Can Adult Education Help You Become Debt-Free?

John and Jane Doe desperately want to be debt-free. They’ve sliced and diced their credit cards and cut their expenses until they’re living on next to nothing but macaroni and mooched meals off relatives. They recycle and reuse. They never go out like in the good old days and a night of fun is a dollar movie rental with cuddling on the couch and microwave popcorn. They only wash clothes, with cold water, on Thursday nights. They’ve turned down the thermostat, turned off the TV and turned around their money spending habits.

Still they can’t make headway in their mission to become debt-free. Until one day, John was listening to the radio and the talk show host brought up the subject of Adult Education. Something clicked in John’s brain and he finally realized that becoming debt-free isn’t just about spending money, it’s also about making money and becoming a better person.

Adult Education can help you on your journey to become debt-free.

First, and the most obvious, is that you can receive training to further your career and enhance your salary or wages. In 2001, according the US Census Bureau, the average person with a high school diploma earned a yearly salary of $26,059. Compare that to the average person with a Bachelor’s degree at $49,674. (career calculator) That’s nearly double the amount of earnings.

But you knew that all ready didn’t you? Right now you are saying, “Going to school takes time and money, how will spending money help me become debt-free?”

Adult Education doesn’t have to be expensive. Notice I have yet to mention the word college. I’m talking about Adult Education here. That encompasses a whole other area. Adult Education can be college, but it can also be trade schools, online courses, vocational schools, night classes at church or local high schools and alternative college programs. Some trade courses are even free if you pledge to work a certain period of time with a certain employer.

Our local community college offers adult education classes that cost $20 to $30 a class. That’s virtually nothing but your time. Night classes are only twice a week. Who can’t give up being a couch potato twice a week? If you work at night, then there are day classes or online classes where you say when you want to study.

Adult Education isn’t about the degree, it’s about learning. In gaining knowledge, you make yourself a more valuable employee. You show that you are self-motivated and have the ambition to move forward. Your boss may suddenly develop a newfound respect for you and give you new responsibilities, maybe even a promotion. You can earn certificates which will equal pay raises.

Maybe you’re like John Doe. He was topped out in his job and going nowhere. He used adult education to make a career change. He had many fields to choose from such as computer technology, medical, business, restaurant work, welding, HVAC, landscaping, and writing.

John chose to work in the computer technology field. He felt that would allow him growth and job placement in the future. He stayed at his old job while he went to classes. Now, just two years later, he has a new job making more than twice the salary. He’s planning on continuing to take Adult Education classes because he wants to eventually open his own business. So he’s taking courses in Business Management.

Jane Doe took some online courses in bookkeeping. They taught her how to better manage their money and understand financial principles. She also took free classes offered at the local high school on computers. When John gets ready to start his business, Jane will be able to help. Adult Education taught her how to be organized and self-disciplined. Jane still has a year to go, but her adult education has all ready helped her get a part-time job as a tax preparer.

John and Jane Doe are real people. They didn’t have much money to spend on adult education. They didn’t go into debt to get their education. John started his first and they saved up the money for Jane to go. They had to put their plans to become debt-free on hold for a short period of time. They kept paying their bills, living frugally and attended school. Their choices actually helped them become debt-free faster. Now they are saving money to start a business of their own.

John and Jane Doe could be you.

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7 Responses to Can Adult Education Help You Become Debt-Free?

  1. Rob says:

    Good Story! No doubt adult education can help you get a better salary. My question is this, did John Doe get an Associate’s? Bachelor’s? Or just some sort of certification. I came to his realization about a week ago and am strongly considering Computer Technology for the same reasons.

  2. MollyJ says:

    I think education does help. Also, no matter how much you cut the extras, you’ll never get ahead if your big expenses are too big: your cars, your house, etc. Those are the expenses that need to be as low as possible. Unfortunately, they are the least easy to fix!

  3. M. Beddingfield says:

    Hi Rob, John got a certification. He was also able to test for further certificates that will help increase his salary. I think you are on the right track, you can always start with a certificate program and then return later for a degree. Best of luck!

  4. madsow says:

    There is no doubt in my mind that education can help financially.

    If you merely look at it from the standpoint of “That B.Science degree is going to cost me $40k” it seems pretty wasteful. But speaking from experience, that 40k was an investment into my future. I more than doubled, almost tripled my salary before college vs. post college, and I had a good job before school.

    Education is NEVER a bad thing so long as you use it. With education, you get out of it what you put into it.

    Be it a certificate program or a full college degree, it puts you at an advantage over someone who does not have the education and that will land you the job.

  5. Very good article. Getting a boost in your income is always the other side of the frugality coin. Making the decision to do that through higher-education can be a tough choice but I agree with you that it is well worth it.

  6. Pingback: Carnival of Debt Reduction » Blog Archive » Simply Forties has posted the Carnival

  7. Loren says:

    How do you all feel about the book Rich Dad Poor Dad? he wasn’t big on Education!


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