Friday, July 15, 2011

First year in cash!!!

So I have some good news.  I recently received the official bill for my first semester at business school and assuming that the spring bill is the same I will be paying for the entirety of my first year bill in CASH! I sort of knew this was coming but didn't want to announce it until my aid was on my bill and credited.  Forgive me if I'm a little cautious when someone's offering me $34,500.

So the official bill came and I can just write a check for it which is pretty awesome.  Plus I'll have enough to cover living expenses for the year and, if I stick to a budget, as of my bank balances right now I'll have $6,000 left over for next year plus I won't have touched my 529 or retirement accounts.  I'm also expecting to have a few more paychecks coming in from my job before I quit to start school (don't worry my boss is in on it).

Though my ability to pay in cash wasn't decided by this, I got very lucky recently when my parents discovered that the 529 they'd started for me to pay for undergrad wasn't empty.  There was left over money in it because of the scholarships I received while in school, but for years we all thought it was on the order of a few hundred dollars.  Well I asked them to call and check the balance and billing method so I could apply what little there was to my tuition bill and my mom got a surprise.  There's actually $4,000 left in my undergrad 529.  This money will pay for a portion of my tuition this fall and will give me a boost in how much I have saved for living expenses and my second year of business school.

I am so lucky to have parents who saved for my college education and I was so fortunate to receive scholarships and work opportunities to defray the costs for them.  It's a very pleasant surprise to find these efforts are still paying dividends!  I'm also lucky to have a boss and workplace that is supportive of my plans for graduate school and have accommodated my requests for an end date close to when school starts.  This arrangement allows me great lead time to hand off all the projects I'm currently working on and allows me to put away as much cash as possible for the coming lean income period ;)

So I'm incredibly happy that in the next week or so I'll be writing the check that will put me a good chunk of the way towards meeting my goal of graduating debt free.   I was wondering if it would be fun to have a progress bar on the blog?  I like seeing them on other blogs and I could update mine by knocking off living expenses from the student budget each month and making big progress when I pay a bill from school.  However, it might be a bit deceptive since I plan to live on less than the student budget and I'm receiving a good chunk of aid. Thoughts?

Also, YAY!

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17 comments:

  1. Awesome! And yes, why not have a progress bar? :)

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  2. That's wonderful that you can pay for the first year in cash. I'd love to see a progress bar, I think it makes tracking goals more visual.

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  3. what an amazing feeling it must be to be able to pay for a whole year in cash. congratulations!

    why not do a progress bar?

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  4. Awesome!

    That is fantastic! What a relief.

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  5. Congratulations! What an awesome feeling that must be.

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  6. Congrats No Debt MBA! I recently graduated with my MBA in Finance and think your goal is very admirable. Both for undergrad and grad school, I maintained this very goal. For undergrad, I received a scholarship that was almost full-ride and then I worked hard for a few years after completing my BBA to save for MBA and now I have graduated debt free. :) What made it possible for me was ALWAYS keeping bills low. I have always had roommates and have had the same car for 10 years. Not having a car payment and low rent can make a world of a difference. Best wishes on your venture!

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  7. Good news. It's definitely a good feeling.

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  8. I think you should have a progress bar. Congrats on being able to pay for the first year in cash.

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  9. Almost unheard of these days, paying for an advanced degree in cash money. Keep it up!

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  10. World of Finance - Thanks for sharing your experience and congrats! I think keeping bills low will be super important in meeting my goal. With a budget of $800 a month I'll be really close to making my goal if things go as planned, but upping my expenses to $1000 a month leaves me close to $5k short. Good to know someone's done it, makes me feel less crazy for trying ;)

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  11. Tempe Christian Church - Unfortunate isn't it? I think the world might be a better place if grad students could head where ever they wanted and not have to worry about minimum payments. Debt forgiveness programs are great, but it'd be nice to avoid it altogether.

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  12. Thanks for the good wishes everyone! It is a pretty sweet feeling, but I bet graduating debt free will be even better. Sounds like I need a progress bar to track how close I am to getting there.

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  13. That must be a wonderful feeling. Unfortunately, I had to borrow for a portion of both my undergrad and graduate degrees (even with a scholarship)! Making those loan payments every month is not my idea of fun!

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  14. What does the average MBA make coming out? My DH keeps telling me its like $80k is that true?

    I am thinking of going back because I am going to stay out for kids, and it will ticket me back into the working world.

    My DH got it and hasn't used it yet, but makes a serious salary because of his career track. Taking an mba job would be a paycut he told me, unless it's really large.

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  15. Absolutely fantastic! And what a nice surprise to find that extra $4,000. I wish my parents had started a 529 for me, but I survived, and paid off my student loans four years after college was over. I am also going to start accounts for my neice (11) and nephew (5), and opened up a Upromise account for them when they were born which has $170 in it. Better than nothing!

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  16. Khaleef - Not my idea of fun either. Good luck!

    LAL Salary is very dependent on school and field. Median out of Stanford is $120k and Harvard is $110k. It goes down from there roughly in accordance with ranking from what I've seen. Business Week's rankings include salary data I believe if you have specific schools in mind. You can see how salaries vary by location and industry for Harvard grads here: http://www.hbs.edu/recruiting/mba/data-and-statistics/employment-statistics.html.

    Amanda - I got very, very lucky to be born to parents who had the finances and foresight to set up 529s. The ovarian lottery, as Buffet might say, but I make sure to thank my parents often. More power to you for doing it all on your own. It isn't easy. It's incredibly sweet and thoughtful of you to start college savings accounts for your niece and nephew.

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  17. Congratulations. That is great that you can get it done without debt.

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