Paying off student loan debt can be a drag, but it doesn’t mean you have to eliminate all the fun from your life. It is possible to have fun without spending a bunch of money; you just have to be resourceful about finding ways to save money. Read on for various tips, some less obvious than others, to help you save while still enjoying life.
1. Buy from deal sites
2. Enjoy free arts and culture events in your community
3. Volunteer for free admission
4. Go out during off-peak hours
5. Check social media
6. Join rewards clubs
7. Enter giveaways
8. Buy early
8 ways to save money, for student loan borrowers and others
From low-cost entertainment to creative savings hacks, consider these eight ways to rock your budget to give you financial space to get rid of your debt.
One of the ways to save money is to never pay full price for anything. When you’re looking for cheap, fun things to do, always check online for discounts. Start by searching for deal sites such as:
- Goldstar: Offers sports, theater and music tickets at a significant discount.
- ScoreBig: Offers deals on various event tickets.
- Groupon: Find deals on food, massages, events and more.
- RetailMeNot: Get coupon codes for Ticketmaster and various other online retailers.
If you don’t find what you need on these sites, try doing a quick Google search for what you are looking for, along with the terms “discount” or “coupon.”
Most cities offer some sort of free programming, especially during the summer and around the holidays. Start by checking out your local park’s calendar to find out about free concerts and classes.
In bigger cities, look into art walks. These events usually happen once a month while galleries all across town are open. Many also offer free wine and snacks. Additionally, by scoping out community calendars and looking for free events on Facebook, you could find everything from free concerts to classes and more.
Giving back to the community can have its own perks beyond simply having the chance to help out. Specifically, volunteering at your local theater, concert hall or festival can provide an easy way to save money on entertainment.
Theater and music productions are also often seeking volunteer ushers, and festivals also sometimes need a few extra helping hands. Also consider concerts, conferences or even beer festivals. You’ll typically work for a few hours in exchange for free admission. Simply contact the venue and ask about volunteering opportunities.
Timing is everything, especially when it comes to saving money. Peak times for entertainment are often Friday and Saturday evenings. An easy way to save money on movies, theater tickets, and more is to go during off-peak days and hours.
Going to a matinee movie showing can help you save considerable costs on admission. Similarly, you can see a play during previews, which are usually held just a few days before a show opens. This often comes with a sweet discount.
While you’re scrolling through photos of cute pets and babies, you can also use social media to save money, too. Start by following movie theaters, concert venues and ticket agencies on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Some companies offer exclusive deals and last-minute tickets via these popular online platforms. You should also be on the lookout for coupon codes in your feeds to save you some cash. You can also find deals by joining groups or by following an event’s hashtag.
In a world where competition is fierce, loyalty pays. You can sign up for rewards clubs at various movie theaters and accrue points every time you go. Eventually, you’ll earn enough points to get free tickets or other perks.
Additionally, more and more consumer markets have active reward programs these days. Your grocery store and pharmacy might have them, most airlines and credit cards certainly do, and there are special interest groups, such as wine clubs, that can score you discounts on your favorite luxury items.
Entering a giveaway can feel like a shot in the dark — and it usually is. But spending time to enter a giveaway can be worth it if it’s for something you really want that you otherwise could not afford. For these, it’s important to know if the drawing is random or not. When you have the chance to explain why you deserve to win, a bit of thought and effort can save your budget big-time, getting you into the best local concerts, festivals and more.
If you’re looking to go to a special entertainment event, it pays to buy tickets early, as most vendors have early-bird pricing. As time goes on, the price may rise — and let’s face it, the cheap tickets usually sell out quickly. In this case, the early bird does, in fact, get the worm. So if you know you are definitely going to go, buying early can pay off.
All loans and no play makes life dull
If you’re burdened by student loan debt, paying it off as quickly as possible should be your top priority. But that doesn’t mean you have to stay holed up at home and never spend money on things that are fun.
While there are ways to save money on your student loans themselves (such as refinancing) or at least reduce your monthly payments (such as with income-driven repayment), it’s also worth finding ways to save on the fun side of life. You just have to know where to look.
Michael Kitchen contributed to this report.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2020!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.99% – 5.64%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.25% – 6.09%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 6.77%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.39% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|1.99% – 5.41%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews! |
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.79% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.64% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of July 31, 2020, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 7/31/2020. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2020 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of September 9, 2020. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount.
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of September 10, 2020.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.16% effective August 10, 2020.