Living Within the Student Budget

Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
theantiscalia
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Living Within the Student Budget

Postby theantiscalia » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:41 pm

I've borrowed the maximum I was allowed to at my school for the upcoming year. After paying for rent, utilities, cell phone, and car insurance, I'll have about $300.00 a month to spend. Do you think this is doable? How does this compare to everybody else. I searched through the TLS archives, and I can't find much on living within the student budget.

The two things that immediately come to mind to be covered are food and, to a limited extent, gasoline. I'm thinking $50 a week for food, $50 a month for gasoline, and $50 a month for entertainment. Is this reasonable?

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vanwinkle
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:42 pm

Image

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esq
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby esq » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:43 pm

It better be, or you won't last long in law school.

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KibblesAndVick
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby KibblesAndVick » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:44 pm

Have you ever lived on a budget before? If you did in college or after you should have a good idea of how much you'll need for food/gas/drinking/etc.

300 a month is more than enough you just have to accept that you're poor :D

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trialjunky
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby trialjunky » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:45 pm

I think about this all the time...I'm just going to /self with the money runs out

luckyduck
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby luckyduck » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:45 pm

This helps with food budget if you live near a distribution site. You don't have to be religious to take part in it.

--LinkRemoved--

savesthedayajb
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby savesthedayajb » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:46 pm

Damn I'm left with about 900 after paying my bills, rent, gas etc.

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bk1
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby bk1 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:48 pm

Very possible, just make sure to live within your means. If this means eating the same food everyday, not eating out, and/or eating cheap food (i.e. ramen and not steak) then that is what it means.

I haven't lived on $300 before but I could have easily cut back on eating out and taking my GF places to curb the $500 I spent and live on $300.

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romothesavior
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:49 pm

theantiscalia wrote:I've borrowed the maximum I was allowed to at my school for the upcoming year. After paying for rent, utilities, cell phone, and car insurance, I'll have about $300.00 a month to spend. Do you think this is doable? How does this compare to everybody else. I searched through the TLS archives, and I can't find much on living within the student budget.

The two things that immediately come to mind to be covered are food and, to a limited extent, gasoline. I'm thinking $50 a week for food, $50 a month for gasoline, and $50 a month for entertainment. Is this reasonable?


I took out well under the limit on loans and my budget is like $200 per month for groceries, $60 a month on gas, $200 a month for entertainment and dining, and a small amount each month for shopping. I also have more money allocated in certain months for expected expenses (like gas to go home for Thanksgiving). And this is in addition to the $1,000 per semester I have for a school meal plan. You also don't sound like you have any money put away for a rainy day (like say your car breaks down or you have some random expense come up).

I think you will be hard pressed to stay within your budget.

theantiscalia
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby theantiscalia » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:50 pm

It actually would be much more per month, but I divided it out by 12 months instead of nine. I figure since most 1L gigs don't pay, I had better save.

theantiscalia
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby theantiscalia » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:50 pm

vanwinkle wrote:Image


LOL! That's what I've been thinking.

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Grizz
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby Grizz » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:50 pm

Image

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romothesavior
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:50 pm

Also, I know you're in law school and you will be studying a ton, but keep in mind that you're still human... you'll want a couple of beers now and then or a nice meal out on the town once in a while. $300 a month does not allow for that.

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KibblesAndVick
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby KibblesAndVick » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:53 pm

You should also be on the look out for any cougars or pumas.

theantiscalia
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby theantiscalia » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:54 pm

romothesavior wrote:
theantiscalia wrote:I've borrowed the maximum I was allowed to at my school for the upcoming year. After paying for rent, utilities, cell phone, and car insurance, I'll have about $300.00 a month to spend. Do you think this is doable? How does this compare to everybody else. I searched through the TLS archives, and I can't find much on living within the student budget.

The two things that immediately come to mind to be covered are food and, to a limited extent, gasoline. I'm thinking $50 a week for food, $50 a month for gasoline, and $50 a month for entertainment. Is this reasonable?


I took out well under the limit on loans and my budget is like $200 per month for groceries, $60 a month on gas, $200 a month for entertainment and dining, and a small amount each month for shopping. I also have more money allocated in certain months for expected expenses (like gas to go home for Thanksgiving). And this is in addition to the $1,000 per semester I have for a school meal plan. You also don't sound like you have any money put away for a rainy day (like say your car breaks down or you have some random expense come up).

I think you will be hard pressed to stay within your budget.


WUSTL is very generous with their student budget; ND is not. I think they want us to subsist off of communion wine and those nasty cracker things.

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bk1
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby bk1 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:54 pm

romothesavior wrote:I took out well under the limit on loans and my budget is like $200 per month for groceries, $60 a month on gas, $200 a month for entertainment and dining, and a small amount each month for shopping. I also have more money allocated in certain months for expected expenses (like gas to go home for Thanksgiving). And this is in addition to the $1,000 per semester I have for a school meal plan. You also don't sound like you have any money put away for a rainy day (like say your car breaks down or you have some random expense come up).

I think you will be hard pressed to stay within your budget.


Really? I think it will be doable if done right.

