By Dorothy Mitchell
Student loans are essential for most people to get the education they want, and the growing debt can be scary. Most students live a frugal life, but there are other ways that you can keep your student debt low without making living unbearable.
Here are 3 things that you can do to earn extra cash to start paying your loans off before you graduate.
- Start a Business
Although you should never sacrifice your studies for making money, it is viable to start a business during your student years, and make a dent in your debt in the process.
College kids always need frat shirts, banners, and all sorts of merchandise – providing an affordable solution on campus could see you making some serious cash.
You can also do part-time work, get involved in paid tutoring, or learn a skill that will help you make a little money on the side. For instance, you could provide referrals to a law firm like Fisher & Talwar, and then get a commission when some defined results are achieved.
- Make Compromises
It seems logical to try to reduce your expenses by sacrificing your everyday comforts, but a lot of students want to live on their own terms instead of saving towards their student loans.
Being smart with your money doesn’t mean that you must live on a dollar a day. There are practical steps that you can take. Start by creating a budget that covers everything you’re going to have to pay for, such as accommodations, books, gas, entertainment, and food.
Once you have an idea of how much you can spend, try to find low-cost ways of making your available money work for you. Find a roommate to reduce your rent, buy second hand books and computers, and think about trading your car in for a bicycle.
You also don’t need to be the guy buying everybody drinks all night, or the girl who goes out every time her phone rings. Take a balanced approach to your student experience, plan, and you can ensure you have the best time ever without breaking the bank.
- Shop Like a Student
From travel deals to discounted meal combos and screen printing software and supplies, the world is geared towards making life easier with student-only specials.
The average college student can probably tell you the exact time when drinks are on special at their local bar, but isn’t aware of how much they can save by cashing in on student specials.
Ask other students for tips on how to save – buses, haircuts, movies, and other student essentials are often discounted in college towns. Take advantage and put your savings right back into your student loan and you’ll find you have enough money to enjoy yourself.
Conclusion – Every Little Bit Helps
Car pools, split the bill on dates, unsubscribe from cable – do whatever it takes to save without living in misery.
Making ends meet as a student can be tough, but if you’re prepared to take any job that pays, reduce your expenses where possible, and look for student specials, you can make it through without a mountain of debt.
Dorothy Mitchell is a freelance business writer and social media marketing consultant. She has worked as a writer, researcher, social media manager and business consultant with several companies, including Fortune 500 companies like LinkedIn, Microsoft, Cisco and PepsiCo.