It looks like you have a monthly surplus. Lucky you! Experts advise that you pay yourself first when it comes to budgeting so if you have a surplus, you may want to consider increasing your savings. If you have credit card, student loan or other debt, you also may want to think about increasing your payments on your highest interest rate credit card or loan first.
It looks like you have a monthly deficit. If you have overextended yourself, try reducing your budget for variable expenses. Variable expenses, such as groceries, gasoline and utility bills, change from month to month so can easily be adjusted. Fixed expenses are expenses that occur on a monthly basis and do not change (or change very little) from month to month. Rent, a car payment and a cable bill are examples of fixed expenses. When determining where you can cut back, think about your needs vs. your wants. For example, you need food but you want to dine out which is more costly than buying groceries and making your own food.
If you are currently paying your student loans, you may be eligible for an extended, graduated or income-based repayment plan that can help reduce your monthly payments. However, by extending your repayment term, you increase the total amount of interest you pay over time so this isn’t always the best option in the long run. Call the College Planning Center of Rhode Island at 401-736-3170 for details.
If you are still in deficit after making adjustments and eliminating unnecessary costs, you may need to consider options for increasing your monthly income, such as obtaining part time work. In most cases, it is easier to reduce your expenses than it is to increase your income.
Need help balancing your budget? Call the College Planning Center of Rhode Island at 401-736-3170 and we can assist you free-of-charge.
Students and families can be overwhelmed with planning and how to pay for college. We have experienced counselors that offer one on one assistance helping families understand all their options start to finish.
Refinancing may help you simplify and save when repaying student loans. Combining outstanding balances, and securing a low interest rate with RISLA may reduce your overall repayment amount and possibly your monthly payment.
Employer Student Loan Repayment assistance is a tax-free benefit allowing employers to contribute towards the repayment of employee student loans. This newest in-demand employee benefit helps reduce financial stress for employees while increasing retention and loyalty to employers.