Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Frugal Files: Mission Student Loan, Be Gone!!

Hello! We're back for another edition of The Frugal Files!! I'm glad to be here and excited you join us here at Belle-Noir Magazine every week for sharing about money, self love and motivation!!

Last week we chatted about getting our children ready for the future; they are our future. I touched on proactive preparation to send our children to college; be it community college, university or trade school, someone has to pay for it. I know we don't mind paying because we love our kids, but should it cost us our life savings or our sanity, when we can simply put it aside gradually? I think we both know the answer.

College educations and future planning is something we can act on right now. It's time out for the belief that we have plenty of time. While you're changing diapers and thinking like this, your child will be be in preschool before you throw pamper away; will be hitting puberty before you pick up all his crayons and will be going to Prom before you pop his first zit. It's coming and soon, not "one day" but soon. Prepare yourself or you just might find yourself...

...in the same boat as YOURSELF. Do you still have student loans hanging over your head? Aren't you tired of paying them? Well, PAY THEM OFF ASAP!!

Last week, I had an ongoing, frugal discussion with an online group regarding debt reduction. The revolving theme for many was student loans. All my life I've heard people complain about student loans, in many cases from those who'd been out of school ten or more years. This dialogue was no different, but what was different was the amount owed in contrast to what I've heard over the years. While I revealed knowing people who owed $50,000+, some of these women admitted to only being responsible for a few thousand dollars. I was so shocked they were still carrying that little bit around, drawing interest, no less.

Then the challenge came...

For 2011, this group had a debt reduction challenge for all members. The moderator who proposed it was inspired by Dave Ramsey's radio show, one of my favorite money gurus. We were to report all monthly debt payments including mortgage, credit cards, as well as car, personal and even payday loans. Oh, and of course, the reason we're here today; student loans.

I'm unsure of the final results, but I can say I was pleased with my own debt reduction, shaving several thousand dollars off my mortgage. For 2012 though, Frugalicious Diva decided to provoke the ladies in my group to another dare; one I know they can achieve and be proud of their results!! I want them to say GOODBYE to their student loans FOREVER!!

I introduce to you "Mission Student Loan, Be Gone" (pronounced with a long "o") to you and anyone else who wants to pay off student loan debt this year!! I don't care how you do it, just get it done; no amount is too small. Here's a few suggestions while you're making your plan:
- put it on an autodraft
- donate a portion of your personal or business sales to it
- give up a luxury or a bad habit and put that money on your loans
- work it into your current budget

You can try anything you can handle, except bankruptcy. You won't be very successful trying to rid yourself of them that way, as they are rarely cleared. I have one tip for those of you fortunate enough to be in the helping fields; you might be eligible for student loan forgiveness. Take a look here for resources to jump start your research: Student Loan Forgiveness

Now, while the prize is only for those in the group, paying it off will be reward enough. This year, purpose to not be a slave to student loans anymore (even if the interest rate is low). Whether it was for your undergraduate or graduate degree, do your research and pay them off!! I would love for you to let me know when you do!! I will celebrate with you and might even send you a small token of Congratulations!! Let's do this!!

Frugalicious Diva

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