The Yappie
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The Yappie

Part 1: Budgeting (💸)

Don’t want to go broke? Exercise caution and live within your means

By Andrew Peng

This is part one of The Yappie’s 2019 D.C. AAPI Intern Guide. Subscribe to our weekly politics newsletter now.


  • You need to exercise extreme caution and discipline for how you budget, especially if your internship is unpaid.
  • Why? Your university probably told you that your internship would provide you with invaluable work “experience” — but this summer journey will cost you roughly $3,000–6,000 total. Washington, D.C. is a very expensive city, and you’ll likely spend more money than you anticipate on transportation and meals.

General Tips

  • Locate your nearest ATM: Seek out ATMs within a building ASAP in case you need cash. Make sure to complete any transactions as quickly as possible.
  • Find some quarters: Because most schools like the George Washington University (GWU) convert their laundry machines to only accept these coins for the summer, you need to find a bank or individual who can give you quarters.
  • Document your costs: Start a spreadsheet and save your receipts. Calculate how much you’re spending per week on transportation costs, then add on housing and meals
  • Note: Interns in the federal government are usually eligible for metro benefits. More in the transportation section.
  • Takeaways: There’s a lot in this guide on what you can do, but costs add up quickly. Don’t be afraid to spend time on your own or feel pressured to see/do everything.

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