Could you imagine racking up thousands of dollars of debt, so that you could go to college?
Americans have racked up over a trillion dollars in student loans. What’s worse is having to graduate and trying to find a job, already behind in life because you wanted to better your situation through higher education.
Income has maintained at a steady wage over the years, but inflation continues to rise. Not only do new graduates have large debt, but they are struggling to keep up with the cost of living.
Can you blame new graduates for wanting to live at home with their parents in such a financial state of stress?
Before we talk about paying off student loan debt, it is worth mentioning your best move might not be paying off the debt right away! It might make more sense if you can continue to make the minimum payments on your debt that have a low-interest rate and invest any extra money you have into the stock market with high returns with the assistance of a financial advisor.
Everyone’s situation is different, which is why I would recommend talking to a financial advisor to see what your best move is. Setting up an appointment to speak with a financial advisor is typically free and is an excellent opportunity to get questions about investing answered.
Now then! Let’s talk about how we are going to kick student loan debt to the curb! (Hopefully not to the curb of your new house with a large mortgage payment!)
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I know! It’s that icky “B” word again. No one likes to budget, but everyone needs to budget! I know a lot of you aren’t doing it! I took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course and it changed the way I look at budgeting.
We need to maximize your budget for ultimate debt busting. To do that, you need to cut out the things that aren’t helping your financial situation without completely ruining your style.
What are you spending money on that you can choose to live without if not only for a little while? Are you spending too much on food, restaurants, or partying with your friends every Friday and Saturday night? Are you cooking your meals?
Consider eating cheaper for now at least until you can get a hold onto your student loan debt. Try incorporating things like rice, beans, eggs, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Americans tend to spend way too much on food, so this should be one of the first places you look to cut back.
What is your housing situation like? Can you live with roommates to get the rent down? Do you have a spare room to rent out on AirBnB? Can you find an apartment that cost less than what you’re paying now?
Often when dealing with student loan debt, the best lifestyle to live is that of a poor college student. Do you remember how much money you spent as a college student and the lifestyle you were living?
If you are just now graduating, this shouldn’t be as tough of a transition for you. I swear, anyone living the lifestyle of a college student that had a good paying job could easily become a millionaire.
Ask for a Raise or Swap Jobs
You work hard! At least I hope you’re working hard if you have a job. I mean, if you aren’t working hard then you stand the chance of getting fired and then you wouldn’t have a means to pay off your student loans. So I’m going to assume you’re working hard…Right?!
Since you’re working hard, then it’s time to ask for a raise. The harder you work at work, the better of a chance you will have of getting a raise.
You should aim to get a raise at least once a year. The best thing you can do for yourself is to work hard, show your boss your go-getter attitude, and then ask for a raise.
One of the best times to do this is during your yearly performance review. A lot of people come unprepared to their performance review thinking their boss is going to tell them how they performed.
An individual who gets promoted shows their boss how hard they worked over the course of the year because they came prepared with a list of accomplishments. Remember, the worse thing they can say is no.
If for some reason you didn’t get that raise and you know you are working hard, it’s time to find another job. Start applying until you get another job offer and trust me, it is always easier to get another job when you are currently employed.
Your new job offer should come with a higher pay than what you’re currently making or at the very minimum better benefits. Take this offer to your current employer who will either give you a better offer to keep you or tell you the company can’t afford to give you a raise but hopes you’ll stay in good faith.
If your company can’t give you a raise, then it’s time to leave. If your business isn’t making enough profit to give out raises, then you have limited growth opportunity at the company, and you will be stuck with your same salary for years.Sharing is Caring!Click To Tweet
Get a Side Income
You’ve hopefully budgeted and cut costs, asked for a raise, and now it’s time to increase your income by working on the side. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, as long as you’re making money on the side to pay off your debt.
One of the best side jobs is delivering pizzas in your spare time. Pizza companies want to hire drivers for part time work and need an increase in weekend delivery drivers due to higher pizza demand on the weekend. You won’t make a lot at your hourly wage, but the tips begin to add up fast.
Another good tip if you’re thinking about delivering pizzas is to work for the company that sells the highest priced pizzas. The clientele that orders the higher priced pizzas can typically afford it and might tip larger amounts. That isn’t to say you wouldn’t get good tips working for any other pizza place. It’s just more likely you’ll get good tips working at a higher end shop.
Another side job that pays well in tips and has weekend work is bartending. Bartenders tend to make a decent wage just on tips alone and can be a great side job for you to pay off some of your student loans.
Advertise yourself on Craigslist if you would rather pick up side gigs now and then. Offer to help people move, clean people’s pools, mow their yards, and so on.
Other Quick Tips
-Consolidating loans and refinancing should be discussed with a financial advisor.
-Stay motivated! Debt is a hard battle, but don’t get discouraged and remind yourself how nice it will be to pay off all your debt.
-Finding other people in debt that are just as motivated to pay debt off will help you stay motivated.
I know you can kick debts butt! It’s all about reducing your expenses, increasing your income, and using what’s left at the end of the month to get ahead. Stay strong and let us know if you have any questions in the comments below!