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How to Reduce Your Student Debt While Still in School

From finding a place to live to purchasing all the required textbooks on your book list, there’s quite a bit of prep involved for students heading back to post-secondary studies in September. There’s also the student debt to think about.

Although it’s tempting to put aside thinking about your student debt while still in school, the reality sinks in pretty quickly when you finish and need to start paying those loans back. To avoid owing an overwhelming amount, there are ways to reduce your student debt load while you’re still in school.

Here are just a few:

  1. Sticking to the budget

A budget is key. A simple budget worksheet can help you determine your expenses, plan your spending accordingly and avoid spending beyond your means. A budgeting or money management app for your smartphone can help you keep track of your spending and ensure that you’re sticking to the budget you created.

Of course, there’s no shortage of budgeting advice and resources online. Here are a couple of links worth checking out:

Kerry Taylor, a financial journalist and personal finance writer, offers a free budget template on her website Squawkfox, along with multiple posts on the topic of budgeting.

Desirae Odjick’s website Half Banked is geared toward a millennial audience. Her blogs about budgeting and her free one-minute budget spreadsheet can help you create a budget that works for you.

  1. Cutting back your expenses

When it comes to your days as a college or university student, frugality rocks! Being a savvy spender and saver is a great skill to have as a student. Put that skill to use now when you’re studying and you may be able to reduce the amount of student debt you’ll need to repay when you graduate.

There are many ways to cut back expenses as a student. Shopping second hand, taking public transport and sharing resources with your roommates are a few easy ways to live a little more frugally.

In this episode of her Mo’ Money Podcast, personal finance expert Jessica Moorhouse speaks to a 21 year old who’s on track to “graduate university with almost zero debt” – check it out, some of her savings tips may work for you.

  1. Working part-time

Another great way to reduce your student debt load while still a student is to work part-time while attending school. According to our 2017 poll about student debt, this is something that  grads still struggling with student debt regret not doing, as it would have meant that they owed less when they graduated. You may even find a job that’s related to your field of study, which would also provide you with invaluable experience. A win-win for sure!

This article from Maclean’s online, “The best part-time jobs for students”, offers some good options for students looking for part-time work that includes benefits and perks.

What tips and tricks do you have for dealing with student debt? Join the conversation and share your thoughts with us. #BacktoSchool, #DebtSolutions #StudentLoanDebt

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