Managing Student Loans

Many teachers are now saddled with student loan debt. And though a teaching career is good, paying off any student loan can still hurt the bottom line. Be determined to be smart with your money, budget, and pay down that student loan.

The average student loan debt for post-college graduates is $25,000 and the average starting salary for a teacher is $39,000, so learning to budget your money and knowing how to save money is good advice for any teacher or potential teacher to take.

Simple is Better

Budgeting does not have to be an overly complicated or frustrating chore. Keep your budget simplified, categorized and organized. It will cut down not only on the time spent developing it, but it will also reduce your stress and frustration levels.

Make Sure Your Figures Are Accurate

The biggest mistake made when creating a budget is under-cutting the actual amount of bills or debt. It is important to use as accurate figures as possible to give you the most reliable budget.

Emergencies Only

Every budget should have a plan for building an emergency supply of money that can be accessed quickly and easily without hassle. Most ATM's have a daily limit of $500, but this amount can be negotiated when opening your account.

Detail Your Expenses

Start by dividing your expenses into two separate categories, one for variable expenses like utilities, internet and phone bills as well as expenses like groceries, gifts and clothing. The other category should be for your fixed expenses that are due in the same amount each month such as rent or mortgage payments, auto loans and insurance.

Categorize and then Prioritize

Once your expenditures are listed in detail, prioritize them. List them in order of importance and then look for ways you can save money on each one. You may be able to qualify for a cheaper interest rate on your home or you may be willing to reduce your cable or cell phone package.

Debt Settlement

If you have a large amount of debt, you may want to consider debt settlement as an easy and legal way to reduce your debt and pay off old debts faster. If a debt is owned by a collection agency, you will have to settle with them rather than the original creditor.

Consolidate Student Loans

as a post college graduate; you may now be facing multiple student loan payments every month. In order to make your payments more manageable, consider one of the many programs available to consolidate student loans. Student loan consolidation works by taking out one loan large enough to cover all your student loans, leaving you with one affordable payment each month. If you have federal student loans, there is several new student loan consolidation programs explained on the Department of Education's website.

Track Your Cash

It is all too easy for teachers to blow their own personal budgets by purchasing items for the classroom. Keep a spending journal for at least thirty days and list every expense you make with cash. Many people are surprised at how much they spend without realizing it at the end of the month. However, a pack of crayons here and box of tissue there quickly adds up in addition to purchases you make for yourself.

Include Financial Goals

Be sure to include any financial goals in your budget whether it is to pay off all your student loans, buy a new car or go on a summer vacation. It can help to have an account set aside for saving towards your goal.

Stay Positive

You worked hard for your education, but it can be difficult to face the large amount of debt owed after graduating. Plan your budget carefully and stay positive and focused on securing your financial future.

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