If you’re dealing with student loans, you know just how tight your budget can be. We all have to make decisions about where we’re willing to cut back and what lengths we’re willing to go to in order to live our lives while accommodating that all-so-critical educational debt. We did an informal poll of student loan debtors to find out what they’ve had to do to make their student loan payments. Here are some of the most hilarious (and strangely sad instances) we came across:
#1 You’re willing to “borrow” a square here and there
A fourth grade teacher shared with us that when her money is tight because of student loans, she “borrows” a handful (or two) of TP to get her through til payday. Thankfully, she never stooped so low as to wrestle one of the institutional sized rolls home…
#2 You refuse to buy “name brand” Ramen
As if eating it in college wasn’t bad enough, a recent grad told us he won’t even splurge on name brand Ramen because the 6¢ he saves by buying the store version really adds up. Forget exotics like Maruchan and Top Ramen – it’s Kroger brand or nothing…
#3 You splurge by checking out the “nicer” rack at the thrift store
An entry level sales associate revealed that she doesn’t shop at thrift stores to be ironic or hip, but because that’s what she can afford after paying her monthly loan installment. What’s worse is she knows which day they have half-price specials!
#4 You evaluate curb leavings with the studied eye of a connoisseur
One grad who’s serving time after college by serving fries told us he decorated most of his apartment with stuff left streetside, hand me downs from friends and family, and pieces obtained by a wee bit of dumpster diving. Knock off the dust, spray it down with Lysol and you’re golden, right?
#5 You willingly spend time with your parents
After years of dodging her folks, a barista we spoke to with a PoliSci major and $37k of student loans says she has a new-found appreciation of her parents, their free washer and dryer, leftovers and all-encompassing cable package – even if it comes with a lecture…
#6 You have totally reevaluated your dating standards
Stuck with student loans? Dating can be problematic but three little words are worth waiting for: “Dinner’s on me.” One grad student told us she now chooses dates by who can afford to take her to a restaurant where she can eat her fill and score a doggie bag to go.
#7 You have WebMD as your primary care provider
One recent graduate revealed she’ll ride out 3-4 days of fever, growing lumps in her throat, and infusions of NyQuil before she breaks down and begins calling friends in a desperate quest for leftover antibiotics. Yikes! When does Obamacare kick in?
#8 You have a razor so rusty and old you’re risking Tetanus
One marketing associate told us that she has to pick and choose days of the week to shave because she can’t afford blade refills. Skirts are not a fashion option, neither are impromptu dates – knee socks are a must have and sleeveless tops are a never-wear.
#9 You see that housesitting = vacation
An accounting assistant told us he has no problem watching co-workers’ dogs and flat screen TVs. He housesits all he can so he can eat other people’s food, drink their beer, and catch up on his laundry gratis. If they throw him a $50 for the privilege, even better!
#10 You now see the Craigslist free category as your SkyMall
One minimum wage earning grad told us that his primary source of entertainment, goods and services is the Craigslist free category. From clothes to cookware to a Queen size bed of dubious integrity, this guy has scored tons of free stuff from the online classified!
If your student loans have you considering drastic options, don’t despair – Tuition.io is here for you. Our free student loan management tool can help get (and keep) you on track and design you a customized plan to make your payments more affordable. Be sure to also check out our new student loan help center and awesome blog. And if you’ve got drastic penny pinching tactics, share them with us here or on Twitter.