Potential MBA, Planning Financially

Over the past couple of months my interest in furthering my education has been peaking.  It’s nothing I’m planning on doing immediately, but I’m thinking I want to do an MBA program in the next 3 to 5 years.

I’m trying to get my bearings straight because top MBA programs cost $100K+ and will take me out of the workforce (completely eliminating my income) for two years.  There’s no way I’m planning on taking out any loans, once I get through the debt I have now, I’m out of the “borrowing-game” for good!

I am working toward becoming completely debt free by December 31, 2015, and ideally I want to start an MBA program in Fall 2016. Assuming I’m a great MBA applicant at that time and get fellowships and scholarships to fund my education, the only thing I need to plan for immediately is my living expenses.  I would want to do a fulltime program, in which case I would have no income for 2 years, so I need to plan ahead to be able to survive on only my savings.

I’ve done some calculations, and assuming I’m paying pretty modest rent and utilities, I would need at least $20,000/year for all my expenses, giving me a goal to save at least $40,000 before getting my MBA.  Using $40K as my minimum goal, I’ll have to pay my debt off in less than 3 years (probably 2 years), get multiple raises, and additional part time jobs, and continue saving every penny (once I’m out of debt) for the next 4 years.  I think I can do it!  It’s a great goal to shoot for!

I’m interested to know what some of you that went to business school spent on a monthly basis on living expenses while in a fulltime program and how you planned for those expenses.

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