Thursday, December 5, 2013

Simple Savings: Skip the Student Loans

Student loans have become too common place.  People just expect that they will get them to go to college.  All of our kids so far have graduated from college WITHOUT  any student loans.  That's right, they did it without getting into any student loan debt or credit card debt to do so.  Imagine how nice it would be to graduate without any debts accrued during your education.

We were not as fortunate.  When my husband went to graduate school, we got a couple of student loans like everyone else around us.  We just assumed that was what you do and we did it.  Having to spend years paying off those student loans made us committed to counsel our kids NOT to get student loans and to do whatever they could do to avoid any debt.  We had a job out of school, but some people do not.  Imagine having a large amount of debt and no income to pay your obligations.  Imagine having a job where you don't make enough money to pay your debts.  The best way to avoid being in that kind of situation is to pay for college as you go and SKIP the student loans.  I wish someone had sat down with us and counseled us to do the same.

I found this video online that addresses this same topic.  Hope you enjoy!

For kids who are going to college soon or who are in college, take some time to counsel with your parents about the best way for you to get your education without going into debt.  Set up a plan and a reasonable budget that you can live on in college.  Look into the options available to help you reach your goal.  I wrote an article about this a few years ago.  For example, when you go to college, you don't need to buy all new textbooks.  Think of buying used, buying from another place besides the university bookstore, borrow from a library or professor if they have an extra copy, share with a roommate, get an earlier addition if the professor doesn't think it will make a difference, etc.  You don't need to buy all new dishes and bedding to go to school.  Use what you have.  Get dishes that you need from a thrift store.  Maybe your relatives have extra dishes they don't need that you can use.  Get the things you need to buy on sale.  There are fantastic sales on school supplies for pennies during July and August.  Have someone teach you how to cook and how to manage money.  Don't ever pay full price for cereal, etc.  Maybe the summer before you go to college, help your mom buy groceries and plan menus and learn a few easy dishes you can make.  These are just a few of the things you can do to prepare yourself so you can save money.

An education is a valuable thing and an education that is paid for without debt is even better!

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