Everyone knows being a student is a poor, poor life--literally. You bring laundry home to save on quarters and live on Ramen noodles. With all the credits, classes and clinicals, it's difficult to find the time to have a job in addition to other responsibilities. While some students have financial support to pay the tuition bill, others rely on substantial loans to make ends meet.
However, this all takes a drastic change when students transition into their jobs as therapists. The first few paychecks I received were nearly impossible to believe. First, I couldn't believe my bank account was about to exceed the $100 minimum it had floated around for the past years. Second, I literally could not understand how someone would pay me for doing something I enjoy.
There is a bit of a transition from learning how to handle class-work to managing a budget. I started an Excel spreadsheet last year and wrote down where I was spending my money, so I could get a better sense of where I could cut back and not lose anything. (For example, I budgeted $50/month for electric, but was only paying $35.)
I reviewed my budget from 2009 and realized a few things. First, I have become much more responsible with money this year than I ever have been. Second, I am very, very lucky to have a job as great as mine is. And finally, I spend way too much money on lattes.