Budgeting for Barcelona

When planning for attending ESADE I made a lot of changes in my finances. I cancelled cable, sold off unused items, cancelled my pool membership at Asphalt Green, and found every way possible to make an extra penny and cut down my expenses. I try not to spend more than $20 a week on groceries and lunch, have stopped drinking as frequently and most gruelingly stopped going to concerts, one of my absolute favorite things to do. I know it will all be worth it in the end.

But now it’s time to go even further and map out the budget for the 15 months that I will be abroad and without income. I’ll put the figures down in both Euros and Dollars. (I must warn you, this is going to be a long post, as I map everything out.)


  • First Reservation Fee – €8,300 ($10,977.38) PAID
  • Second Reservation Fee – €5,700 ($7,538.68) due June 1, 2012
  • First Installment – €29,350 ($38,817.61) due Sept 28, 2012
  • Second Installment – €15,300 ($20,235.41) due Mar 29, 2013
  • Marketing Scholarship – €5,000 ($6,612.88)

Total tuition: €53,700 ($71,022.34)

Tuition for the whole program will be paid in full by March 2013 (a full year before the end of the program). I find it quite interesting the way that this works. The “reservation fees” had to be paid, in cash, before even getting to the school. It had been a huge financial burden to come up with the money, but the good thing is that money can still be used for living expenses as I have applied for a full tuition loan. I’ll get it back one my loan is funded.


I have a Sallie Mae Smart Options Student Loan, that is a private loan, so less of the nice perks, like a very low interest rate, that a government loan would have. Unfortunately, my school is not yet set-up to receive funding from the US government. ::SIGH::

  • First Installment – €25,707.41 ($34,000) transferred Aug 2012
  • Second Installment – €25,707.41 ($34,000) transferred Sept 2012
  • Third Installment – €25,707.41 ($34,000) transferred Jan 2013

Total loan: €77,122.22 ($102,000)

I asked for $102,000 to account for living expenses and books as well as tuition. With the first two student loan payments I should get €22,064.82 for living expenses (this include the €14,000 from my own savings and €8,064.82 from the student loan). With the last payment I will add another €15,407.41 for my living expenses.

Total for living expenses: €37,472.23 ($49,559.88)

Additional School Costs

Besides general living expenses there are a few educational costs that I need to account for in my budget.

  • Elective Language Training – €1,500 ($1,983.86)
  • Study Tours – €3,000 – €4,000 ($3,967.73 – $5,290.30)
  • MBAT – €600 ($793.55)
  • Books – €500 ($661.29)

Total Additional School Costs: €6,600 ($8,729)

Living Expenses

I figured out all of these costs by going on the upper end of the range that the school provided to ensure that I am covered, no matter what. Except for food, I know I’ll stay on the lower range.

  • Housing –  €9,600 (€800 x12 months – sublet for last 3)
  • Utilities – €2,100 (€175 x12 months)
  • Food – €4,950 (€330 x 15 months)
  • Transport – €600 (€40 x 15 months)
  • Misc – €6,600 (€440 x 15 months)
  • Sports – €900 (€60 x 15 months)

Total Living Expenses: €24,750 ($32,733.76)

Other Expenses

I’m also adding €604.88 ($800) to combat current credit card debt and student loan that is not yet paid off from undergrad.

Total Other Expenses: €9,073.20 ($12,000)

Other Income

While account for all expenses I also need to account for all other income that I will be receiving.

  • 2012 Tax Return (guesstimate) – €1,512.20 ($2,000)
  • June – August Income (guesstimate) – €7,561 ($10,000)
  • Security Deposit – €1,077.44 ($1,425)

Total Other Income: €10,150.64 ($13,425)

So that was a lot of figures. Let’s recap without all of the breakdowns:

Loan for Living Expenses + Other Income:  €37,472.23 + €10,150.64 = €47,622.87
School Costs + Living Expenses + Other Expenses: €6,600 + €24,750 + €9,073.20 = €40,423.20

Total Surplus: €7,199.67 ($9,522.11)

Phew! There is a good sum there just in case things end up costing more then I intended. And it also helps to preserve some of my savings to help me once I graduate. There’s a long road ahead. I’m glad I got the finances down and out of the way. Next stop, the dreaded visa process – quite costly in itself!




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