Creative Ways Dental Students Can Save Money

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ktboulevard

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For future and current dental students that will be living off of hardly nothing because of loans and what not, I thought this would be an interesting topic to discuss to help others and myself. From riding your bike to school or preparing meals at home to save some cash, I know I would LOVE to hear it! So, those who are in dental school, currently practicing, or are retired, please feel free to give us some advice on ways you saved money or ways you wished you saved money. Thanks in advance!

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For future and current dental students that will be living off of hardly nothing because of loans and what not, I thought this would be an interesting topic to discuss to help others and myself. From riding your bike to school or preparing meals at home to save some cash, I know I would LOVE to hear it! So, those who are in dental school, currently practicing, or are retired, please feel free to give us some advice on ways you saved money or ways you wished you saved money. Thanks in advance!
I've definitely started thinking about a monthly budget. I went and took the CO 2026 COA and have broken it down into what I can expect as my monthly stipend for school. But since inflation has hit, I'm anticipating an increase of tuition, and hopefully room & board, to increase 3-5% because everything around me in Minneapolis is getting more and more expensive. Factoring in rent and taking some out for misc. expenses and then saying whatever is left over is what I am using for my food. It's about 500-700 a month, or ~125-170 a week for food which should be more than enough I hope. I've also heard of dental students using food stamps to help out too but I'm not sure of the process and the steps necessary to sign up with the state to do that.

I plan on trying to meal prep for the week to bring food to school and treat it as a grab-and-go in the mornings to help save money. My gf plans on helping me out prepping which will be nice. And I'm not living on campus, but just off campus so it's just a quick 10-15 min walk in the mornings which saves me about $300 in rent a month!

I'm fortunate my family is giving me a small amount of money a month to help subsidize my rent which will give me a little more money for food during the month. I've also gotta save up for loupes!
 
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Van life
 
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Find something you enjoy and make money doing it. I did that during my free time as a way to decompress and think about something different during nights/weekends.

I flipped a bunch of different things with engines (lawn mowers, dirt bikes, jet skis, vehicles, ect) during dental school and that increased my spending money substantially.
 
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I've definitely started thinking about a monthly budget. I went and took the CO 2026 COA and have broken it down into what I can expect as my monthly stipend for school. But since inflation has hit, I'm anticipating an increase of tuition, and hopefully room & board, to increase 3-5% because everything around me in Minneapolis is getting more and more expensive. Factoring in rent and taking some out for misc. expenses and then saying whatever is left over is what I am using for my food. It's about 500-700 a month, or ~125-170 a week for food which should be more than enough I hope. I've also heard of dental students using food stamps to help out too but I'm not sure of the process and the steps necessary to sign up with the state to do that.

I plan on trying to meal prep for the week to bring food to school and treat it as a grab-and-go in the mornings to help save money. My gf plans on helping me out prepping which will be nice. And I'm not living on campus, but just off campus so it's just a quick 10-15 min walk in the mornings which saves me about $300 in rent a month!

I'm fortunate my family is giving me a small amount of money a month to help subsidize my rent which will give me a little more money for food during the month. I've also gotta save up for loupes!
Budgeting isn’t such a bad idea! Food stamps for dental students? I definitely have to look into that. It won’t hurt to try it.

Meal prep is the way to go, and it’s the healthier option (depending on what you pack) when it comes to keeping your physical health in check. I think we often forget how important our physical health is at times when we’re pushed for time to study for quizzes/tests. That is also SUPER SWEET of her! Make sure to thank her tons for that!

I totally forgot about the expense of loupes. Also, hopefully the schools we go to will pay for our scrubs *fingers crossed*
 
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Find something you enjoy and make money doing it. I did that during my free time as a way to decompress and think about something different during nights/weekends.

I flipped a bunch of different things with engines (lawn mowers, dirt bikes, jet skis, vehicles, ect) during dental school and that increased my spending money substantially.
I cannot agree more with this! I coached travel volleyball during my undergraduate years and found it super decompressing and fun while making some cash. I might look into doing that again if there is a club volleyball association near my dental school that I can coach at:)
 
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Budgeting isn’t such a bad idea! Food stamps for dental students? I definitely have to look into that. It won’t hurt to try it.

Meal prep is the way to go, and it’s the healthier option (depending on what you pack) when it comes to keeping your physical health in check. I think we often forget how important our physical health is at times when we’re pushed for time to study for quizzes/tests. That is also SUPER SWEET of her! Make sure to thank her tons for that!

I totally forgot about the expense of loupes. Also, hopefully the schools we go to will pay for our scrubs *fingers crossed*
I wish! I just dropped 200 on scrubs lol. Our school we have embroidered tops so they have to be specialty ordered but the bottoms I can order from the manufacturer and they have more options than our school does
 
A class B RV or a mini van. If your school is in a temperate climate it could be done. This would be a pretty hardcore thing to do though.
I was literally thinking this - Minnesota would be a rough place to do this, but it would be possible at schools like LECOM.
 
