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Author Topic: Living Expenses: What are you figuring into your requested private loan amount?  (Read 1728 times)

stuvxyz

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I'm about to put in my acessgroup request for my loan amount request.  This number obviously has to reflect the money I'll spend over the year.  Please tell me if you can think of anything that I'm missing:

-Rent (utilities are included in the place I found, and it's furnished, so that's not an issue either)

-Phone (landline, in case I want dialup internet--I'll be in the boonies, so DSL/cable is not an option.  Plus, it's too expensive to justify when I have wireless at school 3 miles away).

-Cell Phone (this is a fixed expense)

-Food (I went on the high side and estimated about $14 per day.  Again, I'll be in a "rural" setting, but will have access to walmart, so I figure $14/day is more than enough, and I can use the excess money on miscellaneous things).

-Gas/maintenance for my car (car is paid off, so there is no monthly payment)

-Insurance (both medical & for my car)

-Everything else that comes with law school as it appears in the financial aid "Total Cost of Attendance" figure (books, fees, tech fees, tuition, bar fee, etc..)

Am I missing anything here?  I don't have any previous loans from my undergraduate b/c I didn't have to borrow, so I'm not used to figuring out how much I should get in loans.

Any comments would be well received.

lsantos623

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not sure if it applies in your case but maybe travel expenses, like if you need to fly anywhere to see family/significant other/etc...

also clothes/entertainment if you're into that...
CLS or Boalt?????

puzzle245

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Seems like a good list...

Do you have any credit card bills which will have to be paid off in a quasi-regular fashion? 

Also, you may want to leave a little for incidentals that crop up - toothpaste, soap, shampoo, toilet paper, windew, paper towels, garbage bags - it can really add up!

The only other thing I can think of is that it may be easier to stick to a weekly food budget than a daily one. 

abomb

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First, you're three miles from law school yet can't get cable tv? If you can get cable tv then you can get cable internet, and if you can get cable internet, get it. Yes, its nice to have the internet in the law building, but there will be times when you'll really just want to get the heck out of there, and its nice to be able to work from home, and dial-up sucks.
Don't forget about renter's insurance, Laundry money if you don't have a washer dryer in your apartment.
I agree that a daily budget is hard to work with actual living, if you cook at all, there will be leftovers etc, I'd have a monthly budget, but weekly should work too.
Don't count out incidentals, you never know whats really going to pop up. Maybe you need new tires for your car, maybe you need to fly somewhere for an emergency.
I'd request the maximum amount possible. If there's money left over, request less the next year. You want to be comfortable, and the last thing you're going to want to worry about around finals time is having enough money to eat.

makotosan

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I'll second including renter's insurance- it's probably one of the most important things to get. The last thing you need is a fire to wipe your place out in the middle of 1L and be screwed for replacing it!
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jacy85

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Uh...your school should set up a budget for you that includes your living expense.  Unless Hofstra is drastically different from the vast majority of ABA schools, you don't set the amount you can borrow, the school does.  Then if you have other expenses, you can often get "reimbursed" for them after you pay (Emory, for example, will let me borrow, in addition to their estimated COL, money for a laptop and my health insurance, provided I pay in full at time of purchase and can provide them with a receipt or documentation of payment.)

stuvxyz

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First, you're three miles from law school yet can't get cable tv? If you can get cable tv then you can get cable internet, and if you can get cable internet, get it. Yes, its nice to have the internet in the law building, but there will be times when you'll really just want to get the heck out of there, and its nice to be able to work from home, and dial-up sucks.

I can get cable TV, but I have a basement apartment and it comes with DirecTV satellite included in the rent (it's $500/mo for a fully furnished 2 bedroom apt, and that includes all utilities and satellite TV :))

I've used dialup plenty of times, and for the things I'll be doing at home, cable just isn't necessary.  I can download all my music/movies while at school, and when I get home I'll probably just use the net for surfing and AIM. 

Don't forget about renter's insurance, Laundry money if you don't have a washer dryer in your apartment.
There's no renters insurance in my case, and a $250 refundable security deposit.  

I agree that a daily budget is hard to work with actual living, if you cook at all, there will be leftovers etc, I'd have a monthly budget, but weekly should work too.
Don't count out incidentals, you never know whats really going to pop up. Maybe you need new tires for your car, maybe you need to fly somewhere for an emergency.

When I lived in an apartment during my undergraduate I almost never got fast food.  Virtually everything I ate came from WalMart, and I lived like that for more than year without a single problem.  I've worked the "incidental costs" into my food budget.  I'm giving myself $4000 for 9 months, and the city has about 30% the cost of living in a downtown "urban" area, so that should be more than enough.  As far as incidentals go, I have basically everything "expensive" I own insured (for example, I have the on-site repair, 3 year warranty for my laptop, and my car is still under warranty and has less than 35,000 miles) so I'm not expecting any MAJOR expenses.  The only thing I can imagine is a dental emergency, since the school doesn't offer dental insurance.  
I'd request the maximum amount possible. If there's money left over, request less the next year. You want to be comfortable, and the last thing you're going to want to worry about around finals time is having enough money to eat.

Since my apartment is only going to be $4500 for the entire year (yes, my renter is letting me out of paying for the summer months when I'm not there... I really lucked out on my apartment.  I have someone that I trust who lived in this apt. for two years a few years and said the place is definitely worth it) and I have a LOT of money saved up from working over the last 18 months, I'm definitely not going to take out the full amount.  I'll be paying 3.75% plus the LIBOR (which is about 3.34%) on any private loans, and since I have cash on hand and no previous loans to deal with, it'd be crazy to take out the maximum.  I get about 4.15% on a "Demand Notes" Checking account through GMAC, so if I keep all my loan money in there, I'll be able to recoup about half the interest fees. 

makotosan

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There's no renters insurance in my case, and a $250 refundable security deposit.  


I don't think that's quite what was meant. Renter's insurance isn't from the person you rent from. It's something you go to an insurance company and seek yourself. It's fairly inexpensive as well, I recommend seeing if your car insurance company does it. In my case, getting renters insurance for $25k ended up being only 15 dollars a year extra because of the discount we got for having multiple policies.
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princesssnadia

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These days it doesn't make sense to get dialup if you have a cell phone (hopefully you get a signal in your apt. some don't). I don't plan to have a landline, but if I did then I would have to pay $30 for the phone line and on top of that however much the dialup service is. You can get DSL or Cable for less than that. There are alot of deals for new customers. Also when you call to cancel, alot of times they will extend the deal, so you keep getting it.

abomb

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These days it doesn't make sense to get dialup if you have a cell phone (hopefully you get a signal in your apt. some don't). I don't plan to have a landline, but if I did then I would have to pay $30 for the phone line and on top of that however much the dialup service is. You can get DSL or Cable for less than that. There are alot of deals for new customers. Also when you call to cancel, alot of times they will extend the deal, so you keep getting it.
No, he was actually right on this one, if Direct TV is included for free with his rent, he shouldn't even consider cable. DSL would be the way to go, but you still have to get a landline for that to work. Its really inexpensive, and I think you can get a discount if you already have DirectTV, since they're usually offered as a package deal, at least if its Yahoo-SBC DSL.