How To Save Money When Your Student Debt Payments are Overwhelming
Are your monthly student debt payments stretching your budget? Do you fear not being able to make the next month? Now is the time to get on track and start paying off your student loans fast. The cost of interest takes more and more of your income every month you have student debt. If you really ramp up your savings strategy and get your finances together, you can crush this financial obstacle no matter how impossible it may seem. To help you get started we're sharing a number of essential ways you can save big so those monthly debt payments aren't so terrifying.
Warning: The following saving strategies may not be do-in-your-sleep easy but they are super effective. It is so worth it to make sacrifices to get debt-free.
1. Don't Live Alone
Sure, you may have been longing for the time where you no longer had four roommates, but newsflash, that time is not now. If you're in debt, you have no business living alone in a fancy apartment. Find the cheapest apartment you can stand and split rent with a roommate. Say you moved to a city where you know no one. That's no excuse! Get on Bumble BFF and other social networks to get to know girls in your area who are also looking for roommates. You don't have to become best friends and live together forever. Start with 12 months and evaluate from there. But be really realistic about your living situation. You haven't made it -- yet.
2. Live Near Your Work
After living near campus for four years, you come to find that commutes really increase your gas bill. Do yourself a favor and move as close to work as possible at your next opportunity. Of course, if the only places right next to your work are insanely expensive, you may have to go out a little further. But do what you can to shorten that commute. You'll enjoy your work more and save money. Sure you may still be working on finding your purpose at work. You don't have to commit to this place forever. Settle down for a year to save big and then move on if you'd like.
3. Track Your Expenses and Save First
Many of us will save our money by taking whatever is left at the end of the month and putting it toward debt or in an account. The problem with this is that we're also really good at spending whatever we have so there's nothing left. Turn this around and you'll really be able to save. Decide how much you need for your essential expenses - everything else can be saved to put toward your student debt. So next month, set it up with your employer to send that amount of money straight to your savings account. That way you can't spend it! Saving first is an essential habit of those with healthy savings and no debt. Start now!
4. Don't Live Like a King
If you're in an overwhelming amount of debt, you can't afford to have people cooking food for you, washing your car, waiting on you hand and foot. Even though you're out of college, you pretty much need to live like a poor college student until you get rid of your debt - and that's ok! Learn how to cook, walk when you can, find free entertainment. Get creative to enjoy yourself at no expense. You shouldn't be driving a fancy car right now however tempting it may be. If you already have a huge car payment, sell your car and get a cheap but reliable vehicle. Now is not the time to show off. You literally can't afford it. This goes for everything in your life. Don't be buying $200 bags or $1,000 gadgets. All that money should be going to pay off your debt because the cost of not paying it off is HUGE. Sure, you can splurge a little on what's most important to you later in life, but hold off on acting like Mrs. Moneybags for now.
5. Find a Job with Benefits
Some companies offer benefits that include paying student loans. Hello! Search what companies in your area might do that and work off your debt load. Besides boosting your income, it's smart to find whatever perks you can from your employer. Maybe it's not your dream job, but if you'll learn good skills and start out in the area you want to be in, it may be worth it. Other benefits like free meals, gas credit, and rent assistance can be huge. Make sure you're paying attention to all the possible benefits of potential employers.