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Checking in…

So, I have survived my first term at business school! Fortunately, I did pretty darn well academically – I even managed to eke out a high B in my statistics class, which was the subject I was most concerned about. Recruiting is going reasonably well (knock on wood): I suit up most nights of the week for presentations and am genuinely excited about summer internship prospects. And last but not least, I am making great friends and having a lot of fun.

On the other hand, it has been much more difficult to keep up this blog than I had expected. It’s not so much the time (although it is somewhat the time – I am at school from 8am to midnight most days) and it’s not so much that I don’t want to write – I miss the personal finance blogger community terribly. Unfortunately, I have sunken into a huge writing rut. Not having an income means that I can’t really blog about saving or investing money, and not having a budget means that I can’t really blog about, well, a budget.

WHY don’t I have a budget, you may ask?

That is indeed an excellent question. Here are my reasons, none of them very good, but all of them very good at stopping me from having a budget….

  • My biggest expenses are ones that I can’t change: tuition and rent. I try my best to pay the former without loans and minimize the latter, and so there is low motivation to save on the other, “littler,” things.
  • Though I aim to cook at home, sometimes I just get sick of eating frozen dumplings for the 3rd day in a row. Other times, I just really need a café latte, for sanity’s sake. So I have been spending…. <ahem> more than I should at school cafeteria.
  • A big part of school is about making friends and building relationships, and so if I have the chance to spend a nice evening at a wine bar or going out to sushi with friends, I am going to do ­­­­so, even if it cost $30.
  • Travel costs add up. Not only because I am in a long distance relationship, but also because of job conferences, company visits, etc., that require plane rides and hotel stays.
  • I still don’t have a car. I was pretty adamant that I need a car, and I still strongly believe that a car is right about an 8.5-9 on the Necessity Scale in my city. Life has been so busy, however, that I’ve had no time to look for a vehicle. Somehow I’ve figured out ways to get by, but we will see how it goes once winter comes around…

How are you guys doing?

  • MakingSenseofCents - Glad thing sare going well. I struggled in my stats class when I was getting my MBA as well, not my best subject! ReplyCancel

  • NoTrustFund - When I was in b-school I completely dropped off the face of the earth. It was an all consuming experience. Enjoy it and congrats on doing so well! ReplyCancel

  • SavvyFinancialLatina - Grad school is rough! I was at a networking event last night, and interacted with two Full time MBA students. They looked so tired, and I felt for them since I was in their shoes just a year ago. ReplyCancel

  • wmwo - Things are going pretty well here too; the money is still moving in the right general direction :) I do miss your posts, but you're doing what's best for you. Congrats on your academic marks this term! :D ReplyCancel

  • frugalportland - Hooray! Sounds like you're doing amazingly! The money will work itself out — no need to stress about that. ReplyCancel

  • adahat1 - Glad to hear things are going well. I find that some of the best lessons are learned when understanding peoples struggles. Maybe you should write about what you struggle with and perhaps others can either help you out or learn through how you are dealing with things. ReplyCancel

  • StackingCash - I also miss your posts :) I'm glad you are still alive too. Interesting how networking plays such a big part at business school. I've always had the feeling that the most important thing one gets out of school are your connections. ReplyCancel

  • Cait - Nice to read an update from you, lady :)

    Even if you don't have much to say about money, pop in for more of these! We miss you too. ReplyCancel

  • belowhermeans - Psyched to see an update from you and glad things are going well. <3 ReplyCancel

  • mike - Congrats on completing your first term! Most forget that graduate school is about networking too! That $30 is well spent ReplyCancel

  • steve stretton - What I did in the past was just focus on my studies. I can go with friends and all that but I set limits. And yes, I too had my biggest expenses, rent and tuition. ReplyCancel

  • Little House - It's not uncommon to be engulfed with a grad program. Glad to hear you're enjoying your experiences and doing well! ReplyCancel

  • Coversure - Glad you're enjoying it. Spending time with friends is nice, but in your case, it's almost certainly an investment in the future as well, so don't feel so bad… ReplyCancel

  • The Asian Pear - Yay! You surived. :)

    I find with going back to school, there’ll always be little unbudgeted things here and there. I wouldn’t stress about it unless you’re going to debt over it. ReplyCancel

  • Paragon2Pieces - you are doing it right! the two years will go by so quickly. when i look back at my MBA, my chief regret is that i didn't spend more time on the friendships and relationships. glad it's going so well :) ReplyCancel

  • AmericanDebtProject - We miss you too! Glad to hear you aced term number one. Things are going well here, if not too exciting yet. The friends and connections you make at b-school are definitely the most important part. Have fun and work hard. ReplyCancel

  • Jordann - Stats is like the main reason I would be scared to try and get my MBA. I had a hard time with it in undergrad, I don't think I could stand struggling through a few more years of it. ReplyCancel

  • Tie the Money Knot - Business school is a great experience. I went full time, and truly got a ton out of it. Not only the classes, but the whole experience of socializing with smart people with similar interests. Some of whom are among my best friends today!

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  • Leigh - I pretty much dropped off the face of the earth through most of undergad. I never really had much of a budget until my last year either. I just put all of the money that I didn't need into savings, keep $200 in checking, and paid my visa bill out of savings each month. It all worked out fine! It's way easier to budget with a more regular income. ReplyCancel

  • Beyond The Spectrum - The best advice I can give to anyone seeking a graduate education? Rid yourself of any pretense or expectations of a social life…business before pleasure!

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  • Thomas S. Moore - I hated stats in school and I love math. I don't know if it was the subject itself or the professor. But you got a B so congrats! At least you are spending your money on things that could be of use down the road like networking and conferences don't go overboard with the sushi dinners. Our budget is actually on lock as we are saving for our first home that we hope to purchase early of next year. ReplyCancel

  • Mary Kaplan - You sound like you are prioritizing the right things. Business school is a time to learn, but also a time to network, make friends, and find that future job. It sounds like your expenses are at least going towards maximizing these three things. Trying to minimize your future debt is a great goal. I didn't finish paying off my B-school loans until I was 42! And I graduated when I was 24, and that was when things were much cheaper than they are now! ReplyCancel

  • Budget & the Beach - It's hard to keep everything going when you have a lot on your plate. This seems like a good community where people are always here when you are ready to come back! ReplyCancel

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