I was literally thinking this - Minnesota would be a rough place to do this, but it would be possible at schools like LECOM.
I would imagine the summer months you’d have to go to an RV park for electricity to run AC if you went to a school like LECOM SDM in Florida
 
I knew a guy that basically couch-surfed is senior year.
 
I knew a guy that basically couch-surfed is senior year.
If tuition does not go down and if schools do not offer tuition scholarship for production, stuff like this will be normal.
 
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If tuition does not go down and if schools do not offer tuition scholarship for production, stuff like this will be normal.

Get a tesla- live in it. You got netflix, you got video games, you get camping mode.

I went to school in a pricey city- back in 2010 it was 2k for rent- the same area is now 3.5- 4k a month- looking at craigslist and tuition has doubled. 2k rent, with 250k tuition ish- now its 3.5-4k rent with 500k price tag. Thats like 700k price tag without including food, meals, travel, car, insurance, etc.

If I had to go back now- I would prob just get a tesla model y and live in it- and get a gym membership for showering etc. 40-50k car is cheaper then 4k a month compounded for 4 years. 48k a year rent x 4 years = 200k in "rent" alone.
 
Get a tesla- live in it. You got netflix, you got video games, you get camping mode.

I went to school in a pricey city- back in 2010 it was 2k for rent- the same area is now 3.5- 4k a month- looking at craigslist and tuition has doubled. 2k rent, with 250k tuition ish- now its 3.5-4k rent with 500k price tag. Thats like 700k price tag without including food, meals, travel, car, insurance, etc.

If I had to go back now- I would prob just get a tesla model y and live in it- and get a gym membership for showering etc. 40-50k car is cheaper then 4k a month compounded for 4 years. 48k a year rent x 4 years = 200k in "rent" alone.
Toyota prius is cheaper and I’d argue more reliable. Longer track record, has the ability to use gas, just better
 
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A class B RV or a mini van. If your school is in a temperate climate it could be done. This would be a pretty hardcore thing to do though.
A class B RV is the most expensive (if you look at the price per squarefootage) class of RVs. The cheapest one you can find is around $120k new…..or around $70-80k used. You’d save a lot more by living near the school with roommates for the next 4 years. With an RV, you have to find places to fill your freshwater and dump your waste very often. You have to find a safe place to park and to sleep in your van. It's still a big car....20-24 ft long....so you still have to find a special place to park. Things (plumbings, electrical) break down in the van very often (because they are not meant for everyday use) and you have to know how to repair them. If things break down in an apartment, you just let the landlord handles it.
 
Get a tesla- live in it. You got netflix, you got video games, you get camping mode.

I went to school in a pricey city- back in 2010 it was 2k for rent- the same area is now 3.5- 4k a month- looking at craigslist and tuition has doubled. 2k rent, with 250k tuition ish- now its 3.5-4k rent with 500k price tag. Thats like 700k price tag without including food, meals, travel, car, insurance, etc.

If I had to go back now- I would prob just get a tesla model y and live in it- and get a gym membership for showering etc. 40-50k car is cheaper then 4k a month compounded for 4 years. 48k a year rent x 4 years = 200k in "rent" alone.
It’s 1/4 of that if you share with 3 other roommates. I shared a 2 bed 2 bath with 4 other roommates, who were also my dental classmates. They slept in the 2 bedrooms and I slept on the sofa because I couldn’t stand the loud snore of one of my roommates. I only had to pay $250/month for my portion. If I rented this same apartment with the same number of roommates now, I would have to pay around $1000-1200/month.

I currently pay UCLA housing $5500 per quarter (or $1800/month) for my son’s dorm. This also includes food and cable TV subscription. He shares a room with another roommate. He walks to all his classes….no need for a car and ridiculously expensive parking permit. He takes a bus to a nearby VA hospital for one of his volunteer activities and it only costs him $1 for each trip.

Yeah, I love my Tesla. I eat and sleep in it during my 1.5 hour lunch break. It has 77k miles and the only time I brought it to the Tesla shop was for the wheel alignment (because of the uneven wear on my rear tires). No need to have a routine maintenance service every 3-6 months like the gasoline cars. I only have to change tires every 25k miles. The autopilot works wonderfully.
 
