OK....since the advice I am asking is really multi-faceted and not all about finances or anything I thought I could stick it here where more might see it. Here it is...I"ll break it into the educational part, followed by the money part since really the education part influences the other... OK Education: I am working towards a PhD in psychology. It is recommended to be a 5 year program (I knew that going in, although I heard stories of people doing it in 4). After completion of that, many people go on and do a post-doc for 1-2 years (37K a year), and then get a job at a university doing research/teaching (starting wage of around 50K for public universities and around 60K if it's private). That is the typical story. Here is me: I am 1 year ahead right now. I finished my masters early and am doing my prelim exams in January. I am writing a grant to fund my dissertation research. I want to finish everything in 4 years. I want to personally get a J-O-B right away, but I'll be competing against those who have the extra 2-3 years of experience. So odds are it'll be a crap job at a really small college, making maybe $40K a year. And probably never be able to advance much higher. The pressure to finish early is coming from my husband. He doesn't understand how it can take someone so many years to finish school and make such paltry wages. He says he hates the pressure of being the one making all the money. He goes back and forth though....I tell him if I stay for 5 years I could maybe not have to do a post-doc and get an OK job. I could also stay out here in Indiana for an extra 2 years at my school on a post-doc making around 36K...and then get an OK job. Hubby keeps waffling...some days he says 5 years is OK and some years he says 4 years is better. What would you do? I completely understand where DH is coming from...and frankly I'm ready to be done and to go on my own! Financial: OK. So right now DH is making quite a bit of money and I have my stipend...he's making 2X what he made in California....and cost of living is much less out here in Indiana. If I stay here for the extra year (do 5 years) financially it would be a big bonus. His child support will be done, we'll have paid off the truck by then, and pretty much be debt free (minus some student loans that are on deferment from undergrad, but those aren't a big deal). So I could then walk into a job with no pressure on him to be working at all. If we do the post-doc route...financially we would be about 1/3 less than now (I'm assuming here that I go up to 37K and hubby's gets cut in half). We would still be paying off the truck & student loan payments would kick in. ALso....I am anticipating post-doc in California so our cost of living would be a tad bit higher (we'd probably rent and not buy). If I try to get a crap job right out of 4 years we would be in the same situation as right above....but no guarantee that it would ever change. So because of this uncertainty (as well as general disgust with consumerism lately)...I'm wondering if it would be wise to start preparing now for the non-post doc route? Start cutting bills now and trying to adjust to living on 1/3 less income? That way if hubby says 'Stay for a 5th year' or whatever we would be ahead, right? UGH...sorry if this sounds so convoluted and confusing! I hope it makes a bit of sense!