Three Ways to Stay Debt-Free! - A Guest Post
Hey! Hope everyone is having a great summer so far! It is almost back to school time for me, and I am sure for a lot of you, classes are in full swing! I brought on my good friend, Leia, The Money Milennial and an accounting major at the University of Florida, because she has some awesome tips to keep you debt free! We all know controlling how and when we spend our money is always a struggle!
Without further ado, here is what Leia has to say!
Update: It is long past the summer which means this article has been very overdue. However, all of these tips are helpful throughout the school year! Enjoy!
Tired of being that broke college kid? Racking up debt just living? Here are some ways you can get your finances on track:
1. Create a budget
By creating a budget you give a name to every dollar you are bringing in and taking out. With a budget when you get tempted to buy something on a whim, you have to decide where that money is coming from. Did you budget for it? Will you have to give up or delay your financial goals to spend this money? By forcing you to consciously think instead of mindlessly swipe, a budget can help reduce your month spending and keep you on track to reach your goals.
2. Don’t mindlessly take out student loans
We often hear graduates say they "lived off student loans," using loans to pay for everyday life while partying and having fun in college only to quite literally pay for it later. Loans accumulate interest which over time can add huge amounts of money to your loan which means you're actually paying more in the long run. If you can afford to only use your student loans for school and tough times, you'll accumulate less debt and pay off your degree sooner.
3. Apps to save you money
On a more day to day basis, shopping for a bargain whether its with clothes or groceries can really add up over time. Personally, I use Ibotta & Ebates to get cash back on online purchases and groceries. Over the last year, I've saved about $60 on my everyday transactions through Ibotta, Ebates and Drop. For a discount on gas, Gasbuddy is helpful to point out the cheapest gas price while Fuelrewards can get you anywhere from .05 to .30 cents off per gallon at shell stations.
While college may be the best years of your life, don’t let it become your financial kryptonite! Get on a plan for the next few years and avoid the financial heartache of student loans. Being on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t go out and have fun; Budget for fun and you’ll have a blast on a budget!