A business school teaches you how a strategic and disciplined approach to finances helps a company ultimately achieve something great. And as a business student, it’s crucial that you are able to apply what you learn to yourself along the way.
The years that you spend in business school earning your MBA are, for many, a time where it’s crucial to be budget-conscious.
Between leaving your job or putting your business on the back-burner to complete your degree, plus taking on the financial burden of paying for tuition fees – whether you’re finding it yourself or getting student loans – it’s unsurprising that you might need to tighten your purse strings in order to eventually achieve your full potential as an MBA.
#1. Create a Budget with Specific Goals:
Many people find coming up with a budget a chore, but for you as an MBA student, it’s probably something that you do every day.
When coming up with your personal budget, it can be a good idea to think of it as you would an assignment in business school – the more specific you can get, the better.
If you’re struggling to track your personal expenses and stick to your budget, then a money-management app like Mint can be a very useful tool.
#2. Explore Your Options:
If you’re just stepping out into the world of MBA options, then it’s definitely worth doing some research and shopping around to find the best value for money option for you.
Bear in mind that the most reputable MBA programs tend to be located in cities around the world with a high cost of living, but at the end of the day, it’s a respected program no matter where you get it from.
Studying in a cheaper city, or even taking your MBA online are both viable options that will still get you the results you want, but at a lower overall price tag.
Check out The MBA Tour for more information on events where you can learn more about MBA options available around the world – look here for more details.
#3. Cut Back on Non-essential Spending:
Both in business school and as a newly qualified MBA, it’s not uncommon to find yourself exposed to a lot of wealth – and it can be tempting to join in.
But unless you’re lucky enough to have a lot of disposable income right now, buckling down and cutting back on non-essential spending is key to managing your money and improving your wealth in the future.
If you can go without upgrading your smartphone for another year or get away with using Netflix rather than paying for premium cable, now’s the time to cut back.
#4. Improve Your Life Skills:
Learning to cook and improving some of your other essential life skills can not only be a great way to develop in other ways than simply what you have learned in business school, but to also save money along the way.
Relying heavily on take-out isn’t uncommon for business students, but aside from being bad for your waistline, this can also take its toll on your bank account.
You may not feel like you have much time to make your own meals, but once you have cooking skills, batch-preparing meals for the week ahead will come naturally.
#5. Take Advantage of Your Student Status:
Maybe you’ve returned to school in your 40’s to get your MBA – but no matter where you’re at school, what you are studying, or how old you are, you can take advantage of your student status to get discounts at any place that offers them.
Stores, theaters, museums, sporting events, restaurants and many more companies offer discounts to anybody who can show a valid student ID card, so take yours with you wherever you go! You never know where you’ll be able to save some money simply by proving that you’re a student.
#6. Refinance Your Student Loan:
If you borrowed a student loan to fund your MBA, then you’re probably already aware that student loans can leave many MBAs strapped for cash, even after landing a well-paying position upon graduation.
If you’re a recent graduate or are graduating soon, then you might want to consider the option of refinancing your student loans at a lower interest rate, if possible.
This can help to significantly reduce your monthly payments while enabling you to pay off your loans faster, freeing up more of your income.
Even if you are not working yet, you may be able to get your student loans refinanced if you can produce an offer letter which verifies the income you’re expected to be earning once you accept the job.
Studying for an MBA is no cheap feat, but those who’ve done it say that it’s certainly worth the financial challenges it can present. If you’re studying for, considering studying, or graduating from an MBA program, these tips may help you manage your money better.