degree.

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