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How to Pay Off Your Student Loans Quickly
Focus on Improving Your Skills of Cash Flow Management
The first place you need to focus on is getting control over the money that you already have coming in. Later on in this article, I am going to recommend for you to increase your income, but before you do that, you need to use the money that is already coming in wisely.
What I mean by that, is learning how to budget and manage your cash flow really well. This is the main area of focus that I work on with my online financial coaching clients is clarity in their finances (where they actually are financially), providing them with a custom plan for their goals and then helping them to implement that plan by focusing on their cash flow management as well as other areas.
I have two articles I’ve written that go a lot deeper into budgeting and cash flow management that you can read here:
How to Plan Your Finances for the Entire Year in a Couple of Hours
Why You’ve Failed at Budgeting in the Past & How to Succeed at Budgeting Now
A mindset struggle that I often see if people think that they only need to make more money, but that they don’t have to “budget.” Yes making more money is always helpful and I would never tell you not to (please do!), BUT if you are struggling managing what you have now, you are still going to struggle effectively manage a larger amount of money coming in later. So focus on really effectively managing what you do have, even if you feel like it isn’t a lot and focus on what is within your control. Then increase your income and focus on putting those extra dollars to work for you by allocating them as extra money towards your student loan debts you are trying to pay off faster.
Use Your Tax Return on Your Student Loans
If you get a tax return after filing your taxes, use that as “extra” money to put down on your student loans. Don’t use it as your regular payment, use it as extra to put towards them!
Use Cash for Groceries & Eating Out & Put it Towards Your Student Loan
As an online financial coach, I see a lot of the behind the scenes when it comes to individuals and couple’s financial situations and I can tell you that no matter how much someone makes, their skill sets or their profession, everyone can be saving money on groceries and eating out. I have a blog post that I write all about ways to save hundreds a month on groceries, which you can read here, but the number one way to save money on groceries is to use cash!
When you take out cash twice a month, once at the beginning and again in the middle, you are setting the intention of sticking within the allocated amount that you have in cash. This works SO well to help tighten up grocery and eating out budgets! I personally use this in my life (and I used to be a debit card only, never carry cash kind of person) and so do my financial coaching clients. You can easily save $100-$500+ a month from doing this and that is a lot of extra money you can put towards your student loans, from just one area of saving money! I have had clients who have been able to save $500+ a month in groceries alone from working with me!
- Should You Use Your Savings to Pay Off Debt?
- 4 Things to Do to Get Your Debt Paid Off
- 3 Tips for Choosing Which Debt to Pay Off First
- How to Stay Motivated When Paying Off Debt & Saving
- 11 Ways to Save Money on Groceries
- How I Saved $50,000+ so I Could Leave My 6 Figure Career
- How I Made Over $9000 Just by Selling Things I Already Had in My House
- How to Make Saving Automatic & Easy
- How to Plan Your Finances for an Entire Year (in under a couple of hours)
- Why You’ve Failed at Budgeting in the Past & How to Finally Succeed
- 9 Things You Are Spending Way More Money on Than You Think
- 3 Real Reasons You Are Overspending & How to Overcome It
Increase Your Income to Really Make a Dent in Your Student Loans (side hustle, extra hours, odd jobs)
Now that we’ve talked about managing the money that you already have coming in, the next step to take is to increase the amount of money that you have coming in. There are many different ways that you can do this such as:
- Working extra hours, taking on over time
- Asking for a raise, increase or bonus
- Start a side hustle
- Do odd jobs
Here are some examples of ways to side hustle or take on odd jobs:
- Offer services as a Virtual Assistant (this is by far my favorite way for women to work from home and increase their income, that I have a blog post that goes into depth about how you can actually do this to make more money!
- Teaching fitness classes doing workouts you are passionate about (on your own or for a studio/gym)
- Renting out a room in your home, Airbnb your house or a room in your house
- Repurposing and flipping furniture (I have a friend who did this recently and she made $160 in a week and a half in profits)
- Tutoring, teaching English or a second language, exam prep
- Walking dogs (I know of someone who did this and worked her way up to making $6000+ a month!)
- Help people moving furniture, moving in general
- Teaching a skill you are great at such as music
- Sewing, alterations
- Working retail during the holidays
- Running errands for busy people in your city/area
- Drive for Uber, Uber Eats, Lyft, Instacart
- Teaching others how to make healthy meals (I actually did this on the side when I was still a power engineer)
- Etc, the options are literally endless!!! A great book on this is called Side Hustle, which will give you so many ideas and insight into starting a side hustle that works for you!
This is an incredible way to earn extra money to get your student loans paid off years sooner! The biggest mindset struggle that I see is people feeling like they are “better than a side hustle.” If you want to get your student loans paid off, you need to set your ego aside and increase your income, so I strongly suggest for you to consider taking on or creating a side hustle! It can exponentially decrease the years that you have your debt!
A great book to read to help you learn more about student loans and your repayment options and how you are affected by different choices is Student Loan Solution.
Live Like You Are Still in School
This one is a complete game changer! When you were in school getting the education that you now have, you were probably living a “leaner” life financially than you are now. If you go back to living like you were a student, you will have hundreds+ a month extra that you can use to pay off your debt much quicker! I know it’s not the most exciting thing and you want to feel like you have a lot more extra, but by paying off your debt early, you are saving thousands in interest that you won’t have to pay and you will really free up more money so you can live a more abundant life later! A couple of years of really being focused with your finances, can put your YEARS ahead of what you are on track for right now!
I have clients who have paid off $30,000 in less than 6 months, other clients who have paid off $7000+ in 40 days, it is up to you how bad you want it and what you are willing to do to allocate extra funds towards your debt! The people who have paid off their debt early and large amounts of debt, they really dialed in their finances, they were focused and they knew that it wasn’t going to have to be like this forever, but if they wanted to get ahead, they needed to committed to paying off their debt!
If you are having difficulty organizing your finances, figuring out a cash flow management system that works really well and planning your upcoming months so you know a much greater picture of your finances, I encourage you to read more about my “Cash Flow Confidence” Program. As a financial coach, I have helped many of my clients through this session to do just that and more.
Want to find out where you really stand financially?Click “Cash Flow Confidence” Program.
Click here to download my Realistic Budget template!
I am very active on Instagram, follow me here for more financial tips & tricks: http://instagram.com/mandyythomas (@mandyythomas)
Do you have any questions or anything to add? Leave me a comment in the comments below and I will respond back to you!