Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Give me grad school survival tips

RobmanRobman Registered User regular
edited June 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
So between co-op, tutoring and part time jobs I've managed to put myself through university pretty comfortably, but now I'm facing a sub-10k living allowance for the first year of grad school

So what are the best secrets other then abusing happy hour, brewing beer/wine at home, shopping S-mart and religious budgeting?

Robman on

Posts

  • Dead ComputerDead Computer __BANNED USERS
    edited June 2010
    If you must get a girlfriend make sure she is low maintenance.

  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    If you must get a girlfriend make sure she is low maintenance.

    Or rich/has a job and can contribute :P

    Mmm, write down where you spend all your money in a normal week of spending how you do now, and look for areas you can cut. I mean write down every dollar. A coffee a day adds up, trips to the vending machine add up, etc.

    If you have a car, look for a way to minimize the number of trips. This may mean taking everything you need for the day in the morning, leaving it in your car and walking to and from your car as you need things, looking for a closer grocery store that you could walk to, etc.

  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Do you cook? Learn to cook. It makes eating gourmet cheap.

    Don't eat out.

    Figure out where there is free parking near the school- that tip alone saves me $300 a year in parking since I'm willing to walk 2 blocks to get to campus.

    etxvv5.jpg
  • LeCausticLeCaustic Registered User
    edited June 2010
    I'm being dead serious - go to hospitals and look into getting into clinical trials/research studies. There are A LOT of harmless studies that pay decent money (even drinking ones). If you need cash flow, this is a smart choice. The worst one I've seen, so far, is a dental study where you use this paste/solution and then don't brush your teeth for 2 weeks or something - paid 2k.

    Spoiler:
  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    remember that some things just aren't worth stressing about.

    agree about being a study rat. if your University does clinical stuff they often post requests for subjects

    camo_sig.png
  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Mint.com can be pretty helpful for seeing where all your $2-3 expenditures are going and how much they add up to.

    If you can, just cut out alcohol altogether. Pricey.

    Check your supermarket circulars every week and buy stuff you'll need when it's on sale. Even better, see how close you are to a CostCo.

  • MulysaSemproniusMulysaSempronius but also susie nyRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    There are a few ways to get some pocket change.
    Continue to tutor- you can charge more with a degree.
    A friend of mine was a proctor for Kaplan tests- she had to get up really early on Saturdays, but could do schoolwork during that time
    Talk with your adviser or person who heads your department about grants you could apply for. Different fields and different Universities have vastly different ways to do funding, but perhaps you could do some Undergraduate teaching as well. May not be able to your first semester, but it could lead to something later.

    Go to every seminar you can- usually they have free snack and possibly even decent food depending on who talks.

    If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
    wishlist
  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Why can't you work and go to grad school, by the way? That's the best way to not have to live like a pauper.

    I'm currently doing grad school full-time (plus taking outside classes, so full-time +) and working full-time. I have nearly no social life, but I don't have to worry about money.

    That won't work for everyone but being financially stable and not having to worry about ever having to eat ramen is important for me.

    etxvv5.jpg
  • OctoparrotOctoparrot Registered User
    edited June 2010
    Go to every seminar you can- usually they have free snack and possibly even decent food depending on who talks.

    Take this one easy- you can only eay so many chocolate chip cookies. What I recommend instead is to hit student organizations whenever they have their first interest meetings, fairs, open houses, etc. You're more likely to get good things like pizza or ethnic food. Go to department holiday/award/year-end celebrations. You can leave with plates of food, and pockets full of bread/condiments/canned drinks.

    the GOP shouldn't give a rats ass about them since they won't vote for them. If someone won't vote for you they might as well not exist.
  • Evil_ReaverEvil_Reaver Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    Why can't you work and go to grad school, by the way? That's the best way to not have to live like a pauper.

    I'm currently doing grad school full-time (plus taking outside classes, so full-time +) and working full-time. I have nearly no social life, but I don't have to worry about money.

    That won't work for everyone but being financially stable and not having to worry about ever having to eat ramen is important for me.

    I worked a full-time job and went to law school part-time last school year (2009/2010). It was the absolute worst mistake I have ever made. Sure, I had money and didn't have to live like a homeless person, but my grades suffered and I had no life outside of work and school. I'm quitting my job in July so I can focus on school. Yes, I'm going to have to take out lots of loan money, but working a full-time job while going to post-undergrad school is balls.

    DO NOT GO DOWN THIS ROAD.

    XBL: Agitated Wombat | 3DS: 2363-7048-2527
  • KistraKistra Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    Why can't you work and go to grad school, by the way? That's the best way to not have to live like a pauper.

    I'm currently doing grad school full-time (plus taking outside classes, so full-time +) and working full-time. I have nearly no social life, but I don't have to worry about money.

    That won't work for everyone but being financially stable and not having to worry about ever having to eat ramen is important for me.

    ...That isn't legal at my grad school. We get funding from the NIH and had to sign paperwork upon acceptance that we wouldn't be paid for anything without getting it approved by our graduate office. They insta-approve anything under 10 hours a week or that is more but for a short duration. Other than that you have to write up a proposal that explains how it is contributing to your education/career development.

    Can you apply for some predoctoral grants that give you a higher stipend?

    Also where are you? I went to college in the midwest and paid 200 a month for an apartment significantly larger than where I live now for 1200 a month. Living where I live now on 10,000 a year would require sharing a room and eating ramen for every meal, but in college I lived on ~9,000 a month and ate normally, had a nice apartment and went out regularly.

