A great infographic that details the path to keeping your finances in order before the tremendous burden of college loans starts chipping away at your bank account.  This infographic explains how to keep spending in check, create a budget and understand where your money goes and how it comes in.

Just like anything else, careful monitoring, planning and goal setting is the key to get the most desirable results.

Just a few personal suggestions I’d like to add to help squeeze more out of your hard earned money while the crunch is on to pay off loans:

Cut down on fast food spending, coffee and buying things on the run.

A bottle of water for $1.50 is outrageous considering you can get an entire case of 24 bottles for $4. Keep a few bottles in your car or backpack at all times.

If you can, ask your parents for a personal loan to help pay off your college debt.

If you were paying say 7% on a college loan of $20,000, all the interest is going directly to the company that issued your loan.  Your parents or family members might be able to use the home equity from their mortgage to get a lower rate. If they can get 5% for example, you could offer them 6% and still save money. Every penny counts, they will appreciate your forward thinking, (and maybe the won’t charge you the extra %)
Note: I’m aware this option is not available for everybody.

Save your change!

Get a cup, a jar or something. You’d be surprised, you could be losing $10 per week and not even realize it. You could even chip in part of it to a good health insurance plan, you never know when you might get sick. A regular visit to a doctor without insurance could cost you a small fortune.

Buy less expensive clothing

Do you really need $100 jeans?

Wash things less

I know this sounds bad, but it can really help you. You don’t need to use shampoo everyday, you don’t need to wash your jeans every time you wear them. These things add up over time.

Hustle more

Side jobs and side cash are absolutely crucial.  Cut lawns, sweep your neighbors driveway, write articles for a website, make posts on Craigslist about how you are available for side jobs. Wash cars. Talk to friends. Get out there and DO something, don’t complain you can’t find a job and sit around waiting for a handout.  Be ambitious and hungry, people always need an extra hand.

Make yourself available

It might seem strange but post on your Facebook wall that you have time this weekend to help paint a fence, rake leaves, shovel snow, anything. You never know who will notice and hire you for something.

Sell things on eBay

Great way to scrounge up some extra loot is to sell your old stuff on eBay. Old car speakers, clothing, books, whatever. Once again, every dollar counts. When my brother was a senior in high school he sold a used pair of cheap sneakers on eBay for 10 bucks. A used pair of sneakers. That’s outrageous!

Drive less

Buy a bike, a longboard, a bus pass, whatever you can to cut down on your gasoline expenses.

Specials, Specials, Specials

If you absolutely must go to the bar or a restaurant, snoop around on Facebook, Twitter or local newspaper websites to find deals. They are everywhere and if you play them right you can save a fortune.

Cut small, save big

I’d much rather cut a little from everywhere then a big piece from one place. Buy beer in cans instead of bottles, use coupons at the grocery store, pack your lunch and snacks. Keeping track of your finances is the easiest way to find out where you can cut and where you may be spending a little too much.

New Grad's Guide to Personal Finance
Via: Online College Advice

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