A Guide To Living Your Best Life While Paying Back Your College Loans

Kat Weil

You don’t have to live as if you are a shell of your former non-loan paying self. Here are some ways to enjoy your life without loosely spending more cash and adding insult to injury.

1. Start (And Follow) A Budget

Budgeting is one of those things that we can honestly just forget to do even though we really mean to start and sometimes the reason is that it can be intimidating and we don’t always know what we are doing. The very idea of budgeting is to assign a purpose to each dollar so that you can better manage your money. Budgeting is a great way to regain a sense of control over your finances and to track your progress as you pay back what you owe, save money, and decide how to spend the rest of your money. It makes things clear.

2. Go For A Walk/Jog/Run

I hear running from your problems always works. It’s even better when that run is free. Parks are free, sidewalks are free, so lace up those shoes and go for a walk. No one can tell you how long you walk or how far you can go. There is no limit and no judgement. Go take in the air and change your scenery. It’s great for your heart rate and better for your mind.

3. Find FREE Events In Your Area

Just because you owe money does not mean that you cannot do things, make memories, and enjoy your life. If you live in any city, there may be free events happening right under your nose every day of the week! Get informed! Go check out what’s happening around you. If you live out in the forests or a farm, there maybe free events nearby. So hop in your car or into transit and go!

4. Invite People (You Know) To Your Home

You don’t always have to go somewhere fancy to hang with your friends. If they are close friends that trust, invite them into your home and just chill out. Watch tv, talk about your day, make food together, and just take it easy.

5. Learn To Cook

This will save you the big bucks! Going out is great from time to time, but if no limit is set on it then going out will rob you of financial means of enjoyment like no other. Plus, you do not know what happens in the kitchen behind you, but you will know what happens in YOUR home kitchen. Also, you get to control more things like the portion size, if you want seconds (no charge), and if you want to eat it again later in the week (also no charge). You get to experiment when you learn to cook and you learn a lot about yourself and your kitchen (which is included in the rent you pay, so why not use it?)

6. Sleep

You do not need to watch over your city into the late night hour. You can go to sleep. You should go to sleep. The reality is, your body needs it. You function better with it and stress less when you have enough of it. Going to sleep is something that you need to be doing and also pretty addictive once you get started.

7. Get Into Yoga/Home-workouts (Compliments of YouTube)

You don’t have to start a gym membership if you can’t afford a gym membership. You can use your internet and your local park and make it happen. Gyms are great, but they can also get crowded. Your home? Maybe not as full. Make it happen where you are. It reduces stress, helps you clear your mind, keeps you motivated, and more.

8. Don’t Chase Trends Or Friends

Trends come and go, you do not need to keep up. You do need to keep out of more debt though. Be mindful of what you owe and not just want you want to own. As for friends, if they can’t hang with you on a budget, let them be. Real friends are sensitive to your limitations and understand that you are working your way out of debt and into freedom. Keep those friends close, and let the wrong ones go…and they can take their latest and greatest with them.

9. Be Kind To People

Kindness is awesome. You smile and someone who smiles back and now you both feel great. Being kind to other people lift them up and they lift us up. It does great things for you psychologically and emotionally as well.

10. Be Grateful For What You Do Have

Life is not bad. You are alive, yes you owe money, but look on the bright side… you’re here! You will get through this. You will grow through it, and in the meantime take the time to notice people and things around you. Engage in your life and with the people in it. You owe loans, sure; but do not let your loans own you. Go live your life!  Thought Catalog Logo Mark

I am a New Yorker and I do things. Follow my rants and antics on Instagram and Twitter.

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