Thank you Navient for sponsoring this post.
When a door closes a window opens.
We’ve all heard this phrase at one point in our lives or another. I had a big door close around this time, 7 years ago. I decided to quit my job and go to school full-time.
Going to school to get my degree was something I always dreamed about but thought I would never be able to do. I knew my parents couldn’t afford to put me through college so I had to come up with a plan, a plan of my own.
I decided that joining the military was my only option and I would be able to get my schooling paid for. At 18 years old I had no idea where this would lead me but I took a leap of faith and set out on my own. I served my 4-year contract, worked for a couple of years, and then shortly after got accepted to San Diego State University!
The GI Bill covered most of my schooling but not the full cost. Student loans helped me cover the rest so I could continue on to get my degree. I told myself not to worry about the cost until I graduated and that’s what I did. Here I am 3 years later with a B.S. in Kinesiology, a certificate in health coaching, and this blog. One thing has led to another and I honestly couldn’t be happier with my life right now.
Now to pay those student loans off. For some this can be quite scary. The future is so uncertain and you don’t know where you will end up. I had to choose between giving up on my schooling or going into debt and I chose going into debt.
Just like any part of life and relationships, finances need to be worked on and nourished. Having a plan to pay off student loan debt is essential to your post-grad happiness.
I’m finally under $10,000 in student loan debt. The process is slow and steady but this is how I’m working extra hard to pay them off.
No. 1 Setting a budget.
This is important in establishing where you stand financially. I really like this Make a Budget worksheet to help me get an idea of how I spend. Once you get an idea of how you spend you can make changes to your spending to save even more!
No. 2 Earn money back on shopping.
Every month I save or make extra money by using these apps and plugins. If you do a lot of online shopping you potentially be missing out on rewards and rebates. Wikibuy and Ebates are must have plugins on your computer. Wikibuy lets you know if there is cheaper prices available from other stores and even fills in coupon codes for you! Ebates gives you money for online purchases at select retailers. So add those to your browser to save money and put that extra money towards your loans. Ibotta is another favorite of mine to save money on groceries and it’s super easy to use.
No. 3 Start a blog.I started this blog as a result of wanting to highlight my education and share my knowledge of fitness & health online. Blogging has changed my loan payments dramatically. I can now double my payments with the money I’m making with my blog. Awesome right? Here’s an easy guide to starting your own blog.
No. 4 Double your payments.
Paying more than the minimum due is ALWAYS a good idea! Try some of the ideas above to get some extra money to flow in and put that towards your loans. This will help you pay them off faster.
Here are some other great resources that I love:
- Money-saving tips – great tips to show you how to cut spending.
- Educational videos to learn more about repayment, interest, and other financial topics.
- Financial tips blog – great resource to learn more financial tips and tricks.
- Loan Repayment Calculator– Use this for current or future planning. Play around with it to see how fast you can pay your loan off with “x” payment.
No. 5 Sell something.
Are you good at DIY’s, jewelry making, graphic design, or something else? Is it something you could possibly sell? Well what are you waiting for! I decided a year ago to start selling on Poshmark and Ebay. I have a very small western boutique that provides me with extra cash flow through the month. The money made through my boutique goes back into my boutique (investing in my future) and towards my student loan debt (a past investment into my future).
My student loan repayment is not a burden. It was a way for me to fulfill my dreams and get an education. Without these loans I would have never pursued a career in wellness, started this blog or boutique that has become a part-time business.
How are you paying your student loans off? Share your tips with me in the comments below.
I would love to hear how student loans have helped you pursue your dream job and create a life you love.
Thank you again to Navient for sponsoring this post. All content and opinions expressed here are all my own.