Here’s How I’m Paying Down My 40K Student Loan Debt In 3 Years

Here’s How I’m Paying Down My 40K Student Loan Debt In 3 Years

Turning thirty is an enormous milestone. Some individuals really feel stress to get married, have a toddler, and make large strides of their profession by their thirtieth birthday. Me? I simply need to repay my student loans.

I graduated with 80k in student loan debt in 2013. Ever since, I’ve allotted $1000 a month towards my debt—and I’ve paid off half of it. But earlier this yr, as an almost-27-year-old, I made an government determination: As lengthy as I had job stability, I used to be going to repay the remainder of my 40k in loans (at 6 % curiosity) inside three years.

A loan calculator confirmed me I’d want $1300 a month to succeed in my objective, which meant I wanted a manner so as to add $300 extra to my month-to-month cost. After evaluating my bills, I picked the areas the place I might reallocate funds and set to work.

I exploit each final drop of makeupMoney saved: $30/month

One key to saving cash on make-up is to make it final so long as potential.

I solely purchase the merchandise I would like, regardless of how superb that Sephora VIB sale is. When I’m on the finish of my product, I open the lid and use a cool device like this one to scrape the remaining out.

I additionally store on-line. Sephora presents extra pattern merchandise and rewards merchandise on-line, so once I run out of my foremost bottle, I exploit one of many free samples.

I watch what I drinkMoney saved: $40/month

In NYC, a glass of wine can value $10, which means one glass per week provides as much as $40 a month! This meant saying no to drinks at glad hour or going to BYOB eating places. Water bottles are additionally a no-no. A courtesy cup of faucet water is okay, thanks.

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I solely purchase the completely most important groceriesMoney saved: $50/month

Turns out, shopping for $10-$15 lunches at work a number of occasions a month provides up, not together with the $120 I paid for normal groceries. I slashed that by budgeting simply $80-$100 for meals every month—interval. There are two secrets and techniques to this:

For one, I solely purchase precisely what I’ll eat that week and shopping for lunch at work is off-limits. This means shopping for pre-chopped romaine, carrots, cucumber, and an avocado I’ll hold at work for salads. Or I’ll have a packet of soup. For dinner, I eat rooster breasts with candy potatoes or a veggie. My complete involves about $15 per week; I all the time search for gross sales.

I additionally actually reap the benefits of free meals. I’m fortunate that I’ve loads of free snacks at work, plus oatmeal or yogurt there that I eat as my breakfast. And I by no means say no to free pizza, which generally serves as dinner. My price range additionally consists of meals in my pantry I haven’t eaten. I don’t permit myself to purchase new components for dinner till I exploit up those I’ve.

I used to be nervous about this at first (meals is lyfe), however difficult myself to buy on a smaller price range confirmed me how a lot I spent on unhealthy snacks and gadgets I don’t ever end. I discovered that much less is extra, and it’s higher to purchase too little and run to the shop later than purchase an excessive amount of and let cash and meals go to waste.

I downsize the place I canMoney saved: $40/month

Living in NYC, protecting hire prices down is sort of unattainable, however I knew one thing needed to give. I at the moment pay $1350, however when my lease is up in October, I’m planning to maneuver someplace the place I pays round $1000. In order to take action, I’ll need to dwell somewhat additional out, sacrificing my 20 minute commute for a 30-40 minute one. And I’ll nonetheless dwell with roommates. But will probably be price it when I’ve a number of hundred {dollars} to place towards my loans.

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This isn’t an possibility for everybody, so you can even consider and “downsize” different bills. I managed to barter my fitness center membership from $80 to $40 per 30 days by protecting it actual with the fitness center supervisor. This is a factor! I instructed him I in contrast costs at different gyms and since I wouldn’t take a lot of the lessons, I assumed this was a good value. And he agreed!

I additionally gave up cable, as Netflix does the trick.

I side-hustleMoney made: ~$100/month

Side hustles are all the fad. Since I take pleasure in writing, I freelance as a lot as I can. Other aspect hustles explored: animal sitting, doing associates’ make-up, promoting garments, tutoring, babysitting, and stunt doubling (jk).

I say “no” to thingsMoney saved: $74/month

This might be the toughest one to do, however usually essentially the most essential. I’m from the Philadelphia space and prefer to go house pretty usually. It’s fortunately solely a fast practice journey, however a number of $34 spherical journey rides can add up. The similar goes for occasions like concert events, which might value me $40 every time. If I’m going house as soon as a month as an alternative of twice and attend one much less live performance, I save $74 a month.

Bonus: I exploit a credit card

The card I’ve offers me about $40 money again per 30 days for my spending. The trick is to make use of it responsibly and pay the stability immediately. And utilizing it persistently offers me sufficient factors to cowl extras like a flight to a household occasion in Nashville, one thing I’d have wanted to dip into my loan cash for in any other case.

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Total cash saved or earned every month: $349.

So far, it’s working. I’m on observe to repay my loans by 2021, however after all, I’m human. If I must deal with myself to new lipstick or a getaway sometimes for #sanity, then I reduce elsewhere. It might be onerous, however I do know it’ll be price it when in three years, I too will likely be thirty, flirty, thriving—and debt-free.