Help for Students and Recent Graduates Who Want to Live Debt Free
Paying for postsecondary education is expensive. This means that many students have to borrow a lot of money to do so. This leaves them in debt while they are in school and they remain that way after they graduate. These high levels of debt can be difficult and very stressful and cause people to delay their life goals in favour of paying down debt.
If you are a student or recent graduate who is hoping to live debt free, here are some tips.
Apply for Scholarships
Scholarships and grants are free money that doesn’t have to be paid back. They’re not loans, so you can use them to pay for school without having to worry about them later on. There are scholarships out there for a number of different reasons, so don’t fall into the trap of thinking that only the top performing students can get them.
And they’re not just available to first-year students either. You should continuously research and apply for scholarships throughout your schooling career as you never know which ones you’ll be able to get, saving you money and helping you live debt free.
Think About How You Spend
When you’re in school and after you graduate, you’ll need to control your spending. This starts by having a budget and sticking to it. Controlling your spending could mean that you’ll have to make some tough choices. Don’t make the mistake of using your student loan money to subsidize a lavish lifestyle. It may feel restrictive and unfair that you can’t buy certain items right now, but your future-self will thank you.
The same goes for eating out. It might be more convenient and fun to buy your lunch every day, but making it at home and bringing it to school with you is certainly more cost-effective and often healthier as well.
Try to Work
Working at a job while you’re in school can be tough. Classes, studying, and school work take up a lot of your time, so it’s natural to believe that you don’t have time to work. However, part-time work is a great way to earn money to pay your expenses, so you don’t need to go into debt. If possible, look into on-campus jobs and jobs that offer flexible work hours so that you can fit them into your busy schedule. You can also try to earn money through tutoring other students, or other such jobs.
Think About Where You Live
If you’re not living in your school’s residence, it’s important to make wise choices about your living situation. Some areas are simply costlier than others. You may have to live a bit father from campus to get a deal, but it could be worth it, depending on the time and expense of commuting.
It’s also a good idea to live with roommates. Not only can you save on rent, but you’ll also be able to split the cost of things like electricity and internet. This can help you cut costs and live debt free.
Be Careful With Credit
A lot of people get their first credit cards when they are in school. Unfortunately, a lot of people also end up racking up a lot of credit card debt shortly after. Using cash and debit cards instead of credit whenever possible is a good strategy to follow. If you’re only using the money in your bank account to pay for purchases, it’s a lot more difficult to go over budget. However, if you’re going to do this, you’ll need to make sure that you follow your budget properly so that you don’t overspend and wind up without enough money to afford all of your expenses.
Don’t just shop at the most convenient store. This goes for everything, from groceries to clothing and even textbooks. You might be able to get your course books for a lot cheaper by shopping at a used bookstore or an online store, instead of the campus bookstore. Shop around and look for deals. This can help you save a lot of money and live debt free while you’re in school, which will result in not graduating with a load of debt.