Four Steps to Dealing with Debt

The school year is in full swing, and the thought of student loans, credit card debt, and other personal loans may have you stressed out. Here are four key steps to deal with your debt:

1. Determine exactly how much you currently owe and what the interest rates and minimum payments are for each debt.  An easy way to do this is to write everything down on our Debt Load Worksheet. Make sure to include all outstanding debt, including credit cards (including store credit cards), car loans, mortgages, personal loans, and student loans.

2. Try your best to make at least the minimum payment on each debt every month to avoid late fees and interest rate increases. If you can’t make every payment on time, try making payments on the loan or credit card with the highest interest rate.

3. If possible, commit extra income to accelerate your debt repayment. Once again, the best strategy is to put extra money toward the debt with the highest interest rate (after paying all of the minimum payments).

4. When one debt is paid off, use the money you were using to pay that debt to increase the monthly payment on another debt. This is called the snowball method. Continue doing this until you are eventually debt free!

If you have any questions or need help creating a debt repayment plan, schedule a free appointment with us online: https://unlsmmc.youcanbook.me/ We love helping all students, faculty, staff and alumni!

Post written by Amanda Owens, SMMC Program Assistant

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Halloween on a Budget

Nothing is scarier than checking your bank account the day after Halloween and realizing you blew all your money on costumes, candy, and decorations.  Here are some tips for keeping your Halloween fun, spooky, and under budget.

1.  Avoid Costume Stores
If you’ve ever been to a costume store, you know just how expensive costumes can be.  Most costumes come with little or no accessories either, so you’re likely to drop more cash on those as well if you want to perfect the look you’re going for.  Try making your own costume with what you or a friend already have or check out thrift stores for cheap finds.

2.  Plan your Costume ASAP
Between midterms, projects, work and activities, it may seem impossible to find time to plan a costume two weeks in advance.  However, the more you put it off, the more likely you’ll be to desperately purchase a pricey costume at the store three hours before the party you’re going to.  If you think you’re too busy, consider giving up social media or television for a day and decide on a costume instead.

3.  Get Decor from Dollar Tree
Do you love decorating for Halloween?  Fortunately for you Dollar Tree has tons of fun and festive decorations for extremely cheap. If you’re hosting a party and need decor as well as food/drink supplies, this is the place for you.  The best part about shopping here is that everything is only a dollar!

4.  Check out our Pinterest page!
We have tons of pins on our page with ideas on costumes, decor, food, and more!  Here’s the link: Halloween pinterest board

Post written by Amanda Owens, SMMC Program Assistant

20 Free Things to do on a Rainy Day

1. Take a nap
2. Watch episodes of tv shows for free online on Yahoo View
3. Do a free yoga class on YouTube
4. Make a budget! Start here
5. Watch Nebraska football highlights online
6. Study!
7. Go to campus rec and workout
8. Play in the rain! (Only if there’s no lightning!)
9. Fill out your FAFSA for next year
10. Call your parents (they already miss you!)
11. Doodle
12. Watch tv in the union and meet new people
13. Surf pinterest for Halloween costume ideas. Check out our Halloween board
14. Research study abroad opportunities
15. Go through your clothes and see if there are any you don’t wear anymore that you can donate
16. Research the political candidates and the issues that will be on your ballot
17. Catch up with a friend who goes to another university
18. Look up a new recipe for dinner so you don’t spend money on delivery
19. Play games in the Rec Room in the basement of the City Union
20. Do something nice for someone else