Finances/Affordability Advice

Hey all -

As I’m preparing to start a post bacc program in NYC in the fall, one big concern is how to keep all of this affordable. I’m in my mid-twenties, and have to this point had a certain degree of cushioning in tough times through family support, but my parents will be retiring in the next year or two, so I am really going to be on my own with this endeavor.

Wondering if anyone here has any wisdom on the smartest things they did to prepare financially for returning to school, and then to stay within their means? How did you find ways to keep costs down or save/earn money while a student?

Thanks guys!


I think the most significant thing is also the simplest: Study. Study study study. Spend all your time studying. Study as much as you can. Then study more. And more. And more.

What’s the deal? The bottom line is that studying fills your time and costs absolutely nothing. I note that when I tend to spend more money is when I’m idle. If I’m studying, I’m most likely to toss a piece of chicken in the oven along with a potato for dinner (cheap). If I have time, I’ll end up deciding to make my three-cheese beef and sausage lasagna ($$). If I’m studying, I’m not doing pleasure reading (if any, I’m re-reading a book I own because I can put it down easier). If I’m not studying, I start thinking about how much I want to buy the Game of Thrones series to start working on. If it’s Saturday night and I’m studying, I might flip on the TV or treat myself to a beer or two (cheap in moderation). If I’m not studying on a Saturday night, I’ll see if there are any movies out I’ve wanted to see, and oh, can’t go to the movies without getting 500 pounds of obesity niggets and diabetes puffs. I’ve worked hard and saved money all week, I deserve this! Translation: now’s when I get to blow all that good karma I built up this week.

Studying is your job: the more you do it, the more you stay home and don’t do anything that costs money.

I left NYC to attend a post bac in another city. While it didn’t end up being cheaper, you just have to plan. Make plan A and plan B and stick to it. I would look at prn opportunities to work. Try to cut rent by living with family/someone who will let you rent a room… plan, buy in bulk, look at all options to buy books (internet sites, other students), check craigslist free, and talk to faculty about scholarships.

That’s a great point Fedaykin - its hard to break the bank staying at home a lot! Well, maybe before the advent of Amazon Prime…

Thankfully I’ll be moving with my sister who will be entering grad school, so we can be frugal homebodies together!