|Shared via Suze Orman’s Newsletter|
|Shared via Suze Orman’s Newsletter|
That special day is finally around the corner. Graduating is a thrilling experience and is filled with excitement and joy. Some students are fortunate enough to graduate without student debt compared to the students that have to focus on paying back their loans.
Paying off student loans can be stressful whether you are a college student or a recent graduate. When working through college, we all have those times where we would rather spend the money we earn on what we want or even need at the time rather than focusing on paying off our debt. Doing this, we put the loans that we are accumulating on the back burner. After all, being poor college students searching for innovative ways to cook our ramen in order to save money, why would paying off our debt be at the top of our priority lists?
Accumulating a mass amount of student loans can be stressful. We need to start living frugally before we graduate from college and shave off some of the stress about loans we might feel in the future. Just think of how wonderful it will feel to graduate with a low amount of debt! Now, you are probably thinking that this is a great thought, right, but HOW can we achieve this goal? Here are a few tips listed below of how to start focusing on paying off your student loans today:
1. Set a realistic goal when you want to finish paying off your student loans
2. Focus on paying off the unsubsidized loans first since the interest rates start once you take out the loan and once paid off, focus on the subsidized loans
3. Calculate the percentage you would like to pay towards your student loans from each paycheck
4. Calculate and incorporate the amount you will have to pay each month into your budget in order to reach your goal
5. Even though you are not required to pay back the loans while in school, treat your loans like a monthly bill that you are required to pay each month
6. In order to reach your goal, be realistic in terms of your standards of living while paying off your loan
Whether you are contributing only $100.00 or $600.00 towards paying down your loans, the amount slowly adds up and lowers the amount of debt you owe before graduating. Take the challenge and start today!
‘Tis the season for shopping and we all know what that means: over the river and through the woods to the shopping mall we go. The holiday season brings extraordinary levels of profit for big businesses, especially for the retail industry. In 2014, the retail stores raked in 616.1 billion dollars in November and December alone (nrf.com). That number is expected to increase to 79.4 billion dollars this year, a 13.9% increase (statista.com). These numbers are amazing, to say the least, but it leaves one wondering where does all that spent money go? Who really is reaping the profit?
According to a study done in Utah by Local First Utah, not much of the money earned by national chain retailers makes it back to local economies. Conversely, independent business return to local economies much more. The study showed that “in Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Wayne County… locally owned retailers return 55.3% of their revenue to the local economy.” It compares that to national chain retailers who “return just 13.6% of revenue. That means every dollar spent at a locally owned, independent business returns more than four times more to the local economy than a dollar spent at a national chain retail” (localfirst.org). Shopping locally boosts our local economy. Daniel Houston from Civic Economics puts it this way: “The extra dollars in the local economy produce more jobs for residents, extra tax revenues for local governments, more investment in commercial and residential districts, and enhanced support for local nonprofits. In short, local businesses create better places” (localfirst.org).
So who’s going to reap the profit this holiday season? Of course it will be a time of booming sales for national retail chains, but we can also help boost our local economy by shifting more of our purchases to locally owned retailers and restaurants. The Local First Utah study concluded that “shifting just 10% of purchases from national chains to locally owned retailers and restaurants would keep $1.3 billion in the Utah economy” (localfirst.org).
Check out http://localfirst.org/buy-local/find-a-business for a list of local Utah businesses!!