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With how much dental school is, there is no way to save money in a way that would have a marginal impact on post school lifestyle outside of large scholarships
 
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With how much dental school is, there is no way to save money in a way that would have a marginal impact on post school lifestyle outside of large scholarships
Saving money during dental school might not have a HUGE impact that we would all like to see. However, I believe that there are some impactful strategies to learn that can keep your debt lower and help save money even after dental school. For example, saving ends of vegetables to later put in a chicken broth is a smart way to save money. Another great saving tactic is buying a rotisserie chicken to eat as a meal with other sides, make into chicken salad, and then later use the carcass to cook it off into a broth.
 
Saving money during dental school might not have a HUGE impact that we would all like to see. However, I believe that there are some impactful strategies to learn that can keep your debt lower and help save money even after dental school. For example, saving ends of vegetables to later put in a chicken broth is a smart way to save money. Another great saving tactic is buying a rotisserie chicken to eat as a meal with other sides, make into chicken salad, and then later use the carcass to cook it off into a broth.
I really appreciate the effort here.

but my honest two cents is dental school can be difficult enough, don't scrimp on cents and cause it to stress you out.

if something is relatively affordable and makes your life easier I would spend the money to pay for it.
 
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I really appreciate the effort here.

but my honest two cents is dental school can be difficult enough, don't scrimp on cents and cause it to stress you out.

if something is relatively affordable and makes your life easier I would spend the money to pay for it.

It really all adds up. Back in my day a lot of people chose to live without roommates in the city. That was 2k a month back then. Which amounts to 100k extra tuition.

Today that same area I live in is asking for 3.5 to 4K.

That’s 168k to 200k extra loans. Just for rent.

I would def get a roommate with todays debt load.
 
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These examples may not be for everyone. I had a classmate who worked, studied, and slept at a funeral home. Another classmate ate at the Mission House whenever he felt like it (or needed to). One of my upperclassmen friend married rich and he didn't have to worry about money. Unfortunately he had to put up with his in-laws not liking him because going to DS and being a dentist is beneath their social status. A friend from another DS told me there was a guy who male stripped and a female faculty member took a liking to him and made his time in DS easier (having a sugar mama and being a teacher's pet all in one).


I really appreciate the effort here.

but my honest two cents is dental school can be difficult enough, don't scrimp on cents and cause it to stress you out.

if something is relatively affordable and makes your life easier I would spend the money to pay for it.

I agree. The main objective is to graduate and get your license. All other budget BS is secondary. There was an upperclassmen who worked as an assistant mgr at a fast food joint and missed a lot of clinic time. They held him back and I heard he didn't graduate. My wise dentist baby sister's words..."sometimes it's money well spent."
 
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Nope but the engine kicks on for 10 minutes ever 2-3 hours I think to charge the battery
Will that maintain the inside temp at the temp you want? Like 70 degrees when it's 20 outside?

And where would a person park this car every day and night to live in?
 
It really all adds up. Back in my day a lot of people chose to live without roommates in the city. That was 2k a month back then. Which amounts to 100k extra tuition.

Today that same area I live in is asking for 3.5 to 4K.

That’s 168k to 200k extra loans. Just for rent.

I would def get a roommate with todays debt load.
what city is that where it is 3.5-4k for an apt? I would honestly try not to go to school there, guessing the school would be commensurately expensive.

but yes, I think a roommate is a very obvious way to save a good chunk not a creative one like the OP's thread is suggesting.
 
Will that maintain the inside temp at the temp you want? Like 70 degrees when it's 20 outside?

And where would a person park this car every day and night to live in?
For cold weather you would need a down sleeping bag, a 1000-1500W solar power bank, and an electric blanket. Car would just remain off. I’d imagine it’s very doable but I’ve never camped that cold.
 
For cold weather you would need a down sleeping bag, a 1000-1500W solar power bank, and an electric blanket. Car would just remain off. I’d imagine it’s very doable but I’ve never camped that cold.
So then the Tesla is superior for that.
 
So then the Tesla is superior for that.
I know someone who has a friend that drives them to drop their Tesla off at a charging station. Relying completely on electricity is silly imo, and, you wouldn’t want to draw your power from your car battery for heat. What happens if you wake up and you have 2 miles of range left? Makes no sense. An external power source is better.
 
I know someone who has a friend that drives them to drop their Tesla off at a charging station. Relying completely on electricity is silly imo, and, you wouldn’t want to draw your power from your car battery for heat. What happens if you wake up and you have 2 miles of range left? Makes no sense. An external power source is better.
I have 2 teslas and have never had that problem
 
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I know someone who has a friend that drives them to drop their Tesla off at a charging station. Relying completely on electricity is silly imo, and, you wouldn’t want to draw your power from your car battery for heat. What happens if you wake up and you have 2 miles of range left? Makes no sense. An external power source is better.
Never had an issue with power with Tesla to be honest…
 
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Food stamps for dental students? I definitely have to look into that. It won’t hurt to try it.

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Pay as many debts down as possible before school. Less bills are easier to budget.
 
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