But it was all worth it
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote my 2 final MBA exams. If felt a bit strange. A chapter of my life is coming to a close after 3 years.
These 3 years of studies were both exhilarating and labor-intensive at the same time. And I did it!
Being the PF blogger that I am, let’s take a look at some numbers, and tally the cost of my degree.
Tuition and other fees ($19 000)
I took 9 classes, both online and on campus (in Malaysia) and sat exams 12 times -yep, there were a few setbacks along the way-.
The university charged me a grand total of $ 20 000 in tuition and various administrative fees. A former employer contributed $ 1 000 towards these, leaving me responsible for the remaining $ 19 000.
Private tutoring ($ 1 300)
I needed additional help with a couple of subjects and it cost me an extra $ 1 300.
Living expenses in Malaysia ($ 12 000)
I had the opportunity to study in Malaysia for a semester. Lodging, food, transportation, cell phone, internet data and extensive travel in SE Asia added an extra $12K to the bill.
I have to admit I didn’t skimp on this opportunity. I went almost everywhere I wanted to go, visited anything I wanted to, signed-up for a lot of activities, tried all the food possible and overall lived in style.
One of the best experiences of my life so far! I don’t regret any of the expenses.
Estimated loss of income over 3 years
($ 70 000)
This is the biggest cost of my MBA. Because the studies were intensive, working full-time became very challenging, shortly after I started the cursus.
I also needed more balance in my life, so I decided to switch to part-time work. Although I don’t regret doing this either, it immediately impacted my finances.
Each decision we make has an opportunity cost. Mine was no different. I wasn’t able to save for retirement as much as I wanted to. I leveraged against my condo to help pay for all of this, and pretty much exhausted all my personal savings.
The silver-linings are that I am both healthier and happier. I recently went back to work full-time.
When I was job searching, I noticed I was contacted for more interesting jobs. More importantly, the salaries were also higher.
I am currently earning an additional $11K per year more than at my previous job.
Despite the staggering cost, I don’t regret doing it. It gives me more credibility professionally, and alongside my work experience, it will open more doors in the future.
It’s also a personal accomplishment I am proud of.