A testimony from No Debt MBA
When I graduated from college a few years ago, I was pretty sure I wanted to go to business school after gaining some work experience. Through scholarships, work, being a resident assistant, and the generosity of my family I had graduated with no student loans from my undergraduate degree.
That taste of freedom was sweet and I loved doing my job search without minimum payments hanging over my head. So I challenged myself with a big goal — when I went to get my MBA I wanted to go to the one of the best schools and avoid student loans, graduating completely debt-free.
I started saving and researching as soon as I got my first paycheck. I knew that I’d have to continue living like a student to reach my goal. I’ve been budgeting carefully and tracking what I spend while slowly putting money away to build a nest egg that could help defray the costs of the expensive degree I wanted.
I’ve hit my first big payoff: this summer I’ll be getting the bill for the first of two years at my top MBA program. I’ll pay that bill in cash.
But the hard work isn’t done yet. Going forward I’m going to be maintaining the same frugal habits that have served me so well over the last few years:
- I’m living on half of my school’s estimate of living expenses — groceries for two are $25 a week and we live in a very small apartment to save on rent.
- I’m working all the way up until the first day of school and will work next summer to give my nest egg all the padding it can get.
- I’ll reapply for financial aid this spring.
- I’ll continue to pay cash for everything.
I know I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I feel so thankful and fortunate to be able to pursue a top-notch education without taking out a dime in student loans. By challenging myself with a goal I really didn’t think I could reach at first, I’ve achieved more than I thought I could.
No Debt MBA is a 20-something professional who will graduate from a top business school in 2013. You can read more about how the goal of graduating debt-free is progressing at NoDebtMBA.com
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