I’m figuring all these costs as per month while I’m at school. So, my school related costs are as follows:
Tuition – $7034
Room – $3220
Food – $1680
Additional (school related) – $280
Grants/Scholarships – $6630
The semester is 16 weeks long (including finals), so on a per month basis this works out to roughly $1396 a month. This number includes all of my tuition, housing, TV, internet, utilities, and food/drink related expenses (except for beer and restaurants). I don’t own a car, so I don’t pay for car insurance, and I don’t have health insurance. I have a cell phone that costs $200, or $8.33 a month for a 24 month contract. Additionally I pay $40 a month for cell phone service, bringing the total cost of the cell phone to about $48 a month. I don’t buy clothes that often, so I figure maybe 7 new tshirts a year ($20 each), 2 new pairs of pants ($40 each), socks, underwear, ect. ($40 a year), and new shoes ($50 a year). That’s about $310 a year for clothes, so I’ll round up to $350 to figure for any extras (just to be extra generous, even though I’m already assuming with the prices that I’m not bothering with any sales). As far as entertainment (including beer/restaurants), I think a generous assumption would be about $20 a week. So all total (and aside from any large purchases such as a new computer or something that only occurs when I would have the money to spare), I figure I spend about $1553 a month, making my cost of living about $2019. This, of course, dwarfs my Crash and Burn money. I wouldn’t say that it’s really any more or less than I expected, after all the vast majority of it is school related money that I had to pay up front. Since I was figuring my current expenses as assuming that I’m paying off school during the semester (I’m not, I have deferred loans), a direct comparison to my cost of living after graduation won’t work too well. Nevertheless, the school’s CSE department says that the average starting salary of a Comp Sci graduate is around $55k, which would give me plenty of money left over to spend on hookers and blow after paying off my projected $24,228 cost of living.