    Animal Crossing: City Folk Lissa in Filmore 3179-9580-0076
  • CognisseurCognisseur Registered User
    edited June 2010
    I just finished my first year of graduate school. I lived in NYC on under $16k budget, not counting tuition but counting books and transport and all that.

    -If you don't need a car, ditch it.
    -Learn to cook from scratch. I was amazed how good I can make food taste and it costs like 1/10th as much.
    -Fuck Happy Hour. If you want to drink, have friends come over and drink at your apartment.
    -Mint.com works for some people. I used it at first until I got into a habit of thinking about each purchase and the relative weight it has in my budget; now I don't really use it.
    -Part time job is a good idea. I go to a pretty studious school but still had time, easily, to work part-time. Every little bit of money helps.

  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Whoa whoa whoa. It was just a suggestion.

    There are so many benefits to working a real job while attending school. You're not poor, for one.

    The government (US Gov't that is, Robman is in Canada) has tons of tax rebates and and incentives for working students. My employer reimburses some of my tuition. Those two things have cut the cost of my degree nearly in half.

    It's a two-year sacrifice of free time to graduate debt-free. In my case, since I don't know where in the world I'll be working when I'm done (fingers crossed!) it's extremely important to graduate completely debt-free.

    My employer is extremely lenient. I am paid a competitive industry wage and work 35 hours a week (or less) and can take mornings/afternoons/days off when I need to. I have flexible work hours. Also, I'm pretty awesome at my job. My situation is definitely not possible for everyone. I can't imagine working 45+ hours a week at a corporate job then trying to attend classes 3 nights a week. That would be brutal.

    So my suggestion would be to try and find a similar employer. I work/live/go to school in a major metropolitan area, and there are a lot of opportunities. Situations will vary, obviously.

    Having said that, I am planning on leaving my job next summer to finish my last 1.5 semesters of graduate school and job hunt in the industry that I'm moving into. Also, to relax a bit after 1.5 years of brutal work/school scheduling.

    etxvv5.jpg
  • LewishamLewisham Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    When you say grad school, do you mean a Masters (non-funded) or a PhD (funded)? It makes a big difference.

  • CognisseurCognisseur Registered User
    edited June 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    Whoa whoa whoa. It was just a suggestion.

    There are so many benefits to working a real job while attending school. You're not poor, for one.

    The government (US Gov't that is, Robman is in Canada) has tons of tax rebates and and incentives for working students. My employer reimburses some of my tuition. Those two things have cut the cost of my degree nearly in half.

    It's a two-year sacrifice of free time to graduate debt-free. In my case, since I don't know where in the world I'll be working when I'm done (fingers crossed!) it's extremely important to graduate completely debt-free.

    My employer is extremely lenient. I am paid a competitive industry wage and work 35 hours a week (or less) and can take mornings/afternoons/days off when I need to. I have flexible work hours. Also, I'm pretty awesome at my job. My situation is definitely not possible for everyone. I can't imagine working 45+ hours a week at a corporate job then trying to attend classes 3 nights a week. That would be brutal.

    So my suggestion would be to try and find a similar employer. I work/live/go to school in a major metropolitan area, and there are a lot of opportunities. Situations will vary, obviously.

    Having said that, I am planning on leaving my job next summer to finish my last 1.5 semesters of graduate school and job hunt in the industry that I'm moving into. Also, to relax a bit after 1.5 years of brutal work/school scheduling.

    I think a lot depends on the kind of graduate school you're attending. I don't think anyone in my class is working full-time, and even those of us working part-time have to schedule it well so we don't get overloaded with work to catch up on.

  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I'm in a business / public policy / sorta-economicsy program in a major city and it's more or less expected by the program that people will be working. I have everything from "just graduated undergrad" to military folks to banking execs in my classes.

    I guess the hard sciences are different.

    So as far as working, again, YMMV and you should balance the advice here against your own situation.

    etxvv5.jpg
  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Lewisham wrote: »
    When you say grad school, do you mean a Masters (non-funded) or a PhD (funded)? It makes a big difference.

    Funded master's through an NSERC grant. If I have a part time job and the school finds out, they basically have to expel me. Canada eh!

    That's why I'm aiming to tutor, it's all shady under the table money that I can report on my tax forms and that the school will never fucking see.

  • KistraKistra Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Robman wrote: »
    Lewisham wrote: »
    When you say grad school, do you mean a Masters (non-funded) or a PhD (funded)? It makes a big difference.

    Funded master's through an NSERC grant. If I have a part time job and the school finds out, they basically have to expel me. Canada eh!

    That's why I'm aiming to tutor, it's all shady under the table money that I can report on my tax forms and that the school will never fucking see.

    I don't know much about the Canadian education system, but here in the US we have to give out tax returns to the school to get money from them. You might want to double check that isn't the case for you before you assume that your school won't see the money from tutoring.

    Adytum, I wasn't trying to imply that you were doing anything wrong, just pointing out that different programs have different rules depending on where they get their money and working may not be an option.

    Animal Crossing: City Folk Lissa in Filmore 3179-9580-0076
  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Buy ramen noodles, peanut butter, tortillas, and when you want something spicy, vienna sausages. Food's the easiest thing to control, right after entertainment.

    "Adios, mofo" -- TX Gov Rick Perry (R)
Sign In or Register to comment.