One of the most unexpected things about vet school is that you’re constantly worried about money. For a lucky few that’s not the case, but between paying tuition and managing rent, food, and car expenses, most of us have a tough time just keeping track of where our money is going, let alone attempting to do anything about it. Some of my classmates have spouses and young families, tossing the complications of managing a household budget into the mix.
Schools do their best to inform prospective students of the costs of attaining a DVM degree. But I wasn’t prepared for the time and energy needed to create a budget, monitor my spending, and prepare for future expenses. I was definitely at a disadvantage to some of my more worldly peers, because I entered vet school right out of undergrad and so hadn’t had the experience of living on my own. Luckily I’m able to ignore the impending doom that is my federal loans most of the time, but whenever I attend a Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA) lecture, that old terror rears its ugly head.
Surprisingly, applying for financial aid always seems to add more stress to my life rather than relieving it. Constantly trawling the Internet for scholarships for which I’m eligible is a huge drain on my time, and coordinating all the parts and pieces required for the institutional financial aid has induced a steady, moderate amount of panic.
I know a portion of my money concerns is related to the fact that I don’t quite understand it— any type of investing, in particular, is over my head. Another factor is that I find money extremely boring to learn about, so my minimal fiscal knowledge remains minimal. In fact, that’s one of the main reasons I joined VBMA: to increase my fiscal and business knowledge in a way that I find more interesting. Hopefully, with my father’s expert guidance and VBMA’s tutelage, I can increase my knowledge and decrease my worry as I keep chugging along.