Daily Archives: April 19, 2013

money woes

Our dean came in to talk to us the other day and basically scared me half to death, so now I feel like I need to be studying for boards starting now and throughout the summer, and I feel like the board prep material they provide isn’t enough and won’t be given to us soon enough. :[ Tis a good thing I’ve made friends with so many different people. :O

But board prep material does not come cheap. I think it’s almost $1k for Doctors in Training, which I’ve heard good things about. The one the school provides is Boards Boot Camp, but I’m wondering if I should get the question bank, and my friend also suggested Gunner Training, which is ridiculously inexpensive compared to the others, is supposed to help you actually retain the knowledge as opposed to straight-memorizing, and I just really love the name, especially since I’m about the farthest you can get from actually being a gunner.

I was talking with a couple friends afterward and although we’re all pretty worried about student debt and such, I feel like I’m either extraordinarily frugal and don’t even realize it since it’s the way I’ve always lived, or everyone around me = exorbitant spenders. (I scored a free bookshelf/desk/desk chair & a bunch of books the other day. :x )

I think the max I could have taken out this year was almost $80k, but I couldn’t think of any reason as to why I’d need that much, so I looked at my previous years’ worth of spending and decided to take out $64k. (Most of the fellow OOS’ers I talked to took out the full amount. x_x)

Obviously, the biggest chunk was for tuition ($50k), leaving me with $14k to deal with the year’s worth of rent, utilities, auto insurance, health insurance, transportation, books/supplies, groceries, eating out/social activities…(basically everything else).

This is basically how I’ve slashed costs.

  • Rent
    Although I live alone, the 2-bedroom apartment I live in is $525/month, has its own washing machine + drier, and includes internet and water. I pay my rent in 6-month chunks so I won’t have to worry about it. My mom is currently under the impression that she’s paying my rent right now, but my dad and I worked out a conspiracy.
  • Utilities/Trash
    I basically only leave appliances plugged in before I leave for the day. I also live in an apartment and on the “second” floor, so it doesn’t take as much energy to heat, and I usually pay ~$25-50/month for utilities. I share trash with my neighbor and a friend, so it’s ~$7/month instead of $22.
  • Auto Insurance
    Can’t really save that much here, but I shopped around and Progressive was the cheapest, at a little under $1400/year. :/ I could practically be considered a new driver though, so meh. It could’ve been a lot worse.
  • Health Insurance
    At present, I am fortunately still under 26, so my mom’s insurance covers me. :x
  • Transportation
    I only really ever drive to and from school, so I spend about $50/month on gas. (10 cents off/gallon if I end up making it to $100 in groceries.)
  • Books/Supplies
    I bought a grand total of…5 books this year? (I sold one back.) I also lucked out because the guy who lived here before me left me a ton of his books. He’s awesome.
  • Groceries
    I average about $100/month, mostly because this is the only place where I splurge. I can also basically count on the school to be feeding me at least 3 meals/week, and church feeds me once a week.
  • Eating Out/Social Activities
    I rarely, if ever, eat out. (I’ve gone out to eat 4 times this year: when Luke came to visit, for Pixie’s birthday, after Follies, and to get sushi with the HBLers + 1.) Our social activities typically consist of potlucks, which don’t require much money, and even if we do go out, I generally end up spending nothing since I don’t drink. I’m usually the DD.
  • Miscellaneous
    These are all mostly splurges, presents to self for passing another class, or things to make my life easier. :O

So I guess my monthly expenses are as follows (living pretty effing comfortably :x ):
Rent: $525
Utilities: $57
Groceries: $100
Insurance: $117
Transportation: $50
Everything else: $100 (very generously rounded up)

Well under $1k a month and living pretty effing comfortably? I may try to cut it down by $100/month so I can get board prep material. I was actually thinking of requesting less money this coming year, but I may ask for the same amount, just to factor in the costs of taking the test, traveling to rotation sites and all that good stuff. My friend asked if I wanted to move downstairs from him–it’s 1.5 miles from school and only $400/month, which is ridiculously awesome. Is it sad that I turned it down because I’m just too lazy to move? x_x (He even offered to help me move, haha. ._.) I really like my place though, despite it being farther away, and I kinda don’t want to just leave my landlord’s wife in the dust like that. The lack of washer/drier was also somewhat of a dealbreaker, but it would’ve been cool.