BY KATHLEEN BROWN
It’s hard to celebrate the fact that you’ve just graduated when you know there is a hefty student loan debt bringing you to reality. Unfortunately, for the majority of students, student loan debts are the only way to a diploma, so it’s not a surprise that many of them are actually struggling with paying it off while also maintaining a good quality of their lifestyle.
Is it possible to have fun, create memories, and make the most of every moment while there is such a financial responsibility hanging over everything you do? According to research published in Forbes, there are 44 million borrowers who all together owe $1,5 trillion in student loan debt only in the United States.
If you’re among those 44 million borrowers, you could probably use some useful tips and tricks on how to manage your student loan debt while still living your life to the fullest.
Focus on Budgeting
We can’t talk about successfully repaying your student debt loan or even managing your overall finances without knowing how to budget. Understanding your income and expenses is vital if you wish to make plenty of healthy financial decisions in the future:
- Start by determining your monthly income from all of your sources. That can be anything: money from your part-time job, scholarships, loans, grants, money from your parents, etc. After your graduation, this will probably be just the money from your full-time job and your parents.
- List all of your expenses and be as detailed as possible.
- Include your fixed costs as well as those that vary from month to month.
- The more expenses you add throughout the months, the more aware you will be of how much money you actually have at your disposal.
Be Smart About Your Money
In general, you should make smarter decisions when it comes to your finances:
- Start thinking where you could save money and determine which expenses can be lower. For instance, you can be smarter with your money by finding an ATM company that you can trust and which is affordable for you.
- You can replace some of your hobbies and activities with cheaper options.
- Instead of going to the gym, you can start jogging in the park.
- Instead of going to the cinema, invite your friends over for a movie.
There are plenty of ways to replace your habits and interests, you just need to write them down, find the alternative solution, and stick to it.
Continue Living like you’re In College
After you graduate, you might be fascinated with all that freedom, but keep in mind you need to be responsible and smart with your money if you want to pay off your student loan debt.
How about continuing living like you’re still a student? Not having your apartment but sharing it with roommates will cut down your expenses significantly. When it comes to food, try to cook at home as much as possible and avoid restaurants and fancy places.
Invite your friends for a Friday dinner and prepare a meal for them instead of meeting them in the restaurant. You can save money also by creating a cooking schedule with your roommates or finding supermarkets at low prices.
All in all, your entire lifestyle should be focused on saving money for paying off your student loan debt as soon as possible. You can still enjoy your time with your friends and family, but you need to plan everything accordingly. Always make sure that all of your expenses are added to your budget so you can manage your financial situation successfully. Without planning, it will be hard to pay off your debt in time.
Byline:Kathleen Brown is a passionate entrepreneur and enjoys writing articles, overviews, and analyses about everything going on in the industry with a single goal of sharing her expertise with students.