Clearly there are a number of large, overarching ways to get your student debt paid off efficiently. Having a debt management plan is crucial, which involves steps such as making sure you’re on the right repayment plan and consolidating your loans. There’s no reason to do this all on your own; there are experienced people out there who can help. But there are also some really simple things you can do to save money to pay back your student loans.
1. Eat Out Less
Instead of going out to dinner, have a potluck in your own home; it’s cheaper and often more fun and intimate. You can also be sure to pack your own lunch and morning coffee. With the current level of coffee and snack saturation on every street corner, how much money do you spend grabbing a beverage or a treat without even thinking about it? Cutting these kinds of things out will help you save money and keep you healthier too.
2. Save On Your Heating Bill
There are a lot of techniques you can use to winter-proof your home. From adding more insulation to simply using old towels under doorways and windows to block drafts, you’ll be surprised how much less heat you use just by retaining the heat you’ve already got. You can also dress warmly and turn the heat down, especially at night; warm jammies will keep you toasty and the gas bill down. Also, keeping the house full when you invite friends over for dinner and drinks instead of going out will help; nothing warms a place up like more warm bodies.
3. Cut Up Your Credit Cards
One of the best ways to get rid of debt is to stop accruing it. Having credit cards around makes it way too easy to yield to temptation; and you can’t use them if you don’t have them. The thing about dealing with credit cards is that the money doesn’t really seem like money; it’s more like meta-money, money in the abstract. If you start thinking about your budget in terms of money you actually have (you know, the old fashioned way) you’re well on the way to ending the cycle of debt.
4. Used Cars Only; Paid In Cash
Unlike a home or your education, a car depreciates in value after you buy it; and it depreciates quickly. If you can avoid needing one at all, at least for a while, this will of course be your best bet. But if you really need a car, a used car is of way better value; because cars depreciate so quickly, you can buy a like-new car for significantly cheaper than it’s brand new brethren.
5. Cut Your Cable TV
Even if you’re a TV fanatic, you can get a much better deal watching online than you can with cable. Plus, when you watch online, it’s really easy to find commercial free services.