Save Sweet Nothings
School just starting probably isn’t the best time to bring up student loans. It’s a better time to bring up exciting things on the horizon: study groups, fresh blood, old blood that’s new blood again, blood drives, the community – wait, I got lost. Let me start again.
This past spring I was able to visit my sister and watch her graduate from Washington State University College of Pharmacy. Go Cougs! She was a 40-year-old in a class of mostly late-20-year-olds, and the only student at the school who had two kids and a grandchild.
It was so satisfying to watch her interact with her younger classmates in the few days before the ceremony, and to walk among them that day. She’s definitely like me and has no idea what her human age is.
It was so exciting to see how poufy and fancy her special doctoral graduation gown was. Probably it was bought from a store like Jostens, which is known to sell high-quality graduation regalia. However, what bothered me was hearing everyone talking about their imminent financial burdens, already in debt because of student loans. Those going into higher education will need to be aware of the impact of a student loan on their finances in the future. This is why using a student loan calculator could be useful in planning ahead and budgeting as you’ll have an idea of what your repayments are going to look like.
These are kids that, right out the gate, will be making six figures. Higher education in America means finishing medical school, but it doesn’t mean freedom from a little financial struggle. Yet.
I’ve been dealing with my own financial issues after not working as much as usual. I’m no stranger to living paycheck to paycheck in Honolulu. There were two solid years of it after my honorable discharge. To get where I was financially last year, before cancer, took eight years of hard work at three jobs. Luckily, it was doing what I absolutely loved. For others, it’s not that easy. These people leave college and they already have amassed a significant amount of debt that they will have to pay back for the majority of their lives. As recent college graduates will be re-paying this debt for a while, they should consider using their money wisely when they get a job. They should consider saving or investing. If they decided to invest, they could make themselves more money for their retirement. A lot of people in ETFs investieren (invest in ETFs) currently, so that might be a good idea. That could allow people to use their money more effectively, ensuring that they have enough to retire comfortably in the future.
This culture of being in debt before we get anywhere in the workforce might frighten me, if it didn’t govern a generation of people very much aware of their finances. In my day, it was credit cards. Banks were handing out $10,000-$20,000 spending limits to us college freshmen like they were branded water bottles or tote bags. Lurking close behind were military recruiters, who, after a few semesters, started to look more and more attractive to me until finally I joined and left. I know that some students will try and pay off their debts by having a go on online casino tournaments, as well as trying their hand at various games. If you do not know which games should you play, and you want to see if this will work for you, it would be best to do your research first, don’t forget to be careful.
Either way, it’s quite common to rack up debt hanging over your head. I hate owing anyone money. It stresses me out. I’ll chase someone down to pay them. Acorns is a saving app that I’ve been using since last year. It literally rounds up your debit or credit card purchases to the nearest dollar and puts those pennies in an investment account. I’m not a huge fan of coins anymore, anyway. Just a little bit can’t hurt, and it always adds up. When you don’t have much money to save, this could be your answer. Visit acorns.com.
CHRISTA WITTMIER IS “SUPERCW” ON ALL SOCIAL MEDIA. FIND HER ON SNAPCHAT, SOUNDCLOUD, TWITTER, VINE AND INSTAGRAM. BY NIGHT, SHE IS KNOWN AS DJ SUPERCW. BY DAY, SHE IS KNOWN AS SENIOR MARKETING DIRECTOR FOR YOUNG’S MARKET COMPANY OF HAWAII.