The college loans debt hit the trillion-dollar mark a long time ago. As the debt skyrockets, so do the cost of a college education. It is estimated that a college graduate on average spends at least the first ten years of their employed life offsetting college loans.
As a parent, there is a lot you can do, e.g. taking more than one job or taking up a good-paying temporary job that can lead to permanency e.t.c., anything to ensure your child’s college fee is catered for even before they get to that stage. Here are three easy but effective measures that you can take to manage college debt.
A college Fund
Most parents are now establishing a college fund for their kids when they are as young as possible. The earlier you start with the savings plan, the more time you will have to make savings, and the easier life in college and after it will be for your child. Several college fund plans are available. Before investing in one, understand its main selling points. After a thorough comparative analysis, you can pick one plan that best suits your needs.
You cannot expect your teenager to go to college and immediately become an expert in money management if they haven’t been learning these skills. The best approach to give the teaching of these lessons is to start when your child is young. Teach them about the importance of living within their own means. Start a college fund for them, and have them participate in saving money in the system. When checking out housing and touring colleges, you can focus on the academic aspect of the colleges you have in hand. However, do not forget to look into specifics such as the available accommodation and its cost. Also, discuss with the student on the pros and cons of owning a car in college. The parking fees, gas, and other expenses tend to add up very fast.
Smart Lifestyle Changes
The first thing that college students do not understand is how the small things will finally add up to massive college debt. While the saving should start long before they get to college, there are also a few things they can do after they get to college to help them manage the debt. Here are a few changes that will simplify your college lifestyle and lessen your college debt:
- Pick a frugal roommate. When you have someone who is wired towards saving money living with you, you will have an easier time making decisions that will help you save money.
- Follow classes keenly. When you fail classes, you have to retake them, which increases your tuition fee.
- Get familiar with sites where second hand course books are sold. Course books are the second reason why college fees skyrocket for students. If possible, borrow books from students who finished school a year before.
- Invest in free exercise and wellness: another source of expenses for college students is usually gym fees and medical expenses. You can decide to be jogging in the morning, or to get a few gym tools, and start your own exercise regimen in the home. This will keep you healthy and reduce the possibility of incurring medical bills.
- Invest in affordable entertainment. You can get movie rentals as opposed to going to the cinema, or using Netflix and other sites.
- Invest in affordable hairstyles and always thrift for affordable clothing as this will reduce your spending.
Effective college savings can only happen when both the parents and the college students understand the importance of having a sound savings plan. When you have good savings before the child joins college, and you have also taught them to manage the money well once in college, debt will be a thing of the past.