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thank goodness for credit cards!

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Frequent Contributor

thank goodness for credit cards!

I'm starting grad school after several years out. I knew I would have some heavy expenses, esp. after moving back to the US from overseas, but SHEESH!

SO FAR:
 
immunizations: $700
shipping my crap: $800 from Japan, + about 300 on this end for customs, etc.
Student ID card: $20 (don't I HAVE to have one? Why do I have to pay for this?)
student MS Office version: $90 (no complaints there, but still money)
and my favorite: Parking sticker:  guess how much? nope. more.
THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS
 
What IS that?
 
I have a vague memory of paying 5 bucks for one as an undergrad. At least grad student passes let you park in faculty/staff spaces, but jeez, are they gonna wash my car every day too?!?
FAKO TU: 730 (Too poor to check the real scores these days!)
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Established Contributor

Re: thank goodness for credit cards!

welcome to grad school. those incidental expenses will kill you. I had to pay 280 for my grad parking pass, so don't feel too cheated.

what are you studying? masters, doctorate, professional degree?

Message Edited by dizzier on 08-15-2008 05:21 PM
____________________
FICOs: (as of 12-10-08): EX 759 | (as of 01-24-10): EQ 794 TU 756 EX ? | (as of 3-17-11): EQ 794 TU 790 EX ?

Until Chase lowers my ridiculously high APR they can kiss my patootie! Their card has been retired to the sockdrawer. Smiley Mad
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Established Contributor

Re: thank goodness for credit cards!



@dizzier wrote:
welcome to grad school. those incidental expenses will kill you. I had to pay 280 for my grad parking pass, so don't feel too cheated.

what are you studying? masters, doctorate, professional degree?

Message Edited by dizzier on 08-15-2008 05:21 PM




I echo the "welcome to grad school" line! Smiley Happy

Although my motto since finishing my doctorate last year has been, "Friends don't let friends do grad school". Smiley Wink

Seriously, though, best wishes. I graduated with 75K in student loans but my kids will get to go to college tuition free at the university where I teach and I now love what I do.
Filed Chapter 13 April 2012. Case successfully closed May 2017, about 1 month after 60th payment. FAKO scores on close date: TU 695 EQ 697. Received discharge July 11th - took forever! Real EX day of discharge 624.
Message 3 of 5
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Senior Contributor

Re: thank goodness for credit cards!


@pjxf99 wrote:
I'm starting grad school after several years out. I knew I would have some heavy expenses, esp. after moving back to the US from overseas, but SHEESH!

SO FAR:
immunizations: $700
shipping my crap: $800 from Japan, + about 300 on this end for customs, etc.
Student ID card: $20 (don't I HAVE to have one? Why do I have to pay for this?)
student MS Office version: $90 (no complaints there, but still money)
and my favorite: Parking sticker: guess how much? nope. more.
THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS
What IS that?
I have a vague memory of paying 5 bucks for one as an undergrad. At least grad student passes let you park in faculty/staff spaces, but jeez, are they gonna wash my car every day too?!?





As a graduate student, especially if you also work as a Teaching Assistant or Research Assistant, and later as a postdoc, you will regularly find yourself in situations where it is not entirely clear whether you should be treated as a student or as an employee. There is a very simple rule of thumb that will be correct in 95% of such cases: ask yourself "which possibility is less advantageous for me?" and expect the world to pick that option! You will also quickly learn that many things about the world in and around higher education are basically set up to meet the needs of undergraduates, and therefore may not be ideal for you.

Good luck and best wishes for your studies! Are you going for MS (More of the Same) or PHD (Piled Higher and Deeper) on top of the BS (or BA) you already have? By the time I finished my dissertation the pile certainly felt very high and very deep!

One vital piece of advice if there is a thesis project in your future: never forget your primary goal in graduate school is to get out of there. It's kind of like an old martial arts film: once you really understand what your teachers are saying, you can leave.

And one more piece of advice: if at all possible try to pay at least some of the interest on your student loans while still a student, because "capitalized interest" can really add up. It took my wife and me some years to pay off graduate school debts and then start saving, especially during the postdoc years, so we became homeowners for the first time when I was 42 and she was 39. Many of our friends were homeowners in their TWENTIES when owning anything beyond a clunker car seemed utterly fantastic to us. On campus when I was a grad student and then postdoc we used to say, "that BMW probably belongs to an undergraduate, that Volvo probably belongs to a faculty member, and that beat up old Toyota probably belongs to a grad student or postdoc."

Message Edited by MattH on 08-16-2008 07:07 AM
TU 791 02/11/2013, EQ 800 1/29/2011 , EX Plus FAKO 812, EX Vantage Score 955 3/19/2010 wife's EQ 9/23/2009 803
EX always was my highest when we could pull all three
Always remember: big print giveth, small print taketh away
If you dunno what tanstaafl means you must Google it
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Frequent Contributor

Re: thank goodness for credit cards!

Thanks for making me feel better, or at least less taken-advantage of.
 
I have to say, if I hadn't found these forums and got my credit together when I did I'd be having a much harder time now. As it is, my hardest decision is which rewards card to use. But I feel so responsible, buying things and PIFing. I just bought a bed on clearance at Pier1, and got to say "Do you take American Express?" **happy sigh**
 
I've also pretty much decided to stay in the little tiny place I'm renting, since it will help me save money. I could afford more rent, but utilities would hurt, and right now that's included.
 
Oh, I'm doing a M.Ed/Ed.S (look at all the letters!) in School Psychology. Two years of class, one year internship, which I can do anywhere. That will be cool! I've never lived in the Northwest....ooh! or Alaska....hmm.....
 
I might do a Doctorate eventually but not right away.
 
 There is a very simple rule of thumb that will be correct in 95% of such cases: ask yourself "which possibility is less advantageous for me?" and expect the world to pick that option!
 
So, so true, MattH.


Message Edited by pjxf99 on 08-18-2008 01:38 PM
FAKO TU: 730 (Too poor to check the real scores these days!)
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