@RocketSurgeon Didn't see this yesterday, but thanks for the reply! I am really excited about those schools and the idea of spending a year abroad, so glad to hear the one-year thing isn't a problem. We'll see what my options are come spring, though.
@RocketSurgeon Oh! I am also currently applying to grad schools (a motley crew of IR, development, and public health programs) and am considering one in London and one in Brighton. Because I would just love to live there. Did you move back to work in the States after, and if so did you find that employers took the degree seriously? The schools I'm applying to are extremely academically respected, but I'm afraid their one-year programs won't help me as much in the job market. I'd go for development studies, not public health, so it may not be comparable, but I'm curious about your experience!
@Mike Dang Just de-lurking to let you know that Jia's story from May was what made me suddenly realize that buying a house was a thing I could do! It set me on a merry spree of saving (I'd never really done it on purpose), financial self-education (I had none), and dream-house-hunting on Trulia (which I had never heard of). If you had asked me at the beginning of May how much money my husband and I had, I wouldn't have been able to tell you, but now I use Mint religiously and spend way less on things that don't matter to me, like going out to eat just because we're too tired to cook. (OK, we still do that, but less!) Five months later, we are 80% of the way to our target down-payment (we were 65% there in May, but had no concrete use for our savings and no motivation to save more). Even though there are still major roadblocks to homeownership for us (the main one being the combined inevitability and uncertainty of grad school), saving for a house has completely changed the way I manage money and think about the future. Jia's situation didn't really match mine, partly because we are in very different real estate markets, but it was still somehow transformative for me. I'm really excited for the rest of this series. Maybe other people will have similar "aha" moments, even if their numbers don't match the ones on the page.