Going to university is supposed to result in a career. Unfortunately, it all too often simply ends in indebtedness. Many of us wind up in careers that don’t pay enough to meet student loan obligations, causing us to spend the first twenty years of work in poverty.
Fortunately, there are ways to beat student debt. Here are some ideas to try.
Track Your Expenses
First, you’ll want to track your expenses so you know where your money is going. Student debt shouldn’t be overwhelming unless you are spending too much elsewhere.
Once you can see where you are spending money, you can look for opportunities to cut back. Freeing up extra cash could save you a small fortune in the long term.
Many people adopt the 50/30/20 rule when it comes to repaying student loans. Fifty percent of your income should go on essentials, like bills and food, thirty to fun, and the remaining twenty percent to savings and investments (including paying off debt).
Get A Side Hustle
You can also try beating student debt with a side hustle. Doing extra work besides your main job can really add up over time, especially if you keep it up for years. You can then use these funds to buy your way out of poverty in the future and get on the path to building wealth.
Side hustles should ideally be something straightforward that doesn’t drain your energy. Even if you can only earn a few dollars, it beats spending your weekends on the couch.
Sell Valuables You Don’t Need
You can also try selling various valuables you don’t need, something that brands like Gold Rush Houston recommend. “We buy gold, silver, diamonds, and more!” the company says. “It’s all part of helping people free up cash they didn’t know they had.”
While some valuables might be heirlooms, others could be surplus to requirement. If you don’t need them, you could use them to get a cash lump sum almost immediately.
When it comes to student debt, you also want to stay motivated. While most people eventually get out of debt, it can take ten years or more (depending on your income).
Staying motivated is more challenging than you might think. Keeping on track for a year or so is okay, but longer than that starts to get difficult. Going beyond three years takes enormous effort (usually because you want your lifestyle to match your income). If you can avoid this temptation for, say, five years, then you will find yourself in a positive position.
If you’re not sure what the optimal financial strategy is, then get help. Professionals can point you in the proper direction and show you where you should head next.
Cook At Home
Finally, you might find that you can save money by cooking at home instead of eating out all the time. Most people now spend more on money made outside the home, even if it only constitutes a small percentage of their total calories consumed during the week.