Find all School-related info fast with the new School-Specific MBA Forum

It is currently 22 Oct 2014, 04:46

Close

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Events & Promotions

Events & Promotions in June
Open Detailed Calendar

How much do you REALLY spend in business school?

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 24 Oct 2013
Posts: 10
Location: United States (IL)
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Marketing
GMAT 1: 690 Q45 V40
GMAT 2: 710 Q42 V45
GPA: 3.57
WE: Consulting (Pharmaceuticals and Biotech)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 5

How much do you REALLY spend in business school? [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2014, 09:51
Hi everyone!

Every MBA program has a calculated "total cost of attendance", which typically includes tuition, room/board, a new computer (sometimes), personal expenses, health care, etc.

But there are a lot of extra activities and expenses that are not calculated into the total cost of attendance... things like social activities, networking/job search trips, etc.

My question: how much did you actually spend / intend to save for these extra expenses? This Anderson blog post - http://mbablogs.anderson.ucla.edu/mba_students/ - recommends $10,000 over the two years. What do you think? Too much, not enough, or just right?
Expert Post
Manhattan GMAT Instructor
User avatar
Joined: 01 Jul 2013
Posts: 197
Followers: 6

Kudos [?]: 23 [0], given: 0

Re: How much do you REALLY spend in business school? [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2014, 18:34
Expert's post
If it's $10000/2 years, that's about $5000/year, or about $100/week. To see how that feels -- start Monday morning with 5 $20 bills -- and see how long that gets you! That'll give you a good idea :-) Obviously, life changes in b-school -- but people still get drinks, order pizza, play golf, etc. You do things that require spending money!

Best of luck.

Brian
_________________


Brian Lange | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | North Carolina


Manhattan GMAT Discount | Manhattan GMAT Course Reviews | View Instructor Profile

4 KUDOS received
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 30 Jan 2010
Posts: 254
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Organizational Behavior
Schools: Chicago Booth - Class of 2015
GMAT 1: 770 Q50 V44
WE: Project Management (Real Estate)
Followers: 8

Kudos [?]: 91 [4] , given: 69

Re: How much do you REALLY spend in business school? [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2014, 09:02
4
This post received
KUDOS
brianlange77 wrote:
If it's $10000/2 years, that's about $5000/year, or about $100/week. To see how that feels -- start Monday morning with 5 $20 bills -- and see how long that gets you! That'll give you a good idea :-) Obviously, life changes in b-school -- but people still get drinks, order pizza, play golf, etc. You do things that require spending money!

Best of luck.

Brian


If I were the OP, this would not be a very helpful response. This basically assumes he's not tracking his budget at all right now and would give him a weird way to benchmark his current lifestyle. I'm going to assume he really wants to know about budgeting for the dramatic lifestyle change of pursuing a full-time MBA.

@BinyaBinyaPollywog
First off, the blog post isn't saying the cost of all the discretionary stuff is $10k. The author of the blog is saying that $10k is the difference in discretionary spending between and good MBA experience and a great one. Personally, I think you can have a great experience either way and that the author is being a bit flippant about a large spending decision. That said, I tend to agree that $2,000-3,000 once or twice a year for once-in-a-lifetime experiences (e.g. international travel with classmates) is worth it.

In regards to your original questions, there are a lot of variables to consider here and it's hard to put a lump sum number on it. Let's try to disaggregate the numbers a bit and see where it gets us.

Meals - Think about how you eat now and how much you spend. If you're in a major US metro and eat out every meal, you're looking at $20-30/day. If you are a champion grocery shopper and home cook, the number is easily half of that. Now, what happens when you go to B-school? Because of the demands on your time and the desire to hang out with friends, you will almost certainly be eating out more. This will be offset somewhat by free food during the height of recruiting season, if you can stomach pizza and boxed sandwiches 4 days/week. I spend 20-30% more on meals than I did prior to B-school.

Travel and Transportation - You should be able to project this relatively closely. LA is a car-centric city (one of the reasons I moved to Chicago after a decade in LA). If you plan to bring a car to school, figure out your parking, insurance, etc. If you can get by without one, you'll be better off financially for it. Don't forget to figure in the cost of a transit pass, occasional Zipcar, and cabs home from the bar.

