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Living Expenses???

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by sheep girl, May 30, 2008.

  1. sheep girl

    sheep girl LSU SVM c/o 2012 2+ Year Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    I have figured out about how much I am probably going to be spending on tuition, books, and fees (roughly 10k/semester). I have found a place to live, so I know how much my rent will be... (1.5k/semester including utilities) But, I am having problems trying to figure out how much it is going to cost just to live. What should I figure on spending? (food, transportation/gas, clothing, etc.)

    Anyone have a breakdown on what they spend or plan to spend?

    Is 26k in loans enough?
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  3. LucyLoo

    LucyLoo LucyLoo 2+ Year Member

    May 25, 2008
    Fort Collins,CO
    Unfortanetely, there are lots of little (or not so little) extras that need to be figured in. Do you have a car payment? car insurance? cell phone? electricity? cable? What I've found in the past is I take what I think I'm going to spend and add a little more to it for those unknown expenses (ie take the dog to the vet or car breaks down). Also, you have to consider how you will support yourself in the summer or if you need loans to get you through.
  4. lazyjayn

    lazyjayn Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 1, 2006
    South Carolina
    I take it from the question that you don't/ haven't lived on your own in a real live bill-paying life before.

    Figure out how much is costs you to live now. Make a list of everything you use/ have/ want that costs money. Then list how much it costs.

    So, yes, car, phone, clothes, chips, soda, your coffee habit, that random thing you picked up last time you were in a shop. New socks, cute shoes, that nifty gadget that was on sale, new pencils, relaxation reading, interwebs.

    If you have no idea how much you cost in this stuff now, try asking your parents. They might not have a penny by penny budget, but they could probably give you a ballpark figure.

    Then you add about 1/3rd, for the "oops" factor.

    And that's what ya gotta stay within. big number when ya think about it, i know.... pleh

  5. pressmom

    pressmom Third year! 2+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    I agree with lazyjan. Also don't forget seasonal expenses, such as holiday presents, plants for your garden in the spring, whatever.

    It ends up being a lot more than you think. Like I'm on a high deductible health insurance plan, so I spend a lot on healthcare at the beginning of the year but nothing at the end. I have to budget for that. (I mean I broke my foot earlier this year. You don't exactly PLAN to do that! My dog got into my medicine and had a $300 trip to the ICU--with my discount! Another unplanned expense.)

    I saved my receipts and bills for the last few months before vet school and figured out what I could cut and what I needed to budget for. Then I did like lazyjan said and added about 25%.

    Also, I put my loan money in a high interest savings account, so it's earning more than it would in my checking account and just have a set amount each month put down into checking as well as another amount put down into my checking from a mutual fund I put a lot of my savings from my prior job into. This way my money's still earning money and I know my budget and am not tempted to spend what's not there. I can withdraw more often from my loan funds, but, so far, I haven't had to.

    Also count on gas being $5 a gallon. That way you *fingers crossed* won't be under on your gas budget!
  6. sheep girl

    sheep girl LSU SVM c/o 2012 2+ Year Member

    Jan 14, 2008

    There is a difference of living in the real world and living like a student. I have been out of school for two years. Currently, I live on a 3K budget a month which half of it goes to rent, but I have a real job and I am not in school...

    When I was an undergrad, I lived on 500$ a month (2000-2004) As a graduate student, I lived on 800$ a month.

    Avg spending 2000-2006 (monthly):

    rent/utilities: 250$
    phone: 60$
    gas for car: 50-100$

    90$ +: food and anything else I needed

    Is it still possible to live on these types of budgets in vet school?

    What does the average vet student living cheaply spend monthly (not including pet expenses or SO/family expenses, car payments, or insurance )?
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2008
  7. lazyjayn

    lazyjayn Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 1, 2006
    South Carolina

    I live on about 1400 a month, partly out of school- more than half of that goes to paying for school. So about 700/month. Prolly less if I really worked it out, but I seem to have a bit of a latte factor going here.

    I have skype. I have my family and most of my friends call me on that. If they can't get in touch with me, fine. If it's an emergency, there's not much I can do from half way across the country anyway, a couple hours won't matter much. I also use it for most of my out calling. This costs me about $5/ month plus less than 3 cents a minute (no cents per minute if they call me).

    I just picked up a pre-paid cell. 10 cents a minute, 5 cent texts. I don't give out the number, just use it for important stuff. Cost is about 15$ a month to keep it active. So 20-30 a month for phone.

