JapaneseSchool6074472865_8df966aeeb_mAt the end of 2012, I announced that our big, hairy, audacious goal is to save $10,300 for Japanese school–$3,300 for the summer, and $7,000 for the academic school year.

At the time, I mentioned that we were absolutely committed to summer school, but we didn’t know if our money would stretch far enough for the academic year.

Since then, things have changed.

How Much We Have Saved

We have worked–HARD–over the last few months.  My husband has been busy watching the kids, doing laundry, and doing dishes when he is home so I can hide away in our bedroom and do the many extra freelance jobs that have come my way.  By working together, we have saved more than we thought possible.

Here’s a breakdown by month:

January–$331.97

February–$850.00

March–$850.00

Total:  $2031.97

As a bonus, we’ll be getting a $1,007 tax return, which we’ll put in this fund.  After the tax return, we’ll be only $261.03 short of our summer goal!  SWEET!

But Our Plans Have Changed

We remained on the fence about sending the girls to Japanese school in the fall.  We also considered sending them to the preschool where our son attends school, but the problem was that while our 4 year old could go 5 days a week for 2.5 hours a day, our 3 year old could only go 3 days a week, and that wouldn’t give me enough time to work.

We delayed making a decision, and the morning program filled up so that there wasn’t a spot for either girl.  The decision seemed to be made for us–Japanese school in the fall.

I had serious reservations about spending that much money during the academic year, though.

I’m working, HARD!  Sometimes I’m exhausted, and so is my husband.  We barely have time to talk to each other let alone have date night.  It seems like all we do is work.  I don’t know if this is sustainable over an academic year.

Still, what choice was there?

I received an unexpected call last week from my son’s school’s secretary who said that for the first time ever, they were opening up a 5 day a week preschool program for 3 year olds in the afternoon.  Also, the 4 year old 5 day a week afternoon program had openings still.

Suddenly, there was a choice again!

After much thought, I decided that sending the girls to preschool at my son’s school was probably the best decision.

My husband’s work has been a bit unstable lately as many of the scientific grants have not been renewed and people he knows are being laid off.  While he *thinks* his job is safe, he’s still worried and stressed by the situation.  He decided, too, that the preschool program at our son’s school is best.

What This Means for Us Now

We are still committed to all 3 kids attending Japanese summer school.  We almost have the money saved for that.

However, in the fall, they will go to preschool at my son’s school.  It will be a substantial savings over Japanese school.

We both hold out hope that the girls can go to Japanese school for the academic year a year from now, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Meanwhile, after we have saved all the money for summer school, we’ll switch gears.  All extra money I make will be split in half.  Half will go to our emergency fund until our emergency fund reaches $6,000.  The other half will go to debt repayment.  Our debt repayment has slowed considerably over the last 6 months, and I’m ready to hit it hard again.

What do you think?  Are we making the right decision?