Breakfast: milk + cereal or yogurt- $1
Lunch: simple sandwich (bread, meat, lettuce, condiment) $1-2
Dinner: soup or something else bought in bulk - $3-5
Entertainment: $50/month (Netflix, Hulu, one videogame or ticket to something)
Gas: $50

Doesn't seem out of hand. I understand not being able to cover car repairs, but that is just how it is.

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romothesavior
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:56 pm

theantiscalia wrote:WUSTL is very generous with their student budget; ND is not. I think they want us to subsist off of communion wine and those nasty cracker things.


Bastard Catholic trickery.

Also, did you make sure that you dedicated 10% of your student budget to titheing?

sumus romani
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby sumus romani » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:56 pm

I spent a good bit of time in grad school, and I know about going from the upper middle class to serious, enduring poverty. One of the most important thing you can do is to have friends/girlfriends/boyfriends who are on your budget.

It is easy to stay on a budget with no friends/girlfriend, etc. Also, it is easy to stay on a budget with equally budgeted friends/girlfriends, etc. But, it is impossible to stay on a budget with friends who have more than you or a girlfriend who has a more expensive lifestyle. It just can't be done. If you don't keep up with their spending, then you'll be constantly unhappy. You would be amazed at the amount of money some of you law school peers spend-- even in this economy. You'll be happier if you stay away from them. It can be a bit different with boyfriends who pay for a lot of the stuff.

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bk1
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby bk1 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:56 pm

romothesavior wrote:Also, I know you're in law school and you will be studying a ton, but keep in mind that you're still human... you'll want a couple of beers now and then or a nice meal out on the town once in a while. $300 a month does not allow for that.


With the above mentioned, I think you can sneak in beers or a meal out once or twice a month.

It's not like the OP has any choice but to live spartanly.

theantiscalia
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby theantiscalia » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:57 pm

romothesavior wrote:
theantiscalia wrote:WUSTL is very generous with their student budget; ND is not. I think they want us to subsist off of communion wine and those nasty cracker things.


Bastard Catholic trickery.

Also, did you make sure that you dedicated 10% of your student budget to titheing?


Can't I count tuition as tithing? My tax return has it as a church contribution. (Kidding. Unless I'm really starving come April 15.)

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Deuce
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby Deuce » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:59 pm

rad law wrote:Image


spindle?!?

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bk1
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby bk1 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:59 pm

sumus romani wrote:I spent a good bit of time in grad school, and I know about going from the upper middle class to serious, enduring poverty. One of the most important thing you can do is to have friends/girlfriends/boyfriends who are on your budget.

It is easy to stay on a budget with no friends/girlfriend, etc. Also, it is easy to stay on a budget with equally budgeted friends/girlfriends, etc. But, it is impossible to stay on a budget with friends who have more than you or a girlfriend who has a more expensive lifestyle. It just can't be done. If you don't keep up with their spending, then you'll be constantly unhappy. You would be amazed at the amount of money some of you law school peers spend-- even in this economy. You'll be happier if you stay away from them. It can be a bit different with boyfriends who pay for a lot of the stuff.


Credited.

In most longer term relationships, I would expect both people to pay for about half. If your SO is used to going out to eat a lot, going to the movies a lot, clubbing/partying a lot, then it is going to be a significant strain because these activities must be given up or the SO will take an unfair share of the cost. Same with friends, if they are used to going out a lot, you will be able to go out with them once or twice a month, max on this kind of budget.

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romothesavior
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:03 pm

Summus and bk, I can't speak to the experiences of others, but I know I have allocated enough money for a modest, yet comfortable lifestyle next year. This is thanks in large part to working 60+ hours this summer and saving a good chunk of money this summer. I am well under the maximum loan money I can take out, but I have enough money for eating out at a decent restaurant once a week, going to the bar for a few drinks, going clothes shopping once a month, and some spare money for Cardinals games, golfing, etc. I will scale back my lifestyle (which is very middle class Midwestern) a little bit during law school, but I still will be able to live like a normal guy for the most part.

I understand the whole "live like a student" mentality, but at the same time, I'm going to law school, not joining a monestary.

itsfine
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby itsfine » Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:04 pm

Have a roommate? eat his food

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bk1
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Re: Living Within the Student Budget

Postby bk1 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:07 pm

romothesavior wrote:Summus and bk, I can't speak to the experiences of others, but I know I have allocated enough money for a modest, yet comfortable lifestyle next year. This is thanks in large part to working 60+ hours this summer and saving a good chunk of money this summer. I am well under the maximum loan money I can take out, but I have enough money for eating out at a decent restaurant once a week, going to the bar for a few drinks, going clothes shopping once a month, and some spare money for Cardinals games, golfing, etc. I will scale back my lifestyle (which is very middle class Midwestern) a little bit during law school, but I still will be able to live like a normal guy for the most part.

I understand the whole "live like a student" mentality, but at the same time, I'm going to law school, not joining a monestary.


While I think it would be best to have your kind of lifestyle, my point was that on $300 a month, the OP is joining a monastery. If given a choice living at $500+ a month would be nice, but if you have to live within $300 it is very possible while still having money to eat 3 square meals a day and a bit of leisure on the side.




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