This morning, during large animal medicine class, I was multitasking/not-paying-attention and working out my budget for next year (May-May) – calculating just monthly bills (rent, cell, insurances, utilities), and not really incidentals like groceries. Trying, basically, to figure out how much loan money I would have to take out on top of tuition to cover my living expenses.
So I came up with a total number, and then broke it down into how much I’d need for each semester (so that I don’t borrow more than I need to, before I need to).
And then, a really, really lovely thing happened. I finished my last class for the day (and at the same time, the budget that I was working on), walked by my mailbox in the hall, noticed a white envelope, opened it….and found out that I had won a scholarship for next year!!! [Please note: i’m not particularly special in this regard. All scholarships were announced today, and a majority of the mailboxes had similar envelopes in them. In fact, this is the first year I’ve won anything…sad me. BUT!! It was not an insignficant amount. Read on.]
So I was psyched, and even more happy when I realized the amount (I talked to a junior student a few years ago who had also never won a scholarship until her 3rd year, and when she did win…it was $150. That sucked.) It’s not so much that it will make a big old dent in my tuition, but it’s also not in the least bit insignificant. It was relatively really good.
And so I was thinking about it, just dying to get my hands on a spreadsheet, and when I did…well, put on your math cap for a second and get this:
A = The total amount that I need to cover my bills next year
B = balance remaining on my credit card
X = The stipend I get from the pet food company.
Y = My savings, as of 4:30PM EST today.
Z = The scholarship amount.
A + B = X+ Y + Z + $399
!!!!!! Dudes! This means that so long as I can spend no more than $399 on things like groceries, coffee, going out, traveling, the NAVLE…okay, well it’s not perfect, but it’s CLOSE!!!! About twice as close as I was at the beginning of the day!!!! Yay!!!!!
(I should note that my current job, which I can do from home and on my own time, and does pay me in tiny little peanuts, pays enough peanuts to cover my groceries, coffee, etc…, and I expect that it will continue to for the next year.)
(The slight problem here is that I won’t get X or Z until August. I get 1/2X in August and 1/2X in January. Which means I’ll have to dip into my savings to cover summer expenses, which makes me nervous, especially since too much of that money is sadly wrapped up in the stock market. Should I consider taking a loan and paying it back later in the year, betting that the stock market will go up, and my savings with it? Or should I just cut my losses now and stow my money away in my sock drawer? Or maybe a happy medium??
Other teensy little problem is that this means that as of May 2010, I will hopefully have my DVM but I will not have a single red cent. This doesn’t seem like the best thing ever, exactly. Will have to consider this before I reject all aid, of course.)