Graduating from university with student loans may be daunting, but the successful and gratifying graduate life may be closer than it seems. Paying the bills – rent, water, electricity, gas, student loans – each month does not have to involve pinching pennies or cutting down on expenses. Instead, look for creative ways to save and even make some extra money on your own time. Ramen dinners might make a comeback occasionally, but there’s no reason not to enjoy life with student debt. We’ve got a few tips on how to make the most out of your post-grad life while still meeting those monthly payments.
Making the Most Out of What You Have
If you’re into DIY, arts and crafts, fixing things, etc. chances are you can make your hobby into a side income. For instance, you can put those jewelry making skills to use by creating a shop on Etsy and Storenvy and selling some of your creations. Graphic design, photography, fitness, carpentry, blogging, and auto-repair are just some of the hobbies that may have a surprising pay-off. Additionally, look into utilizing what you already have: your car and your home. Lyft, Uber, Airbnb are some services where you can make some extra cash without hampering your schedule.
Taking Advantage of Post-College Freebies
Who said you had to throw away your college ID after graduation? Keep it and use it for museums, art exhibits, concert venues, and other places that offer student discounts. Taking advantage of the freebies from college means less money and more cheap but enjoyable entertainment. If television is not your thing, ditch cable and opt for Netflix or online HD streaming. Fun fact: if you’re into books, the local library may now offer a digital selection of ebooks, audiobooks, and movies. Before making that Kindle purchase or impulse buy at Barnes and Nobles, check your library first!
Planning Your Splurges
A little upgrade never hurt anyone. Sometimes taking the time to do or buy something nice for yourself is much needed, as long as it doesn’t break the bank. Planning out small luxuries, such as nice manicure or better coffee, can be immensely rewarding. Making a plan, sticking to your budget, and leaving an allowance for small splurges will definitely make a difference in your lifestyle and mood.
Student Loan Refinancing
Refinancing student loans may also be a great option for young professionals who find it hard juggling multiple monthly federal and private student loan payments. With lower interest rates and one single monthly payment, refinancing allows for the consolidation of all your debt. Additionally, look into other repayment alternatives that you might qualify for, such as income based repayment plans.
By: Grace Xu