Student loans is one of biggest commitment for people who have studies. We need to make loan for our studies but it ain’t cheap. We need to pay for 20-30 years which means it is almost half of our life to paid it. I just reading one of inspirational article from reddit.com that the undergraduate people could paid off $28K from his/her $110K in student loans. Just read it
I decided at the beginning of 2013 to try and do something about the dire straights my finances were in. I graduated in 2011 with about $115k in debt and up until January was only making the regular payments on these loans. Today, my debt stands at $81k! I hope to be entirely debt free within three to four years.
Here are some of the main things I did in 2013 to increase my cash flow in order to funnel more money towards my student loans:
- Cut Cable! I saved over $1,100 in 2013 by cutting cable and have rarely missed it. Most of the sports I watch I get through an over the air HD tuner and the other games I go to friends places (sometimes bars though). Perhaps some of my increased bar spending could be attributed to this. I rarely watch movies and use red box when I do (only twice in 2013).
- Stopped shopping so much and getting cash out of the ATM! I had a bad habit of taking $40 or $60 out of the ATM every few weeks and before I knew it, it was gone. Well, in 2013 I cut my ATM habit by $650 and my shopping by $550, total savings of $1,200!! Biggest way I cut my shopping habit was going to the library instead of logging on to Amazon.
- Decrease travel costs: I mainly did this by not going on any trips in 2013 where I had to fly! Instead I went on cheaper camping and hiking trips that were just as fun and significantly cheaper! Saved over $500 here.
- Changed from Roth 401(k) to regular 401(k). This had the simple benefit of decreasing my tax liability thereby increasing my take home pay.
- Sold off PTO days. I am pretty lucky that I can sell off some PTO days each year at my company. I get a total of 23 days so they weren’t really missed, in fact I actually lost a few days in 2012 because I didn’t sell them or use them!
- Consolidated my federal student loans. This decreased my overall monthly payment on these loans which allowed for more cash to be used as extra payments on my Private Loans.
- Promotion and Raise! All of the hard work I put in at the job did not go unrecognized and I got a promotion with a 13% raise, I then got another raise six months later! Woohoo!
- Some general areas where I was already saving a lot of money:
- I don’t own a car! I walk to work and use zip car when I need a car for something. Other trips I take the bus or train. It’s actually freeing to dump your ride because you get to dump the cost of car payments, gas, insurance, and maintenance! These costs alone would have forced me to cut my student loan extra payments by one-third to one-half in 2013.
- My grocery bill averages $161 per month. I eat low cost but healthy. Lots of rice and chicken. Use your crock pot!
His graph of spending
Again, a HUGE thank you to this subreddit for being an awesome community. I couldn’t have kept it going without you guys. Feel free to ask me any questions you might have and I will do my best to answer them. Also, if you have any further suggestions on how I can do even better in 2014, let me know!
// It is great to pay some huge money. The person paid 1/4 of his/her commitment. Wish he can paid off the loan quickly..