Math teacher since 2012

Math is REAL LIFE: Tips for Managing Student Loans #MiRL

A monthly REAL WORLD math blog link-up hosted by
Of course, someone asked me again today, "But seriously, Mrs. Kiser.  When will I ever need to know how to do this in real life?"  I think this question comes up every few days in my Algebra classes.  So when I saw this linkup, I knew I needed to share a few reasons why you will use math in real life!  

My husband and I are both in our 20s, and right now, student loans are REAL LIFE!  I am pretty sure we have lots of company at this stage in our life, because many of our friends are in the same situation.  Although we are both pretty frugal, the fact that I am a teacher and he works at a church means it is going to take a long time to pay off those student loans.  BUT, I'm not disheartened easily, and I enjoy a challenge, so I thought to myself, "How awesome would it be to pay off all of our student loans before I am 30?"

Challenge accepted.

This got my "math brain" thinking about all of the ways to get those loans paid off faster.  Here's how we are paying off our loans early:

1) I immediately found a way to get all of our loans in one place so I could analyze the information.  I found an awesome app called "Ready for Zero."  The app is good, but the web version is amazing!! If you have debt, I strongly recommend this site. (and no, they are not paying me to say this!)

2) We took some time to analyze the interest rates and prioritize which loans to pay off first.

3) We took a look at our budget by linking our bank accounts to "Mint," another amazing app for budgeting that will categorize all of your expenses for you.  You can set your budgets, have mint alert you when you are over-budget, and you can monitor your monthly cash flow and find your net income. 

No this is not my bank account... 

4) We find some easy ways to save money, such as sharing a car.  It's a little humorous when my high school students go outside and head for their cars as I sit and wait for my husband to come and pick me up, but I know I will be so thankful in a few years when these student loans are gone!  

5) We opted for a low-cost, high-deductible health insurance to give us more money for loans.

6) We both hate paying full price, so we try to shop only during sale times after holidays, back to school sales, etc.  

7) Basically, we try to save money and any extra at the end of the month goes straight towards our highest interest loan!  If you are a recent college graduate and had to take out some private loans, you probably have a few loans close to 10% interest rate like we do, so it's very important to knock those loans out as fast as possible.  It's hard to make those HUGE payments, but I know we are so much closer to our goals! 

Spoiler Alert: MONEY will be a huge part of your life no matter who you are!  So you NEED MATH!

Do you have any other tips for managing student loans and paying them off as fast as possible?  Do you have any other money tips?  If so, leave your tips in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!


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