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Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month?

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Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month? [#permalink] New post 13 May 2009, 05:40
I know this is going to vary a lot by person, but I was trying to get a sense of how much folks budget, or plan to budget, for "entertainment" (going out to bars/restaurants/movies/whatever). $500 per month? More? Less?
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Re: Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month? [#permalink] New post 13 May 2009, 10:15
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isa wrote:
I know this is going to vary a lot by person, but I was trying to get a sense of how much folks budget, or plan to budget, for "entertainment" (going out to bars/restaurants/movies/whatever). $500 per month? More? Less?

I lump food and all 'going out' expenses together and plan to budget about $850 - $900 a month for everything that is not a bill (i.e. phone, cable, power). For me, it's just too tough to seperate grocery store vs. restaurant vs. bar.
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Re: Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month? [#permalink] New post 13 May 2009, 11:06
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The "entertainment" expense is the big unknown with me.

I mean, you can go to a bar and have three beers and be out $20. Do that 2-3 times a week and you're out $250/month right there!

I think a smart move would be to figure out how much you're willing to spend. I think $500/month is a decent number. Keep track as the month goes on. If you start to run low, you'll just have to drink Keystone Light at someone's home instead of a microbrew at some fancy pub!

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Re: Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month? [#permalink] New post 17 May 2009, 18:21
I have found that most MBA students have a planned budget but in reality, they exceed it by a multiple of 2 and if you are single (going out more often) , then it is 3X.
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Re: Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month? [#permalink] New post 17 May 2009, 18:39
thanks for the input folks! I'm trying to plan a budget, and also keep a bit aside as a "slush fund", on the (likely) chance I run over-budget. :)
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Re: Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month? [#permalink] New post 17 May 2009, 21:46
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Sorry - late to the game :oops:

I would say it really depends on your current habits. There is some peer pressure to constantly go out the first month - definitely. But after that everyone settles in and does not feel the need to show off. Also the first set of tests usually comes around then, so sanity returns. Some people do go out more while in business school but you will meet people from all walks of life and can assume any pattern you want (hand out at friends' homes or in uber martini bars). There are party guys - a large percentage in most schools. They may be used to fancy restaurants and expense accounts - I could never keep up, so I never tried. My preference was always to spend money on food rather than alcohol, but that was probably because I was poor.

I would say, there are some "required" functions such as mixers/networking events/others that you will need to go to, but they are just 1-2 per month, so that would be your rock bottom minimum (include a drink or two and valet parking).

This kind of warrants a bigger discussion about the MBA budget in general, which I will slightly touch on:

I think my biggest surprise was the cost of textbooks - anywhere from $200 to $500 per quarter (double that per semester). I shopped on Amazon and other places and strategically sold my books. Not sure if that's the case in all Bschools, but definitely can be a burden. That messed my budget up pretty badly.

Don't forget about medical insurance - your school may provide a plan, so check about that.

I spent little on clothes - just got the seasonal items I did not have, and relied mostly on my pre-MBA wardrobe. As I did not work out much during school, I gained about 10-15 lbs over the two years, so that took a toll. I still remember as I was trying to get a pair of my nice slacks for a vegas trip and they would no longer fit me.

I structured my budget in terms of priorities and so my entertainment expenses were at the very bottom of that list. I under budgeted and as the result, my first semester was very boring - that's how I ended up starting GMAT Club :lol:
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Re: Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month? [#permalink] New post 17 May 2009, 21:59
bb wrote:
I structured my budget in terms of priorities and so my entertainment expenses were at the very bottom of that list. I under budgeted and as the result, my first semester was very boring - that's how I ended up starting GMAT Club :lol:


Now THAT really warrants a good discussion. do elaborate somewhere, sometime!
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Re: Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month? [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2009, 20:19
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- Some students have big savings (think PE guys) and live the life before they go back to not having a life.
- Some students are on a tight budget and are careful about their expenses.
- The rest (the majority) are on a tight budget but manage to overspend their outing (and don't forget traveling) expenses massively.
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Re: Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month? [#permalink] New post 06 Jul 2009, 18:01
isa wrote:
I know this is going to vary a lot by person, but I was trying to get a sense of how much folks budget, or plan to budget, for "entertainment" (going out to bars/restaurants/movies/whatever). $500 per month? More? Less?


start dating a guy that is employed and problem solved
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Re: Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month? [#permalink] New post 06 Jul 2009, 18:05
terp26 wrote:
isa wrote:
I know this is going to vary a lot by person, but I was trying to get a sense of how much folks budget, or plan to budget, for "entertainment" (going out to bars/restaurants/movies/whatever). $500 per month? More? Less?


start dating a guy that is employed and problem solved


Brilliant plan. :wink:
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Re: Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month? [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2009, 08:48
Or in my case, girl(s) who is (are) employed. :)
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Re: Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month? [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2009, 09:03
topher wrote:
Or in my case, girl(s) who is (are) employed. :)


Seconded!
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Re: Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month? [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2009, 12:15
The difference in spending mix between Anglosaxon countries and continental Europe is staggering!

