Is it worth it? I guess it depends on how good of an education you think you're getting. I'm personally finishing my degree and ran up about $38k in loans the first three years. IT would be more, but I'm currently employed in a faculty position in the university which should elemenate the rest of the spending not covered by scholarships. However, I'm attending a very good university and getting an excellent university. Therefore, I do consider it worth it. Perhaps, it is because I'm an educator and training for the job, but it's difficult to put a price on education.
If all else, I always remind me of this. I'll be done with some loans in seven years and the rest ten years after I get out of university. If I wanted to, I could cut the monthly payment in half by consolidating. Still, after tax rebates and family help, I'll only be paying about $300 a month. Yes, that is a lot, however, many people pay that much on a car payment each year. Cars die, get ruined and so forth. An education doesn't. In fact you could say it collects compound interest
. Furthermore, as I remind myself, since I am an educator, I can take this expensive Jesuit univesity education and transfer it to other students. That, imho, is the beauty of education. So, dont worry. Although, loans may seem a lot now, it's a good investment.
Now personally, I'd say 1000 dollars isn't enough. But then again, I like to eat well and enjoy the books.
Food, including if you go out, can be $100-150 a month. The kicker will be books. Remember amazon and to sell back your books. Finally, may I also suggest rice?
IT's cheap, easy to make, can be used in a variety of dishes, and you can still use it for lent.
Gumbo or Jumbalaya anyone?