Americans owe more than $1.4 trillion in student loan debt, and the average debt for a 2016 grad was $37,000. That’s a lot of money, so if you’re among those feeling the pinch, you might be wondering how you even begin to start paying it back.
One of the things you can consider is to set up a budget to make sure you can track all the things you spend money on and make sure you know when you can spend on travel or a luxury item.
Pay Yourself first
One of the best things you can do to stick to a budget is to pay yourself first. I know, your thinking what??? I just got paid. How do I pay myself first?
Here’s how! Setup an automatic transfer the day after you get paid! Have it come from the account you deposit your paycheck in. Then transfer it to the Savings account automatically. If you have Auto Deposit as many people do then it’s even easier.
You wont even notice the money was not available to pay bills or living expense, but you will see your savings grow each time you get paid. Start small like $25 or $50 and then add more as you get used to it. If you don’t have a savings account you can use an envelope to keep your “pay” in.
Then use the rest of the money to pay your bills and living expenses. Why should they be paid before you anyways. You earned it and it can also be used in an emergency if needed. As you accumulate more money in the account you can invest it in a fund or account that can return a higher return and grow it even more.
Work Extra Hours at your Job
You can work extra hours or ask if you can cover a shift or two to earn extra money to pay off the loans faster. Just remember to actually pay it on the school loans when you get it. You don’t have to wait until the due date and most loans can be paid more than once per month. You can pay every two weeks when you get paid if you want. Just make sure it is applied to your principle. This also reduces your total interest you’ll pay and shortens the loan by months or even years.
Ask for a Raise
You would be surprised to know how many people wait until their annual review then are disappointed about what they received only to wait another year and repeat it.
You can ask for a raise from your employer and take charge of your own future. Here’s what I have done and recommend to others.
#1 Create a list of all the things you do for your employer that are bringing them value, cost savings etc. Your Manager may be very busy and not be aware of all you do! Attach dollar values to actual savings. For example, if you found a way for the company to save on copier paper by buying in bulk. Capture the actual dollars that will be saved in a year.
You probably are doing things all the time that are above and beyond and you just need to capture them and illustrate your value.
#2 request a meeting with your supervisor or manager for a few days from now and don’t just barge in and expect to get a positive response. Set the subject as a “discussion of your performance as buyer” or whatever your position is.
#3 be prepared and objective about your contribution to the company. Have two copies of your list of “contributions” so they can read along. DON’T list out “showed up on time every day to work for nearly a year” that is what is expected of you and what you already get paid to do. Be honest though, if you are frequently late, disagreeable or a complainer and don’t do more than what they pay you for; you may need to be satisfied with your current pay. I suggest changing those behaviors and you will achieve more.
#4 Be specific about the amount you want. Say “I would like a 10% raise” or maybe its more flexible hours. Whatever. If they say they cannot offer you a raise. Then ask what you would need to do at work to earn that raise and over what period of time.
If you get nothing; you’ve lost nothing. Remember it is actually hard for them to say no to people who can demonstrate their value in the workplace. Especially on paper.
Start a Business of your Own
You can always start your own business to earn money in your spare time. If you love crafts and are very “crafty” then sell your items on Ebay or Etsy. Its easy and you can do it in a few hours per week.
If you are good baker or just good in the kitchen, then you can start selling Cupcakes or Candy Apples online or at fairs. I see these items on Facebook Market Place all the time.
One of the easiest and lowest cost ways to start a business is to join a Network Marketing Business. The cost is as low as $49 and you can get free training. Access to great people who will help you and show you how to do it. You can easily make enough to make the School Loan Payments.
Who knows in a few short years you may be able to earn more from your business than in your Job and you can decide what to do next.
One of the Best and Fastest Growing Network Marketing Companies is called LiveGood and has a FREE Tour you can take. Maybe you should check it out!
In any case stay focused on what you want to achieve. Make a Plan and stay with it. You will reach the goal of paying the student loan off and ending up with some money in your savings too!