Hey - I just wanted to stop in and tell you guys how I paid off approximately 60K in student loan debt. I went a very cheap/frugal route, but maybe you can apply my methods to your day to day. This post is for the middle class kids who don't get enough financial aid and/or scholarships. Also, I don't mean to offend anyone that does not go this route.
- Do not keep up with the joneses. A lot of kids in IB/S&T or whatever will live in a nice building that eats their entire paycheck after taxes,401k,health insurance ect. Try to get a flex if you can. I know people who have more than 2x more than my amount and are struggling because they live in a 'luxury' building in FIDI/Midtown. Remember, rent in that luxury space is 17-2000, but you need to pay utilities and your parents are prob going to cut you off their phone plan soon. Also, imagine failing your series 7, 63, 79 and you are stuck with a 1800 lease.
1.5 This has a very small chance of working for you but it worked for me. My private loans were issued through my school and the old financial aid lady let me keep them in deferment for as long as I proved to her that I paid my own bills. Literally had 20k+ in loans with essentially, a 0% rate. One thing I did was when my grace period was coming to a close, I moved them over to a 0% balance transfer card. If you are at a BB, your retail arm prob has a great 0% APY deal going on. Rates are going up so refi is prob not a good deal unless you pick a variable rate and plan to decimate the loan outright.
- Meal prep. I go to Costco and make my food every Sunday. This saves so much money lol. However, I can eat the same thing everyday and never get tired of it. I usually make salads with beans, chicken, sweet potatoes, or veggie burgers. Sweetgreen is good, but after you finish that $15 salad, was it worth it? And please, don't make the "I'm a big guy excuse, I eat a lot". I was a two-sport athlete and I powerlift 3-4x days a week. One thing I do which really kills my appetite is make a coffee protein shake. I do almond milk, protein powder, fiber, free coffee, and almond butter. This usually last me until 2:30pm. You can get a 11LB bag of high quality protein for $60 from myprotein.com. GNC matches amazon offers on all products so you can also go that route.
- This one is tricky because I came out with a lot of liquidity and I am cheap. Use credit cards wisely and don't keep up with the joneses. Do not get the AMEX platinum because everyone applied for it and you're stuck with a $550 fee. I have a lot of credit cards and business cards because I pay my rent to get the signup bonus and keep the card for the year and then product change to a no AF card. Even if you pay a 3% fee, you are still coming out on top. I have a cards that get me between 3%-7.5% return so the money I spend organically adds up. I have also used a few grand from sign up bonuses to pay off loans or I use the points when I need to go home or fly my parents up. I don't recommend this if you suck with money and you'll go to the bar and run up a tab. One card I have is the chase ink cash. It gets me 5% back on cable and utilities. Once I paired it with my chase reserve, I get at least 7.5% return when redeeming the points for flights. I also have the chase freedom, the unlimited, baml cash, ink business, and baml business premium rewards.
- You don't need that Thomas Pink shirt, $600 "sleds", or a 1k watch. I have wide shoulder/chest and a tiny waist so I get saks off shirts for $39.99, and tailor them to perfection.
- I also paid my loans with my credit cards through plastiq, I then used the points to pay off any accrued interest.
- For your two weeker or one weeker, you don't need to go abroad. Don't feel bad because everyone and their mother went to Europe for 2 weeks.
- Please max your 401k. That should be a given but people who work in finance remind me that personal finance and corp finance is two different things. It is literally free money and brings down your taxable income. Your first year tax return should be big, comparable to your SA return. Please note, do not bash me because I am withholding the maximum and I am giving sam an 0% loan. This is personal finance and I feel comfortable getting a large return after my first year to pay down loans. For everyone who says "I rather invest and get a higher return than pay down a sub 8% loan", cool. A 10k investment getting a return of 10% is only 1k before TAXES, that is if you made a good investment. You need to evaluate the downside of your investment going to crap. My friend who's an engineer was willing to risk his salary to the derivative market in order to pay down loans. Once again, do what you want but this post is for people who want to eradicate them loans.
- You do not need equinox. One thing I did to avoid paying for a gym for a few months is doing free trials at a lot of gyms. This is tedious but idc, I saved a few hundreds from it.
Remember, you are making good money and are in a great place. I am not telling you to not hangout with friends or splurge, but I see a lot of unnecessary expenses deriving from people who are trying to fit in. At the end of the day, it is your life and as long as you are happy, you're good.