Bars and general socializing - As with meals, take a look at what you're doing now. These costs will likely go up, especially if you're not usued to LA/SF/NYC prices.

Clubs and Exceptional Events - This is basically a new category in your life. I'm tracking right around $3,000/year for club dues, case competitions, conventions, forums, and social events (30-person excursions to NBA game, formal dances, etc) that definitely wouldn't have happened in my previous life.

Travel - This is a part of the experience that I've tried to prioritize. There are a couple of categories of trips to consider. Most schools offer myriad opportunities for pre-orientation/pre-2Y international travel over the summer (which I highly recommend, ski trip or career treks over winter break, career or cultural treks (or international beach-drinking) during spring break, as well as random 3-day weekends to less far-flung locations. I've budgeted almost $5,000 for two big trips/year. As a rule of thumb, I figure domestic trips like ski trip or a career trek run $1,000-$2,000 and international trips run $3,000-4,000. Big trips require time and money. Right now I have time, but not much money. In a few years, the reverse will be true.

Laptop and Books - Do you plan to buy a new one? If so, you know about what they cost. I've found the estimate for book spending to be very conservative. I've spent less than $150/quarter. Part of that is because Booth has gone 95% digital on coursepacks.

I know it's not a definitive answer, but I hope this is some help. You budget can vary wildly depending on the choices you make. I feel good about my prospects after school and don't feel I've had to sacrifice much coming to B-school. If the extra $10k that the blog author advocates is not within your means, don't feel pressured to spend it. Know what's important to you and stick to your guns. There is plenty of free/cheap stuff to do in LA without spending 2-3 nights/week at the bar. There will plenty of your classmates for whom frugality is important.
Expert Post
BSchool Forum Moderator
avatar
Joined: 20 May 2013
Posts: 551
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Finance
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V44
Followers: 9

Kudos [?]: 221 [0], given: 54

Premium Member Reviews Badge
Re: How much do you REALLY spend in business school? [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2014, 13:00
Expert's post
What a good figure per year for Rent/Food/entertainment/transportation, $30k? It'll vary by location, but lets say for Duke/LA/Kellogg.
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 30 Jan 2010
Posts: 254
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Organizational Behavior
Schools: Chicago Booth - Class of 2015
GMAT 1: 770 Q50 V44
WE: Project Management (Real Estate)
Followers: 8

Kudos [?]: 91 [0], given: 69

Re: How much do you REALLY spend in business school? [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2014, 13:55
mgh234 wrote:
What a good figure per year for Rent/Food/entertainment/transportation, $30k? It'll vary by location, but lets say for Duke/LA/Kellogg.


Food, entertainment, and transportation vary quite a bit with your eating habits (out vs. groceries), mode of transit (car vs. public), as well as the level of and preference for certain types of social activity. In very board terms, monthly costs might be:

Food: $500 (almost all groceries/not ramen) - $1,000 (dining out every meal, with a few nice ones)
Entertainment: $100 (board games and movies) - $1,000 (bars several nights/week)
Transportation: $100 (walk to campus and transit for other stuff) - $600+ (car payment, insurance, on-campus parking, tickets, moderate cab use)

As far as rent goes, I can't really speak to Duke, as I haven't lived anywhere near Durham. I imagine it's at least somewhat cheaper than LA or Chicago though. The numbers for the other 3 are fairly similar and based on my having lived in LA and Chicago as well as doing some apartment-hunting in Evanston.

Studio/1BD (private) - $1,250-$2,000/mo utilities included
2BD/3BD (split w/ private bedrooms) - $750-$1,500/person/mo, utilities included

These ranges span from low-quality (white plywood cabinets, all-carpet, long walk to campus, no amenities) to very nice (hardwood, stainless, granite, near campus, pool, fitness, doorman) but not necessarily ultra-luxurious options.
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 30 Jan 2010
Posts: 254
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Organizational Behavior
Schools: Chicago Booth - Class of 2015
GMAT 1: 770 Q50 V44
WE: Project Management (Real Estate)
Followers: 8

Kudos [?]: 91 [0], given: 69

Re: How much do you REALLY spend in business school? [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2014, 13:58
A quick addition: when you visit campus, be sure to ask current students whatever questions you have. This has been my best resource for almost every topic imaginable.
Expert Post
BSchool Forum Moderator
avatar
Joined: 20 May 2013
Posts: 551
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Finance
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V44
Followers: 9

