By setting a goal. By Budgeting. By living simple.
Most Millennials (myself included) take out loans to go to college. After all, you’re going to get a job and pay it off in 10 years like everyone else, right? Everyone has debt, it’s not a big deal. This was the mind set I had. It wasn’t a big deal to me. It was the “normal” thing to do.
Thanks to some convincing from my husband, we finally made the decision to pay $25K off right away.
The process helped me grow up and learn how to be patient and persevere. And I wanted to share with you 3 simple tips I found to be the most helpful in our journey to tackling our student loan debt.
1. Start with a Plan:
Set a realistic goal for yourself – and write it down. It might take a few months to figure out how much you should really be throwing at the debt. Our goal was to have the loan paid off in 2 years. And we ended up paying it off 5 months early because we got pretty hard core. 😉
I promise, once you gain momentum with the plan it makes the process a lot more fun and less intimidating than you might think.
2. Create a Budget:
This goes along with making a plan and setting a goal. Having a budget will help you immensely!
It will help you stay on track with the plan because the budget will show you where you are spending money. It will point out what you can cut out completely to help pay debt off faster. It will also help show where spending you can curb certain spending habits (*ahem*….*cough*…Starbucks for me!).
I recommend using Every Dollar to help with budgeting. We didn’t start using it until after the student loan was paid off (we were old school and I wrote everything in a notebook), but I absolutely love it!
3. Live Simple:
We too often live to keep up with the Joneses! It’s easy to get caught up in social media and compare our lives to others. Remember, comparison is the thief of joy!
Cut things out that cost extra money that you don’t really need (ie. magazine subscriptions, Netflix, cable, eating out, random memberships for things you never use).
My husband and I chose to cut out internet and cable. If we needed internet we would go to the library, or if we needed it for an emergency we would use the data on my phone. Yes, for almost 2 years we didn’t pay for internet….and we are still alive (I know…shocking!). It is possible survive without having the internet, I’m not saying it’s easy, but was one of the short term sacrifices we chose. And….random tangent…I honestly wouldn’t change that at all! Not having internet forced us to spend quality time together which quite frankly, was really great for our first few years of marriage. I digress.
Its up to you!
Ultimately you have to make the decision and lifestyle change. I wanted you to know that it IS possible to get rid of debt if you set your mind to it and stay disciplined with your money and spending habits. Hard work and perseverance definitely pay off!
Questions of the Day:
Do you have any tips that you would add? What’s your experience with paying off debt?