How much do/did you spend in business school? : Business School Life
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# How much do/did you spend in business school?

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23 Apr 2012, 00:26
For the MBAs and current students on this forum, how much did you spend in business school (not counting tuition, books, insurance, etc)? Did you find the living expenses amounts the school suggested to be reasonable? I am sure this varies greatly depending on the school, but I would love to get your perspectives.
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23 Apr 2012, 17:50
Schools tend to underestimate IMO. Unless you have a roommate or live in a cheap place, their amount really wont cover life like most MBA students are used to. Even cutting back means most people will spend what they say if not significantly more if they really "enjoy" their time.

Take what they say and add 5-10% year if you are going to do trips, eat out, buy suits for interviews, and have other expenses (previous student loans, cars, etc). I would say the majority of my friends who went to various top programs all at over 100k in debt. Only way to get by without lots of debt is have lots of money going in (none coming out), sponsored/scholarship, or come from a wealthy family.
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23 Apr 2012, 19:13
riverripper wrote:
Schools tend to underestimate IMO. Unless you have a roommate or live in a cheap place, their amount really wont cover life like most MBA students are used to. Even cutting back means most people will spend what they say if not significantly more if they really "enjoy" their time.

Take what they say and add 5-10% year if you are going to do trips, eat out, buy suits for interviews, and have other expenses (previous student loans, cars, etc). I would say the majority of my friends who went to various top programs all at over 100k in debt. Only way to get by without lots of debt is have lots of money going in (none coming out), sponsored/scholarship, or come from a wealthy family.

ditto on the trips, just for fun I tabulated total costs of going on 2 career treks and two social treks that students went on during 2010-2011 at 2 top schools and costs totaled around 12000. Not to mention mini weekend trips, nights going out/eating out. It adds up quick.
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24 Apr 2012, 10:27
Also, most school budget estimates are only for ~9 months. So even with a 10 week internship at $1,500/week, you'll still have to throw down additional cash for rent and other expenses for those months not included in the budget. _________________ GMAT Club Legend Joined: 10 Apr 2007 Posts: 4318 Location: Back in Chicago, IL Schools: Kellogg Alum: Class of 2010 Followers: 88 Kudos [?]: 750 [0], given: 5 Re: How much do/did you spend in business school? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 30 Apr 2012, 18:03 Get comfortable with the idea of student loan payments that are equal to a mortgage payment for the next 5-10 years. _________________ Kellogg Class of 2010...still active and willing to help. However, I do not do profile reviews, don't offer predictions on chances and am far to busy to review essays, so save the energy of writing me a PM seeking help for these. If I don't respond to a PM that is not one of the previously mentioned trash can destined messages, please don't take it personally I get so many messages I have a hard to responding to most. The more interesting, compelling, or humorous you message the more likely I am to respond. GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings Senior Manager Status: schools I listed were for the evening programs, not FT Joined: 16 Aug 2011 Posts: 389 Location: United States (VA) GMAT 1: 640 Q47 V32 GMAT 2: 640 Q43 V34 GMAT 3: 660 Q43 V38 GPA: 3.1 WE: Research (Other) Followers: 3 Kudos [?]: 46 [1] , given: 50 Re: How much do/did you spend in business school? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 03 May 2012, 11:04 1 This post received KUDOS MDF wrote: Also, most school budget estimates are only for ~9 months. So even with a 10 week internship at$1,500/week, you'll still have to throw down additional cash for rent and other expenses for those months not included in the budget.

Every school's budget is only 9 months unless it's a 1 year program or other program when summer classes are taken like a part time MBA.

I don't think the schools are underestimating their budgets if students live and spend wisely. However unlike many other grad programs, MBA students have been used to an income and for the most part spend more money than a grad student who just got in straight from college, assuming he or she wasn't a spendthrift either.
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27 May 2012, 19:52
Varies.

Had a friend who recently graduated from Booth and he spent on average of around $2,500/month because he wanted a nice pad and was very social. An associate at the firm who started last fall was at Wharton and managed to only spend around$1250/month. He said he spent around $600/month on rent which is what I paid as student in dorms. Manager Joined: 25 Feb 2012 Posts: 68 GMAT 1: 720 Q49 V39 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 10 [0], given: 0 Re: How much do/did you spend in business school? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 28 May 2012, 03:50 JayJay00 wrote: Varies. Had a friend who recently graduated from Booth and he spent on average of around$2,500/month because he wanted a nice pad and was very social.

An associate at the firm who started last fall was at Wharton and managed to only spend around $1250/month. He said he spent around$600/month on rent which is what I paid as student in dorms.

Health insurance cost for a family of 3 is ~$800 to do it through the university. I can easily see my family spending way more than$2500/month even without any social activity...
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28 May 2012, 05:43
JayJay00 wrote:
Varies.

Had a friend who recently graduated from Booth and he spent on average of around $2,500/month because he wanted a nice pad and was very social. Does the$2,500 include rent?

Booth's recommended living expense budget is more than $2,500/month. ($1,500 rent/utilities, $600 food,$333 personal, $150 transportation). I think it will be hard to spend less than$2,600-700/month if you're living in the loop without a roommate.
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28 May 2012, 06:32
MDF wrote:
JayJay00 wrote:
Varies.

