How to Save Yourself $20,000 at HBS

Isn’t this HBS MBA supposed to land you a high paying job right out of school and so you might as well rack up as much debt as possible and do everything you can to maximise the fun for the 2 years?
Now.. Not so much.”

Many ways you can save money, or get paid, whilst you are at HBS. It includes how to live rent free, how to get paid by careers services and how to exercise without paying extra money.

Have you had a peek at your debt balance recently breitling superocean replica? Scared? But isn’t this HBS MBA supposed to land you a high paying job right out of school and so you might as well rack up as much debt as possible and do everything you can to maximise the fun for the 2 years? Now.. Not so much. There used to be things called signing bonuses, or even the other ones called investment banks. So as one of HBS only Scotsmen, I felt it only right to live up to my national stereotype as frugal and come up with a few ideas that when added together end up making a big difference to the debt load when you leave.

First up is getting out of paying rent. OK this requires a bit of work and you have to be fast (to make it happen for 2010) but you can become a freshman proctor. You live in the Harvard Yard and have to ‘look after’ some Harvard freshmen, but hey the HBS dorms (room and utilities per the budget) cost $14,040 and this way you get to pay no rent and no utilitities tag heuer replica for sale . The deadline for the resident tutors (which are in the houses undergrads live in after the freshman year) has closed, and that’s a better deal, but in this environment you can’t be too choosy.

This proctor gig includes a ‘meal plan’ which sounds a bit like a TV diet plan, but a poll I conducted showed HBS students average $13 a day on food at Spangler. So cut that back to $5 for a day for lunch saves $8 a day, 7 days a week for 30 weeks. $1,680.

Shad. So Shad is very nice. $280 worth of nice? You walk 100 meters past Shad and there is the Murr center which is.. free. It has a pool, treadmills, weights and an awesome indoor track. OK no free towels, but this is a recession. You can also use the law school gym, the Malkin center and Blodgett pool. all for nothing. For partners the Shad fee is $405 a year. $31 for the Murr …that’s another $374 saving.

The Queens Head. You’ve never heard of it? It opened 2 years ago and is across the other side of Harvard Yard. Beer? $3. So a beer in the Redline is $5. So say you have 5 beers, once a week, for the 30 weeks of time you are at school. That’s a saving of $300.. for doing exactly the same thing in a much better pub. Did I mention 25cent wings on Wednesdays?

The recyclable coffee cup. This one’s a no brainer. Say you have one cup of coffee a day and use the recyclable cup. 30c a coffee saved. $1.50 a week. 30 weeks is $45. Not a fortune but it all counts and besides its good for the environment and the coffee tastes the same.

Organise stuff. You organize a trek, you go free. Assume a trek costs $2000. Well you get at least $1500 saved, even if you have to pay for your own alcohol and partying. It’s a lot of effort but you get to build some pretty good relationships.

Now on to the friendly folk at Career Services. Career coach? $350 for probably two weekend days, a very limited amount of effort, and you get to help some RCs. Edit resumes…$20 per hour, you’ll get in at least 5 hours. $100. Mock Case interviewer.. $20 per hour. 5 hours. $100. If you get chosen as an RC subject coach (ok you have to be good at a subject to get this) then it’s $40 per hour. 5 hours at least for $200.

Then there’s the business plan contest and access to $1000. Student teams who enter are eligible for expenses incurred in putting their plan together. So this only saves you money if you are planning on writing a business plan… but you can pay programmers to make a website for you, pay for travel and a whole host of other things that you probably would have paid for anyway.

Average HBS phone plan? $75. MetroPCS (no contract) $40.. Unlimited calling. $35 less a month for 9 months is a saving of $315. Plus you don’t have to pay for it when you arent around – awesome for international students. International calls…skype.

HBS shuttle. It’s basically a taxi. You ring it up at night and it picks you up and takes you home. Say you use it 20 times a year and save a $5 taxi ride. $100.

Total $20,000 (more if you have a partner) and I havent even factored in interest. So is $20,000 a lot of money? Well the tax rate is 35%. So you’ll have to earn at least $30,000 to pay it back. As my Mum says.. Watch the pennies and the dollars look after themselves.