June 1, 2014
I’m assuming you guys already know the basics. Extended payment plan options. Private loans are worse than the plague. Use your grace period for good and start paying those loans now. Easy! If you’re being aggressive about paying down your loans, the REAL challenge is figuring out how to knock out your student loans fast without having people in your social circle, even friends who also have loans themselves, disown you as too cheap to do anything fun. It’s all about balance.
It’s very helpful become the “cruise director” of your social circle and be the one to come up with frugal, fun things to do. I know in my town, for example, meeting for brunch is a standard default activity friends will suggest. The thing is, “let’s do brunch!” is usually just city-speak for “you’re cool and I want to hang out, but my apartment is embarrassingly messy and/or microscopically small, so let’s meet somewhere else.” It’s fine to occasionally splash out, but if you want to have friends yet not go into debt for weekly helpings of overpriced carbs swimming in butter, it helps to have cool (and inexpensive) alternate activity ideas to offer. I’m on a bunch of “cultural outing” listservs for my city, and have found that it’s much more fun to be thought of as “the friend who always knows which museum exhibits are opening and where the best hikes are” than it is to be “the friend who has to be pried out of her apartment because she’s so cheap.”
It also helps to find support in communities like this one for the Student Loan Sherpa. Mr. Money Mustache (no affiliation, just a fan), is also a good general resource for frugal living.