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*Spin-Off* What do you do? And how much horse-expense can you afford?

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  • #41
    Wow. I am not a stay at home mom by any stretch of the imagination, but even I think what SNL said was demeaning and insulting. Husbands of stay at home moms could not do what they do or enjoy having children without the support their wives give. I can not believe that people not only don't get that, but are dismissive of it.

    And who knows, maybe the OP will end up being a stay at home mom. People fall in love and do that sometimes you know. All information is good information.


    • #42
      Originally posted by Camstock View Post
      Wow. I am not a stay at home mom by any stretch of the imagination, but even I think what SNL said was demeaning and insulting. Husbands of stay at home moms could not do what they do or enjoy having children without the support their wives give. I can not believe that people not only don't get that, but are dismissive of it.

      And who knows, maybe the OP will end up being a stay at home mom. People fall in love and do that sometimes you know. All information is good information.
      Oh hey, you missed the point, too. Good job.
      "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
      -George Morris


      • #43
        I saw your point and raised it one.


        • #44
          Originally posted by Camstock View Post
          I saw your point and raised it one.
          "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
          -George Morris


          • #45
            You mentioned a possible Math/Stats minor - have you looked into being an actuary? You can usually get a job with 1-2 exams under your belt, and your employer will pay for the rest of them, including materials/seminars to prepare and some level of paid study time. It is tough to balance work, studying, and riding, but at least you're making money and have benefits while you're doing it. Generally insurance companies will pay a little less than consulting firms and have you work less crazy hours. You can see more information here: www.beanactuary.org. Overall, I've enjoyed it so far, especially being able to keep both of my horses in a relatively high COL area.


            • #46
              Warning: Rant Ahead:

              Ah yes, when all else fails, the SAHM vs. the WWs (working women) start in-fighting. It's a politically bad idea since, while y'all are cannibalizing each other, the gender as a whole is being paid less than men for the same job. One could better put one's energy elsewhere.

              In any case, I *do* think someone researching careers with respect to pay needs to know whether folks are talking about their career within the context of a one- or two-income family.

              Oh, and the section of the country you choose is a big deal too as the cost of living varies. IMO, we need a thread about areas of the country that have that magic combination of cheap land and well-paying jobs.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat


              • #47
                I DO work in biology (endangered spp, work for state agency). I don't get paid much, but I also know how to keep horses on a budget (i.e. I don't board at $900 per month show barn, ROFL). You can make good money in biology in the private sector, consulting, surveying for power companies, etc, there is always a demand for that. I just mentally can't alter my statements in the name of profit, so as a result, I have to accept my tiny paycheck because for me, the resources always come first.

                But there are many options out there. Even with my tiny paycheck, I do own a horse and we were able to take occasional lessons and do schooling horse trials (I am a fairly experienced rider). I am lucky enough to have an amazing mom who helped me get a young horse and sponsors other competition for us, although we are still certainly on a budget. DON'T GET HURT! Medical bills are what's killing me right now, sheesh.

                ETA -- ROFL on the SAHM defensiveness; it always pops up. We all make our own choices, make the one that's right for you. Doesn't bother me either way. I only get annoyed when the cry is "we SAHM's work harder than anyone!" Ummmm, no, I still have to pay all the bills, buy groceries, do laundry, take care of the house, take care of my horses, etc. After work! At least until I figure out how to clone myself -- the only person to do everything is...me! Especially since fiance has debilitating health issues that may kill him, so there are NO guarantees to be had anywhere.
                Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                We Are Flying Solo


                • #48
                  Well, I DID have a good paying factory type Federal job, but we seem to be going down the toilet nowadays.

                  Anyway, I too wanted to be a Vet and some of the same issues, lowish grades, etc. One of my friends in Jr College had tried to talk me into pharmacy and of course I laughed, at the JC I was pretty special but once into the UC system I was surrounded by other, more special, types.

                  Anway I would definitely think about pharmacy, possibly being a rep.

                  I wound up working for the Feds because they are known for being stable, they paid well once you got up there and the work was simple. It was also heavy, and now that I am older I sometimes wish I was in management - that is until I watch my supervisor eating Tums like candy and saying he's going to retire in 21 months. It's pretty pathetic to be counting down your retirement that far in advance IMO.

                  My income is hovering around 50K and that is enough to support the family here in KY once we sold off a house in CA. DH doesn't have to work although he is trying to put together a small farming operation so he keeps busy. I'm able to afford the two horses at home, when DH makes a profit I can take some lessons and do low level showing. If DH loses money, I start thinking about renting the horses out for birthday parties and staking them out on grassy spots on the hill.

