University -- the reality of something many of us want; but, absolutely can't afford. We toil and struggle and claw our way into financial burden in order to achieve a dream that is often fiscally out of our reach. And when we finally achieve the dream? It is clouded by the nightmare that unfortunately, we've dug our way into a hole of debt that we now need to get out of.
Student loans...the epitome of the age-old adage: Everything in life comes at a price.
For the past 4 years, I've been making payments towards a student loan that I didn't want to get in the first place. While at the time, it seemed like the only way to secure my future, it has been a constant weight hanging over my head, for what has seemed like a lifetime -- a feeling that many students know all too well.
For years I've struggled to balance life, bills AND a $15,000.00 debt; but, last week I got some of the best news in my life! My student loan was officially paid off and I'm now living debt-free!
Because the struggle of paying off student loans is something many of us deal with; but, never actually talk about, I've decided to break down that wall and say WE'VE ALL BEEN THERE!
Getting hit with a huge bill, AND interest payments is definitely overwhelming and it can seem like you'll never be free; but, I'm here to say it can and will happen! And, to help you navigate through it, I want to share 3 tips that really helped me pay off my student loans in a flash!
1) Plan out your deadline
Set a realistic but concrete date of repayment. Though, I know things happen, setting a definitive end goal will ensure you maintain your payment schedule and allows you to see your progress! Having an end in sight makes paying off your debt a little less scary.
2) Pick a monthly amount to pay that works with your deadline and interest stipulations but stick with it!
Create a designated monthly payment that works for you and your salary. Factor in things like savings, travel, bills, emergencies and other financial goals or responsibilities to ensure you can still have a life outside of your loans. Sure, this might increase your payment deadline by a bit; but, you deserve more than just debt; so, make sure you leave room to enjoy your life.
3) Consider exploring your passion on the side
We all work because we have to. We need to live --- but, with a massive debt looming over our heads, that might just seem impossible without getting a second job to make ends meet. With 8 hours of your day devoted to your first job, finding a second one might seem daunting; but, instead of letting that get you down, look at it as an opportunity. Explore your passions and start capitalizing on it to make it lucrative. Instead of burning yourself out doing something you hate just because you can't afford not to, invest in yourself to make a little extra on the side. This part-time gig can help lessen the financial load, AND help set you up for the future!
Student loans are sometimes a necessary evil; but, they don't have to torture us forever! With a little budgeting and lots of planning ahead, these three tips can help set you up for a debt-free life!
Cheers to Financial Freedom <3