Nearly three out of every four students graduating from a four-year college or university will have some sort of debt. Despite the fact that college is supposed to be some of the best years of your life, paying off your student debt after you have graduated can seem like a mountain too big to climb for many.
According to a recent Forbes article, the average student graduating from college has over $37,000 in student loan debt. This number is expected to continue increasing due to the constant hikes in college tuition throughout the United States. Whether you have graduated or are about to graduate from college with debt, there are ways to help you manage the financial burden.
Example 1 on How to Pay Off Student Debt:
Susie went to a four-year state school. Fortunately, she had academic scholarships to help pay for schooling, and she also lived at home during the four years. She graduated with $10,000 in student debt. Susie was able to get a job right after school in the town where she went to school and where her family lived. She continued to live at home and made a budget. Susie focused on keeping her expenses low and used every bit of extra money she had left over in her budget to pay towards her loans. Most importantly though was that she included a category in her budget for paying off her student loans each month. She devoted $500 per month towards her student loans. Because of her frugal living and her devotion to get out of debt, she was able to pay off the entire balance of her loans in less than two years!
Example 2 on How to Pay Off Student Debt:
After graduating high school, Chris decided to attend a private university to continue his studies. The tuition at his university was expensive, but with the help of aid and an alumni scholarship he was able to limit the costs. Regardless, Chris graduated with $45,000 of student debt after it was all over. Chris accepted a job with a non-profit after graduation. Even though he wouldn’t be making much money, he felt a calling to do something he passionately cared about. Because of his situation, a high amount of student debt and a low salary, he enrolled in an Income Based Repayment Program. This allowed Chris to avoid the high monthly payments his loans would typically have required him to pay and instead allowed him to pay a small percent of his income every month. Even with this program, Chris still had to create a budget, but the repayment of his student loans was not as high of a priority as it was for Susie. Nonetheless, Chris was able to still live comfortably, doing what he loved, while also meeting his student loan obligations.
The examples above illustrate a couple of real-life situations that people face when paying off student debt. To some, paying off the debt is a very high priority. To others, not so much. Only you can decide how quickly you would like to pay off student loans. The commonality that both Susie and Chris shared in both examples was that they created a budget. Susie created a budget that allowed her to aggressively pay off her debt. Chris created a budget that allowed him to live within his means but also meet his payment every month. Regardless of which category you fall in, creating a budget is a great foundation to tackling any debt, especially student loans.
The U.S. Stock Market is at an all-time high, and many are wondering how much longer this can be sustained. People are asking themselves if it is still worth investing in stocks at this high. The simple answer is: YES!
Below is a chart of the S&P 500, which covers the broad range of the stock market. The chart below illustrates performance from 1950 until the end of last year.
As you can see based on the chart, there are rises and falls, some of which are quite big. If you look at the chart as a whole, you can ultimately say that U.S. stocks have increased in value over time. Here are three reasons why one should consider investing in stocks.
Should I Invest in Stocks? Reason 1:
U.S. stocks have outperformed almost every other investible asset over the past 100 years, especially government and corporate bonds. People often think of bonds as a safer alternative to investing in stocks, but what they really mean by “safer” is less volatile. Yes, stocks can fluctuate with higher highs and lower lows in a given period of time, but over the long-run they will outperform bonds.
Should I Invest in Stocks? Reason 2:
Stocks are the easiest and safest way to build wealth. What I mean by this is that continual investment in stocks will yield higher and higher returns over time if you let your returns compound. Compounding interest is a great thing when it comes to building wealth and all it takes is two simple steps:
Step 1: Continued investment and reinvestment
Step 2: Time
By continually putting money into your stock investment on a consistent basis and allowing your returns to reinvest, after a period of time you will be able to build a substantial amount of wealth. And again, since stocks outperform other investments over the long-term, you are compounding a greater percentage each year.
Should I Invest in Stocks? Reason 3:
Because Warren Buffett says so! At the time of this post, Buffett’s net worth is estimated to be in excess of $75 billion USD. It has been said that he is the greatest investor the world has ever seen. How did Warren and others like him make their great fortunes? Through investments in stocks. Warren has constantly invested in companies throughout his time via stock purchases in what he calls “value investments”, which is a simple way to say in companies he believes to be cheap in valuation. Buffett has gone so far as to say that even upon his passing he would like the remainder of his fortune to be placed in a low-cost index fund that mirrors the S&P 500. The greatest investor ever believed and still believes in the power of stocks.
If you’re trying to start a new company, then you are probably wondering how you go about making everything legal in the eyes of the government. While the process can be time-consuming, it all boils down to filing paperwork. One of the most important parts of starting a new business is getting an IRS tax ID application so that you can make sure that you won’t get into trouble with Uncle Sam.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the different tax IDs, such as SSN (social security number), ITIN (individual tax ID number), or EIN (employer ID number). Since you’re starting a new business, you may think that you need an EIN, but is that always the case?
As the years progress people keeping finding themselves more and more in debt to creditors. There are some online resources who have deemed this as a major problem. In their efforts to help people better understand money management there are multiple websites that now offer free budgeting courses. If you’re currently struggling with your debt load be sure to act on these courses below.