                  KY does not have the magic combo, not really. We have more land here but the taxes and insurance are the same as in CA, just reversed - pesky tornados.

                  If you are an educator - BTW that was an option presented to me as a science major was teaching HS, would have taken two more quarters counting student teaching but I was too close to HS aged and too angsty about it - KY is a good place to be. Other states, not so much. They are building new schools here and are arguing about how to afford the new high school they so desperately need - in other states they are closing schools, consolidating and selling off school property.

                  What I see here in KY is that if you are mechanically inclined, all those "manly" skills, you can get a job doing facilities engineering and materials handling engineering, putting together the stuff that makes the factories work, or the trains rolling - my one neighbor works for the railroad and his wife worked for a Toyota contractor, the other neighbor works for Toyota and his wife is an elementary school teacher. For some jobs they don't care what your degree is in, they just like the degree.
                  Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                  Incredible Invisible


                  • #49
                    The major difference in the whole "how much" conversation is "it depends where you live".

                    I live in MA. DH and I do just under 200k. He's self employed in a very small, specialized field (and has a great rep) that makes good money when managed right.

                    I went to a trade/art college. Had my own biz for 7 years, started in college and did quite well. Did not have horses at that time.

                    Now I'm in the electrical field and should be making more for the demographic but have other perks.

                    I spend 700 a month to board 2 horses in NH, with an indoor at a private farm. Take 2 lessons a week.

                    If I didn't spend so little on board, I wouldn't have 2. My lessons are 70 a week, from a trainer friend who appreciates the cash (and also knows me and my horse very well).

                    We also have a baby too. People-baby.

                    One should not plan their career on income only. Some of the happiest people I know make 40k or less a year (that's peanuts in eastern MA). Some of the most miserable bank 2-300k a year. You never know what turns you might take in life.


                    • #50
                      With your background. Go into Biostatistics or Epidemiology. I am an epidemiologist. I love what I do, though applying for grants can be a pain, and I can afford my horse at home, eventing on a low level, older rig. Oh, and college tuition for my kids.


                      • #51
                        Wildlifer I dumped my" Field Statistician, seasonal" job for the Feds. I liked working for the state and the job was sure interesting but I had to go with permanent over a grant position. It was an annual grant and I made it almost a year, that was the year I had three jobs at the same time, 50 something hours a week and no days off. I chased fish boats until midnight more than once.
                        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                        Incredible Invisible


                        • #52
                          I have a biology degree, thought I was going to vet school. Didn't get in and got discouraged. Went to library school (go Illini!) and became a special librarian, information scientist, researcher, library director, online systems trainer, and project manager, depending on which stage of my career you are looking at. Library/information science is a great field - they've expanded to biostatistics and other kinds of hybrid fields (take a look at the U of Illinois LIS web page for example) and, despite the very poor stereotype of a librarian, it is a degree you can do a lot with.

                          I have a husband with a great job, 1 kid in college, and live in a low cost area, so I am able to do a lot with my horse right now.

                          My biggest suggestion to you, however, is to use the career counseling and placement services at your university!!!! Cannot emphasize enough that they can really help you if you make the effort to take advantage of their services. If they are not that great, look in your area for people who will do career assessments (psychologist, for example) and do that as well. You can spin off to medical records, lab work, etc etc with a bio degree.

                          Oh, and don't go to law school!

                          Good luck!

                          ETA: Make sure you read this article. Depressing, but a necessary read:

                          Last edited by oldernewbie; Mar. 7, 2013, 01:25 PM. Reason: one more thought


                          • #53
                            Do you really like statistics? My work involves the managing the statistical programming efforts for clinical trials. I loved my job when I was actually programming (no longer hands on), and it pays pretty well. After 20 years I am in better shape financially than my attorney sister, the house is paid for, the kid just finished his undergrad degree with zero loans, and the hubby who is in construction hasn't had to get freaked out while the economy has had it's ups and downs.

                            The hard part is finding the time to enjoy the horses.
                            I'm not an outlier; I just haven't found my distribution yet!


                            • #54
                              As others have said...depends on your location. I could live like a Trump in some states and in a cardboard box in others.

