From the pilot forums to the Facebook groups I follow, there’s always questions about “how do I pay for flight training” or “how do I save up for flight training” The truth is for most people, it’s hard work and takes time. That is if you don’t want to go into debt.
For my PPL, I had money saved up from my high school graduation that I kept until I knew what exactly I wanted to do with it. It was nice not to have the stress of a dwindling bank account. I didn’t have to try to balance money used for every day life and money for training. Or have lessons be stressful because I had to get this lesson right or otherwise I was out of money.
Now, I’m onto wanting to get more ratings. I’ve been talking about instrument rating for awhile now and I think it’s finally time!
So, back to the issue at hand, how do I save up/pay for flight training? Right, I hear a lot of these questions and a lot of the same answers. “Get a second job” “make friends with someone who has an airplane” or even “barter your services”. Okay….well, personally those all sounded good, but I had NO IDEA where to start. I started mainly with saving up money from Christmas and birthday and a little extra each month. That seemed doable.
Of those suggestions, a second job would be great, but most people have enough trouble finding regular employment as is. Or finding a second job that fits in with your main career can be difficult because I can’t sacrifice my career for an extra job that I’ve taken to save for flying.
It’s taken me years, but I finally found a second job! Actually, I wasn’t actively searching for one. We moved out to California. Jake had taken a second job as a CFI for extra cash. It ended up falling through after the first two weeks due to the location, having only one car, and my work schedule. It got me semi-thinking again about a second job to save up for flying. Living near Silicon Valley, there are tons of start ups here. I was using one to get clothes shipped to me. For some reason, I looked for jobs on their website and voila! A part-time gig that I could work from home. Perfect! I sent in my resume, interviewed, and got the job! Best of all, it provides a creative outlet that I’ve been needing since I left the theater world. I’m enjoying it. It has been difficult recently with the amount of overtime at my regular job, Jake being home, and working an additional 15 hours at this second job. The payoff will be worth it though!
Other people at my work have second jobs too, and they vary from track coach to remote pilot operator at TRACON (sweet gig, right?). To me, the thing that made me actually find one is finding a second job you’d enjoy and you want to do. Not just a second job to pay for flying. I know it can be difficult to find, but also waiting and finding that good job will be worth it.
I know it isn’t so easy for other people, but I truly think waiting and finding the right opportunity is what makes or breaks this idea.
What have you done to save up for your flight training?