The main key factor for paying off student loans faster is to make extra monthly payments. The more money you contribute monthly towards your student loans; the more money you will save on interest. How do you find extra money to put towards your student loans when you’re underemployed or live paycheck to paycheck? Well, read on.
First, you must know your numbers. Write down your monthly fixed expenses(expenses you must pay each month) and see where you can cut expenses. Also make sure you automate your savings by creating automatic withdrawals from your checking to your savings account and Roth IRA.
Second, focus on increasing your income. You should take courses that are relative to your desired job/industry via Coursera.org which offers a plethora of courses and certificates at affordable prices. Being an expert in Excel, data analysis, project management, Quickbooks, SQL and Python can significantly increase your salary. Focus on accomplishments at work by improving processes and reducing expenses then ask for a raise. However, multiple sources of income offer you more security and you should identify opportunities that can allow you to make more money.
Third, live a frugal lifestyle. Use coupons when shopping and only buy what you need. Keep food delivery down to once or twice a month but opt for cooking more at home.
Fourth, do not put off retirement. Do contribute to 401k or Roth IRA; at least $100-200 a month. Invest in no-load index funds like VTSAX, VGSLX, and VWINX. Or you can invest in ETFs like VGT, VTI and VNQ. Do not use retirement savings to pay off student loan debt.
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