                              Nursing might be a decent option depending on your area. I think the average in my state (CT) is around $75k, in hospitals there's usually overtime galore and then the income can rise a decent chunk more. I have 3 relatives that are RNs in state. All 3 break the $100k income mark by a bit. Not a huge bit, depends on overtime for the year and which relative/place of work. The on in private practice has the least overtime, but makes more on average per hour. The 2 in hospitals make more annually due to taking overtime but less average hourly rate. (overtime in time and a half and holidays are double time)

                              None of those 3 own horses, they're smarter than us, LOL! But all 3 have enough "disposable" income to afford them if they cared to. Although the youngest has a young child and probably putting away a bit for college for that one plus the expense of raising small children. The other 2 have grown children and could have horses. And depending on what other things in life they'd care to pare down a tad, they could afford to show, etc. (as in not having new car payments/leases, less vacations since both travel a lot...all depends on what you want to spend income on)

                              My older daughter is a guidance counselor at a high school and also has a couple other part time jobs. She's a work-a-holic, loves to save, save, save. (smarty pants) IIRC her main job is around $52k or so? She also makes another $30k or so as a choreographer/dance teacher and giving Zumba classes. She could afford a horse, but is afraid of them and also does not have the time to ride anyway.

                              My youngest makes $19k or so annually. She's only 19 though. She can't afford a horse, but is saving for a nice car, LOL! She doesn't have any cost of living expenses really...the government pays for her housing, her food and her health care. I wouldn't suggest a military career for horse ownership/showing.

                              I do some training and lessons and also lobby a bit. I worked multiple jobs for a couple decades and banked a crap-ton of it in that time. So have a healthy "living" account if needed now that I only work part time, from home, when I feel like it.
                              I *could* afford horses on my own, but it would be tight. Really tight. So I probably wouldn't own my own and stick to working other peoples' horses if I were single. I could own my own as a pleasure horse or increase the training jobs, etc and show but not own. Husband's income isn't necessary to ride, show, etc. But it is nice to have a second income. Even if it makes me one of those "like a teenager depending on Mommy and Daddy" people since I do have children and did stop working a bazillion hours to raise them. The double vs single income depends a lot on living conditions as well as location. We decided we'd rather have the horses at home so bought a smaller house with bigger lot. Apparently 11-13 rooms in a house aren't necessary.

                              Something to consider seriously is also your enjoyment of your work as well as the income. Make sure whatever you do is something you enjoy...or at least something you do NOT loathe. Making a higher income at the expense of your nerves isn't always worth it. Not saying higher income jobs will drive you nuts, just pick something that won't drive you bananas or bore you to tears. There are choices to make...you may want to go for a slightly less income and choose an area where that can easily support horses, living expenses and showing, etc. Or choose a slightly lower income in a slightly more expensive place and just not go whole-hog on BNTs, training board, shows every weekend, etc. Or you may decide that more hours or higher income or a more demanding career makes the income more than worth it if you enjoy the whole higher-end horse owning experience. All depends on what you're comfortable with.
                              You jump in the saddle,
                              Hold onto the bridle!
                              Jump in the line!


                              • #55
                                FWIW, I live in SW Ohio - and it's pretty horsey here. I bought my own home just over a year ago, and my taxes are very low. I have a BA in Business concentrated in Marketing...but I don't use it. I do NOT like sales, and most places around here greatly confuse the two, but I did actually have a job in my field...and I hated it. Not the job, but the people. They were awful.

                                My position now is "Fellowship Coordinator." I work for a college here, in the school of medicine, and I manage 5 fellowships. It keeps me busy, which I love, and it's a steady, reliable job. I don't make much, around $33k per year. The job market here, after the implosion of GM, is not big at all.

                                I do own a horse, which I keep at a super nice, super quiet facility. Board here is $500 for full care, but I work 3 weekends a month and only owe $50. I do not show or take lessons, but I do occasionally participate in hunter paces and the like. I made a budget when I was looking at houses, taking into account emergencies and such, and I stuck to it. I ended up buying at even less that I budgeted for - which was a real bonus. I do still stick to that budget, and my 2013 goal is to be completely debt free (except for the house). I'm almost there - just 2 credit cards with a combined total of just under $2000. Of course, I've been saying the words "debt free" enough lately that I'm sure I'll have major renovations to undertake, or a huge vet bill, etc. However, I've been slowly laying aside money for such emergencies, so hopefully I can handle whatever the universe throws my way.

                                Good luck to you!
                                “Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of Solitaire. It is a grand passion.” ~Emerson


                                • #56
                                  Another vote for the importance of locations. My husband and I make decent living, allowing us to own a farm, put one horse in full training, monthly clinics with two other horses, showing at rated shows, plus nice tack. We will not be able to any of these, not even half, if we were in, say, California.