Spending $500/month on entertainment is unconceivable by the average Italian/French/Spaniard, who, on the other hand, would probably spend much more in clothes and accessories.
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Re: Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month? [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2009, 14:14
Yeah $500/month is a good chunk of change. I don't even spend that much right now while working. But I also don't pull down a nice salary, which is part of the reason why I'm going to b-school.
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Re: Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month? [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2009, 15:16
Paradosso wrote:
The difference in spending mix between Anglosaxon countries and continental Europe is staggering!

Spending $500/month on entertainment is unconceivable by the average Italian/French/Spaniard, who, on the other hand, would probably spend much more in clothes and accessories.


What would the average European do for entertainment? I knows things aren't any cheaper over there and usually are more expensive.

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Re: Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month? [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2009, 18:53
I don't want to make sweeping generalizations and use stereotypes too much, but I think entertainment can be viewed in two ways,

1) The "what-you-do" type entertainment. Here, the event itself is important. Good examples are going to concerts, movies, clubs (to maybe see a special DJ spin), etc. These are more event oriented.
2) The "whom-you-hang-out-with" type entertainment. Here, it's the crowd that matters. Good examples are just hanging a get-together (e.g. potluck dinner) at someone's place, housewarming parties, playing trivia at a sport bar, etc.

If you are more of the former (the MBA stereotype), then I suspect your entertainment budget needs to be generous.
If you are more of the latter, then your entertainment budget tends to be more reasonable.
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Re: Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month? [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2009, 19:59
xenok wrote:
I don't want to make sweeping generalizations and use stereotypes too much, but I think entertainment can be viewed in two ways,

1) The "what-you-do" type entertainment. Here, the event itself is important. Good examples are going to concerts, movies, clubs (to maybe see a special DJ spin), etc. These are more event oriented.
2) The "whom-you-hang-out-with" type entertainment. Here, it's the crowd that matters. Good examples are just hanging a get-together (e.g. potluck dinner) at someone's place, housewarming parties, playing trivia at a sport bar, etc.

If you are more of the former (the MBA stereotype), then I suspect your entertainment budget needs to be generous.
If you are more of the latter, then your entertainment budget tends to be more reasonable.


I feel like the last year of my MBA experience has had a heavy dose of #1 and #2.....

In fact I have #2 friends based around #1 events (seeing DJs spin is a perfect example - great crew of friends who I chill with but who also go out to see the house/trance scene in Chicago - which is fantastic) lol

Even if you think you're not into event based entertainment - you're going to be going out to events - I promise. Good luck getting out of Chicago without going to a Cubs game and sitting in the bleachers with your friends from Kellogg/Booth :)
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Re: Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month? [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2009, 02:16
I think xenok nailed it with his segmentation of entertainment activities: event-based is going to be more expensive no matter where.

As per the budget difference EU/US-UK, I think it comes down to two drivers:

1) Much more friends- rather than event- based entertainment --no need to have motive to hang out, importance of home-based activities.

2) When going out, much lower per-capita consumption (one, max two beer/wine glass/cocktail*): saying 3 beers per 2-3 times a week sounds really weird.

Since I began working, event-based entertainment ramped up a lot for me**, as well as, accondingly, expediture. I believe, though, that friends-based (then cheaper) alternatives could regain lion's share in school.

The different attitude to saving and debt also have a say in this.

* I studied in Scotland for one year in undergrad. First night there, I went out with some colleagues and a Professor. We sat and ordered a beer. 5 minutes later, I barely took a sip, nursing my drink Europe-style, when I was apostrophed by the Professor:"What are you doing? Come on, finish it as we are moving to another bar". This little anecdote pretty much nails it!

** I also believe: the stronger the connection with your associates, the less the need for event-based entertainment. The stronger the will to form new connections, the more the neede for event-based. This may explain why MBA budget could be so generous.
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Re: Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month? [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2009, 00:54
Paradosso wrote:

* I studied in Scotland for one year in undergrad. First night there, I went out with some colleagues and a Professor. We sat and ordered a beer. 5 minutes later, I barely took a sip, nursing my drink Europe-style, when I was apostrophed by the Professor:"What are you doing? Come on, finish it as we are moving to another bar". This little anecdote pretty much nails it!


Ha ha! The binge drinking culture of the UK :). You should try the central line pub crawl in London, that means starting/finishing in North Acton/Mile End. 1 drink per stop and try to do it before middnight (before 24 hour drinking was allowed, last orders used to be 11pm).

Of course, you can do this on any of the underground lines in London.
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Re: Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month? [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2009, 09:59
xenok wrote:
I don't want to make sweeping generalizations and use stereotypes too much, but I think entertainment can be viewed in two ways,

1) The "what-you-do" type entertainment. Here, the event itself is important. Good examples are going to concerts, movies, clubs (to maybe see a special DJ spin), etc. These are more event oriented.
2) The "whom-you-hang-out-with" type entertainment. Here, it's the crowd that matters. Good examples are just hanging a get-together (e.g. potluck dinner) at someone's place, housewarming parties, playing trivia at a sport bar, etc.

If you are more of the former (the MBA stereotype), then I suspect your entertainment budget needs to be generous.
If you are more of the latter, then your entertainment budget tends to be more reasonable.


3) Alcoholics. Generous Budget. :cry:
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Re: Student Budgets - how much do you spend going out/month?   [#permalink] 14 Jul 2009, 09:59
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