Interrupter CheckmarkInterrupter IconFacebookGoogle PlusInstagramGroupRamsey SolutionsTwitterYouTubeExpand MenuStoreCloseSearchExpand MenuBackStoreSign in
Skip to Main Content

Ask Dave

A Grad Student's Budget

Ilya is a graduate student. He receives $1,640 a month as a fellowship stipend. Ilya is struggling to complete the first Baby Step. Does Dave have any suggestions?

QUESTION: Ilya in Louisville is a 26-year-old graduate student getting his Ph.D. He has student loans and credit card debt, and he just graduated from Financial Peace University. He receives $1,640 a month as a fellowship stipend and plans to either do research or attend medical school. Ilya is struggling to complete the first Baby Step. Does Dave have any suggestions?

ANSWER: You’re not going to be working on the debt much until you finish this. If you can keep the debt at least stabilized ...

It sounds like you’ve got a real good plan. I like where you are and where you’re heading. Your first goal is minimum payments on everything, and quick as you can, get $1,000. You’re not allowed to work to earn any extra money, so your only hope is to cut your expenses further and further—as far as you can down to nothing. Get your $1,000 saved. A thousand dollars saved in your world is a lot of money. Once you do that, then begin to chip away at this credit card as you can. But basically, I would be content with not making a huge amount of progress during this three-year time.

I don’t worry about the tithe, but as an evangelical Christian, the tithe is off the top before you do anything. But I’m not worrying about it. I would do it, but it’s not a salvation issue, and God’s not waiting to bless you on that or anything along those lines. I have tithed off the top before I did anything for the vast majority of my life—as far as an adult goes—and I see good results from that. It’s a part of my spiritual walk, so I can’t recommend to you to not do it, but I don’t want to threaten you with it or something like that. I’m not legalistic about it. You’re asking for my recommendation. I would tithe.

Discover How to Reset Your Money in 2021!

Watch for Free

Discover How to Reset Your Money in 2021!

Kick off your money reset with our FREE livestream! You’ll learn how to turn small wins into big results.
Watch for Free

Discover How to Reset Your Money in 2021!

Kick off your money reset with our FREE livestream! You’ll learn how to turn small wins into big results.
Watch for Free