Side Hustling to End Student Debt
I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about my student loans. I imagine hitting the lottery. I project my future salary and try to map out how much money I can throw at my loans every month. I try to think about ways to cut back and save money.
Living frugally is definitely helpful because every dollar you borrow is growing with interest the entire time you're in school and that interest is going to capitalize on your principal after you graduate. But frugality alone will not save many of us who went to school in high cost of living cities. Rent is likely going to be your biggest expense, and although you can save money by living in a less glamorous apartment, it's unlikely you'll find a place that's cheap, safe, and close to school (not requiring you to have a car/parking/insurance to cover the distance).
Therefore, if you're really trying to conquer your student debt after graduation, you've got to find a way to minimize expenses and still bring in more income. Many of us choose not to work while in school because we want to focus on our education. Sometimes (as is the case with law school) a professional organization or your school might prohibit you from working more than a certain number of hours during the school year. Regardless of the situation, making money while you're in school, can go a long way toward reducing your eventual student loan bill.
So how can you make money while in school? Here are a couple of ideas:
Sell your old stuff
Stop throwing away old electronics, clothes, dvds, and furniture. There are plenty of websites like Let Go that will allow you to post a listing for your unwanted stuff online. The process is easy and you can end up making a good chunk of change off of things you weren't using or were going to throw away. You can read about my experience with Let Go here.
Work part time on campus
Most schools have jobs that can be done by students that don't require much brain power. The benefit with these jobs is that you can often do homework during the down time at work while also getting paid. In my experience, jobs like working at the library or at the box office of the school theater or athletic department are perfect for this type of set up.
There are plenty of other jobs that may not offer time to study while working but can provide the necessary cash to put a dent into your debt. Spend some time on your school's website searching for jobs offered by the university and apply broadly. You may end up being a janitor, but there's no shame in sweeping floors to sweep away your student debt!
Become a referee for a recreational sports league
There are leagues likes Zog Sports that bring together young professionals to play sports like softball, basketball, and soccer. These leagues usually pay their refs around $20 a game or hour which can add up over a couple of weeks of only working a couple of hours on the weekend or after school. Don't be scared off if you're not a really athletic person. These leagues often have games that require little knowledge of sports like bowling, cornhole, and dodgeball. The key in these jobs is being personable and outgoing. If that's you, you can clean up being a ref.