Graduate Debt Free with these 6 tips!
Being able to graduate debt free is just a dream for most people. Imagine getting a degree and starting a job with zero debt and being able to start your life before having to pay it all back.
Ahhhh, what a life that would be.
I really wish someone would’ve sat me down in high school and had a conversation with me about the importance of being debt free for college. I started working when I was 16 and cash flowed quite a bit of my education between me and my mom. My main issue was I wasted tons of cash on stuff I don’t even have anymore and my credit card was almost always maxed out.
I left school with only $6,495 in total student loan debt which I know I can pay off in the first year once the 6 month grace period is over. This post is going to be 6 tips to help you be debt free when you leave college.
These tips are going to start at high school, but even if you’ve already started college they can help you too. Let’s get started!
6 TIPS TO HELP YOU GRADUATE DEBT FREE
APPLY FOR A RIDICULOUS AMOUNT OF SCHOLARSHIPS/GRANTS
Can you imagine a world where someone would give you a thousand dollars just for writing an essay? We live in that world guys. There are so many scholarships that don’t get paid out because NO ONE APPLIES FOR THEM.
I was a big idiot in high school and applied for one scholarship that I was totally not qualified for and then kinda just gave up. This is one of my biggest regrets.
While you’re in grade 12 if you aren’t studying for school or working you should be applying for scholarships every chance you get. Treat scholarships as a second job! You’ll never get a better return on your time investment!
If you’re from a super low-income family, apply for grants. What is a grant? A grant is a sum of money given to someone to go toward school that is usually given on a need-based situation. If you don’t have tons of money you just need to prove that you’re family doesn’t have the cash to pay for school and the government will usually give you some free of interest rates unless student loans.
If you don’t have tons of money you just need to prove that you’re family doesn’t have the cash to pay for school and the government will usually give you some free of interest rates unless student loans! Look for grants, they’re great.
START WORKING THE MINUTE YOU LEGALLY CAN
In every country, there is a different law about when you are allowed to start working. Some places it’s 14, sometimes it’s 16, you never really know until you find out. You should get a part-time job whenever you’re allowed.
Also, before you’re allowed to work at an actual establishment, babysit. Babysitting was one of the best ways I made money from 12-16 before I started working. There was a family that used to pay me 50+ dollars every Wednesday to watch their 8 & 10-year-olds just so the mom could go to yoga. Pretty sweet deal.
Once you start earning an income you should contribute 50% of that income to a college fund. Why 50%? Isn’t that high? Nope. Not high at all. You don’t need money in high school. You may think you do, but you really don’t. Everything you actually need before you turn 18 your parents will make sure you have. The other 50% can go to whatever you want.
The other 50% can go to whatever you want.
Imagine if you work 10 hours a week from 16-18 and you save half. Let’s do some math. We’ll say the minimum wage where you’re from is 10$ just as an average.
$10 x 10 hours = $ 100 a week before taxes, so around 85$ depending on where you live.
$85/2 = $42.5 a week
52 weeks in a year x 42.5 = $2,210 a year x 2 = $4,420!
10 hours a week is usually pretty small for someone with a part-time job. I used to work 25-35 hours a week when I was 16-18 and it was easy to make work with my lifestyle.
Save that money!
CHOOSE A CHEAPER SCHOOL/TRANSFER
Do you need to go to a super expensive school for an undergraduate degree? If you’re planning to go get your masters degree you DO NOT need to go somewhere expensive. Save money.
When you go in for a job interview chances are an employer will be more interested in your job experience than they will be with where you went to school. It does not matter.
We live in a society that likes to make people feel bad for not being able to go to expensive schools. Don’t let yourself fall into that trap.
If you really want to get your degree from a certain school but it’s more expensive, start at a cheap school. You can get a lot of your beginning credits transferred and pay half the cost while still getting that fancy degree that you want. Win-Win!
ASK FAMILY FOR TUITION AS PRESENTS
A lot of people are unable to ask their parents for tuition money. So many people have no savings for their kid’s college, or even for themselves.
Another option to supplement your income is to stop asking for regular presents for birthday’s and Christmases and start asking for cash. This may seem impersonal but if you let them know that it’s going to go toward your tuition they’ll be more than happy to be able to help you out.
Ask each of your parents, your grandparents, and aunts and uncles! You could come out with at least $500 per birthday and $500 per Christmas. That’s a lot of money that you didn’t already have!
Do you need to stay in residence? Some schools make freshman stay in residence for the first year but after that can you get your own place?
Oftentimes you can rent a room in somebody’s house for way cheaper than a dorm room. If you feel like you need to stay in residence after your freshman year, be an RA. If you’re an RA you can usually get free or decrease residence fees and sometimes even a stipend for the work you do. Cool stuff!
Keep your expenses to an absolute minimum. The only things you need in school is a computer, an internet connection, and textbooks. You don’t need expensive clothes and brand name food. Trust me.
Keep your grocery bills as low as possible, you don’t need to spend tons of money on food. Beans & Rice! You also don’t need to go out every single weekend. Alcohol is expensive and not necessary to have fun.
GET IT DONE QUICKLY
Can you accelerate your degree? Find a way to get it done. Take summer classes, extra classes. Do absolutely anything you can to get this degree done fast.
The faster you get your degree completed the faster you can get your real life started and begin making real money. Work hard and work smart.
Don’t feel bad if you have to take out loans, everybody does it. It’s not something to be ashamed of. If you have to do it you should focus on paying those loans off as soon as possible when you’re done.
Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips to help graduate debt free!
Thanks for reading,
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