We all know that a college education does not come cheap, but the thought of having to pay back the national average of $26,600 after graduation is certainly daunting. When you take into consideration that you are about to find your first real job and start making your own way it the world it is a fairly frightening prospect that you will be starting your adult life with such a massive debt. However, with some careful choices while still at college and a frugal lifestyle after graduation you can reduce your student debts to something more manageable.
Curbing Your College Spending
They first step in reducing student debt begins while you are still at college. It is common for many students to accumulate large debts not just from tuition fees, but also from day to day living expenses such as groceries and text books – not to mention transport and entertainment. If you can start out with a frugal lifestyle you will be able to keep college debts to a minimum.
One of the main expenses for most students is the cost of textbooks and required texts. We have all heard stories of students spending hundreds of dollars on textbooks each semester, but there is another way! The first rule is never buy brand new books especially on popular courses. Check out places like Amazon and eBay, or ask around on campus for students who took the course last semester. This can help you to pick up textbooks at a fraction of the costs. If you are lucky you may even find one in the library.
Frugal shopping can also extend to other areas such as groceries, dorm room décor and clothing. There is a lot to be said for using thrift stores and seeking out sales and special offers both in stores and online. You might be amazed at home much you can save on shopping when you are careful about spending.
Staying Frugal After Graduation
After you graduate, no matter how frugal you have been during college it is likely that you will be carrying some sort of debt from student loans. In order to pay these off as quickly as possible you will want to make more than the minimum monthly repayment. However, your first job out of college may not pay particularly well so it can be difficult to free up the additional cash to do so.
With some frugal living you should be able to reduce your spending allowing you to top up the monthly repayments on your loan. Some of the things you will want to consider are budgeting all of your bills and expenses very carefully and sticking to that budget. Do not assume that you can give up shopping like a student immediately on graduating! You still need to look for those fantastic deals on groceries, clothes and more.
You can also save a great deal of money by making do with your current phone or computer. Do not upgrade these immediately. Keep hold of them until they are no longer functioning properly before replacing them. With the money you would have spent buying that new iPhone you can make an additional loan repayment.
Graduate bank accounts are another way to keep control over your finances. So many people assume that 0% interest overdrafts end when college does. Some banks continue to offer interest free overdrafts with graduate accounts which means you do not need to pay interest on your overdraft giving you some extra cash to work with.
It is fairly clear that with some frugal living both in college and after graduation it is possible to pay down your students debts a little bit faster and start enjoying life. If you feel that your student debts are unmanageable and frugality is not going to cut it, you can always look at other ways of managing your student loans, such as a debt consolidation loan. They key is to make sure that your start in life is not burdened by debt.
About the Author:
Today’s guest article comes from Hugh Tyzack. He is a specialist in no fee Guarantor loans. Hugh is the founder and managing director of GBP Loans limited. More details are available on his website, or you can catch up with him on Twitter (@GBPLoans)and Google+. Hugh enjoys playing the piano and listening to music when he is not writing about loans and financial matters.