It is a common misconception that the most financially savvy people are those who have an innate knack for money management. But the truth is, it can be a learned behaviour. From simple things like tracking your spending to understand better your habits, all the way to saving for a considerable expense like buying a house, paying off loans, you can teach yourself how to efficiently manage money, even if your debt to income ratio feels out of whack. As you level up your budgeting, implement some tricks into your daily life that will help you stash away some cash now, that can be allocated towards repaying your student loans, and or other debts later.
Photo by Akil Mazumder
Dissect Your Loan Terms
Your MBA is a huge accomplishment and a substantial financial commitment. It’s natural to have to borrow money to pay for it. Understand that you are going to be responsible for that money once you graduate, and also for paying it back. If you take out private loans to pay for your graduate education, shop around lenders and compare offers. Interest rates are vital to pay attention to, as they have some fluctuation, make sure you do some forecasting with your loan amount and the interest applied to understand the actual total that you will have to pay back.
Hidden fees can pop up if you are not knowledgeable on the vocabulary of private student loans. Phrases like origination fee, for example, are going to impact your total amount repaid but if you don’t spend the time to take apart your loan terms, you won’t find that out until it’s too late. Preparedness is a crucial element to success. Starting business school is not just about preparing yourself; it is also about preparing your budget for the changes that will happen both during and post-enrollment.
Pick Up a Side Hustle
Unlike with undergrad, you are probably going to be working a full-time job during your tenure at business school, so finding the time for a side hustle may seem laughable, but every little bit helps. Find yourself some options for extra cash that do not come with a strict or expected schedule. Flexibility is what will allow you to earn a little extra towards repaying your private student loans while doing so on your terms. Companies like Uber, GrubHub, and Wag have business models that allow their “employees” to punch in and out at their leisure which means that you can work as much or as little as you’d like. Since it’s not your primary source of income, stashing almost all of it away for your post-grad school bills will feel effortless, and not impactful on your existing budget.
If something that formal feels like too big of a commitment or isn’t your style, you can go back to the basics, things like dog walking and child care are good options for earning side money in which you can be in control.
When saving there are many ideas and ways to save, but it all comes down to one thing at the end of the day, you need to make sure you’re bringing in, more than your putting out. So plan, budget, and be smart with your choices, and you’ll find that as time goes by, you’ll be closer to your goal.