Making student loan payments is the worst. Seriously, it’s awful. Although I went to one of the least expensive art schools in the country, I was still more than $80,000 in debt after graduation. I knew going into it that I was footing the bill for my entire education, but I was dead set on going to Chicago for school–a decision I still don’t regret. However, it’s been nearly three years since receiving my degree, and I feel like I’m going to be sitting in a pool of borrowed cash forever.
Here are some easy tips to cut corners and trick yourself into saving to get that weight off of your shoulders more quickly and pay less in interest.
Having a debit card is a financial death sentence for me. Feeling sleepy: Sure, I’ll spend $6 for a Starbucks coffee. Because I don’t see that money getting taken out of my wallet, I spend way more. Each week, take out a designated amount of cash for food, coffee, drinks, etc. Once you see how much dough you’re shelling out on needless things, you may take it back a notch. Plus, this makes it easy to save change or loose dollar bills. I know, this seems useless, but I’ve been doing it since I was a kid and have saved more than $100 without realizing it!
Cut Your Expenses
Getting rid of unnecessary costs like a cable bill can save you up to $100 a month. Instead, opt for using Netflix or Hulu to catch all your favorite shows for less than $10 each month. Have a gym membership? Nix that pricey health club and hit the roads running or biking for outdoor exercise, and stream live videos indoors. If you’re into yoga, YogaToday has about 100 videos ranging from 5 minutes to more than an hour available on Youtube for free. Check out Bodyrock.tv, Workoutz.com or physicalfitnet.com for more variety. If you love going to classes, keep an eye out for Groupon or LivingSocial deals for local gyms.
Kill two birds with one stone and cut your transportation costs by purchasing a bike and cruising to work on two wheels. You’ll get a workout on your way to the office instead of being crammed on a smelly bus.
Take Some Odd Jobs
When you’re little, you think that by the time you’ve reached your mid-twenties, you’ll have the ideal job and be livin’ the good life! But in reality, you’re probably making enough to live semi-comfortably paycheck to paycheck while paying off your loans. Bring in some extra dough by babysitting, attending focus groups or freelancing with whatever skills you have. One of the easiest ways I am able to rake in some more money is by petsitting for family members and friends. Who doesn’t want to play with a furry friend for a weekend and get paid for it?