Kudos [?]: 221 [0], given: 54

Premium Member Reviews Badge
Re: How much do you REALLY spend in business school? [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2014, 14:00
Expert's post
So in general, an average student probably spends about $25k it seems, way higher than the $15k estimate schools like ross give.
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 12 Mar 2014
Posts: 5
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

Re: How much do you REALLY spend in business school? [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2014, 14:09
If we put on the side your expenses for school as books, laptop etc it will depend on the location of the school and the lifestyle you want to continue. For many it might be really hard to go back to the student lifestyle :)
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 30 Jan 2010
Posts: 254
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Organizational Behavior
Schools: Chicago Booth - Class of 2015
GMAT 1: 770 Q50 V44
WE: Project Management (Real Estate)
Followers: 8

Kudos [?]: 91 [0], given: 69

Re: How much do you REALLY spend in business school? [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2014, 19:29
mgh234 wrote:
So in general, an average student probably spends about $25k it seems, way higher than the $15k estimate schools like ross give.


I'm not sure I follow you. The numbers I gave are guidelines for Chicago or LA. Ann Arbor is a significantly cheaper place to live. Had I gone to Ross, I would have paid around $800 for my half of a huge, updated 2BD/2BA in a full-amenity complex. $5-10k cheaper for AA doesn't sound unreasonable, and I think the COA numbers reflect that. On the other hand, I would expect living expenses in NYC (Stern, CBS) or the Bay Area (Haas, Stanford) to be somewhat higher.

Posted from my mobile device Image
Expert Post
1 KUDOS received
Manhattan GMAT Instructor
User avatar
Joined: 01 Jul 2013
Posts: 197
Followers: 6

Kudos [?]: 23 [1] , given: 0

Re: How much do you REALLY spend in business school? [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2014, 17:04
1
This post received
KUDOS
Expert's post
brandon432 wrote:
mgh234 wrote:
So in general, an average student probably spends about $25k it seems, way higher than the $15k estimate schools like ross give.


I'm not sure I follow you. The numbers I gave are guidelines for Chicago or LA. Ann Arbor is a significantly cheaper place to live. Had I gone to Ross, I would have paid around $800 for my half of a huge, updated 2BD/2BA in a full-amenity complex. $5-10k cheaper for AA doesn't sound unreasonable, and I think the COA numbers reflect that. On the other hand, I would expect living expenses in NYC (Stern, CBS) or the Bay Area (Haas, Stanford) to be somewhat higher.

Posted from my mobile device Image


Jumping back into this conversation, despite Brandon not feeling my earlier comments were all that helpful. It's actually pretty amazing that there aren't greater resources to answer this question (e.g. why don't b-schools ask 20 students per year to anonymize their Quicken/Credit-Card data and publish it?)

I think Brandon's suggestion of having real conversations with real students when you are on campus is probably his most helpful point of feedback.

The reality is that you can get by on very low budgets (and make tradeoffs in the short-run) or you can spend more heavily and just have a greater debt load when you are done.

In the grand scheme of things -- what's an extra $15-20K for 20 months of b-school, right?
_________________


Brian Lange | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | North Carolina


Manhattan GMAT Discount | Manhattan GMAT Course Reviews | View Instructor Profile

Re: How much do you REALLY spend in business school?   [#permalink] 29 Mar 2014, 17:04
    Similar topics Author Replies Last post
Similar
Topics:
4 Experts publish their posts in the topic How much do/did you spend in business school? jonnyh 17 23 Apr 2012, 00:26
4 Experts publish their posts in the topic Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month? isa 33 13 May 2009, 05:40
How Much Time do you spending reviewing error Log kizito2001 1 03 Dec 2007, 17:23
How much do you pay to send to additional schools gablaze23 1 02 Apr 2007, 03:24
How much Math do you really need to know? littlefauss 6 04 May 2005, 16:57
Display posts from previous: Sort by

How much do you REALLY spend in business school?

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  

Moderator: threestripes



GMAT Club MBA Forum Home| About| Privacy Policy| Terms and Conditions| GMAT Club Rules| Contact| Sitemap

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group and phpBB SEO

Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.