Decisions: School or a House??

I have made the decision to go back to school. It’s a big deal for me. I already have my AAS in Culinary, but due to fate intervening MY life path has changed. So, off to school I go to make something new with myself. When I was younger I had considered this option among the three I narrowed it down to. They were, Culinary, Animation or Interior Design. I went with Culinary when I was 16 and fell fast and hard for food. I never regret a second of it. I met my husband, Anthony, because of it and have my two beautiful children. Food also gave me a strength and confidence that I don’t think that I could have gotten from the afore-mentioned field, so I think I have the upper hand going into this new field. I won’t take any shit, and I’ll know what I want and make sure I get it. So, what have I chosen? Interior design. But discussing that is not the topic I wanted to dive into today. What I want to talk about today is a realization that I have come to, that I think most people, or rather my generation has come to. Having to make the decision to choose to put yourself though school or to buy a house.

As I sat down to write this I was sure that a few thing were going to happen. 1.) I was for sure going to piss people off 2.) People might agree with me when I was done and 3.) The realization of this had not even crossed people’s minds and I would essentially be opening a topic of discussion, which would be good. So, for those of you who I am about to piss off, remember this is a blog and it is MY OPINION. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. However, we have to remember that we are not able to have our cake and eat it too, but more on that later… As for everyone else, like me this is a BIG realization and kind of a bummer. But due to how much everything costs and the few select places there are where you can make money and the cost of living as well as the cost of how much it takes to go to school, not to mention the time it takes to be there… its overwhelming. But I am getting ahead of myself here. Let’s start from the beginning.

I got married young. I had my first kid when I was 21. After a surgery on my knee I decided to go complete culinary school. I worked my ass of at various places, left my first husband, worked some more, met my current husband and chef alike, injured my hand and can no longer cook for a living, had my second child and here we are… I am 30 years old now. When you are 30 and you have kids like myself, you start to or have already been thinking about buying a house. Up until this point we have been renters. Apartment renters, townhouse renters, and house renters. So, it seemed only natural for us to look into it. According to Zillow, the median home value in California is $454,700. California home values have gone up 6.3% over the past year and they predict they will rise 3.1% within the next year. Now that is the ENTIRE state of California, not just San Diego County. San Diego County is more, but we all know that. J Of that $454,700 normally homeowners put 20% down, that’s $90,940. $90,940 of your own money. Do you have almost $100,000 just hanging around?? I sure as shit don’t. (Bear with me this is where I am going to bounce back and forth.) Lets think about that now, for someone to get a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design it costs at the Art Institute- San Diego $96,595. So, for $5,655 more you can get yourself a degree that can get you a job (Interior Designers earn an average salary of $54,850 per year. Salaries typically start from $27,170 and go up to $89,700, according to This also depends on several factors, like level of education, amount of experience, industry, company size and location) that can earn you back all the money you spent to get in school and keep earning you money as well as bonuses, promotions, etc. A house does have value, (property value as well as the memories you make there) but you can’t go to target and use that as currency!

So for the long haul going to school and spending what money you have and what money you don’t, because we ALL have to take out loans to go to school seem like the smarter option. Here is the other side of my thinking on it. We were brought up to think and feel like we could do and be anything that we wanted to be. Some might say that I am contradicting myself by saying that I can’t have the schooling and the house. Here is how I see it. I want to teach my kids that they too can have and be anything that they want to be, but that doesn’t come without hard work and sacrifice. Sometimes you have to give up one thing that you want for something that is greater and will be better for you in the end. If you want to be a doctor when you grow up then you ca be a doctor, but you know what? That means that you can’t have all the expensive things and party like a rock star right now. You have to study, not sleep, eat like a hobo, drive a Honda, live in scrubs and be a walking medical dictionary. SACRIFICE! It’s not a bad thing though, to want something more, something better for yourself. To do something that makes you happy. If you are lucky, maybe you can afford a home and have it all. But what I am talking about is the rest of us. Everyone is not a doctor or a Lawyer. We are just everyday people trying to make the best out of our lives, keeping our kids safe, making the rent each month and thanking whoever that we had enough extra to go on a trip. You know?

Let’s flip the script now, though. Let’s talk about a home. I gave you the numbers already, and let’s just say for shits and giggles you were able to cover that amount. So, you buy a house. You build a life there. Have kids there. Maybe even bring grandkids there. For some THAT is well worth the financial investment itself. I mean, you could sell and I am sure that the property value would only increase (But that also depends on the location of your property, remember it was projected that this year it was projected to increase 6.3% and next year an additional 3.1%. Real Estate can be fickle like the stock market though, it goes up just as quickly as it goes down people. So only time will tell). Security. That’s why people buy homes. That’s why I wanted to buy a home. A place for my kids to go and remember. A place for my grandkids to come and share in memories that I made with their parents so long ago. You know what the great thing is about memories? A house doesn’t make them. The people do.

So I guess that is my point to all this. I choose to invest in myself. In my future. To show my kids that my dreams are worth spending money on. Homes will always be there. We can rent a house for as long as we want. For as long as we need. The satisfaction of showing my kids that a happy life that I chose to do WITH them FOR them is more than four walls could ever provide me. It’s more than I ever dreamed of when I was a little girl. How can I expect my kids to be happy if I myself am not happy? It all starts with a choice. This choice. A house or school. It may not be the same for everyone. I’m sure it isn’t. I, however, sleep pretty good knowing I made at least a few decisions right. To each their own. Wish me luck, I start school on April 4, 2016. Three years will be a bitch, but one I look forward to. With that, have a very merry un-birthday to you!


Photo Credit of Felicity and I:





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