I don’t have an Aunt Sallie, but I do have a thorn in my side called Sallie Mae that TK and I are working to kick out of our home.
Yesterday was May 1 and in our household that means budget day, the wonderful day where we take on the glorious task of deciding where all our money for the month is going before we even get it. It’s a relatively new concept for me (and TK for that matter), but it’s actually kind of nice knowing “No, I don’t have the money to eat out for lunch today,” or “Yes, I have money in the clothes budget to get a new pair of jeans.”
When I graduated last May (whoa … that was just about a year ago!) I moved back home without a job – something I was not happy or proud about. My parents were about to start Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University” at their church and offered to pay my enrollment fee if I would join them.
After that class I feel like I have learned a lot about my money, where it needs to go and how to, as Ramsey says, live like no one else so later I can live like no one else.
I will say, I think every college freshmen should be required to take Financial Peace. That will probably never happen because he strongly discourages student loans and many freshmen taking the class might end up dropping out and going to a cheaper school or taking time off to work, but we’ve all seen in the news how student debt is crippling many college graduates.
I’m not about to go Occupy Some Street and demand others pay off the loans that I signed up for, but had I known a little more about what I was getting into before I ran to Aunt Sallie to help me pay for college I probably would have gone home for two years to go to a community college, get my core classes out of the way and work to pay it off and save for a more expensive school.
So now TK and I are trying to be wise with how we spend our money. We are acknowledging the necessities (rent, food, gas), providing for a couple date nights each month (we think that’s important as newlyweds) and then hitting our debt hard.
We know we’re very fortunate to both have jobs that we love and that pay decently. Not everyone has that. But, I do think that most people our age could benefit from Financial Peace. A lot of us have debt and I have heard a lot of people talk about paying the minimum as long as they can. The best bet for TK and me is to use the debt snowball concept taught in Financial Peace and kick Aunt Sallie out forever!
What do you think? Student debt is all over the news – how are you handling it?