Budgeting Tips for New Flight Attendants

By on Oct 1, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Hi Dreamers,  I am asked all the time about money. “How can anyone live on a new hire salary?”  I’m going to be honest and tell you it is hard. Other than that I don’t have a great answer, but my friend, Melissa, has a great answer and she was kind enough to guest post on the blog. In 2010, Melissa made a commitment to get better with the family finances. At that time, she and her husband were living paycheck to paycheck, had no money in savings and no financial goals. By September of 2013, they had paid off over $40,000 worth of debt and to this day remain committed to the debt free lifestyle. When she’s not coaching others on how they, too, can live a debt free lifestyle, Melissa is a wife, mom, sports junkie, dream chaser, blogger, dog rescuer and enjoying her new hobby of bicycle trail riding. You can find out more information on her blog, Go Change That. She is offering a free consultation for FACC members if you would be interested in talking to her about your situation.  Send her an email at  thatmelissathomas@gmail.com to set up a session.                                                                                                                                                  Keep Looking Skyward,


How to Afford Your Dream Job

Congratulations! You’ve finally decide on your dream job! Whether this decision is a result of a

childhood dream or just something you’ve decided on as a major life change, you need to be prepared for one thing –

Can you afford it?

I don’t mean being able to pay for the school or the training. I mean being able to enjoy a lifestyle you want based on the salary you are given.

Years ago, I applied for a teaching position. When the Principal started to discuss salary with me, I told her,“Please don’t take this the wrong way, because I do want to earn a salary, but I don’t really care how much you want to pay me – I just want to be here, at this school, teaching”.

You see, teaching at THAT particular school was the answer to my prayer! I wanted to work there SO badly and was willing to do just about anything to make sure I was the one who got the job.

Once I received the news that I was hired the reality hit. I could NOT afford to live on the salary I was given. I had rent utilities, food, clothing, car payment and debt. BUT, I LOVED my job so I made it work by working as a tutor and babysitter to make ends meet. I also had my friends Discover, Mastercard and Visa to “help” me out.

I know NOW that I could have prepared myself better, financially, to take on this job. What should I have done?

1. Have No Debt

This is so much easier said than done, I know. If I had spent MORE attention to paying off my debt while I was working my first teaching job (and making more money), then I would have been in a better position to live with a lower paying job. Since I was NOT prepared, I incurred MORE debt.

2. Have a Written Budget

Keeping track of outgoing expenses is SO important in determining if you can afford your dream job or not. Unnecessary expenses like debt or paying too much for basic necessities can really ruin your pursuit of that dream job in a hurry. Writing down and keeping track of spending will give you a realistic picture of what your minimal salary needs to be to maintain your expenses.

Remember, “love” doesn’t pay bills so no matter how much you love your job, if you can’t maintain a lifestyle that love will quickly fade away.

Most people have NO idea how to do a “Zero-based Budget”. Personally, I follow the Financial Peace University budgeting system because that’s what I learned in 2010 and it works!

Here is an example of a sample budget:

Please note, this budget is based on ESTIMATED Flight Attendant pay for the first year.

Tithe/Giving $150 $1350
Housing $375 $975
Utilities (electric, water) $200 $775
Transportation $200 $575
Clothing $150 $425
Food $200 ( single person) $225
Cell phone $140 $85
Misc $85 $0


Dave Ramsey recommends that housing should be NO MORE than 25% of your income.

You will note that there is little to no “wiggle room” for debt. The amount in each category will vary depending on your situation but this is a tight budget.

So, can YOU afford your dream job?

If you want to enjoy working that dream job then you must be in a good financial position to do

What does that mean?

Well, you may have to delay your dream job while you work on getting your financial priorities in order. This might mean that you work 2-3 jobs to get rid of the debt BEFORE you start applying for your dream job. While you are waiting for that offer, you continue to work and stockpile some savings. The savings will come in handy those first few years as you build your career and your income. Maybe you will find a 2nd job to bring in a little extra income but maybe not. You DON’T want to run the risk of having to work too much and then take away focus from your goal.

The LAST thing you want to happen is for your “Dream Job” to turn into a financial nightmare!

Can You

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