I’ve been posting here for a little over three weeks and thought I’d share my plans.
I’m seventeen and a rising high school senior. I participate in a dual enrollment program at a community college, mostly because I couldn’t stand going to high school anymore.
After this year, I plan on attending massage school, graduating in nine months, and getting licensed. Massage therapists make $50/hour and it’s very easy to be self-employed, which is something I’m attracted to. A potential downside is there aren’t many opportunities for raises, but I think I can live with that ;)
I live in suburbia and don’t have a car, which makes it impossible to get anywhere. I don’t have a job at this point because 1) school and transportation to and from takes up most of my day in the school year and 2) there’s not much within walking distance. Once a month, I make the rounds and apply to all the fast food joints, because they throw out applications after a month. I don’t apply anywhere that requires online application because I don’t want to give out my SSN until I’m hired (what do they need it for?) because of the risk of identity fraud, so that rules out half of the businesses. The local business (mostly restaurants) are family-run enterprises and only employ their families or people of their same ethnicity.
Even though I haven’t had a job yet, I’ve saved $1500 from birthdays, Christmases, etc. in a year and a half. I should be able to double that by the time I leave for massage school. Even so, it’s looking like I’m going to have to take out student loans. Tuition, fees, and books/materials should cost $10-12,000. I’m not sure what the cost of living is in the area I’ll be moving into, but I would probably round up and get $30,000 or so, hoping to pay a lot of it back once I graduated.
I’ve always been good with money, but usually saved to spend. I can’t manage to keep cash on me, it gets lost on books and whatnot. That changed a lot when I got a bank account and was able to see a total on a screen. Cash to me is monopoly money, and is meant to be fun. Money in the bank is a game, in that “winning” is having the biggest number :) So I don’t carry cash anymore, just my debit card.
My goal is financial independence. I want to have kids though, so it’ll probably take longer than five years (ten to fifteen maybe?). Massage therapists usually work 30 hours a week, resulting in an annual salary of ~$48,000. If I stay frugal, find a cheap place to live after I graduate, live simply, etc, I should be able to pay my loans off within a few months.
What do you guys think?