                                  I myself think Oklahoma City seems to strike a very nice balance (if you can stand the wind...), between well paying jobs (especially after you consider adjustments for cost of living), cheap land, and great traffic! It takes me twenty to thirty minutes to drive from my farm to downtown where I work, and that is considered "long drive" lol. I have a co-worker who recently moved to Houston and he laments that it takes him three hours one way to get to work. But of course we don't have the glamorous night lives major cities offer.


                                  • #57
                                    I got a degree and business administration and economics from a liberal arts college. I was extremely fortunate to land a very nice internship with a very large Consumer Products Company with the Walmart Sales Team. I am now making in the $50k area (depends on bonuses and profit sharing). I was working at the barn on the weekends for $400 / month. With that I was able to buy a house and 9 acres, I just put up a small barn (24x40) and have my three horses (2 retired, 1 in work) and a youngster that I co-own in my backyard. I can eek out 2 lessons per month and I show 5-6 locals "As" a year. The only debt I have now is my house and the barn which will be paid off in 6 months.

                                    All this being said. I feel as though I am in the poor house and it stresses me out beyond belief. I have my emergency funds, and my EMERGENCY funds (almost 1 years worth of income), but I refuse to acknowledge their existence. So it's like I am living paycheck to paycheck. I line off a few hundred bucks of my paycheck that goes into savings (and sometimes comes right back out if there is a vet bill). The rest of my income is budgeted for (none of it is going to clothes/ entertainment) by the time it hits my account. I spend $100 a month at the grocery store every month (eat lots of mac and cheese and potatos) and keep my house at 58*. A roommate would make my life so.much.easier. but I'm not that desperate. And not having the two retired horses would help tremendously so I could get some board money. I am only 25 and I feel I can be this wreckless, spending money on horses only. But it's getting old. Fast.

                                    My company is relocating and I have chosen not to go. The cost of living in my area and no state income taxes is not something I can walk away from. Here's hoping I can find a similar paying job, cause i am SCREWED if I don't and that's not a feeling I would wish on anyone!


                                    • #58
                                      Central PA, married homeowner, no kids. My gross income is in the mid-$40's for bachelor-degree-level human services work. When I acquired my horse (5 years ago), our combined household income was around $100k, but when the economy tanked, hubby got downsized and our combined income went down to about $75k.

                                      Even though I do NO showing (other than MAYBE a local schooling show once per year) and Horse is barefoot AND at a cheap ($300/month) barn, horse ownership is a heck of a lot harder at $75k than $100k, considering that we also have 2 car payments and a student loan. In fact, I just landed a P/T consulting job to try and make ends meet... and after having "only" one full-time job for the past 15 years, believe me, I am not excited about the prospect of taking on another job. Gah.

                                      BUT, my horse is frigging amazing (to me, at least), and if keeping him means having to work P/T at McDonalds, I'll do what I have to do.
                                      *friend of bar.ka

                                      "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"


                                      • #59
                                        Ah yes, when all else fails, the SAHM vs. the WWs (working women) start in-fighting. It's a politically bad idea since, while y'all are cannibalizing each other, the gender as a whole is being paid less than men for the same job. One could better put one's energy elsewhere.
                                        um really? it's that fact that many women still choose to drop out of the workforce and become non-working dependents that is THE major contributing factor to women being paid less- why bother to pay more when she'll just leave after she gets married? is the thinking. Clearly women aren't serious about working, why bother paying them? is the thinking. Why take them seriously? they aren't serious about working, all they want is to stay home and play with babies. You SAHMs are dragging us all down.
                                        I can't believe some women are still so stupid that they are willing to sacrifice any chance at having a decent future and actual independence by deciding to resume a child-like state of dependence upon some man. And don't give me that hooey about how hard SAHMs work- they work less than anyone else. All of us who work do everything you do, plus we work.

                                        So don't choose the route of "dependent on some man who can walk off and leave you destitute and unemployable at any time he pleases".

                                        anyway, it depends on where you live as to how much money you need- around here, you'd better bring on over $150k or you can't afford a horse unless you like eating beans n rice and wearing rags. Also pay very close attention to the person who said you may need to think about sacrificing money for time.


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                          Warning: Rant Ahead:

                                          Oh, and the section of the country you choose is a big deal too as the cost of living varies. IMO, we need a thread about areas of the country that have that magic combination of cheap land and well-paying jobs.
                                          Yes, please. I'd like to know where this magical land is!!
                                          blogging at HN: http://www.horsenation.com/
                                          check out my writing: http://jeseymour.com
                                          Just out: http://www.barkingrainpress.org/dd-p...ead-poisoning/