I had an intense conversation (*coughargumentcough*) with my boyfriend the other night about our spending. With the loss of my income, obviously we couldn't live as we had been. However, it was (finally) drawn out of me my thought process about my supposed lack of concern about our spending.
Based upon the estimates of Tepper school, I would be spending about $77,000 a year for the duration of the program (I believe they actually say it's for the 9 months of being at the school, but I chose to push it over 12 because I still need to live when at my internship. Hopefully, the intent is to have a substantial internship income...). This meant that I would graduate from the program with $150,000 in debt, if I did what a lot of people did, which is finance purely through student loans. (In my case, since I paid for the first semester out of pocket, this "debt" was to myself that I have to put back into my savings account). This, to me, was my debt ceiling - I would not get any higher than this. In other words, whatever I had left over from the necessities of bill paying would be our discretionary income to spend on, but only to the total value of 150K at the end of two years.
The MBA degree is a social degree. Sure you need to go to school but unless you don't even turn up, it's very very likely you'll pass the classes. The true value of the program is a) the piece of paper at the end of it and b) the relationships you build in the two years.In a lot of cases, these relationships are built over alcohol and activities outside of school - which require money. Since, in my head, I have a comfortable cushion of discretionary income based upon the above calculations, I was fine with the odd dining out experience; Chris, being unable to mind-read, was not aware of this thought pattern. Heck, I didn't even realise this is what my decision-making was based upon until I had to explain it. But now that he sees where I'm coming from, the next step is to build the "budget" so we know exactly how much discretionary spending we have.