Untraditional living arrangements during medical school

I am from finance/ accounting background and the more I think about financial burden of medical school the more depressed I feel. Going from debt free to seriously indepted for many year to come, later in life is very scarry to me.

So I have been doing some research on-line and came accross a unversity in CA where students are allowed to live in a motorhome/RV while in school. Note that RV park is part of campus dorms. Students have to bring their own camper and pay minimul rent for the space.

So, if one invests 20-30k into a nice camper with all amenities and pays cash for it then the only living expense will be a rent of the space in an RV park ($300-$500 per month plus some minor electricity charges). Some RV parks even have a host program that will allow one to live their for free in exchange for some services.

Living in RV will provide a sense of home and it can be easily moved accross the country during residency, rotations, summer traveling, etc.

Large comunity of retireers live this life style on limited income and seem to be happy with their nordic life style.

Is it too extreem or can this actually work?

Absolutely ingenious!!!

I, too have been weighing the pros and cons to going into massive amounts of debt from a debt free lifestyle. I think that the more one invests to prepare for the financial shock of med school debt the better. This is including but not limited to instate schools, staying away from loans if possible, and RV parks :slight_smile:

Heck! I even suggest work study or something (only for the super smart that don’t need to study, hehehe)

Well, I am going to school in small town in Tennessy and I pay $475 rent for 2 bedroom one bathroom plus around 100 for bills. I live 2.2 miles from the campus. I know California rental market is totally different - this was one of the reason that I chose this school ( I had a chance to study in Western University). The loans amount were the same for both schools, but living here is much cheaper and I have wife and 15 months old daughter.

so in my opinion it will not save U too much money (from what U said first U have to invest several thousands and later U still have to pay monthly few hundreds dollars). only advantage would be that U will not have to move ur furniture around and will be able to move to different area quickly.

I have a friend/co-worker who is currently doing this (RV) for PA school. Seems to be working for her.

Look into used campers, and figure out what you really need vs what is simply extra $$$. And, if you do this, do NOT transport it fully stocked w/ canned goods and a full water tank…my inlaws tried this and it made gas mileage much worse.

I would actually NOT suggest this until your are in medical school and even then reluctantly. While one school allows it, I have not heard of any others that do. Indeed I know many schools that have restrictions and limits on parking. For example parking permits at one school in Chicago cost $350 a month (yes a month). Imagine you have to buy TWO spots for this. In the township where DO school is here in NY does not allow RV parked on your property… you cant keep one in your driveway

Additionally, besides being an upfront cost, you dont know where you’ll be after two years in medical school. You may have a clinical rotation that is an hour away from main campus. Are you going to drive the RV or have an additional car (if ur allowed to have more that one vehicle). Medical school, residency and indeed medical practice require frequent moves. While an RV may seem ideal for this, I see more issues in worrying whether or not the RV will be suitable for where your are assigned.

Lastly, the oft cited idea of you can simply sell it when u no longer need it, may not be as easy as you think. Some OPM people did that with houses and then the mortgage crisis hit.

personally, I think it is more trouble than it is worth

Well, I agree with Gonnif with the fact that if anything, you should wait till you are in medical school to see if. You will save money by doing this, everything is about the location and the school’s policy with respect to parking.

But if it is doable, heck yeaahh I would probably do it, had I been single. However I would mention a few things:

  1. Buying an RV to enjoy it and go around the country is one thing (you can afford, and like any passion, you don’t really count). Chances are that your RV will be useless for that purpose during Med School.

  2. I would do it only if you are very hands-on and can repair most of the small issues a few medium issues that you will have. If something goes wrong with it and you are in for say 2 or 3K which nowdays is not big given the cost of labor at a mechanic’s shop, your saving would be eaten.

    So unless you want an RV for same reason you would want a boat (use it and throw money at it), it would be more judicious to target schools in area where rent, tuition and cost of life are low. You can’t beat Texas for that (OK I am a bit biased there)!

I too agree with all of you, some of the students can’t afford that much luxury. So I guess Government have to think on this serious issue and try to solve students living arrangement.