There’s nothing fun about paying off debt, but there are a ways to make process smoother.
I’ve faced $10,000 in consumer debt. And I repaid more than $20,000 in student loans over just 22 months. To beat these, I had to come up with strategies that turned my debt into something manageable.
You can do the same thing with these three tips.
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, because it’s the only occasion in which I indulge fear.
For the rest of the year, I diligently avoid horror movies and ghouls to the best of my ability because I hate being scared. But come October 31, I feel obligated to lose a few nights of sleep to nightmares.
Ghosts and goblins aside, what really keeps me up at night are financial fears. Here are my top five financial nightmares. (As “nightmares,” they may not all be 100% likely to happen—but that’s what makes them so scary!)
It’s easy to let the stock market intimidate you. At first glance, Yahoo! Finance is a mess of numbers, graphs, and news stories that can strike fear into even a good budgeter’s heart.
However, if you want to see a greater return on your money than the interest rate offered by a simple savings account, the stock market can be a promising choice. Investing is a big reason why I had the money to pay off my student loans so quickly.
Here are a few of the things that helped me get started. Just keep in mind that these tips are for informational purposes, as I’m not a financial adviser.
In an age where creating a “personal brand” is ubiquitous career advice, thinking of your life in the context of a company isn’t a big stretch.
You might think I’m hitting the MBA books too hard, but the more business case studies I read, the more I see the resemblance between personal finance and a corporate finance. In fact, think of yourself as chief financial officer of your bank accounts and act accordingly. Here’s why.
I’ve been back at school for a little while now, and I wouldn’t say I’m totally sold on being a student again. I grossly underestimated the workload of an MBA, and the study skills I mastered in undergrad are somewhere in the recesses of my memory where I can’t reach them.
Thankfully, managing my finances while in school is not something I have to study up on! Here are three things I’m doing to stay on top of them.
Going back to school the same year many of my friends are finishing their law and medical degrees feels weird.
For the past few years, they’ve watched me and other working friends enjoy the fruits of full-time employment—while they endured a student budget for nearly a decade. Now that I’m heading back to the classroom while they finish up and secure big salaries, it’s my turn to watch them enjoy spending money while I budget.
Applying to graduate school can be a surprising drain on the bank account. Admissions tests, application fees, and travel expenses to visit campuses eat up hundreds or thousands of dollars before you even know if you’re accepted to a program.
Once you’re in, the real spending starts. That’s why it’s important to have a financial plan in place and a full understanding of the cost of your program before you start handing over those tuition checks.
It still feels weird to say I’m debt free, even though I’ve been that way for a week. After 22 months buried in student loan debt, and my years before stuck with consumer debt, I’m certain I have never been debt-free as an adult until now.
How did this happen?
Probably the most useful financial step I’ve taken in the past few months is setting up a savings account dedicated to spending.
It might seem counterintuitive at first, but I assure you, it has been a budget-saver.
Once you manage to secure your first professional job out of college, it’s easy to focus on the paycheck instead of your next rung on the career ladder. However, if you have a moment, take a look around and find the people around you who are just waiting to help you get there.