This is a guest post from Erin, an ecommerce store owner who used to have college debt issues. Now, she’s debt-free, and she’s ready to share her quick tips to live a debt-free life!
I was once full of dreams in my early days in college. I know it sounds too much, but I almost spent half of my life in college, figuring out what I wanted to do or what I wanted to pursue.
Perhaps it was my fault in the end that I never knew what I wanted to do. My dreams got ahead of me and I ended up chasing something that I cannot keep up with. I wanted to pursue my dream career. Then I decided to change majors and pursue a degree that can help me achieve my goals faster. Eventually, I got hooked to medical dramas and guess what I did?
Debt became a major problem when I had absolutely nothing to pay for it. I did not mind changing majors because I always thought that once I get a job as a whatever, I can pay it off easily, no matter how big the interest is. I was a blind dreamer that time. I quit college, and found myself looking for jobs just to pay for my loan.
Fast forward to today, I’ve been debt-free for two years! If you’re wondering how I did it, the recipe towards a debt-free life is simple!
- Make the most of your grace period. Make it a point to continuously contribute to lessening the burden of paying more when the time comes. This might seem counterproductive at first since you’re still spending money, but this can help decrease the amount you need to pay once your grace period comes.
- Check ALL the loans you have. Gather whatever data you have on your loan. You might be surprised to remember that you own not just one, but two loans! Check loans that you can re-apply for a better, lower interest rate.
- Don’t get more debts than you can! Instead of taking the chance to buy things you want, you might want to save the extra and use it to pay your loan.
- Live a frugal life. Live within your means, and live a simple life. You might find it convenient to use coupons to save up for grocery items. There are different guides on frugal living online. Here’s the best from The Balance, The Penny Hoarder, and Lifehack.org.
- Find ways to earn more money! If your salary isn’t enough, it’s time to look for more ways to earn money. I was a cashier at a fast food restaurant near my college when I started my online business through selling on Amazon and eBay, and then a few years later, I opened my own activewear store via Shopify’s online clothing business. No biases here, but I find their system easier to use and I have everything I need with their apps. You can also try ride sharing with Lyft or Uber, or rent out your place through Airbnb. Others made it through through freelancing. A graphic designer earned 1 million dollars just by selling fonts and graphics online!
Let my experience be a lesson for the other college students or incoming aspirants aiming for a pricey degree. I’m not discouraging you in pursuing your dream career, but as early as your pre-collegiate years, learn to make wise decisions. Every decision we make will reflect on our future.