Had a friend who recently graduated from Booth and he spent on average of around $2,500/month because he wanted a nice pad and was very social. Does the$2,500 include rent?

Booth's recommended living expense budget is more than $2,500/month. ($1,500 rent/utilities, $600 food,$333 personal, $150 transportation). I think it will be hard to spend less than$2,600-700/month if you're living in the loop without a roommate.

That should have read $3,500. I was thinking in pounds but used the wrong symbol. He lived by himself in a studio apartment since he was single and wasn't the roommate type. I would assume one could easily make it by on$1,500-2000 with a roommate?
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28 May 2012, 08:38
JayJay00 wrote:

That should have read $3,500. I was thinking in pounds but used the wrong symbol. He lived by himself in a studio apartment since he was single and wasn't the roommate type. I would assume one could easily make it by on$1,500-2000 with a roommate?

It probably depends on the city and where you live. I think $1,500/month in Chicago would be difficult to get by on even with a couple roommates. If you consider Booth's estimated living expense budget, which is about$2,600/month, and you reduce your rent/utilities to $900/month by having a roommate, you're still at$2,000/month. And not only are these numbers very conservative, they don't include things like travel, career treks, student clubs, etc.

I have a 1bdrm in the loop and I've put together a budget of about $3,000/month. When I add that$3K/month to all of the extra stuff (career treks, travel, etc.), my spending for 2 years is roughly 9% over Booth's recommended budget. The numbers in my budget are pretty generous. I think that's the max I'll spend and hopefully I'll come in under budget in the end.
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29 May 2012, 17:37
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I just finished and spent about $130K. That's about July - now. I religiously tracked my spending and can tell you that a "light" month was about$1500 (including rent w/ a roommate). I usually didn't end up over $2000 a month. I continue to track my budget closely and can also tell you that my expenses are noticeably higher though I don't spend much differently (ie prices have gone up quite a bit in the last couple of years), so I would expect that alone to add$100 a month.

To put it in perspective, I am probably on the low end of the spectrum spending-wise and did not travel much at all.
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29 May 2012, 19:05
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highhopes’ handle should be highroller I looked back at my spending while in Durham, including rent, utilities, gas, food, my spend was averaging ~$700/month. I think Durham is an inexpensive city. I had a 2 bedroom to myself for$425/month (it was consider far from campus by Durham standard, but was only 4.5 miles away). Durham’s weather is very temperate; my average utility bill is ~$25/month, since I don’t need A/C and only a space heater occasionally in the winter months. My cellphone has wifi hotspot, so saved internet fee. Biked to school, so I filled up once every 1.5-2 months and didn’t get the MBA 15 weight gain. There’s so much free food from club and recruiting activities, my dinner, sometimes lunch, was usually covered. I enjoyed cooking, so brought lunch to school. Even had some extra money to go out to dinner with friends weekly. Director Joined: 26 Mar 2008 Posts: 652 Schools: Duke 2012 Followers: 15 Kudos [?]: 126 [0], given: 16 Re: How much do/did you spend in business school? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 29 May 2012, 20:05 Bah, I think asimov is just a social hermit. In all seriousness, that is a pretty tight budget. Think about if you only spend$20 a week on groceries and you eat out a couple of times in a week. That's $200 on just food. By way of comparison, my rent + utilities were about$700-750, so there tends to be wide variety in those types of expenses.

Also, between insurance and gas, I probably spent almost $150 a month, so if you don't need a car and can possibly park it and not insure it, that might be another expense saved. It seems like small stuff, but now I'm jealous that asimov is now richer than me by about$20,000.

Bottom line: Take your current monthly expenses and judge how your behaviors will change in B-school and you'll get a pretty decent estimate.
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31 May 2012, 08:09
For those of you who went above the school's recommended budget, where did the extra money/loans come from? I'm comfortable living on a budget, but knowing that additional expenses are bound to crop up, I'm concerned about being able to make ends meet if I'm restricted to only borrowing up to the cost of attendance (and I don't want to leave school drowning in credit card debt!)
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19 Jul 2012, 11:40
Living in Boston, I took out the max Stafford Loans plus whatever the school budgeted. I almost ran out of money my first semester. It's a tight budget at most schools unless you're working an academic year internship or had a bunch of money saved. I ended up working an academic internship making ~\$1,500/month and that helped a lot. Without it, I would have been living like a pauper (this is with a roommate).
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20 Aug 2012, 02:28
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24 Aug 2012, 01:09
i have not count it, but so many money...
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28 Feb 2016, 15:20
I would say the estimates tend to come out lower. While business school can certainly be even more expensive when you include all the side trips and evenings out, remember you don't have to do all of those things. It can be tempting to keep up with the joneses, but it becomes very expensive. And you might think it's no big deal because you have student loans to cover it all, but that eventually catches up to you when you graduate with more than 100k in debt!
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Re: How much do/did you spend in business school?   [#permalink] 28 Feb 2016, 15:20
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