This post is part of the Student Loan Debt Movement, which is encouraging people to take charge and start paying off their student loans. You can learn more about it here.
Student loan debt allows us to get the degrees we want.
Unfortunately, most people don’t understand the impact student loan debt will have on them in the future when they’re signing the paperwork to pay for their education.
My wife and I know the pain. My wife graduated with over $80,000 of student loan debt for a four year nursing degree.
We were lucky. Thankfully, my wife’s field is in high demand and pays decently.
Unfortunately, many people graduate with soul crushing student loan debt without a high paying career ahead of them.
Even if it seems like you’ll never pay off your student loan debt, don’t lose hope.
Here are a few things you can do to knock out your student loan debt. We did many of these ourselves.
Join An Accountability Group
Joining an accountability group is a great way to stay motivated to pay down your student loan debt.
You can also learn plenty of tricks of ways to spend less, earn more and maximize your monthly student loan debt payments.
While you may not be able to find a group willing to discuss student loan debt in person, there are plenty of places you can discuss this information online. In fact, the Student Loan Debt Movement has a Facebook group you can join for free here.
Take A Hard Look At Your Expenses
While it isn’t fun to cut back your expenses, paying back your student loan debt should be a pretty high priority.
While I don’t believe people should move to an unsafe area or drive an unsafe vehicle to pay off their student loan debt faster, you shouldn’t be living in the ritzy part of town or driving a brand new car, either.
Thankfully, there is a lot of room in between those two extremes. You can focus on cutting back luxuries such as cable TV and replacing it with a Netflix subscription. Similarly, you can scale back your dining out budget and eat at home more often.
There are hundreds of ways to save money when you take a hard look at your expenses. If you need inspiration, here are over 100 money saving tips that might work for you.
My wife and I cracked down hard when it came to our expenses. Since we had both recently graduated college, we decided to continue living like college students.
We barely decorated our home and used hand me down furniture. We rarely ate out, but we did splurge and get cable TV.
Find Ways To Make More Money
You can only cut your expenses so much, but your income potential is unlimited. It’s hard to realize your income is technically unlimited, but it really is.
Yes, you can only get paid so much at work. Your raise will probably only be a small percentage unless you work in an in demand industry or you get a promotion.
However, there are plenty of ways to make money that don’t limit your income potential. You can start a side hustle, get a part time job for the evenings or weekends or start a full fledged business.
Once you realize your income potential is truly unlimited, you’ll be surprised how much money you can make. Don’t get me wrong, it’s probably going to be hard work to get there, but it is possible.
My wife picked up extra shifts at work here and there to earn some overtime which helped quite a bit.
I started this blog which ended up being my full-time career a few years later. At the time, the extra income was very helpful in meeting our financial goals.
Reward Yourself In A Non-Monetary Fashion
Finally, you should find a way to reward yourself that doesn’t involve spending money. So much of our culture makes us think we can only reward ourselves by buying something fancy or having a nice meal at a restaurant.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can reward yourself without spending money. You can head to your favorite local park for a day or allow yourself to take a day off without doing any chores.
Whatever works for you is perfectly fine as long as it doesn’t involve spending money you could otherwise use toward your student loan debt.
Take Action Now
Part of the Student Loan Debt Movement is inspiring people to take action to pay off their student loan debt faster. If you do, you’ll be able to move on with your financial life and start tackling other goals with the extra money you’ll have available.
I hope you take your student loan debt seriously. Take action on the ideas above and find ways to put more money toward paying off your student loan debt each month.
It can be done. I promise.
In fact, my wife and I paid off over $80,000 of student loan debt in less than three years. You can read about our story here if you’re looking for a bit of inspiration.