Sunday, May 15, 2011


That's how much my first year loans are going to be -- also can I mention that whenever I think about the amount of money I hear it to the tune of "Seasons of Love" from Rent?

Tuition is only about half of that. The rest of the money covers health insurance (which I am actually declining since it makes more sense to stay on my husband's insurance), technology fee (Duke issues all of its PA students a laptop with preloaded relevant software - I wish I knew what kind though), parking fee, random other fees and - what most of the other money is for - living expenses.

I am going to be poor. It isn't just that I won't have a recurring biweekly income, it is that any money I do have to spend isn't really my money. It is money I have borrowed. Also I will have the kids with me, so I will have 75% of the people in my family on something like 25-30% of what our current income is.

I'm going to take the maximum loan amount for at least the first year. The husband and I are trying to completely split our finances for now since there is a lot of uncertainty about what actual expenses will be for the two different households we will be maintaining. He will continue to pay all of the current bills (mortgage, my car payment, car, home, and health insurance, my cell phone, utilities on the house, etc) but all of the additional expenses that come from the apartment will be from my loans. Of course his food and utility outlay will be significantly less than it is now and our $800 a month daycare costs are going away (hooray!). But at the same time he'll be spending some money on home renovations (who knows how much that is going to end up being!).

After rent I will have around $800 for utilities, gas, food, clothes, and activities for the kids (my dad is contributing enough to the household to cover cable TV and internet. My mother has budgeted more than that, but the remaining money will be for his entertainment and food expenses. Because I already feel incredibly indebted that he's moving with us to begin with, I don't want to also add a financial aspect to the equation.).

It sounds like it should be enough, but I don't know. Our currently monthly food budget is $500 a month, but my husband consumes a big part of that. It is a large apartment so I don't know if my electric bill will be $75 a month or $180. Etc, etc, etc. I guess I will find out how much life actually costs once I get there.

Meanwhile I've been sorting through my and the kids' clothes as a preliminary packing thing and shopping for things for the apartment (I'm striking a balance between saving money for the move and spending money while I still have it). I get the apartment in Mid-July so that I have plenty of time to start moving things before classes ever start, which means I have two months until I deliver my first load of boxes.


  1. Ouch! That's a pretty penny. :( I'm not looking forward to my loans staring in Sept either.

  2. It is! But it is an investment and I just have to keep telling myself that while it is massive debt, it will be worth it after I graduate.

    How much does Ross cost for a year with living expenses and everything?

  3. Costs a lot of money to improve yourself. Although, I like your way better, some people could spent that amount of money at a plastic surgeon.

  4. I feel your pain. Just remember that there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

  5. Student debt sucks...but at least it's an investment that will pay off in the future. When I used to whine to my dad about my medical school loans, he used to point out to me that there were people who would amass that much money in consumer debt with nothing to show for it. It really didn't help...student debt is still awful.

  6. Pleeeeease tell me this feeling of freaking out about whether you're going to have enough money & you budgeted enough goes away! LOL! I know Duke is one of the most expensive schools, but 50k is about what I'm spending my first year at IUPUI with out-of-state tuition and living expenses! So stressful!!