Before I got to school, I was curious about what my classmates’ attitudes toward personal finance would be. Now that I’ve been here for few weeks, I’ve noticed that money-related tidbits slip into everyday conversation, and many times I’m pleasantly surprised by how financially-conscious my business school classmates are.
It’s easy to paint a picture of MBA students as people who spend recklessly or who party it up in exotic locales, but everyone I’ve talked to have been very down-to-earth. After all, most of us have worked for several years before we gave up our salaries to go back to school – we know the value of a dollar and we understand compounding interest and student loans. There are folks who are sponsored by their company or have full-tuition scholarships, but these folks commiserate with us all the same about the opportunity cost of attending school.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that everyone has the same lifestyle requirements or after-MBA compensation expectations. But I’ve never heard anyone say they don’t worry about money because they are going to make millions on Wall Street after graduation (though statistically, a good percentage of them will!).
Instead, I’ve heard several classmates talk about choosing to rent somewhere because it’s more “value for the dollar” or wanting to “minimize their loans” or trying to be “financially prudent without sacrificing a social life.” A few students have even made real estate purchases near the school (the rent-to-buy ratio is pretty favorable in the area) so that they can generate rental income after graduation. Many students have goals of going into the nonprofit/social entrepreneurship sectors or figuring out a way to “do well and do good” at the same time. All this fiscal responsibility and social awareness make this secret personal finance blogger very proud of her classmates.