Just before school started up I went over the costs incurred during the Summer for my MBA program, link to post. Today I want to share the current expenses and what I am tracking in my sweet excel doc, screen shot provided below.
First off, the 9/11 GI Bill is the sweetest update to military benefits ever; the benefits are making up for my lackluster Army paycheck, at least psychologically. Tuition has been fully covered and about a third of school supplies needed so far, a reason everyone using the GI Bill should look to a public university. Yellow Ribbon Program rarely makes up the tuition difference for private university graduate degree programs. When it comes to an MBA, unless you are accepted to Harvard/Wharton/Stanford, save your money, there are several public school MBA programs in the top 16/32.
On to expenses so far…
What do the categories mean exactly?
I am including any “networking” events, costs related to informational interviews and job fair expenses. My costs are high due to attending both the Black MBA and Veteran MBA conferences. Veteran conferences for any industry should be mandatory as you transition. While I could have been better prepared going in, I still came out with a couple of first round interviews and contacts at firms.
ONLY $130, I am only tracking mandatory fees and expenses required by the program. Books/cases are under supplies since technically they are suggestions. Also, I want to show the difference the GI Bill made at the end of two years .
This is more of a personal interest. Since I live 9 miles from campus (i.e. 35 min commute) and would have sold the car if public transportation was a reasonable option, I want to see how expensive keeping the car is. (Transportation for conferences are included in Job Hunting)
While I would likely eat out when working, I would rarely by $3 coffee or dinner while working late nights. The only time I track a purchase is if it is outside the normal purchase due to school functions. Luckily, there is almost always an event with food provided at the end of the day.
Basically, school social functions and non-education/job related expenses.
Books, case study reports or anything I think is important for my studies. This includes subscriptions to business publications.
$3,652.19 is a pretty good deal so far. This number surprised me as I expected much higher expenses. Key reasons for low numbers are better gas milage with the new car, we fill up two times a month, and “dining” equates to buying deli sandwiches at the cafeteria in the business school.
There will be more major expenses in the coming months due to Smith Experience courses. These are overseas trips requiring a plane ticket to China, India, Brazil, or who knows at this point. Stay tuned, the next expenses update will be at semesters end.
Until next time, Keep on Truckin’… Watson