Monday, June 18, 2012

Setting up a budget for dental school

Summer is a great time to set up a budget for dental school. Make the process a little less painful by sitting down with a really good cup of coffee. You’re going to need it when the headaches begin.

I wrote about cost of dental school and the debt many graduates face upon graduation a while back. Our 2012-2013 budget is now updated and looks like this.

12-13

I was not kidding when I said every month will be No Spend Month for me.

Our first year budget is a teasing $800 short of $100,000. I can’t fathom the fact that we are investing this much money into my education. That’s like buying two really nice cars with cash. And this is only the first year. I am not sure if I would have had the courage to take on this financial burden myself if I wasn’t getting help from my family…

Much of this cost is fixed to be paid out to the school: Tuition, General Fee, Instrument Mgt. Service, Technology Fee, and Clinical Apparel. The rest- Room and Board, Books and Supplies and Miscellaneous- sum up to a hefty $24367. Miscellaneous includes some semi-fixed costs such as annual student insurance (~$3500), background fees (~$200) and loupes (~$500).

Also something to think about: check how many months is included in the estimate for R&B. For us, Room and Board only accounts for 10 months while school is in session. But I have a feeling I will probably need to eat and live somewhere during my two months off.

I like this monthly budget worksheet from AAMC- it is pretty comprehensive. I hear rave reviews about Mint so I am slowly making the transition from my spreadsheets. I like that you can set remaining amounts on your budget to roll over to the next month: great motivation to save up for weekend trips.

I luckily have my last year’s budget to go off of, although:

- Restaurant budget will increase
- Coffee budget will definitely increase
- No more auto insurance and gas but public transportation costs added

I will have to tweak my budget after I live out my first full month of September. August will probably be expense-heavy since I have to move up to Philly, invest in furniture, set up my apartment and finish the rest of my paperwork.

How do you set up your budget and track your expenses?
Is the cost of your higher education making you a little nervous?

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