    Split interwebs with roommate, who wants the faster connection, so my share of that is 25

    half the rent, or 267 a month

    electric runs about a dollar a day with old fridge and electric hot water.

    Haven't gotten the gas bill yet.

    My transportation around town is close to free- I got a bike a couple years ago, and spend probably about 5 dollars a month on general maintenance. Lights, lock, and fenders, and I can spend gas and insurance money on beer instead.

    When I need to go out of town I usually go far enough away that it's easier to fly anyway, or if I'm just going to Ft Collins, I'll wait until a friend is going, and split gas.

    So.... about how far from campus are you? is there public transport? if so, how much does it cost? how much is a parking pass? if it's close enough to walk or bike, you get exercise in before and after class. If not, what's your car's mpg? what's it work out to?

    After living a life with wiggle room and extras, how "deprived" do you honestly think you can make yourself before you scream and go on a restaurant binge?

    More grown up budget figure-out-er-ing? So I guess worst case is what you spend now, less the difference in rent. Yep, hack and slash and receipt time.

  8. rosemma

    rosemma MSU CVM c/o 2012 7+ Year Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Let me just say that even when you live on your own - it does take some organizing to know how much you are spending. It can be amazing how much you are actually spending compared to what you THINK you are spending so keeping track is essential... I am not saying you don't know this already... I just ran into this situation myself when I first started living on my own.

    Your solution -

    Hands down, the best website ever. Or at least the most useful. It taps into your bank account, credit cards, debt, etc and tracks everything for you and breaks it all down. You can see how much you use on rent, utilities, food, gas, entertainment, clothes... anything. It pie charts it for you, gives you bar graphs of you spending per month. For example, with rising gas prices I have seen my gas bar graph slowly increase over time. It also lets you set a budget and emails you when you are getting close to hitting it. I LOVE THIS WEBSITE and highly recommend it to ANYONE, especially to those on a budget and trying to save for loans.

    **PM me if anyone is more interested**
  9. soxbox

    soxbox CSU PVM Class of '11 2+ Year Member

    Jan 12, 2007
    OMG... I had never heard of that site and decided to check it out... it is awesome... though it was also a bit sobering to put in all my credit cards and see the true total debt (I like to just round it out in my head... and I round down... waaaaay down!!)

    Really fantastic... and its free :)

    Thanks so much rosemma... that is going to be super helpful to help reign in my spending!!!
  10. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers no wake up time. sleepy time. Veterinarian 10+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    I signed up for and then showed my husband how neat it was. He immediately kicked me out of my chair and read the terms & conditions. He, being a network engineer, understands that no information is ever sent directly from a computer to its destination - it gets bounced around in cyberspace for a while first. He noted that Mint does not offer any sort of reimbursement or accept any liability if your information is stolen or their third-party servers are hacked. They also have "power of attorney" over your online banking account.

    Eh, I think he probably overreacted, but he deleted the account and then changed our banking password. And shook his finger at me. He's probably paranoid, but I'm probably (definitely) bad at keeping track of where the money goes. The categorization was definitely nice. Oh well.
  11. VAgirl

    VAgirl UC Davis SVM c/o 2012 2+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2007
    Davis, CA
    My software engineering boyfriend also was worried about the security aspect of this.
  12. nyanko

    nyanko 360noscope squidkid Veterinarian 10+ Year Member

    Sep 8, 2006
    I wouldn't worry about "things getting bounced around in cyberspace," because if you did you'd pretty much never say anything on the internet without multiple layers of encryption, but I would worry about the company not taking responsibility if their servers are hacked. I mean on the one hand I can see why they wouldn't, but on the other it doesn't mean I want my information to be vulnerable there.

    I'm sure the site uses reasonable security measurements to prevent such, but I'm somewhat paranoid about my information for a couple of reasons.
  13. Wolf Vet

    Wolf Vet MSU CVM c/o 2012 2+ Year Member

    OK, I know this is off topic, but I just started reading this thread and couldn't help but cring and gag a little here. Only $90 per month on food and more? OMG, I am envious! Are the rest of you this thrifty? Keep in mind I'm vegetarian and specialty food gets expensive, so this might account for my shock....
  14. nyanko

    nyanko 360noscope squidkid Veterinarian 10+ Year Member

    Sep 8, 2006
    I KNOW we've had this discussion before. Some people here were talking about eating for like $15/week. :laugh:

    I can't do that, but kudos to those who can!

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