money and moving

This is a post about saving money. Sorta like this one, only different. This is a goal setting post. For some reason, when December rolls around I start thinking about next year. Like, the whole year. We have been married for nineteen months and we have saved a bunch. When I first typed out this post, I went ahead and told you how much we have in savings, but then it seemed less like a "you can do it, too!" post and more like a "look how awesome we are" post. Not that we aren't awesome, cause we are. Just for the record, it is money that we have done without to save. Done without heat, eating out, cable, new clothes, a t.v., and food made from fancy ingredients like herbs.

So, we have decided that we want to double what we have currently saved. Basically, we want to do in 12 months what it took us the past 19 months to do. How will that work? I'll tell ya. At the beginning of next month I will pay off my last semester of college {AHH!!} and we will bask in the joy that is graduating with no student loans. After that glorious moment, all of the money I make will go straight into that beautiful savings account, which will definitely give that number a boost. Also, we're getting more serious about it. The move feels closer. I can feel this post getting wordy, but I want to let you in on what's been going on.

Matt was going to go back to college this spring. After a talk with one of his sisters, a little seed was planted that maybe he should go back and finish school. After all, we're hoping to let me be a stay at home mom and we'd like to have kids in the next couple of years. So a degree makes sense. Matt enjoyed going through physical therapy when he tore his ACL, and has mentioned it to me several times during our marriage. He thinks it would be rewarding and fun to help people in that way. Just as a side note, I am alll for my husband going back to college. I haven't pushed it at all because I know the Lord will take care of us no matter what, but I am excited about the idea of a steady job that my husband thoroughly enjoys.

So, we looked into it. Physical Therapy Assistant was the goal major {2 years of college for an incredibly significant pay raise/ Matt being on the career path he wants to use to help others}. We settled on the only college around here that offers it. The private university was going to cost us $50,000 over the next two years. In case you were wondering, we do not have $50,000 in savings, or in general. So, debt. Debt was the option. We filled out loans/fafsa. We were ready to do it, even though there was a little pull in our stomach that went like this, "Are we really being good stewards with the time and money that the Lord has given us?" It was going to be a fast track college, and with Matt in school all through the school year/summer/working/me in school and working, we were never going to see each other. Like, one hour a day, but we pursued. The goal was to get as many credits as we could from this college and then transfer home {where the exact same program costs $10,000 instead of $50,000} for the clinicals {next fall}. After a couple chats back and forth, we realized that most of the credits wouldn't transfer. Just an English class here, and a Biology class there. Not what we wanted to go into debt for. So, we thought, "Alright, closed door. He's not going to college in Knoxville. Virginia, Lord?"

So we talked again to the college in Virginia {TCC} about their program, when they dropped the bomb.

  • Them - "You have to have been a resident of the tri-cities for a year before you can start."
  • Me - "We were residents for the first 21/23 years of our lives. We just moved away for the past two years, but we're coming back."
  • Them - "It has to have been the past year."

So, our plans of coming back this summer and starting this fall were shot. When we go back, he won't be starting school there for another year. So the door was closed. I keep talking about doors because the Bible says, "Knock and it shall be opened unto you..." We aren't supposed to go kicking down doors to open them. 

So, we're in a weird place here. The only thing keeping us in Knoxville is that I have student teaching next semester. Our contract on rent is up, we're just month to month. My job is amazing, but it's only what the Lord gave me for this time. It isn't permanent for me to spend my life watching other people's babies. Matt's job is an answer to prayer. Something the Lord gave him when we needed it. Again, it was known going into it, "This is just until Amanda finishes college and we can go home." Home. The place where both of our families and our home church is. The place where our children can be homeschooled in a community full of opportunities for them. We've been here for over a year and a half now as a couple {over three years by myself} and the Lord hasn't made it home. We know that we've given our futures to Him and we are letting Him lead. If He wants us to stay here, we will. But if the door to move back to Virginia stays open, we're taking it. After I help my boss find a replacement nanny/sitter, in fall 2013, we will be headed home.

In the end, the goal is two-fold. Double our savings over the next year in an effort to be closer to buying our first home and move back to Virginia in 2013. It seems almost heavy, but we are so excited about the Lord moving us forward.


  1. I'll be praying that the Lord opens a door for Matt for the right college opportunities. I do just have to say that I graduated from TCC's Physical Therapist Assistant program and loved it. Great program and, with the help of my parents, I was able to get through it without any student loans. I love my job now as a PTA and there are several good paying jobs in this area for PTA's. :)

    1. Thanks! It's still his dream major {with eventual steps toward being a PT, hopefully}, but it's all kinda on hold. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it! :)

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