How I Paid Off an Extra $3,000 on My Student Loans in One Year

I have to be honest: there were a lot of things I wanted to buy last year, but I bought into *most* of them because I knew getting out of debt was more important (although the really cute sweaters and shoes I saw would have me think otherwise). ).

The older I get, the more I realize how important it is for me to pay off my student loans as soon as possible. I hate the feeling of having a debt hanging over my head!

So last year I decided that after I paid off my car, I would try to attack some of my loans. That meant using some of my own spending money to pay more on my student loans so my principal balance took a beating instead of just the interest that seems to add up every month.

It was not an easy road. The hardest part was probably watching my spending money go in and out so quickly.

To be true, this cycle got old very quickly. I decided that if this was going to be sustainable, I would have to generate some additional income somewhere so I wouldn’t feel like I couldn’t have money to spend on myself (I know it sounds selfish, but I work hard for my money and I want to use it to learn new things, buy books, take my husband on appointments, etc.).

So when the year was over, I successfully paid off an additional $3,000 on my student loans (in addition to the required minimum payments).

Paying off student loans can be a challenge.  That's why I'm sharing my tips for managing money, budgeting, and making extra money online so you can get out of debt faster.  Be sure to pin and save for later!
How I Paid Off an Extra $3,000 on My Student Loans in One Year

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I will make a small commission on any sales made through them (at no cost to you)!

This is how I did it:

I allocated a certain percentage of my spending money to loans (but not all)

Like I said before, I wanted to have some money for my own use (I enjoy a good helping of froyo every once in a while), but I still made it a point to put some of that money towards my student loans. You may only have an extra $10 a month for your own loans, but every little bit really counts.

Sure, I may not have been able to buy that extra shirt I wanted or had to avoid eating out as much, but it didn’t take me long to adjust and eventually it became normal.

I also adjusted how often I made my student loan payments. Rather than let interest accrue between monthly payments, I decided to make my additional payments every week or two. This had a bigger impact on interest (which, let’s be honest, is the worst part of these loans).

I made some money online

When I originally started Chase the Write Dream, I didn’t really understand that there was money to be made from blogging. Now that I’m three years old, I’ve learned that there are actually a lot of different ways to make money not just from a blog, but online as well.

Knowing this, I set out to follow through on some of the things I learned and earn extra money that I could put towards my student loans.

For one, I focused a little more on my blog and that helped increase revenue. PS: If you want to learn how to start a blog and possibly earn some extra money, read my post Easy Steps to Start a Blog.

I also did some surveys and random tasks on swagbucks. This is not a site where you can make a lot of money, but then again, our goal is to do little things that add up.

With a little effort, I was able to earn a few extra dollars each month to pay my loan payments.

[RELATED] Earn money from home: more than 5 ideas to start

I used Poshmark to sell my unwanted clothes and shoes

Last summer, I was introduced to Poshmark, an app that lets you list unwanted clothes, shoes, and accessories for sale. I was worried at first but this app literally became a game changer for me.

I have to say it took a bit longer because it works very similar to a social platform where you have to actively share and promote your items, but once I got into the swing of it I found I was selling my unwanted clothes and shoes very quickly.

Learn more about how I became the top 10% seller in just a few months in this post: Selling on Poshmark: Simple Tips to Get More Sales.

I received a refund for my purchases

We live in a world where we regularly shop online, so why not get cash back from them?

I tried very hard to use ebates every time I’ve shopped online over the course of the year and it really added up! Those college textbooks you need to buy? There are several options available through ebates! The same goes for school supplies, dorm room decor, and all that other stuff you need for college.

Apart from ebatesYou may also consider getting a rewards credit card. IMPORTANT: If you choose this path, be sure to pay off your credit card IN FULL each month so you don’t get charged interest.

I have the Chase Freedom card and get up to 5% cash back on certain categories every quarter and 1% on all other purchases.

I became an affiliate for the products I use and support

Did you know that there are several affiliate programs that you can sign up for? Essentially, being an affiliate means that you are recommending products to people and you get a percentage of any sales that are made through your affiliate link. Some people do this through blogs, but others do it through social media.

If you choose this route, just make sure you follow all FTC disclosures (which means you have to let people know that affiliate links are in your post, either through a disclosure at the top or by using of a hashtag: #ad or something between those lines).

Here are some affiliate programs I’m a part of (and you should be too):

Time to start!

Now that I’ve given you some perspective on how I paid extra money on my student loans last year, it’s time to get started so you can attack your debt! From the list above, which one are you going to strive to do?

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