Take control of your day-to-day finances
Maintaining the right balance between your income and expenses makes paying your student loans a lot easier. The best way to do it is with a budget, which can help you plan and prioritize what you do with your money.
You can create a budget with a piece of paper, or use our Spending plan worksheet. If your budget doesn’t seem to be lining up with what’s in your wallet, try keeping an expense journal. Use it to track all of your daily purchases—like eating out. You might be surprised to find out exactly where your money is going.
Having trouble sticking to your budget?
Living within your budget can be hard. Here are some simple ways to stay on track:
Make major payments automatic. Set up automatic withdrawals for fixed expenses like student loans, rent, and payments to savings. If you can’t access the money, you can’t spend it. Also, most student loan lenders offer interest rate reductions for automatic payments from a checking or savings account, so it can save you money too. Contact your lender for details.
Change your due dates. If all your fixed costs are due on the first, you probably won’t have enough money for the first two weeks of the month, which could force you to buy essentials like groceries with a credit card. But if you shift the due dates for your car or student loans to the middle of the month, you may get those fixed costs in synch with your income. Contact your lender for more information.
Use cash, not credit or debit cards. We all spend far less when we pay with cash because we can see the money leaving our hands. Study after study has shown that people making purchases with credit cards spend more, even on everyday items like groceries and coffee.
Want more money management tips?
Visit Financial Awareness Basics (FAB) section of this website for more information.