Keep yourself debt free

By Dayna Bloch
Lifestyles Editor

April 11, 2013

As another semester quickly comes to an end, students are faced with making plans, whether it be scheduling for the next school year or deciding what do post-graduation. Regardless of the situation, students have to worry about costs. Without a good idea of how to handle money, students will be faced with debt they will have to deal with for years.

Rachel Cruze, a recent graduate of University of Tennessee, has dealt with the same financial struggles most college students face.

As of late, she travels the country, attempting to relieve students of financial stress by introducing different methods of avoiding debt and creating a strong personal budget.

“Growing up I was always taught the value of money and the need of saving from my parents, especially my father. With their help I was able to go through college and come out debt free,” said Cruze.

One of the biggest rules she gives college
and graduate students is the idea of a personal

and realistic budget. Separate your money into what you want to spend on food, bills, nights out, gas, and so on; only allowing yourself so much spending in each category will save and protect your money from unnecessary costs.

“Many people see monthly budgets as restrictive, but it will actually give you permission to spend your money on fun things instead of constantly adding to your financial stress,” said Cruze.

When it comes to credit cards Cruze suggested to stay away completely from any form of borrowing.

Restrict yourself to only debit cards, that way you are dealing with your own money and not the money of some bank that is encouraging you to spend more so they get more.

She views loans in the same way.

Cruze suggests working at least 20 hours a week, making sacrifices, and going to a local state or community college to save yourself the most amount of money as possible. Doing these things will allow

Photo courtesy of blogs.roanoke.com
Photo courtesy of blogs.roanoke.com

you to get through school without accumulating a lot of debt to worry about upon graduating, you may even be able to come out debt-free like she did.

For the students who live off of their parents’ money, and don’t have to worry about applying for loans or sticking to a budget, she suggests that you stay appreciative towards your parents

and don’t take advantage of what they are giving you. Don’t view your parents as personal ATM machines. Tell them to limit the amount of money they give you and show them true gratitude for the favor they are doing for you.

Staying away from all forms of borrowing money and living with the idea of a strict personal budget, Rachel Cruze believes that all students can go through college with enough spending money for fun things and still come out debt free.

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